Monday, March 07, 2005

Tactics vs. Policies

If a man compares his wife to an elephant, the remainder of his evening will most likely be unpleasant. If, however, his wife remembered to grab the theater tickets before they left the house, and he said, "You never forget anything, like an elephant," he'll probably be just fine. Agreed?

Senator Robert Byrd is taking crazy heat from the right lately, for a Hitler comment. The problem? He's absolutely correct.

First of all, we have to get over the KKK stuff in Byrd's past. I'm no fan of the KKK, obviously, and I never would have voted for him back then. But he's been a senator for a long time now, and ever since his conversion, he's not once betrayed his new ideals. There's a difference between a hypocrite and an evil man who's seen the light. I happen to believe that Senator Byrd is the latter. Moving on, here's what happened:

In his comments Tuesday, Byrd had defended the right senators have to use filibusters -- procedural delays that can kill an item unless 60 of the 100 senators vote to move ahead. He is a long-standing defender of the chamber's rules and traditions, many of which help the Senate's minority party.

Byrd cited Hitler's 1930s rise to power by, in part, pushing legislation through the German parliament that seemed to legitimize his ascension.

"We, unlike Nazi Germany or Mussolini's Italy, have never stopped being a nation of laws, not of men," Byrd said. "But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends."

Byrd then quoted historian Alan Bullock, saying Hitler "turned the law inside out and made illegality legal."

Byrd added, "That is what the 'nuclear option' seeks to do."

The nuclear option is the nickname for the proposal to end filibusters of judicial nominations because of the devastating effect the plan, if enacted, would have on relations between Democrats and Republicans.
You're a smart person. Do you see what he's saying? He's not, (repeat, NOT) comparing Cheney or Bush or the Republicans to Hitler. He doesn't think they want to send Jews to concentration camps. He's saying that eliminating the rights of the minority party (no matter which party), is a step on the road to fascism. It's not Hitler's policies that the Republicans are aping, it's his tactics in his rise to supreme power. I challenge anyone to demonstrate this to be an invalid comparison. And as a principled member of the minority party the Senate, it is Senator Byrd's duty to speak out.

Our country was founded on the principle of the rights of the minority. And now, it is something we are desperately trying to ensure is written into the Iraqi constitution. If the protection of minority rights was good enough for the Founding Fathers, and it is good enough for the Iraqis, why, Mr. Bush, is it too good for the United States in the present day? It's not, of course. When these rights are destroyed, it is one more step down the road to single-party rule, which is exactly what Hitler did. Senator Byrd is yet another unfortunate example of a Democrat being attacked for telling the truth.

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