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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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“What a memorable day!” wrote a middle-class Hamburg housewife in her diary on Jan. 30, 1933.

Weimar Germany and Donald Trump
How traditional and radical conservatives come to speak a common political language—that ultimately benefits the extremists
By Eric D. Weitz

“What a memorable day!” wrote a middle-class Hamburg housewife in her diary on Jan. 30, 1933. She had just watched the parade of torch-bearing storm troopers celebrate Adolf Hitler’s assumption of power in Germany.

Frau Solmitz did not, however, extol only Hitler. She waxed melodic about Hitler’s cabinet, in which there were just three Nazis. All the others were upstanding conservatives, men like Franz von Papen, the aristocratic former chancellor and leader of the Catholic Center Party, and the career bureaucrat Constantin von Neurath, who was named to head up the foreign ministry. These were experienced men, reasonable men. They would contain Hitler’s excesses. After four years of economic depression and political paralysis, 14 years since the humiliation of the Versailles Peace Treaty, decades of an overweening Jewish presence in German public life, it was time for a new beginning. It was time to make Germany great again.

In the end, a small clique of businessmen, estate owners, bankers, high-ranking civil servants, and army officers prevailed upon the president, Paul von Hindenburg, to name Hitler chancellor of Germany. For these traditional conservatives, the Nazis were uncouth, low class, and undisciplined. Yet these same conservatives made a political bargain with the Nazi party. Developed over the 14 years of the Weimar Republic, the bargain was created and then sealed through a common political language of utter disdain for the Republic, contempt for Jews, opposition to the Versailles Treaty, and hostility to democracy and socialism.


Today’s Republicans and similarly-minded figures in Europe are like the conservatives who put Adolf Hitler in power: delusional about their influence, playing dangerously with the structures of our democracy. Few Republicans in the United States are willing to follow Sen. Graham on the “exit ramp,” as he termed it, from the Trump highway. And much of the reason lies in the fact that Trump’s political language is only more blatant than what many Republicans have been saying for decades.

That is the lesson from the right-wing populist upsurge in Weimar Germany, which culminated in the Nazi assumption of power. The political language of fear and hostility directed at “foreign” elements (never mind the fact that many and even most of those so-called foreigners had been residents and citizens for generations) enables moderate and radical conservatives to come together. The moderates make the radicals salonfähig, acceptable in polite society. That is the real and pressing danger of the current moment.



RNC: what's left...

Trump walks off to "You Can't Always Get What You Want."
A wave and then he's gone. Balloons still popping, confetti in the air.


PODESTA: "America is better than Donald Trump"


Jon Stewart Takes Over Stephen Colbert’s Desk

Jon Stewart Takes Over Stephen Colbert’s Desk
July 22, 2016 2016 Election, Humor, Politics

Vox sets up the clip:

It’s been 351 days since Jon Stewart sat behind the desk of a late-night talk show and delivered jokes about US politics and the day’s headlines.

In the time since Stewart left The Daily Show (on August 6, 2015), his many proteges have spread far and wide across the TV landscape. Samantha Bee is on TBS. John Oliver has reached new heights on HBO. Trevor Noah took over The Daily Show. And Stephen Colbert has landed at CBS’s Late Show. (Stewart himself has a deal with HBO that he’ll presumably start producing content for one of these days.)

But something else happened in those 351 days: Donald Trump became the Republican party’s nominee for president. And in all that time, doesn’t it seem like Stewart would have some pretty great jokes to share about a man he dubs an “angry groundhog”?

Elizabeth Warren:“He sounded like some two-bit dictator of some country you couldn’t find on a map.”

Stephen Colbert introduced Elizabeth Warren on Thursday's live, post–Republican National Convention Late Show as the "United States senator who has been dogging Donald Trump for months now on Twitter," and after Warren entered (to Europe's "The Final Countdown," for some reason), he immediately asked her about the GOP convention. She had some opinions. "I think it was the nastiest, most divisive convention that we've seen in half a century," she said.

Colbert asked if anger wasn't appropriate, and Warren conceded that "people are angry, and people have good reason to be angry.... But let's be really, really clear: Donald Trump does not have the answers." Colbert prodded her to see why Bernie Sanders supporters shouldn't "go over to Donald Trump," and Warren said that if you "scratch the surface a little bit and see what Donald Trump's really talking about, what he's really talking about is what he's talked about all his life, and that's how to improve the world for Donald Trump." The system is rigged, she said, but "that speech tonight? He sounded like some two-bit dictator of some country you couldn't find on a map."


A Speech Only A Dictator Would Deliver

What it all came down to is that Donald Trump told America and the world that we are in a hell of a mess and he is the only one who can fix it.

That has been the message of every dictator — from the left or the right — for time out of mind. Every one of them has cited facts they claim to be true yet are easily refuted. Every one of them has found a scapegoat to blame for the problems their citizens faced and accused them of treachery or worse. Every one of them has claimed to be the voice of the people, and every one of them, whether they’re standing on the stage at Nuremberg, the balcony in Rome, the wall of the Kremlin, the plaza in Havana, or the gates of the Forbidden City, has risen to power or seized it with that messianic claim, and every one of them has done it at the expense of lives, fortunes, and freedom. Fortunately no one has ever stood on the steps of the Capitol in Washington and delivered a speech like that, and if we are to live and grow and survive as a country, we never will hear it.

Mr. Trump’s speech was all about him, how “I” will do this, “I” will stop that, “I” will make some other thing happen. It was rarely “we,” and when it was, it was about what his administration — his government — will do to others.

But this is a nation of “We.” “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union,” “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” The echos of Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Roosevelt were lost in the bombast and narcissism of this belligerent bully who knows nothing of true compassion for anyone other than himself or what would feed his ego.


Trump's acceptance speech will be a hopeful vision for a new America.



mr. pete says he is afraid to go to Home Depot

Mr. Trump has made us think perhaps San Diego is a War Zone

and we spent the day at the beach

what were we thinking.....


I (still) have questions for Ivanka Trump


First Gentleman?

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