Ridiculous. This is the quintessence of the freakout from leftists and Big Media (but I repeat myself) over the election of Trump.
Howard Dean, who is in the running to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee, called Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and current senior strategic adviser, Stephen Bannon, a “Nazi.”
Speaking of Trump in an interview with a CBS affiliate in Texas, Dean called the president-elect a “complicated guy.”
“He appoints a reasonable person, who’s much more conservative than I am, but for somebody who can talk to, as chief of staff, and then his senior adviser is a Nazi,” Dean said, referring to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Bannon, respectively.
“[Bannon is] anti-Semitic; he’s anti-black; and he’s anti-women,” Dean said.
Oh, Good Lord. Howard Dean is going to make me defend Steve Bannon, isn’t he?
Yes, he is.
Look. I am no fan of Steve Bannon. I don’t like the way he treats people. I don’t like his promotion of a trillion-dollar infrastructure program. And I don’t like the fact that he has (by his own admission/boast) used Breitbart.com to promote the alt-right, a movement that is deeply infected by collectivism on the part of whites . . . to put it kindly.
But let’s get real. While Bannon seems to be an exceedingly mercurial, autocratic, and unpleasant individual, I know of no evidence that he is personally a racist or an anti-Semite. In addition, much of Big Media criticism of Breitbart.com as a racist, sexist, homophobic site that promotes birtherism and the notion of Obama as a foreign-born Muslim is lazy, inaccurate, and exaggerated. One might even call it “fake news.” Breitbart.com is far more likely to accuse Hillary Clinton of promoting birtherism than it is to promote birtherism itself.
Now we’re getting to the point where Howard Dean calls Bannon a “Nazi”? Absurd and irresponsible. Dean owes Bannon an apology.
Remember how Bill Maher said he had cried wolf about Republicans before Trump? Dean is doing the same with Bannon. There are actual Nazis and Neo-Nazis who support Trump (though, as streiff noted, the number is vanishingly small). If, as I consider very unlikely, Trump were to actually bring one of those people into his administration, what rhetorical arrows would remain in Howard Dean’s quiver?
The Nazi phenomenon was a real phenomenon, and a very scary one. A populace of largely educated people, with one of the greatest cultural backgrounds in the world, came under the sway of a madman. I have argued many times that we would be fools not to be on guard for the possibility that it could happen again. And the actual Nazis didn’t come out and say in their speeches in the early 1930s: we are going to round up all the Jews, put them in concentration camps, and slaughter them by the millions. The signs were there, but they weren’t as explicit as people seem to assume these days. So, while it’s easy to say any given emerging figure is not Hitler, neither was Hitler. Until he was. And then it was too late.
But leftists have been crying wolf for decades now. Literally every major Republican figure who comes along is deemed the second coming of Hitler by the radical left. And my fear is, if we ever get a figure that absolutely does resemble Hitler, the left’s lazy accusations will have numbed other Americans to the accusation so much . . . we may not recognize the threat at that point.
Howard Dean’s hysterical scream was the end of his presidential aspirations, back in the day. This nonsense ought to be the end of his DNC aspirations today.
But I suspect it’s not, and I’m guessing he knows that. Screaming NAZI! these days is all the rage among crazed leftists.
[Cross-posted at RedState.]