I don’t think the Hitler Bush comparison was intended to manipulate conservatives, but it may still do so. It should also alert us to the possibility that a Republican might be attacked in order to get Conservatives to rally around him.
So let’s remember that, when a teacher starts brainwashing children to demonize George W. Bush, we need commit ourselves to clear thinking even when we are outraged.
The Washington Post reports, “McKinley Middle School teacher asks students to compare Hitler, Bush.”
One D.C. middle school homework assignment goes a little something like this: Compare and contrast former President George W. Bush with Adolf Hitler.
On Tuesday, as McKinley Middle School students worked on a unit about war and peace, a teacher handed out a worksheet she created that said just that. The Northeast Washington students were told to turn the worksheet in Wednesday after finishing up readings about Hitler and Bush.
“The teacher deeply regrets this mistake, and any suggestion to malign the presidency or make any comparison in this egregious way,” Melissa Salmanowitz, spokeswoman for D.C. schools, said in a statement.
Salmanowitz also said in the teacher admits “to extremely poor judgment and short-sightedness and will apologize to students.”
I am glad the teacher is apologizing, but I find it really hard to believe that he or she truly did not mean “to malign the presidency or make any comparison in this egregious way.” It simply isn’t credible. Would the teacher have ever considered comparing Barack Obama to Hitler?
And yet, who would be closer to the Nazi leader. President Obama has far exceeded President Bush in monitoring and persecuting the Press. He has killed far more people with drones. He has implemented a kill list and killed American citizens he put on that list—including a teen that seems to have been killed because of who his father was. Obama has defended and extended the most comprehensive spy grid in the history of the United States.
President Obama has defied the laws of Congress, and openly said that he will make laws on his own when Congress refuses to comply with his wishes and make the laws that he demands of them. He has a pen and phone.
So, if we are measuring Bush and Obama on a “Hitler Continuum” it seems quite likely that Obama is closer to Hitler. Perhaps in some ways Bush broke new ground. But, if so, Obama extended and consolidated his gains, in addition to his own innovations.
And if we take into account what abortion really is, then Obama is far more Nazi than Bush.
But we need to remember, “Not being Hitler” is an awfully low bar to use to measure people. Just because George W. Bush is not as bad as Adolph Hitler doesn’t make him a great president. When we get justly outraged about a President being insulted, we need to not let our zeal create an unreasoning loyalty to the man who is being unfairly attacked.