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Let’s Not Let Nazis Be “Normal”

The House seems even more dysfunctional under the new speaker as it was under the last one. And we’re staring at another possible government shutdown, just before Thanksgiving. Forbes is running handy travel tips in case all the TSA employees required to work without pay suddenly get the flu.

Let’s talk about “normalization.” Somewhat belatedly, Trump’s Veteran’s Day “truth” post is getting some scrutiny.

The first I heard of this was yesterday. Michael Tomasky in The New Republic, It’s Official: With “Vermin,” Trump Is Now Using Straight-up Nazi Talk. And there’s more.

Then, at a rally in New Hampshire later that day, he repeated those words essentially verbatim—promising to “root out … the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country”—and doubled down on it: “The real threat is not from the radical right; the real threat is from the radical left, and it’s growing every day, every single day. The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous, and grave than the threat from within. Our threat is from within.”

Of course, those last two sentences are true, since Trump himself is the greatest threat to this country right now. Tomasky continues,

But dear God. Can’t we get people to think about fascism, and what Trump would do to this country? Trump invoked “vermin” on the very day that The New York Timesbroke yet another harrowing story about his second-term plans, this time having to do with immigration. “He plans,” the Times reported, “to scour the country for unauthorized immigrants and deport people by the millions per year.” And he wants to build huge—yes—detention camps. There’s much more. And all of this, by the way, appears to have been fed to the paper by his own people, who are obviously proud of it. They want America to know. And just before this, remember, Trump told Univision that he would use the Justice Department and the FBI to go after his political enemies.

Digby reports that the mainstream media buried these remarks.

As far as I can tell, only Kristen Welker on on Meet the Press mentioned it in passing to Ronna McDaniel and the only two mainstream newspapers to headline it are the NY Times (who only discussed it in the story, not in the headline above), in a small article and Forbes.

Also, she said, CNN covered the New Hampshire speech and buried the “Nazi” talk way down in the story.

Finally, late in the day yesterday, the Washington Post ran this headline: Trump calls political enemies ‘vermin,’ echoing dictators Hitler, Mussolini. But even then in the online edition you had to scroll way down to find it. And I understand it was not on the front page of the paper edition.

The WaPo story, by Marianne LeVine, quoted some reactions to Trump’s words.

“The language is the language that dictators use to instill fear,” said Timothy Naftali, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. “When you dehumanize an opponent, you strip them of their constitutional rights to participate securely in a democracy because you’re saying they’re not human. That’s what dictators do.”

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian at New York University, said in an email to The Washington Post that “calling people ‘vermin’ was used effectively by Hitler and Mussolini to dehumanize people and encourage their followers to engage in violence.”

“Trump is also using projection: note that he mentions all kinds of authoritarians ‘communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left’ to set himself up as the deliverer of freedom,” Ben-Ghiat said. “Mussolini promised freedom to his people too and then declared dictatorship.”

Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesman, told The Post “those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and their entire existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House.”

Wow, Steven Cheung, thanks for clearing that up.

At Press Watch, Dan Froomkin wonders if this could be a turning point in Trump coverage.

Saturday night was a low point in the elite media’s coverage of Donald Trump.

The New York Times put a light-hearted headline on a news article about Trump’s Veterans Day address in New Hampshire, in which he vowed to “root out” what he called “the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.”

Trump Takes Veterans Day Speech in a Very Different Direction” was the initial headline over the story by Michael Gold.

Gold acknowledged in his second paragraph that Trump’s language was “incendiary and dehumanizing.” But that, of course, should have been the lede – and should have been in the headline.

The Times soon changed its headline to “In Veterans Day Speech, Trump Promises to ‘Root Out’ the Left,” but that wasn’t much better.

A social-media furor quickly erupted. (Twitter, the platform now called X by some, is still good for something.)

Meanwhile, the Washington Post made no mention of the speech at all.

Until Sunday night, that is.

Sunday night WaPo ran the Marianne LeVine story. I wasn’t watching, but I understand that Joe Scarborough did a segment on the Nazi talk.

And today, Aaron Blake published How Trump’s rhetoric compares with Hitler’s. No paywall.

In other news: ABC News got its hands on proffer sessions of the people working out plea deals in the Georgia election interference RICO case. Jenna Ellis said that Dan Scavino told her “the Boss” would not leave the White House even though he had lost.

A lot of juicy stuff is coming out of Jonathan Karls new book. This tidbit is several paragraphs down in the story:

As Trump’s presidency was winding down, he sent top aide Johnny McEntee to warn Pentagon leaders that Trump was irate because Army Chief of Staff James McConville and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy had publicly insisted the military would play no role in the transition of power or determining the outcome of the 2020 election. But Trump, who had been huddling with advisers urging him to consider deploying the military to seize voting machines, was displeased, Karl reports.

McEntee relayed Trump’s concerns to acting defense secretary Chris Miller and took some notes on the conversation to pass back to the West Wing.

“Chris Miller spoke to both of them and anticipates no more statements coming out,” read McEntee’s note, which was included in a massive batch of documents posted publicly by the select committee. “If another happens, he will fire them.”

Trump, according to Karl, tore up the note after reading it. And the version obtained by the select committee was clearly reconstructed from several torn pieces by aides who delivered the repaired missive to the National Archives.

No more “normalizing” this monster.

12 thoughts on “Let’s Not Let Nazis Be “Normal”

  1. THE leading candidate for POTUS from one of our two major political parties basically channels Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Joseph Stalin, and most of our MSM goes, "Ho-hum, just tRUMP being tRUMP!  Nothing to see here…  Nothing to see…"??!?!?

    Do our MSM folks think when tRUMP calls them "The enemies of the people" that he's talking about some OTHER group?

    Wake-up, fellow "vermin!!!"

    He means YOU, too!!!!!

    This is no time to "both-sides" issues, you feckles, moronic MFers!

    When did our journalists turn yellow?

  2. I remember it took at least two years for the MSM to call Trump's assertions "lies", that anybody with a brain could see were "lies". Expect a similar delay for them get real with what he's saying now.

    It's worth reading Lucian Truscott's This is How it Begins. Truscott grew up around Dachau, Germany:

    But to me, the most incredible thing of all are Trump’s plans for concentration camps. In Germany in the mid 1950’s, my family was stationed about 50 miles from Dachau. Patton’s Third Army liberated Dachau at the end of the war in 1945, and after my grandfather relieved Patton of command of the Third Army, General Eisenhower put him in charge of caring for the Holocaust victims of Dachau and other camps…

    …As a boy, I grew up with the history of Hitler’s concentration camps all around me. Grandpa had a huge photo album that was given to him by the Third Army at the conclusion of his command in 1946. It was full of photographs of what the Third Army had encountered when they liberated Dachau.

    …It is incredible to contemplate that Donald Trump has put his political finger in the wind and made a determination that the plans outlined by Reichsfuhrer [Stephen] Miller are a winning issue for him in 2024. Even his decision to go on Univision to talk about elements of his plans is astounding. Apparently, Trump has made a calculation that he can split the Latin vote in the next election by separating Latino voters into haves and have-nots and going after the “have” vote.

    …When I read sentences like that in the New York Times, uttered by people who are known to be speaking for Donald Trump, I see in my mind’s eye the images of concentration camps I grew up learning about, and I see the expansion of Hitler’s list of enemies to include people considered to be mentally ill, the unemployed, the homeless, members of opposing political parties, university professors, journalists, intellectuals, homosexuals, Jews.

     I see the list of Donald Trump’s enemies.

    I see you and me and our loved ones.

  3. “Let’s talk about “normalization.” Somewhat belatedly, Trump’s Veteran’s Day “truth” post is getting some scrutiny”

    Some being the operative word! That statement should go down in history as the most sickening, provocative and notorious decree Stump or any other American politician ever put their name on. One thing is for sure, it is far too abhorrent and comprehensively concise for that dumb fuck to have written. It smells like a turd from either Bannon or Miller, maybe it was collaboration or as the kids say a collab, same toliet? I would paint a picture but it would be too disturbing and would probably get me twit filtered for good.  The statement is disgusting but it will be forgotten in less than a week (some scrutiny). No congressional reporters will demand comment from GOP leaders, nobody will hold the other GOP "candidates" feet to the fire for a reaction. RNC Rhonda aint going to say shit, she might even endorse it. It doesn't matter what outrage they dump on this country, they will outdo themselves (at least in the eyes of the soap sellers) next week and the week after that. This is how they roll and how they avoid accountability.  I've said this before, Stumps only power is his ability to control the narrative, create chaos, he knows what sells soap. The only way to put him out is to turn him off. It doesn’t appear our corporate media is going to allow that to happen anytime soon.

    He’s gonna lie till we stop listening

  4. In 5,4,3,2,1 bobble heads and the teleprompter writers will proclaim that he really only called his democratic opposition vermin, yeah it's over the top but it's how he campaigns,  he's just playing hardball! Like making fun of Paul Pelosi getting his fucking head bashed in by one of his supporters, it's just locker room talk, it’s in good fun. We see no Nazis!


  5. About 30 years ago I had a friend who happened to be a diehard Republican, I recall that once in conversation he remarked that he did not understand how the German people could have allowed a person like Hitler to gain power and that such a thing could never happen here because Americans were simply too smart for that.  I replied that I thought it very well could happen, Hitler simply said things many people wanted to hear and we had a lot a lot of politicians like that, always have and always will. He scoffed at that, "No, can't happen, at least not like Hitler, not in America".  Obviously he and I had our differences, we drifted apart and haven't communicated in at least 15 years.  I have no doubt he voted for tRump.

    tRump is Hitler without the decency to commit suicide.

    • "No, can't happen, at least not like Hitler, not in America"

      Really? So your friend actually thinks the Germans are dumber than we are? I submit Angela Merkel vs Stump or the 1987 BMW M3 vs the 1987 Chevrolet Chevette!

      • Nobody smarter than Republicans according to him.  Rush Limbaugh used to fluff his listeners by telling them how smart they were, he was a regular Limbaugh listener.

        Ah the Chevette!  GM's answer to the Yugo.

  6. “Americans were simply too smart for that

    Germany was seen by many as being at the worldwide height of intellectual civilization, but going through a rough patch after WWI.  Deitrich Bonhoeffer tried to explain the whys of Hitler. 

    He said that for many, social connectiveness and standing within one’s tribe are extremely important, far more than even basic morality.  Take control of their tribe and you take control of them.  Once they’ve been fully inculcated, critical thinking and reason won’t work anymore and there’s little one can do except defeat their entire tribe.

    Dark Triad types seem to know this instinctively.  Everybody else, much less so.

  7. Honestly, the right wing media has been broadcasting eliminationist rhetoric about "the left" since the 90s. I'm glad that the RW Dear Leader managed to make it perfectly clear, by deliberately, and expressly, evoking the language of literal Nazis.

    I just want to stake that territory out, now: "Thanks for noticing after 30 straight years, AND an insurrection AND a possible re-election, post-insurrection, AND the literal quotation from LITERAL NAZIs. Why, yes, you are easily 20 years past the time it was obvious the right wing has gone either nuts, corrupt, or worse ("no one is quite sure who is which… or both…").

    (EmptyGreene is both, but still worse, no one is sure where she is on either scale, ON ANY GIVEN SUBJECT. That does make her uniquely dangerous, not in the "thought leader" sense, but in the "infant playing with a superball in the nitroglycerin factory" sense.)

  8. What is Trump thinking? 

    Let's make a few assumptions. First, Trump is in a world of hurt with the trials he's facing. How much does he know it? Recall Jack Nicholson's performance (A Few Good Men) at the trial when he took credit for the Code Red, "You're accusing me of a crime??!!!" and then the belligerence, "You messed with the wrong marine!!!"  We're way into the second stage of threatening everyone who is holding Jessup to account.

    I think Trump knows that threatening is not working against any of the judges or prosecutors. If a lone wolf could get through security and murder (horribly) one of Trump's tormentors, then he thinks the others would flee him in terror. (I don't agree – I think it would have the opposite effect.) But Trump has noted by now that his coded calls for violence are not generating terrorism on Trump's behalf. (Partly because the message is muddled by the predictions by Trump that he will be vindicated, that he has proof the  '20 election was a fraud, and he will win on appeal. This undermines the need to take action.)

    Once Trump is convicted, appeals are only a delaying tactic. I suspect Trump knows that. The Georgia case, if there's a conviction, can't be undone at the federal level by Trump or a friendly Republican in federal office. (Nor by a friendly GA governor – the GA governor does not have pardon power.) The Georgia case is falling apart by the minute as co-defendants flip on Trump. Again, suppose this is not lost on Trump. He's getting killed in court and criminal convictions are nearly inevitable. 

    Trump might flee the country BUT there's extradition to the US from almost everywhere. (Exceptions are Russia and N. Korea.) If Trump leaves after a trial has started, he can be convicted and I suspect the financial penalties might cut Trump off from his money. Trump is considering this option because he's "joked" about it.

    Trump is trying to delay everything until after the election. Everyone thinks Trump plans are conditional and dependent on winning the election. I don't. Trump is planning a coup regardless of the outcome, If Trump can, he will declare martial law and overthrow unfriendly state governments like NY and GA, replacing elected state officials with puppets who will not execute any arrest warrant against the Trump family. 

    If Trump wins in 2024… (unlikely, I think)

    The question is how the US military will react to illegal orders to use lethal force against unarmed US civilians. And how will the DOJ and federal law enforcement react to orders to crush Trump resistance?

    IF Trump loses in 2024…

    He will claim he won by a landslide. (Duh!) And Trump will claim to BE president in fact… ignore all the formalities in the US Constitution. Trump will try to call up his minions to enforce his ascendance to the throne and threaten to shoot as traitors any law enforcement or military officials who support Biden's second term. 

    Trump is running for POTUS to overthrow the judicial system. If he fails, he goes to jail – and he knows it. As the noose draws tighter, Trump will become even MORE bombastic, promising the pirates he's recruiting that they can rape and pillage without fear (but leave the white women alone.) Trump needs thousands and thousands of soldiers. I see no way Trump can subvert the US military but Biden won't call out troops to fire on MAGA insurgents. IMO, we will hear Trump promising his orcs that they can live out their most vile fantasies without fear of legal retribution if they make Trump POTUS. 

    If Trump was/is planning to win the election fairly, he'd back off the rhetoric before the undecided voters get sick from the stench of Trump's words. But the most critical target of Trump's speeches is the crackpot who has stockpiled arms and ammo for a war with "the feds." Trump has to get them off their fat butts and make him POTUS after he loses the election because two months after the election isn't enough time.

    Trump has a weak hand but he has no options. The stress is getting to him and I think he's making serious mistakes when Trump can't afford ANY missteps. 


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