Skip to comments.Just when did John Ashcroft join the Nazi Party?
Posted on 02/19/2004 5:10:55 PM PST by MegaSilver
Over the holidays, I had the opportunity to visit with some of my more progressive friends in Kansas City, and several alerted me to a rather scary development: U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has become a Nazi "another Hitler" as one fretfully described our former governor and senator.
This all came as news to me. Although I do not know Ashcroft personally, I did sit next to him at a dinner just a few years ago, and he exhibited no signs of latent Nazism: no heel-clicking or arm-thrusting, no anti-Semitic slurs or "sieg heils," no quiet yearnings for the Fatherland. I wondered, too, how a man of such presumed extremes could manage to win five statewide races in America's most indicative state.
Still, I could not just dismiss those alarms. At least, three of my friendly Cassandras were prominent Missourians. Perhaps they knew something I did not. To test their suspicions, I did a quick online search and got a jolt of confirmation. Some 18,400 web postings link "Ashcroft" and "Nazi," at least two-thirds of which accuse Ashcroft of being a Nazi.
"Americans have every right to be up in arms against John and his Patriot Act," reads a typical online jeremiad. "Many of us have been warning that it is a deadly assault on constitutional rights part of the broad fascistic pattern of the Bush junta."
Another blames Congress for letting "Ashcroft walk all over the Constitution without stirring from their somnambulance as he and his gang of nazi-fascists began implementing Patriot II." One site serves as an unofficial Ashcroft songbook. It posts the lyrics of more than 70 songs, all of which alert the innocent to the suspected reign of terror at Justice. Indeed, it must have taken an act of deep courage to pen a ditty like "The Obnoxious Right Wing Nazi Pig Dog From Missouri" (sung to tune of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy") knowing that the aforementioned "pig dog" was creating "Dachaus" for his political opponents.
I could not write off these suspicions as mere Internet blather. On one even more damning site, America's "most trusted man," the still-living Walter Cronkite, denounced Ashcroft as the "Torquemada of American law." Torquemada was the proto-fascist responsible, according to Cronkite, for the unholy methods of the Spanish Inquisition, "including torture and the burning of heretics Muslims in particular." Egads! No wonder my friends were upset.
To be fair, progressives do not upset easily. During World War I, the Espionage and Sedition Acts allowed Woodrow Wilson's progressive administration to prosecute those reckless enough to voice anti-war sentiments. Socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs spent 10 years in prison as a result. He was one of 2,000 so prosecuted. During World War II, the always progressive FDR interned by executive order 120,000 ethnic Japanese with the full-throated support of the American Civil Liberties Union. The even more progressive Eleanor wanted to draft the entire nation.
My progressive friends uphold that finely tuned tradition of situational libertarianism even today. Although sensitive to civil rights, they are hardly squeamish about them. When, for instance, Ashcroft's predecessor as attorney general, Janet Reno, launched a tank assault on a religious community outside of Waco, killing 80 people more than half of them minorities, 20 of them children my friends kept silent. They understand that governments sometimes have to break a few eggs to sustain the omelet of orderly government. Ditto when Reno sent her troopers to liberate Elian at gunpoint from his Miami family and send him back to Cuba where, unlike America, no little boy goes without health coverage.
Closer to home, my friends prudently held their tongues when Missouri's Democrat Attorney General Jay Nixon imprisoned 15 so-called "paper terrorists" in the late '90s for conspiring to place a lien on the house of a state judge. Seven years in a state penitentiary may seem a little tough for a lien that was immediately expunged, but our local progressives understood that a line had to be drawn before these terrorists moved from paper to some more durable substance.
Given their historically measured response to issues of national security, I had to take my friends' outsized anxieties about John Ashcroft seriously. So I decided to do a little investigating. How, I wondered, had Ashcroft managed to impose a law as frightening as the USA-Patriot Act on the American people? Attorneys general, I reasoned, are supposed to follow the law, not make it.
Here is where things got sticky. It seems that Ashcroft did not exactly make the law. Nor did Bush issue the Patriot Act as an executive order. As it happens, in October 2001 Sens. Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Lieberman, Kennedy and 93 of their colleagues resoundingly passed the Patriot Act through the Senate and into the law books for Ashcroft to enforce. The final Senate count, in fact, was 98 to 1.
I also learned that the federal courts, even the liberal ones, have in almost every case supported Ashcroft's interpretation of the anti-terrorism policy he was enforcing. Were the courts also part of this fascist junta, I wondered? As to the most subversive of Ashcroft's tools, the library-snooping Section 215, this section of the act does not even mention libraries and has never been invoked in any case.
One other detail confused me. From what I learned in my investigation, Nazis are "National Socialists," big-government statists with a fondness for eugenics, vegetarianism, leather, and the homoerotic trappings of Germany's pagan past. What the Nazis did not much cotton to were smoking, gun ownership and people of faith Christians as well as Jews
In checking Ashcroft's senate record, however, I discovered that the American Conservative Union had awarded him a 98 percent rating. The rating acknowledged Ashcroft's consistent votes in support of small, decentralized government, gun rights, America's Judaeo-Christian traditions, Israel, "life" in all its manifestations and even big tobacco.
Something wasn't clicking here. In inquiring more deeply, I learned that his opponents had begun to label Ashcroft a "Nazi" even before Sept. 11, indeed even before he was confirmed as attorney general. The one scribe who had warned of another Dachau wrote tellingly, "We tried to stop this religious fanatic fundamentalist from ever getting the job."
Walter Cronkite was only slightly more circumspect. "What makes this administration's legal bloodthirstiness particularly alarming," he writes in his denunciation of Ashcroft, "is the almost religious zeal that seems to drive it." Even the composer of "The Obnoxious Right Wing Nazi Pig Dog From Missouri" penned his immortal lyrics before 9-11, due largely to Ashcroft's unapologetic Christianity and the lyricist's phobia about the same.
The celebrated wordsmith Jesse Jackson helped me understand progressive logic as it applies to a traditional Christian like Ashcroft. "In South Africa, we call it apartheid," warns Jackson. "In Nazi Germany, we'd call it fascism. Here in the United States, we call it conservatism."
As I learned, the equation between such diametrically opposed philosophies as conservatism and Nazism has a specific provenance. Before Pearl Harbor American conservatives generally opposed American entry into World War II. So did America's communists. At the time, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were allies. As brutal totalitarian states they had a lot in common, including their respective halves of Poland.
In May 1941, however, Nazi Germany turned on the Soviet Union, and the sophisticated Soviet propaganda machine turned on America's conservatives. From the Soviet perspective, anyone who continued to resist America's entry into the war had to be a fascist, and so was born the "brown smear."
As I began to see, the smear has outlived the Soviet Union and continues to mutate. Contemporary progressives now consciously extend it to serious Christianity. Through relentless media propaganda they have made a direct connection in their own minds at least from Adolf Hitler to "the Church Lady" and are now busy scaring themselves with their own mindless stereotypes.
That's a shame. No administration in world history has handled an internal threat of this magnitude with so much respect for civil liberties. No one has even come close. Hell, even Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War.
The Patriot Act and its offshoots are far from perfect, but at least Ashcroft is using the laws he has been handed against real terrorists, not "paper" ones. He does not deserve such absurd abuse, especially from people who would have scrapped the whole dang Constitution had the perpetrators of Sept. 11 worshipped the same God as John Ashcroft.
Jack Cashill is an Emmy-award winning independent writer and producer with a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue.
The Nazi's were left wing, not right.
"Howls of derisive laughter, Bruce!"
Being upset with imaginary or overblown problems is all that they do.
He's a good man doing an extremely tough job. God bless him.
What was that Dean thing then? Oh, yeah, .....EEeeYAaaaaaaa!
Well, I hate to use this analogy, but at the risk of being called a homophobe, here goes.
I heard a quote once that, "The more you assert that someone of your gender 'must be GAY!' the higher the chance is that you're HOPING they're gay--for one reason or another."
There could be a number of reasons why one would want to paint a member of their gender as a homosexual. One is that said malicer is, him/herself, harboring secret homosexual desires, and this is the only way he/she can appease them without letting anyone know.
Another is that said person fears that he/she might be gay or that others might think he/she is gay, and wants to take the speculation off of him/herself--and does so by picking on another person. When I was a kid, this was a common characteristic of what we then called schoolyard bullies: projecting their insecurities and frustrations on other kids in the form of demeaning insults and/or physical blows.
The schoolyard bully, in its adult form, is better known as a member of the Democratic Party. Terry McAuliffe, et. al. know that their worldview has many eerie parallels with that of the Fascist worldview (once thought to have been vanquished), and out of fear that the good voters of Middle America will discover this, they quickly rush to paint conservatives and Republicans as Nazis and Fascists.
It's funny to watch, and it may win them a few elections here and there, but goodness knows how long they can keep this up before the truth comes out.
As for the point of the article, leftists have always referred to conservatives as "Nazis". The only thing that's new is the fervency of their slander, but we know how radicalized the left has become and how much they hate Bush and everyone in his administration.
What makes Ashcroft such a target is his religious faith, as the article points out.
By the way, John W. Dean was on C-SPAN the other day as part of a panel of people who have written biographies of U.S. Presidents; he has a new book out on Warren G. Harding. I don't know whether it is worth reading.
Caller(young female Deaniac): I don't trust Kerry because he's 'Skull and Bones' like Bush.
Steve Scully: What's the problem with "Skull and Bones"?
Deaniac: They're all Nazis.
Deaniac: You know, big business and industry and stuff like that.
The left has succeeded in eliminating the teaching of any meaningful history in this country, and these idiots are cancelling out our votes.
From the Liberal Dictionary
Racist/Bigot/Homophobe/Nazi/Fascist- Anyone winning an argument against a liberal
Exactly, they accuse the Republicans of being racist even though they emancipated the slaves and championed civil rights.
They call them intolerant although they are the ones that stifle any dissent.
They deflect criticism by accusing their opponents of their own faults.
The Nazis promoted "Leibensraum", "Strength through Joy", the "Hitler Youth," and the "People's Car" (Volkswagen) - hardly right wing ideology..
Don't confuse totalitarianism with right wing thinking, totalitarianism can come from either side - just look at Stalin.
...are you getting the picture?
That's probably because in today's world, you would have to move right of them to find the Nazi party...
You're right about the teaching of history. I was thinking, too, about all the furor (exhaustively documented on other threads!) about Mel Gibson's father "minimizing" the Holocaust. It seems to me that the left's pattern of denigrating everyone with whom you disagree as a "Nazi" is just as bad. I'm sure that Holocaust survivors, at least, can distinguish the difference. I'd love to ask the next liberal who pulls this trick: do you really compare your political disagreements with this individual to the Holocaust? You think those two events are morally equivalent? To disagree with you is just as bad as to have participated in the Holocaust? Talk about having no shame!
From what I've read, there are a lot of letters that have been researched. The other affair was with a woman named Carrie Phillips who was a family friend of the Hardings, the two couples socialized and vacationed together. The affair has been pretty exhaustively documented. As for Nan Britton, she had a daughter named Marion who apparently was accepted as his own by Harding. Don't forget also that crates and crates of papers were destroyed by Florence Harding after her husband's death; in addition, he'd left instructions for certain private papers to be destroyed by his office assistant, so probably we will never know the whole story. There is a pretty good biography of Florence Harding by Carl Sferraza Anthony that sheds light on some of this stuff.... but now we're getting way off topic on this thread, sorry!
Nope, you're making a lot more sense than those who would accuse me of being a homophobe.
And actually, my tongue was planted (somewhat) in cheek with that remark.
I dunno. Read the Unabomber Manifesto and Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview. It's fragmented, for sure, but there are ideological underpinings that tie it all together.
It's really unfair to Hitler. :)
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