Tuesday, June 22, 2004

# Posted 1:51 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

BUSH HAS MORE IN COMMON WITH EUROPEAN LEADERS THAN YOU THINK: Guido Calabresi is a federal judge and a former dean of Yale Law School. He is not known for the subtlety of his political opinions. But yesterday he outdid even himself by comparing Bush to Mussolini and Hitler:
In a way that occurred before but is rare in the United States...somebody came to power as a result of the illegitimate acts of a legitimate institution that had the right to put somebody in power. That is what the Supreme Court did in Bush versus Gore. It put somebody in power...

The reason I emphasize that is because that is exactly what happened when Mussolini was put in by the king of Italy...The king of Italy had the right to put Mussolini in, though he had not won an election, and make him prime minister. That is what happened when Hindenburg put Hitler in. I am not suggesting for a moment that Bush is Hitler. I want to be clear on that, but it is a situation which is extremely unusual..

When somebody has come in that way, they sometimes have tried not to exercise much power. In this case, like Mussolini, he has exercised extraordinary power. He has exercised power, claimed power for himself; that has not occurred since Franklin Roosevelt who, after all, was elected big and who did some of the same things with respect to assertions of power in times of crisis that this president is doing...
Of course Bush isn't Hitler, says Calabresi. So why mention old Adolf? The analogy is actually a terrible one. Yes, Hindenburg had a right to appoint Hitler. Shortly thereafter, Hitler held rigged elections and then 'persuaded' his pet Reichstag to let him rule by decree. (I guess Calabresi would say that even as a dictator, Bush is a total failure.)

I don't know enough about Italian history to debunk the analogy to Mussolini, but I'm guessing it's pretty worthless as well. And hey, what the f*** is up with comparing FDR to Mussolini?

(Special thanks to SH for the link. For more on Calabresi see Eugene's posts here and here.)
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