The Hitler thing

The Hitler thing
: I got email from somebody smart questioning my calling Margaret Cho’s Bush/Hitler analogy anti-semitic, below. So let me explain:

To use the architect and perpetrator of the Holocaust as a convenient analogy for anybody with whom you happen to disagree is to diminish his crime and the suffering of his victims; it is to glibly dismiss the murder of six million Jews.

This isn’t to say that I’m going PC on you. I’m even fine with Hitler humor (see Springtime for Hitler and Hogan’s Heroes). But to call someone you disagree with “Hitler” is to make Hitler just another person with whom you disagree, just as to call a man who leers at a woman a “rapist” is to make rape equivalent to leering.

In Cho’s case, this was quite purposeful.

Look at the sequence here: MoveOn ended up distributing commercials in its contest that made this very Hitler analogy. A firestorm ensued. MoveOn shouted at those who complained, saying their criticism just wasn’t fair because MoveOn didn’t endorse the commercials and then MoveOn took them down.

Yet now at a MoveOn event, Margaret Cho goes out of her way to make the Bush/Hitler analogy again, thumbing her nose at the critics and those who were offended by this.

Cho is not stupid; she’s unfunny (how long did her “sit”com last, a week?) but not stupid. She knew what she was doing: She was using Hitler and thus his victims for her convenience in her screed quite on purpose. This is all the more a poke in the eye to objects of ethnic genocide when it comes from someone who objects loudly whenever anyone makes a crack about her own ethnicity.

She should know better. She does know better. She decided to do this anyway. And she deserves to be called on it.