Thursday, July 30, 2015

Not An Isolated Remark

In May, the Washington Post's Ishaan Tharoor identified seven things which have been inaccurately equated by one or more individuals or groups with the Holocaust.  They are: avoidance by European governments of the migrant refugee crisis in the Mediterranean; Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent program; the annual Canadian commercial sea hunt; the "progessive war on the American one percent, namely the rich"; slaughtering animals; Hamas, ISIL, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

And of course, abortion.  Aside from President Obama, abortion/Holocaust is the GOP's favorite false equivalence, one which will not go away once Barack Obama does and there is a new Democratic president.

Huckabee is not exception.When in 2007 he was running for president, he maintained  "It might be for the last 35 years, we have aborted more than a million people who would have been in our workforce had we not had the holocaust of liberalized abortion under a flawed Supreme Court ruling in 1973."  (And of course we could use more people looking for jobs because there really arent enough of them now.)  

After sitting out one presidential election cycle, Huckabee in February, 2013- probably contemplating yet another run for the Oval Office- remarked "And now we are called into this incredible Holocaust of our own in America. Fifty-five million babies. Fifty-five million babies since 1973 have died in what ought to be the safest place in the world, their mother’s womb. It has become one of the most dangerous places for a baby to be."

But wait! He wasn't done.  In an interview with Breitbart on Saturday, Huckabee contended

This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people. I read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store. It’s got to be stopped.

And for good measure, the next day- Sunday- Reverend Huckabee tweeted "the Iran nuclear deal is marching the Israelis to the door of the oven."   Every letter appeared in caps, presumably to make sure Repub primary and caucus voters didn't miss the implication. Evidently, Sunday isn't just for worship anymore.

On Monday's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski  was "horrified" at the "crass"statement and accurately noted it was "way worse" than Trump's immigrant remarks.  She was moved to respond “Oh God. I had not read it until this moment and I am horrified" and later in the program commented (video below)

Here’s the response that I have to Huckabee’s comments. If you’ve been to Auschwitz, if you’ve been to Birkenau, if you’ve been to any of these places where people were killed and you see the piles of glasses, the piles of hair, the piles of shoes and the piles of clothes. And every bit of their humanity that had to be stripped away, handed over as they went and burned to their deaths among other things, it’s really not a good comment to say.

It’s a deal breaker! It should be over for him. You don’t say that. And by the way, if you said it by mistake, that’s a sign of who you really are.

Brzezinski believes Huckabee now has gone over the line.  But on at least two occasions the former governor has strongly implied that abortion is no better than the Holocaust.  That's obviously inaccurate and demagogic, and is justifiably offensive to Jews, who wonder why Huckabee believes someone requesting a procedure he thinks is murder is morally equivalent to a European Jew of the 1940s.

Why not, however, continue the analogies?  Aside from Brzezinski's righteous outrage, there has been relatively little reaction to the nuclear deal/Holocaust analogy, and the candidate's motive in trying to draw attention to himself is no excuse for lack of condemnation.   Neither should the excitement of mainstream media figures over a USA women's soccer team or a female NBA or NFL coach obscure silence toward an invalid, offensive, and obscene analogy.   We know what Mike Huckabee thinks about women enduring hardship, and it isn't pretty. But in the corporate offices which control mainstream journalism, the regard may be no greater.

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