IS JON CHAIT LIKE JOSEPH GOEBBELS?….Jon Chait defends Rick Santorum today:
If we thought about it sensibly, we’d realize that Nazi analogies have their place. If anything, our public discourse could use more Nazi analogies.
Well, I’m glad someone said it. As Chait says, Santorum’s Nazi analogy last week may have been wrong, but politicians get history wrong all the time. Beyond that, there’s nothing particularly heinous about using Nazi analogies, which can actually be quite useful as long as they’re used “not to make a moral comparison but to establish a logical principle.”
I’m fine with that. Comparing George Bush to a genocidal maniac or abortion to the murder of 6 million Jews is indeed both foolish and abusive, but simply using Hitler (or Stalin or Mussolini) as an easily understood historical reference isn’t ipso facto wrong. It all depends on what it’s being used for. We should chill out about this stuff.