The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Saturday, June 26, 2004


Josh Chafetz of OxBlog weighs in against the Kerry camp's mass email to supporters alerting them of the use of Hitler in a Bush web ad.

Here's the full text of the email, which as a signed-up Kerry supporter, I received earlier today:
Dear Brendan,

Yesterday, the Bush-Cheney campaign, losing any last sense of decency, placed a disgusting ad called "The Faces of John Kerry's Democratic Party" as the main feature on its website. Bizarrely, and without explanation, the ad places Adolf Hitler among those faces.

The Bush-Cheney campaign must pull this ad off of its website. The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong.

We sent you a fundraising plea earlier this morning. But when this came up, we decided it was important to show you just what we're up against: a presidential campaign that is willing to do or say absolutely anything to win. You're our only line of defense against these underhanded tactics. Please contribute today:

If he were a real leader, George Bush would be talking about his first-term accomplishments -- and his second-term vision for America. But he has cast aside that opportunity because he has nothing to offer except a string of broken promises and a steady stream of fear and deception.

John Kerry is talking to this country about his optimistic vision for a stronger America. By contributing, you're giving him the resources to get that vision to millions more Americans every week. Help keep up the incredible momentum of this campaign by making a donation today:

Thank you,

Mary Beth Cahill
Campaign Manager

P.S. It's hard to believe that the Bush campaign would use images of Adolf Hitler. See it for yourself:
Here are the relevant grafs from Chafetz's take:
Indeed, do see it for yourself, because here's what the ad is: It's a series of clips of Al Gore, Howard Dean, Richard Gephardt, and John Kerry making totally over-the-top denunciations of Bush. Interspersed are clips from MoveOn.Org ads comparing Bush to Hitler. The ad ends with, "This is not a time for pessimism and rage. It's a time for optimism, steadly leadership, and progress. President Bush."

In other words, Bush is criticizing his opponents for, among other things, comparing him to Hitler. In response, the Kerry Campaign sends out this incredibly dishonest email suggesting that Bush has compared his opponents to Hitler and asking for money.
There are two big problems here. First, the Hitler issue: The ad from MoveOn featuring images of Hitler was not made, conceived or funded by MoveOn, but was merely one nominee among a number of ads, of which just one (not that one) was chosen to receive rotation on network and cable television. The Bush ad takes this marginal ad that was never shown on television, and places it on par with well-known public statements by Dean (shouting over a loud crowd), Moore (not really a Democrat), Gore (how dare he be angry about something Abu Ghraib-related other than that pictures were taken!), etc.

Besides, given the frequency of recent occurences of conservatives bringing up Nazis when talking about liberals, the right doesn't have much ground to stand on here.

But it's Chafetz' second paragraph that gets me: "In response, the Kerry Campaign sends out this incredibly dishonest email suggesting that Bush has compared his opponents to Hitler and asking for money."

Uh, excuse me, but where in the Kerry email does it suggest that?

Scroll back up and reread the email. Mary Beth Cahill makes it abundantly clear that her problem -- and by extension, Kerry's -- is that she believes Adolf Hitler should be off limits for all political campaigns. It is Chafetz, not Cahill, who is making a leap, and being, dare I say, a little dishonest.

Naturally, Instapundit linked to the Chafetz post approvingly.

UPDATE: Over at Pandagon, both Jesse and Ezra are all over this one, though Ezra replaces my "a little" with his "astonishingly" regarding the dishonesty of the response from Radiohead-land. I'm so polite!

UPDATE UPDATE: Yglesias too.


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