The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Rep. Barney Frank PWNs Holocaust Deniers at his Town Hall!

Posted by mattusmaximus on August 19, 2009

In the ongoing drama that are the August town hall meetings in the U.S., the stupidity displayed by some continues to amaze me. Probably the most vile thing being spewed by various rightwing nutbags are comparisons of health care reform to Nazism.  In fact, this can be viewed as a kind of Holocaust denial, because it ignores & distorts the real reasons why the Nazis murdered so many people in that dark period of human history…

Health care debate turns vile with Nazi analogy

Right-wing loudmouths distort history, diminish true evil of the Holocaust

Rush Limbaugh and those invoking the Nazi analogy to attack President Barack Obama’s effort to reform health care in America are not “insane” as David Brooks pronounced on last Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the rest of the loud-mouthed right wing are, when they even hint at an analogy to the Nazis in talking about Obama’s health reform effort, engaged in something far worse than insanity. They are engaged in the vile evil of Holocaust denial. …

But if you want a REAL treat, just take a few moments to watch this video of Rep. Barney Frank from Massachusetts putting one of these lunatics in her place:

Let me put this very simply: this isn’t about whether you prefer Obama’s health care plan or not, it is about crushing nonsensical, conspiracy theorist b.s.  Politicians of both parties should watch Frank’s response and copy it in their town halls. If they don’t have the balls to stand up to some fruitcake spouting “health care reform = Nazism” nonsense, then they don’t deserve to be in office. I don’t care who they are… Republican or Democrat. That sort of vile & stupid talk has no place in civil and mature discourse, and our elected officials should have the courage to stand up against it.

Frank’s response was spot frakkin’ on. Win 😀

7 Responses to “Rep. Barney Frank PWNs Holocaust Deniers at his Town Hall!”

  1. Craig said

    I heard the full audio of this exchange this morning. The woman identifies herself as a follower of Lyndon Larouche, a conspiracy theorist and 7 time Democratic candidate for President – see

    I agree that her analogy was extreme and her comments/questions were not helpful to discussion of health care, but characterizing her as a right winger is not accurate. In this case, the “lunatic” (your term) is of the left wing variety.

    • mattusmaximus said

      Interesting, I’ll have to look into this some more. Whether this is accurate or not, it doesn’t change my opinion one bit… rightwing or leftwing lunatic, Frank put her in her place. As I said, more politicians need to have the balls to do what Frank did, regardless of their political affiliation.

      • dhydar said

        If it doesn’t matter, why haven’t you cahged your posting to be correct? She’s a lefty nut who favors a “Single Payer” system. It’s also foolish (not to mention insulting to Holocaust survivors) to claim that comparisons to the Nazi healthcare system are the same as “holocaust denial”.

      • mattusmaximus said

        I’m not sure that she was a leftwing nut, actually. Perhaps she was, perhaps not, but it isn’t really relevant. Especially since the whole “Obama = Hitler” meme was encouraged most recently by rightwing radio talkers (such as Rush Limbaugh)… thus I’ll stick with my contention that many hardcore rightwing critics of Obama are taking their cue from that direction. Now that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any leftwing nuts out there – and maybe this woman is one of them, I’m not sure. But the main point stands, those people – from whichever direction they’re coming – are plain crazy.

        In addition, I find your comments about the Holocaust denial to be interesting, seeing as how the Anti-Defamation League has come out harshly criticizing those comparing Obama’s proposals to Nazism…

        The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called attempts by some opponents of health care reform to bring Nazi imagery into the debate, “outrageous, deeply offensive and inappropriate” and condemned remarks by talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, who compared President Obama’s health care logo to a swastika, and policies championed by the Democratic Party to those of the Nazis.

        “Regardless of the political differences and the substantive differences in the debate over health care, the use of Nazi symbolism is outrageous, offensive and inappropriate,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. “Americans should be able to disagree on the issues without coloring it with Nazi imagery and comparisons to Hitler. This is not where the debate should be at all.”

        Hmmm… those words from the ADL sound curiously like my own in my blog post.

  2. Craig said

    Matt, be a man and concede something once in a while 🙂
    The woman was clearly a Larouche supporter. The “maybe she is, maybe she isn’t” routine is a poor smokescreen

    I am suprised to hear that you listen to Rush Limbaugh – or are you just saying you know what he says because you’ve heard what other people say who claim to know what he says?

    • mattusmaximus said

      Craig, you seem to want to have an argument that is wholly irrelevant to me. As I’ve stated repeatedly: I don’t care if this wingnut was coming from the right, the left, or (most likely) out of her own butthole!

      The fact is that I don’t think crazy claims and language like this have any place in a mature political discussion of such an important issue – they are blind appeals to emotion and blatant attempts to demonize “the other side”. So whether these “Obama = Hitler” claims are made by Larouche-ites or fans of Rush Limbaugh, it doesn’t matter to me. Up until this particular incident, every comparison of Obama’s politics to the Nazis I ever heard was made by rightwing sources. But, as this incident (and other experiences I’ve had) point out, there is plenty of crazy on the political left as well.

      You seem to want to “win” this argument you insist upon having. As I said, it isn’t an argument I particularly care about… just as I’m not interested in arguing with dining room tables.

      And yes, I have on occasion listened to some of Limbaugh’s nonsense & comments on various issues. I usually have to drink myself into a stupor afterward to wash all the stupid out of my head, but thus far I’ve survived.

      • Craig said

        Sorry, Matt – I’m not trying to win anything. It just made me laugh to see your “perhaps she is, perhaps she isn’t” comment about something that truly wasn’t important to your point (which is well taken btw). You do yourself a disservice by implying we there may be some deception afoot (the “perhaps she isn’t” conspiracy theory? 🙂 )

        Anyway, my comment was just meant as an innocent tease (as I’d like to hope is your comparison between me and a dining room table).

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