Political Animal

Blog

May 06, 2014 11:49 AM The Abortion “Holocaust” Meme—It Will Never Go Away

By Ed Kilgore

I normally would not bother to comment on the latest viral outrage from that fine Tennessee legislator, Sen. Stacey Campfield. Having achieved national fame a while back for his legislation banning the discussion of homosexuality in public schools (the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill), Campfield is again in the news for this post on his personal website:

Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of manditory sign ups for “train rides” for Jews in the 40s.

In the classic wingnut tone of aggrieved offense at being “misunderstood” when being offensive, Campfield offered this clarification when all hell broke loose on the internet:

I regret that some people miss the point of my post. It was not to offend. It was to warn. To draw attention to Obamacare and the slippery slope that I see occurring in the lives of myself, my constituents, and the rest of the country with the continued taking of freedom by the federal government.
In no way was my post meant to diminish or detract from the pain, suffering and loss of human life that occurred during this dark time in human history. Instead the post was meant to draw attention to the loss of freedom that we are currently experiencing. I stand by my steadfast opposition to Obamacare.
My position and record on the sacredness of human life and protecting that life speaks for itself. 300 million Americans are at risk from government bureaucrats deciding who should be given life saving medications and who should be denied. Every citizen now faces the possibility of their tax dollars going to pay for a government funded abortion. At no point in our history have we ever faced a federal government and administration with a lower regard for human life, and that is something that I cannot and will not allow to go unchallenged.

It’s actually kind of important to sort out this word salad. Campfield is attacking Obamacare as Nazi-esque on two grounds: one is the government-takeover “death panel” claim for which we can thank Sarah Palin, and the other is the false but pervasive antichoice belief that the Affordable Care Act subsidizes abortions.

The first argument is merely stupid, whether it’s construed as a subscription to the imaginary “death panel” threat or the more generally stupid belief that freedom has been extinguished in the many societies with vastly greater government involvement in health care (including, arguably, the U.S. itself, since Medicare is a lot more “socialist” than anything provided for by Obamacare).

But the idea that legalized abortion represents a “Holocaust” is a widely shared totem of serious antichoicers who can be roughly divided into those who avoid the “H word” as a matter of strict historical accuracy and taste, and those who don’t. So long as there are millions of people who believe abortion is murder—or at least criminal homicide—then the Holocaust analogy will never completely go away. It will just be dog-whistled and uttered in private. To that constituency, Campfield’s only sin is showboating.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

(You may use HTML tags for style)

comments powered by Disqus