Political Animal


December 16, 2011 11:15 AM Allen West’s Goebbels reference

By Steve Benen

I’m getting pretty accustomed to Republicans referencing Nazis in their attacks. Michele Bachmann compared the national debt to the Holocaust; Newt Gingrich said President Obama poses a domestic threat on par with Nazi Germany; and various Fox News figures regularly invoke Nazis, Hitler, and Goebbels to go after their perceived enemies.

But this new one stood out for me for a couple of different reasons.

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) on Thursday said Democrats have an “incredible propaganda machine,” comparing Democrat proficiency to that of a Nazi administration head.

“If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine,” West told reporters in the House, according to multiple reports.

Joseph Goebbels was the head of the Minister of Propaganda in Germany while it was under the control of the Nazi party from 1933 to 1945. The department sought to control public opinion and enforce Nazi Party ideology in Germany prior to and during World War II.

West said the comparison was not between Democrats and Nazis and only applied to the quality of the propaganda.

Now, I think it’s fair to say most objective, independent observers would agree that Allen West is stark raving mad, which suggests his comments are not to be taken especially seriously.

But just for the sake of conversation, let’s note a couple of things. First, I think it’s called the Democratic Party. If West is going to be in Congress, he should probably take a moment to learn the parties’ names.

Second, earlier this year, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) made a passing reference to Goebbels when going after Republican rhetoric, and Fox News was apoplectic. Megyn Kelly, in particular, devoted quite a bit of time to covering the comment, and I can’t wait to see — in the interests of being fair and balanced — how much time she invests in criticizing Allen West for the same misdeed.

And finally, even if we put aside the Nazi garbage, what on earth is West talking about? Democrats are good at message dissemination? Democrats “have an incredible propaganda machine”? Since when?

I’ve been watching Democratic politics for as long as I can remember. The party has plenty of strengths, but the development of an “incredible propaganda machine” isn’t one of them.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • Trollop on December 16, 2011 11:20 AM:

    It's called projection.

  • TR on December 16, 2011 11:23 AM:

    Far be it from me to offer Allen West political advice, but if I were a politician who had been discharged in disgrace from the military after shooting an unarmed prisoner in my custody, I might want to avoid making any comparisons to the Nazis.

  • Perspecticus on December 16, 2011 11:31 AM:

    I love the "I'm not/just saying" line of logic. "I'm not saying you are fat; I'm just saying you need to wear larger sized clothing than you are use to." Or, "I'm not saying you're dull witted; I'm just saying this rock in particular is smarter than you."

    Obviously, "I'm not saying you are a Nozzi; I'm just saying the Nozzis would agree with everything you say and do," is professional grade. Well played, Psychopathic Army Guy. Well played.

  • Abijah Lovejoy on December 16, 2011 11:33 AM:

    He may be talking about facts having their well-known liberal bias.

  • c u n d gulag on December 16, 2011 11:34 AM:

    TR - What do you think got him elected in his district in the first place?
    Stupidity and cruelty are positives for Conservatives.
    And being disgraced stops none of them. See: Gingrich, Newt.

    And methinks Rep. Alien West (You're An Anus - FL) confuses the Democratic whispers, which strive to be as loud as a kazoo you get as a prize in a box of f'in Cracker Jacks, with with Conservatives Mighty Wurlitzer, which exceeds even Spinal Taps amps by going to 12 - a good and righteously Godly number.

  • mellowjohn on December 16, 2011 11:34 AM:

    otho, every time i hear "democrat party," I take it as a signal that i can safely stop listening to that person.

  • SYSPROG on December 16, 2011 11:46 AM:

    All of the above (and especially you, TR) but the really story is the Dems point out what a douche he is and he equates that with 'propaganda' instead of facts.

  • Rasputin22 on December 16, 2011 11:48 AM:

    Fox News apopolectic over Goebbels references? Say it isn't so.

    Must have struck a bit too close to home, I'd say.

  • Anonymous on December 16, 2011 11:57 AM:

    Trollop ("it's called projection") is warm but in this case I believe it is called intentional distraction: if you are a fascist but want to hide your beliefs because you know they might lose you some votes, call the other guy a fascist; if you are having an illicit affair with one of you young employees denounce and rail against an opponent who may have also committed this wrong; and so forth.

  • Bo on December 16, 2011 11:58 AM:

    West is a complete and total idiot. Glad to see that he stuck both feet in his mouth on this one. I just love it when teabaggers like him get all tangled up in their shorts while trying to make themselves out to be the victims of the "democrat party". It would really be amusing if it weren't so pathetic.

  • jdog on December 16, 2011 12:00 PM:

    The Democrat propaganda machine is so good you don't even realize how good it is, or that it is at all.

    Or something.

  • square1 on December 16, 2011 12:01 PM:

    When you signal to your political opponents that you enjoy having sand kicked in your face, it is reasonable to assume that said sand-kicking will increase and not decrease.

  • Grumpy on December 16, 2011 12:04 PM:

    The party has plenty of strengths, but the development of an “incredible propaganda machine” isn’t one of them.

    That's just what they want you to think!

    The propaganda machine is so well-hidden that West could not offer any examples of it, other than the president giving speeches.

  • kevo on December 16, 2011 12:07 PM:

    The Shame rests squarely upon the shoulders of the majority of those who voted in West's district for electing such a vulgar man to serve in our national legislature!

    Hey Florida voters - are you as stupid as the latest elections would evidence? Electing Scott and West in 2010 was most probably the stupidest thing any electorate could do, ever! Gov. Scott and Rep. West may be the tip of the problem if the uninformed keep voting.

    Jefferson's observance - our way of life can only be sustained by a collective wisdom - is truly being tested in the early 21st century! -Kevo

    p.s. captcha - joysick events

  • puravida on December 16, 2011 12:07 PM:

    Steve, I congratulate you for getting through this entire post without noting the painfully obvious: that FOX news itself is a propoganda machine.

  • beejeez on December 16, 2011 12:16 PM:

    Yes, the Democrats are just like Goebbels, what with their trying to get everybody health care, clean water and air, a slightly fairer distribution of wealth, and a less pronounced tendency to invade other countries. You have to admit the similarities are eerie.

  • Cha on December 16, 2011 12:46 PM:

    Poor Allen West is such a blathering idiot he can only use gibberish from the newtered one's play book.

    A Long History of Gingrich's Fundamental Lies and Hypocrisy..Fundamentally Speaking, of course.


    And, once again square1's giving it his best pathetic feeble shot to tie exposure of gops, in this case, Allen West's Dirty Shite, to broad brush Democrats. lol

  • rrk1 on December 16, 2011 12:52 PM:

    Linking Democrats with a propaganda machine in the same sentence is the definition of an oxymoron. It's not even clear there is a Democratic Party, let alone a message machine.

    West should be elected chair of the Stupid Caucus in the House, but there are so many contenders he'd have to fight for the honor. Exactly how collective wisdom is supposed to emerge from so much individual stupidity is a mystery as deep as the virgin birth.

  • Countme-In on December 16, 2011 12:57 PM:

    Very near the end of World War II, a disconsolate Hitler, fondling a loaded Mauser in one hand while playing jacks with cyanide pills in the other, sat in his bunker and turned to Eva and said, "If only I'd had more ruthless lovers of the Homeland like Allen West all along, we'd have the entire world under our jackboot. I am surrounded by enemies at every turn, even within Germany, but West alone stands by my side ready to spread the Reich's reign, even to America. For a bunch Aryan bulletheads, America's Republican Party certainly knows an effective schwartza when they see one.

    "Memo to self", mumbled the Fuhrer: "fire Goebbels and Himmler and consolidate both Ministries under West."

    Historians also note that Hitler, in a show of perhaps unwarranted optimism given the circumstances, expressed a quibble with conduct in the murder camps, first brought to his attention by another one of the consultants to the Third Reich, also a Republican.

    "Next time, I want no, and I mean Nein, Nein, Nein, nudity during the final solution. When I gave the order for the final solution, did I say final NAKED solution? I most certainly did not! Tom Coburn's right -- nudity is offensive and corrupting to the Aryan soul. Also unproductive, given the time it takes the swine to disrobe and then we have to have other swine sort through the stuff and the delousing -- it's hurts the bottom line. Nein! Next time we line them up and into the ovens they go fully clothed. The next Reich will be ready for prime time.

  • TCinLA on December 16, 2011 1:05 PM:

    The reason Fox News got apoplectic over the Republicans being compared to Goebbels was because they don't like the truth. Those who practice "if you tell a lie big enough, and keep repeating it, people will come to believe it," all work at Fox News and every Republican office in the country.

  • beejeez on December 16, 2011 1:10 PM:

    Wait a minute. It's been a long time, but I could swear Democrats used to have a propaganda machine. Whatever happened to that thing? Has it been in the shop and we lost the receipt for it? Did FDR let Churchill or someone borrow it and they forgot to give it back? We checked behind the couch, right?

    Maybe we should run an ad in the lost and found section or something.

  • JR on December 16, 2011 6:26 PM:

    Referring to the "Democrat" party is a tool the GOP-especially those in Congress-have been using for some time... Not sure who did it first, but I would not be surprised if it originated from the mind of Frank Luntz...

  • bpr on December 16, 2011 7:56 PM:

    Steve, you've obviously been studying the Democrats too closely . . . when someone like Rep. West talks about the Democrat propaganda machine, they're referring to things like the NY Times, NPR, the BBC, the Congressional Budget Office, the Library of Congress, and the physics and biology departments of Harvard, Yale and MIT.

    You know, all the places that take daily talking points from Nancy Pelosi and Karl Marx.

  • ellennelle on December 16, 2011 9:28 PM:

    it wasn't just fox news who were apoplectic when steve cohen mentioned goebbels' name on the house floor; jon stewart was brutal.

    stewart neither backed down nor agreed to give steve time to defend himself on the air. censorship is a one-way street these days.

  • Doug on December 16, 2011 10:15 PM:

    Perhaps Rep. West is presuming that since Republicans are doing all that well poll-wise, it MUST be because of Democratic propaganda? Or maybe he's just a lying Republican?
    I'm going with the latter...

  • robert kunst on December 17, 2011 9:41 PM:

    Dear Allen West:

    The hypocrates are at it again, pretending indignation and attacking you about your references to Democratic Party Gestapo type tactics or "if Joseph Goebbels was around, he'd be very proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine."

    As a life-long Democrat and Jewish activist who has been to 31 'death camps' and has protested with Holocaust survivors, let me expose the frauds who are challenging you.

    I am President of Shalom International who has rallied 491 times and done over 1600 media interviews since Oct 2007 on supporting Israel's fight against terrorism, Keeping Jerusalem and Israel United and destroying Hamas, etc. and exposing Obama's anti-Israel and anti-Jewish politics. This is the same Obama who wouldn't be President if it wasn't for the Jewish vote.

    These Obama die-hards kept their mouths shut when Obama, in Cairo, 2009, equated the Holocaust with 'Muslim Humiliation', while Obama cowardly ignored mentioning 5 Arab Wars and 2 intifadas to kill all Jews by the same Arabs alligned with Hitler and who participated in the Holocaust, they cowardly deny existed but want Iran to finish the job Hitler started with nukes Obama is allowing Iran to build.

    The Nazis deny the Holocaust and the Arabs deny Israel's existance, while Obama wants Jerusalem, Jewish for 3000 yrs., divided and given to the very people dancing in the streets after '9/11' and would be the end of Israel. Jerusalem belongs to every Jew and every Jew murdered for being a Jew and doesn't belong to Obama or Bibim to divide. Where is the ADL and Jewish Democrats on this monstrocity?

    Where are these Democrats when Obama attacks the very Jewish faith and 'holyland' that 's 5000 yrs. old and wants to cut Israel in half with a corridor between West Bank and Gaza, that would be the end of Israel. Meanwhile, Obama violates Title 18 which prohibits giving material support to terrorists and Obama has given Fatah and Hamas, $1.3billions, while both are committed to Israel's destruction. Where are these Democrats when Obama and Hillary support a no new babies policy in Judea and Samaria and also support a "Jew Free' Arab state, no different then the Nazis wanting a 'Jew Free' Europe?

    Now we see Allianz, Nazi insurance company ,that owes Holocaust survivors $18billion from unpaid policies, refusing to compensate the survivors, while Obama supports Allianz and the other Nazi insurance companies against the survivors. As usual, not a peep from these so-called Jewish Democrats.

    Obama wants Israel to go back to 1967 borders, which don't exist but give up Jewish holy sights, such as the burial place of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their wives, no Jew was allowed up the lst 7 steps for 1700 years till 1967 and Obama wants the Jewish holy sights to be under the control of the U.N.. Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac and is the father of Judaism. The Muslims insist it was Ishmael who Abraham would sacrifice, even though Judaism is 2000 ys. older than Islam and here is the relgious conflict going on for 1700 years with Muslims killing Jews for that period of time with Barack Hussein Obama siding with the Muslims who control everything sacred to the Jews.

    With a 'friend' like Obama, who needs enemies?

    Chanukah isn't until this Tuesday, but Obama lights the Menorah two weeks earlier and with all eight candles, showing total disrespect for the faith, again doing his propoganda bit to cover up what took place earlier, which is French President Sarkozy calling Israel's Bibi Netayahu, 'a liar' and Obama says: "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day." This was on 11/8/11.

    On 12/3/11, Defense Sec. Panetta blames Israel for the failure of talks with the Arabs and rants "Get to the damn table" in this continual blame game from Obama against Israel. On 12/7/11 Hillary questions Israel Democracy. This is the same Obama/Hillary team who last year claimed that Assad of Syria was a 'reformer' who has now killed over 4500 of his own people.

    This is the same Obama/Hillary team who ignored the resistance of the grassroots in Iran while allowing Islamic jihadists to take over across the Arab world and of course not a statement from any of these unDemocratic groups groveling to Obama, no matter how he attacks Israel, the Jewish faith or the Jewish people.

    On 12/6/11, U.S. Ambassador to Belgium blames Muslim anti-semitism on Israel.

    If there was ever a revisionism of history and open attacks, Obama's stooges have kept their mouths shut on every single Obama attack including his own people suggesting that any opposition to Obama means we are all 'racists', 'Nazis', and according to Bill Clinton, 'Timothy McVeigh Wannabees.' Talk about Nazi style tactics that are unAmerican to say the least, while Obama's foreign policies are a disaster on every level.

    There have been over 20,000 Islamic Nazi attacks since '9/11', with Muslims going after Christians all over the Muslim world and Obama says nothing any more than Obama dealing with Muslims attacking Hindus, Bhuddists and all 'infidels'.

    Abe Foxman of the ADL doesn't want anyone to bring Israel into the national campaign, because this is Obama's Achilles Heal and Obama loses, especially here in Fl., the pivotal state that will decide the election.

    Shalom International protested against the Democratic Jewish Committee in 2009 in D.C. for their support of Obama to divide Jerusalem.

    I urge you Allen West to keep fighting and don't be deterred by these phonies.

    I invite you to join with us on Dec. 27, 2011 at 5 P.M. at the Federal Bldg. in Ft. Laud., 3rd Ave. and Broward Blvd. It is the 3rd Anniversary since 300 Muslims screamed at us: "Jews into the Ovens" and by the same folks on May 15, 2011, who were calling for "Nuking Israel" and a '3rd Intifada', we also protested against. Where were the unDemocratic 'leadership' on any of this? Hiding and appeasing as usual.

    Then on Feb. 5, 2012, please join with us at 10 AM, when we join with Holocaust Survivors of USA, to protest Allianz Nazi Insurance Company at the opening of their golf tournament, they are sponsoring and have monies for this, but not for the survivors they stole from. The event will be on Yamato Rd. and Broken Sound in Boca Raton. Last year we had 75 in protest and made international news. Allianz said they would meet with the survivors and one more year has gone by and Allianz lied and 35 survivors die daily. Obama sides with Allianz. ADL, ad nauseum, ignore this travesty while pontificating for Obama. They are a disgrace.

    I assure you that I am doing all that I can to expose this crisis and nastiness from Obama in the Jewish community, but we have to understand the other half of this equation, which is the timidity and weakness from the Republican Party and candidates to fight back and have allowed Obama to get away with all of this with their silence and only rarely challenged.

    It isn't just the unDems. and their propoganda machine , but that with real resistance, would expose the whole scam from Obama. So why are the Republicans so passive?

    Everything mentioned above would expose Obama and the nation would be appalled by it and if G-d forbid Obama is re-elected both Israel and America are in great trouble and the dangers are great and real and the pattern has been set. We are witnessing the same politics as in 1938 that led to the Holocaust. Those Jews who sold out their fellow Jews then were called 'Judenrats'. They still exist. Those Jews who thought that they were German first and Jewish second didn't survive the death camps either.

    Today, those Jews who want to be Democrat first and advance their careers with Obama, like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, while offering one lie after another on Obama's awful and evil intentions and policies on Israel, will also be held accountable one day for the trap they are leading us all into.

    On Israel, Obama is very vulnerable. and treacherous. The Israelis will also some day wake up that giving up their faith, 'Covenant', history, identity, etc. has only led them to this crisis. They thought that if they gave in to Arab demands, they would be left alone. For 30 yrs. they have been playing this game and the worst propaganda in the world on who they are and why they are there, which Obama feeds on.

    How could Obama focus on the economy and all the sufferings here, when he has done everything possible to attack Israel and to side with Israel's and America's enemies? If you bless Israel, you are blessed. Curse Israel and you are cursed. America has suffered greatly by this Jihadist in the White House and the liberal Jews who keep doing civil rights at the expense of Israel will be the downfall of Israel and they will be responsible for another Holocaust. The issue here isn't color ,but incompetency and anti-semitism that is truely on the rise, globally because of Obama's politics, we are not afraid to expose and oppose.

    I would ask you to disseminate this to the members of Congress and to your networks and fight back and don't retreat. You are morally right and the enemy within needs to be exposed if we are all to survive.


    Yours in Shalom,

    Bob Kunst

    Pres., Shalom International