Tuesday, October 26, 2010


From Talking Points Memo:

New Footage Emerges Of MoveOn Activist Stomped By Rand Paul Supporter

Just a quick update on the developing story out of Lexington, Kentucky, where a protester affiliated with MoveOn was dragged to the ground and stomped by Rand Paul supporters ahead of last night's Senate debate.

We understand that the victim has left the hospital, but we don't have official word on her condition. We'll try and get you an update this morning.

Both campaigns have now reacted to the attack, which was caught on camera at multiple angles.

"Violence of any kind has no place in our civil discourse and we urge supporters on all sides to be civil to one another as tensions rise heading toward this very important election," reads a statement from Paul's camp, which called the incident "incredibly unfortunate."

here, complete with stomping video.

Well, that's very nice of Ayn Rand Paul to condemn the stomping, especially now that it turns out that the stomper wasn't simply a supporter: rather, this jack-sneakered thug was
one of Paul's very own campaign officials, and he knew exactly what he was doing. It's almost funny that Paul calls for "all sides to be civil," when only one side, his side, is using violence as a political tool.

Conventional wisdom strongly suggests that Americans should never call their political opponents Nazis, unless, of course, those political opponents really are Nazis, which
they sometimes are. The downside, the no-Nazi types say, is that the real Nazis were so horrific that it is always a gross exaggeration to compare anyone else to them. And American right-wingers who get the label often play upon that notion by observing, usually very angrily, that the real Nazis killed six million Jews, so they can't possibly be compared to Nazis. Never mind that American right-wing political points of view, such as neoliberalism, which has impoverished uncounted millions via wealth-favoring, ham-handed WTF and World Bank policies from Argentina in the 70s to India today, and neoconservatism, with its aggressive war making policies toward Iraq and Afghanistan, have also killed millions.

Why must the Nazi comparison always be a Holocaust comparison? I mean, we have our own holocausts, for that matter, slavery and the Native American genocide. Why is this so off limits? Well, it's not off limits for me. As legendary R&B bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn said in The Blues Brothers, "If the shit fits, wear it."

Indeed, this stomping incident in Kentucky comes straight out of the Nazi SA, a.k.a.
the Brownshirts, playbook. Yes, Hitler was democratically elected to office, but that was made possible in large part by simple thuggish street violence: while the little corporal was wowing the nation with his grandiloquent oration, his Brownshirts were out in the streets beating the fuck out of Hitler's political opposition. With its leadership intimidated into silence, the German left had no voice or organization, leaving Nazism as the only viable political alternative to the fragile, bickering, feuding Weimar Republic.

While Rand Paul's stomping plan comes nowhere near the Brownshirts in terms of size or scope, it was extraordinarily similar in that the incident was: 1) planned, and 2) aimed at silencing political opposition. Apparently, the Paul camp is well aware that violence often works well in politics, especially in politically charged times. Hopefully, there's enough decency left in the American people that this will backfire, but you never can tell. There are some really angry and disaffected voters out there who may very well applaud this shit, just as Hitler's supporters applauded the Brownshirts. I guess we'll see.

There now. That wasn't so bad, was it? Nazi comparisons don't all have to be about gas chambers and concentration camps, do they? No, of course not. There's twenty years of political history there, from, say, 1925 to 1945, from which we can draw understanding. And if we're smart, we can arrest this shit now, well before we have to start with the Holocaust comparisons for real. If you know what I mean.