Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 5:13 PM ET, 01/19/2011

Dem Rep: No apology for saying GOP mendacity is worthy of Goebbels

By Greg Sargent

Uh oh. Dem Rep. Steve Cohen has no intention to apologize for insisting in a controversial broadside on the House floor that GOP lies on health reform are worthy of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. In a lively interview with me just now, he doubled down on the claim -- hard.

"I don't think calling out liars is uncivil," Cohen told me. "No reason to apologize. You have a duty to respond. if they were telling the truth and I said they were lying, then I would apologize," Cohen continued, referring to Republicans.

In case you missed, it, on the House floor last night Cohen unleashed a head-turning series of claims, arguing that the "government takeover" claim by Republicans is "a big lie, just like Goebbels." He added: "The Germans said enough about the Jews and the people believed it -- and you had the Holocaust."

Conservatives have expressed outrage today and demanded that Dems condemn the comment, but Cohen has no intention of backing off. In our interview he rejected the idea that he had compared Republicans to Nazis.

"I said Goebbels lied about the Jews, and that led to the Holocaust," Cohen said. "Not in any way whatsoever was I comparing Republicans to Nazis. I was saying lies are wrong...I dont know who got everybody's panties in a wad over this statement."

Cohen insisted that the invocation of Goebbels was legit, given the larger context: He said that Repubicans had, in fact, repeatedly used a big-lie technique on health care.

"There have been so many lies about the health care bill," Cohen said, citing "death panels," the GOP rejection of the Congressional Budget Office's finding that repealing reform would hike the deficit, and the claim that health reform represents a "government takeover."

"You can't stop them from saying that lie," Cohen said of the "government takeover" line. "It's their mantra. They go to bed with it. They do Yoga with it."

Pressed on whether such rhetoric was appropriate, given that Dems and liberals are trying to get Republicans to condemn incendiary and "eliminationist" rhetoric on the right, Cohen didn't back down. He argued that "civility" was a matter of content as much as tone, and suggested that mendacity itself is uncivil and particularly immoral in the context of the health care debate.

"Lies are being spread, and it's wrong," Cohen said. "Goebbels was the master of political lies...to lie to take health care away from people is despicable."

Asked whether such a reference risked giving the right ammo to claim that "both sides do it," Cohen reiterated that he wasn't calling Republicans Nazis.

"In no way did I call them Nazis," he continued. "I did say they've been using a big lie."

UPDATE, 6:05 p.m.: Here's video of Cohen's entire speech, which puts the Goebbels and "big lie" charges into the context of a much longer and substantive presentation:

Also: The above post has been edited slightly from the original.

By Greg Sargent  | January 19, 2011; 5:13 PM ET
Categories:  Health reform, House Dems  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Dem Rep says GOP health care rhetoric worthy of Goebbels
Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

First mention of Hitler ends all rational conversation. True Rule.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 19, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm certainly not asking him to apologize. The full House can censure him under Rule XVII though.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 19, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

This is the new civil democratic minority that we now see in the House. I wonder if Cohen listen to Obama asking everyone to tone it down. Does this apply only to Conservatives?

Posted by: sales7 | January 19, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Good to see things are back to normal in the House.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 19, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"First mention of Hitler ends all rational conversation. True Rule.

Posted by: mark_in_austin"

Yours is the first I've seen. Cohen was talking about Goebbels and the "Big Lie."

Posted by: thrh | January 19, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Normally I'd be appalled by Rep. Cohen's reference to Goebbels, but the Republicans lie, particularly on health care. They've been stopping rational discussion for months with "socialist," "leftist," "statist," and marxist. They think all they have to do is put the label out and there's no need to make a factual, reasonable case.

Posted by: amstphd | January 19, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

House Rule XVII prohibits impugning the motives of other Members or uttering words that are otherwise deemed unparliamentary. A demand that the Member's words be taken down results in the clerk reporting the words and the chair ruling on the propriety of said words. If the demand is made in the Committee of the Whole, the Committee rises and reports them to the House where the chair rules on their propriety.

The offending Member may obtain unanimous consent to withdraw the inappropriate words or the demand may be withdrawn. Following such a withdrawal, the Member proceeds in order. However, if the Member's words are ruled out of order, they may be stricken from the Congressional Record by motion or unanimous consent, and the Member will not be allowed to speak again on that day except by motion or unanimous consent.

The intent of this Rule is to provide an atmosphere where the Members of the House debate the legislative issues before them, rather than engaging in "personality" by characterizing the actions of another Member or showing disrespect to the institution.

UPDATE: Jewish groups are already condemning Rep. Cohen (D-TN). Is he a Jew too?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 19, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Cohen wasn't attacking an individual member of the GOP, nor was he alluding to any 2nd amendment remedy. He is my new hero, and from a much safer district than Alan Grayson. Now that they are in a minority, expect the Dems in the House to start playing hardball.
The country club set, former frat boys and sports bar habitues that inhabit the Right (White) Wing of the GOP can't stand it when someone punches back. Get used to it.

Posted by: filmnoia | January 19, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

A Democrat threatens a Tea Party member in Arizona, and now the Dems are calling the Republicans Nazis......so much for more civil discourse. It was the limp-wristed liberals that were whining about the lack of civil discourse, but of course it was the same loony-left that makes the most dangerous and visceral attacks. The Dems are hypocrites and deserve the shellacking they will get in the 2012 elections as their current behavior shows they still haven't learned anything from the midterms and they still consider themselves better than the average American - their arrogance will not be forgotten!

Posted by: Realist201 | January 19, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Call Cohen's DC office at (202) 225-3265. Ask him to apologize and tell him that his rhetoric is not in keeping with President Obama's call for civility.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 19, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Hold your ground Mr. Cohen, no matter how much pressure is brought to bear on you.

The longer you stand firm, the more attention will be drawn to what the Republicans told The Big Lie about.

If they try to punish you, they will then be forced to defend their Big Lie. It will give Democrats a fresh chance to lay out chapter and verse, the truth about what is in the Health Care Bill, and keep demanding that The Republicans back up their Big Lie, with actual facts.

No Surrender Congressman Cohen. We badly need someone to display some resolve and backbone. Fight the good fight, for the millions of poor sick Americans, who the Republicans are trying to take their life savings and homes from.

Just say no to:

The Republicans Assault Upon Medical Assistance(TRAUMA)

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Better yet, constituents should go down in person and lodge your complaint:

167 North Main Street
Suite 369
Memphis, TN 38103

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 19, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

ALL politicians lie. FACT

Posted by: SomeFatGuy | January 19, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

""I said Goebbels lied about the Jews, and that led to the Holocaust," Cohen said. "Not in any way whatsoever was I comparing Republicans to Nazis."

"Asked whether such a reference risked giving the right ammo to claim that "both sides do it," Cohen reiterated that he wasn't calling Republicans Nazis.

"In no way did I call them Nazis," he continued. "I did say they've been using a big lie.""

You have to love it when a Democrats statements don't even pass the laugh test with Greg.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 19, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I do have to love it when Right Wingers do not even attempt to defend The Republicans use of The Big Lie tactic, but instead start wetting their beds, because Congressman Cohen provide an accurate history of where The Big Lie Tactic was perfected, and deployed.

Using The Big Lie to con millions of people into ending up with no healthcare, could put the premature deaths of millions of Americans, on Republican hands, and they know it, but are still willing to deploy The Big Lie, on behalf of their Insurance Cartel, Puppet Masters.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

The GOP will continue to use The Big Lie tactic since they have no soution to the healthcare mess, except more of the same and minimal band aid solutions that will continue to keep the health insurance and pharma industries rolling in the dough.
They lie, because despite their flag lapel pins and their genuflecting in front of Old Glory, they really don't care for anyone in this country but their corporate paymasters who control them. John Boehner is not known as "Old Cash and Carry" for nothing. He's been a bag man for decades.

Posted by: filmnoia | January 19, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Death Panels: TRUE
Taxpayer funded abortion: TRUE
Taxpayer funded healthcare for illegal aliens: TRUE

Sorry Cohen, no "Big Lie".
The only "Big Lie" is that conservatives are the ones engaging in violent rhetoric.
Repeal of this monstrosity will be a historic victory for the American taxpayer. I just wonder how many others the wild-eyed liberals will murder over their electorial losses.

Posted by: oldno7 | January 19, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Cohen. The GOP has spread so many lies, it is hard to keep up with all of them.

The problem is that the democratic party just lies down and acts as if the lies will go away without a withering counterattack. Well, they will not

Death Panels? Horsecrap!
Government takeover? Horsecrap!
Socialism? Horsecrap!

And this is all moot. This is all show. the House will pass a repeal bill, which will die in the Senate. Harry Reid has the right to decide which legislation goes to the floor. So, the issue will die there. Should Obama win re-election (and I think he will) and should the Senate flip in 2012 (a possibility), the a completely republican controlled congress could pass it and send it for his veto. Most likely, first in 2017, if at all, could the GOP have a real chance of repeal, and by then, it will be too late, for by then the public will see how well the thing is working.

Once again, the GOP is on the wrong side of history and I prophesy that the GOP will lie right through it's teeth in 50 years and take credit for the "Affordable Health Care" law. Mark my words.

What a circus!

Posted by: bonncaruso | January 19, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that Cohen was one of the first to condemn Joe Wilson for speaking truth to power when he called Obama out as a liar.

Posted by: oldno7 | January 19, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Where is your condemnation, Sargent? You would have been all over this one if Cohen had an "R" after his name. Apparently, the call for civility is directed at conservatives. Liberals must have given themselves immunity.

Posted by: bethg1841 | January 19, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Since taking control of the House, Republicans have:


Read an edited version of the Constitution on C-SPAN.


Changed budget rules to allow tax cuts without worrying about the budgetary consequences.


Begun planning investigative witch hunts to annoy the White House.


Introduced legislation to reinstate DADT.


And started debate over a symbolic repeal of health care reform, even though the Senate won't consider the repeal bill even if it passes.


Notice anything missing from the GOP's agenda?


That's right, jobs.


WHERE ARE THE JOBS, BOEHNER ?!?!


YOU'VE GOT TWO YEARS!


CHOP CHOP, REPUGS!


TIMES A WASTIN'!


YOU DO NOTHING ON JOBS AND YOU'LL BE GONE IN 2012 SO FAST THAT YOUR FAT HEADS WILL SPIN, REPUGS!

.

Posted by: DrainYou | January 19, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Republicans Deploy The Big Lie,

In order to let millions of poor sick Americans Die.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Comparing the two is tone deaf, IMO. Are the Right wingers out of bounds and just plain lame? Of Course. Can you compare that to Goebbels and Anti-Semitic propoganda leading to extermination? Uh, no.

Now, which will get more play? A Democrat comparing some in the GOP to Nazi Germany or that the lie was about? Seems to me like he'll split the difference and we'll end up the same f8cked up place.

I would call this inappropriate and definitely uncivil.

Man, Goebbels? Gimme a break.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 19, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"The Big Lie"... you mean the one that Obama is an American Citizen? Or do you mean the one that illegal aliens won't get free healthcare? Perhaps the one that there won't be Death Panels? Maybe the one that taxpayers won't be paying for abortion on demand. Oh, I know... the Big Lie that Obama isn't a socialist. Not it's all clear.

Posted by: oldno7 | January 19, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"Once again, the GOP is on the wrong side of history and I prophesy that the GOP will lie right through it's teeth in 50 years and take credit for the "Affordable Health Care" law."

Yes, the GOP has been on the wrong side of every major piece of social legislation since 1932. However, in 50 years, with the demographic changes going on in this country, the current GOP won't even exist as a viable force except in selected rural parts of the country. They literally are dying off.

Posted by: filmnoia | January 19, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

What most people do not know is the BACKGROUND behind Goebbels comments in February of 1945.

A lieutenant on his staff came to him as is was going to be quite apparent that a number of KZ's (concentration camps) would be liberated by the russians before the germans could finish their evil work.

The lieutenant said "werden die Leute es glauben, wenn es klar wird, das million drauf gingen" (will people believe it when it becomes clear that millions died), whereupon Goebbels answered: 5 is a number the common man can understand. 5 million is just an abstraction. If you tell a lie often enough, the world will believe it.

Posted by: bonncaruso | January 19, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

filmnoia wrote:
Yes, the GOP has been on the wrong side of every major piece of social legislation since 1932. However, in 50 years, with the demographic changes going on in this country, the current GOP won't even exist as a viable force except in selected rural parts of the country. They literally are dying off.

*************

Apparently you've been under a rock since Obama got his head handed to him in November. Dumbocrats suffered the biggest loss in 70 years and 2012 will only be worse for those haters of the Constitution.

Posted by: oldno7 | January 19, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

"Apparently you've been under a rock since Obama got his head handed to him in November. Dumbocrats suffered the biggest loss in 70 years and 2012 will only be worse for those haters of the Constitution."

I suggest you look at the demographics of the Nov. election - a larger percentage of older and whiter voters, and, if I recall, about 30% of the voting population. You can't change the demographic trend of this country no matter how hard you try. Nice try though.

Posted by: filmnoia | January 19, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Oldno7

Are you drunk?

Posted by: elbuzz1 | January 19, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I really do enjoy it when right wingers get the vapors for being called out on their lies. Honestly, it's somewhat entertaining here to see the righties foam at the mouth and say nonsensical things or repeat other lies.

Was what Cohen said tacky? Yes. Was what Cohen said true? Yes.

I'm OK with that.

Posted by: kindness1 | January 19, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

If Sarah Palin had said this--- it would be on all three networks, Andrea Mitchell would be indignant over this. By the way did any of you know that one of the victims of the Tucson shooting threatened a tea party patriot at an event and was taken away by the police and being held on a psychiatric evaluation?? I did not hear about this on any of the networks, it would have been if it were the other way around. Andrea Mitchell is too busy with her microscope on conservatives & Sarah Palin she fails to do her job as a reputable reporter.

Posted by: mightyheidi | January 19, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

He ought to be ashamed of himself, impugning the motives of his fellow Americans by linking them to a movement that 400,000 Americans gave their life combatting, standing in a house of government that might not exist today were it not for there efforts. Nazi accusations are thrown around much too casually today, denigrating the sacrifices of our earlier generations.

Posted by: Illini | January 19, 2011 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Great words from Congressman Cohen. The entire Republican playbook came from Goebbels and the Nazis, because they are just like the Nazis. Why equivocate? The truth is the truth. Strutting little neo-fascists, who use race, create a convenient "Other," lie, and demonise the opposition. That is the Nazi way and it is the Republican way.

Posted by: ElectricBill | January 19, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

tough reference point. Should have just called out "The Big Lie" and laid a little Orwell on them. As it is, Rep Cohen just marginalized himself. Coulda been a bit bigger, coulda used 15% more headroom and pulled in a grand literary reference or two. But it is wut it is. Congress still sucks.

Posted by: roboturkey | January 19, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Steve Cohen, you have made Sarah Palin feel vindicated for her use of "blood libel." And she's right to feel that way, especially since liberals will hypocritically excuse Cohen a few days after damning her.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 19, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"I did not hear about this on any of the networks,"

I did.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | January 19, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if the shiny Jackboot fits....

Posted by: fluxgirl | January 19, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse


The House of Representatives has voted to REPEAL Obama's health care bill.

The Repeal now goes to the Senate, where 23 democratic Senators are facing re-election and may be open to discuss the issue - especially since it may help their re-election prospects.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Foolish, loose talk equating Republicans with Nazis. Republicans who don't care about our health may be selfish, greedy, uncaring and dishonest about that issue. None of those character blemishes qualifies them as Nazis.
Nazis were real. They killed millions. Loose talk about them cheapens the sacrifice of millions.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 19, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are not even denying that they used The Big Lie tactic. They are just complaining about the fact that Congressman Cohen pointed out that they used that tactic, and the factual history of who first perfected and used The Big Lie tactic, that The Republicans now emulate.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

ElectricBill, if the Republicans are "just like the Nazis" then should Rep. COHEN be in a train car headed for some concentration camp rather than on the floor of the House?

Everyone else, Repeal has passed 245-189. Only three Democrats (Boren, McIntyre, and Ross; obviously, Giffords did not vote) voted with the GOP.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 19, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow- Does Cohen have a gun? Sounds like he is a real dangerous nut-job. These unhinged lefties are all becoming dangerous....Thank God they aren't running our country anymore!

Posted by: Realist201 | January 19, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Now people must apply relentless unending pressure on all those Congress Reps who voted for repeal, to now surrender their Government subsidized Health Care Insurance Plans.

Make all those who voted for repeal, now Walk The Talk.

If they want government to have no say in Health Care matters, then they must now remove their greedy lips from it's teats.

When are the farm belt states reps going to introduce a bill, to end all ethanol subsidies, which only create food scarcity, and drive up food prices.

I am looking at you Steve King(R) and Senator Grassley(R)

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Dumb. The screw up here (and he should have been smarter) was to bring in the Jewish aspect and holocaust.

But assigning the term "propaganda" to what the Republicans have been doing on health care is absolutely appropriate because it is an accurate and true description. To bring up Goebbels is equally apt because the propaganda campaigns covered far more than what was said/done related to Jews.

Further, there is no more succinct description of this particular propaganda technique than as voiced by Goebbels...

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it,
people will eventually come to believe it."

So Cohen dug himself a bit of a hole here with the holocaust allusion and that's a pity because there is no better term to describe what is going on (in this instance and many others) than "propaganda" and it is absolutely important to correctly identify what is going on.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I am a registered Republican; for the record, I am denying that they used The Big Lie tactic. Getting Rep. Cohen (D-TN) censured is more important than disproving The Big Lie tactic right now.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 19, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"There have been so many lies about the health care bill," Cohen said, citing "death panels," the GOP rejection of the Congressional Budget Office's finding that repealing reform would hike the deficit, and the claim that health reform represents a "government takeover."

"You can't stop them from saying that lie," Cohen said of the "government takeover" line. "It's their mantra. They go to bed with it. They do Yoga with it."
-------------

Love this guy. Finally, someone calls these liars out.

Posted by: monk4hall | January 19, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Here's Limbaugh being his typically vile self. This isn't propaganda, its racism...

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_01/027605.php

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

GAME ON!

I thought the left never made any mean spirited comments? Well at least that is what I have heard for the last 11 days from the liberal media. Go to town Democrats and Republicans. I love the fighting and especially like the negatively charged rhetoric. Keep it up. Please don't sit boy girl boy girl style at the State of the Union. Everyone knows that you hate each other.

Posted by: Jsuf | January 19, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the German-Americans are offended too


Who is asking them if this is OFFENSIVE.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Repeal of Health Care

I don't think a MAJOR bill has ever passed Congress - then an election comes and one House votes to Repeal that bill


This is UNPRECEDENTED IN AMERICAN HISTORY

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: Apparently not because the Democrats repeated and repeated that the health care bill was good and passed it without the will of the people. Now the majority of Republicans want it repealed.........

Posted by: Jsuf | January 19, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Lord and the Baby Jesus...thank you for Your deliverance of a man who is not an invertebrate of the Democratic party. How refreshing! And for those of you "reaching" on Jon Stewart's mantra that Hitler/Nazi references immediately cancel out any conversation (and I'm a big fan of JS), knock it off. This man cited Goebbels, the master of spin. He spoke to propaganda. He referred to the dishonesty of the GOP. "They" had their fun when that yahoo burped out "YOU LIE!" and nothing happened to him. Did you foul yourself then? A brown-out in your boxers? Hmmm?

I don't care who this man is or where he comes from, it is just validation that somewhere in the elected Democratic base there is a pulse. Faint, but a pulse. God Bless him. Thanks are not enough.

Posted by: kickoradell | January 19, 2011 6:59 PM | Report abuse

"I am a registered Republican; for the record, I am denying that they used The Big Lie tactic."

Noted.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

For a pack of murder happy thugs, the conservative movement sure is delicate and sensitive.
Cohen told the truth and it sure made the right wing ding dongs cry. Maybe we need some more truth telling in Washington. And therapists for these goons on the right who want to harm people through legislative action like canceling health care, starting unpaid-for wars, stealing our social security and medicare/medicaid benefits, and giving succor to fifth columnists like Limbaugh, Beck and their ilk who want to turn this country into a right wing concentration camp.

Posted by: sparkplug1 | January 19, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

It's not racism...or propaganda.

Please have a cold beverage or something.

Posted by: tao9 | January 19, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

I disagree. Propaganda is a word that has become associated with acceptable political dialog.

Democrats have to shout to be heard about the Republican roars.

The Big Lie Is the proper term to describe the Republican Tactics.

Watch the entire video clip of Congressman Cohen's speech. He spoke in a low key tone, more in sorrow than in anger, and he made the case against repeal, that has to be made, on an ongoing basis, until truth finally washes away the stain left by The Republican's Big Lie.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Can't their be some kind of rule analogous to Godwin's for when someone uses the word "ilk?"

Posted by: tao9 | January 19, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

@bethg1841 "Where is your condemnation, Sargent? You would have been all over this one if Cohen had an "R" after his name. Apparently, the call for civility is directed at conservatives. Liberals must have given themselves immunity"

I'm going to stick up for Greg here. The reason we all know about and are discussing this is because he chose to make it the subject of two posts to his blog. Further, I read his comments from the previous post:

"Look, just stop it. As the National Jewish Democratic Council said in a statement today, invoking the Holocaust to make a political point is "never acceptable."

as a clear condemnation.

Greg also did what none of his readers can do easily. He contacted the Congressman, asked him to explain and defend his remarks, pressed him on the Congressman's rebuttals, and then reported the results here. This is Greg and the Plum Line at it's best.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 19, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

@jsuf - Sorry. I can't make out what you are trying to communicate.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Cohen was exactly right and his reference to Goebbels' use of the "Big Lie" might open a few eyes as it perfectly describes the Republican strategy of repeating their lies over and over until people come to take it for the truth. Glad to see their method exposed for what it is.

Posted by: Jerryvov | January 19, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

DemonRats believe that Obama's call for civility does not apply to them. The Washington Post feels the same way. Just look at their columnists. Two opinion articles this week attacking Sarah Palin. Liberals in general have not toned down their hate-filled rhetoric in the least. Just read their comments to the Palin attacks.

Posted by: tulsa_dave | January 19, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The Congress Man Told The Truth About The Big Lie.

No wonder right wingers are howling.

They can't handle the truth. They were Suckled on The Big Lie.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/happy_hour_roundup_168.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 19, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Republicans lie. A lot. It's what they are very good at, and when you have no ideas of your own (like what their solution to 50 million without health insurance might be), lie!

While I'm all for more civility in politics, this comment by Rep. Cohen needed to be said though I wish it had been said during the 111th Congress when the Republicans/Tea Parties were throwing around the "Death Panels" lie.

Posted by: Trakker | January 19, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Trust in FOX spirals down...

"A year ago a plurality of Americans said they trusted Fox News. Now a plurality of them don't. Conservatives haven't moved all that much- 75% said they trusted it last year and 72% still do this time around. But moderates and liberals have both had a strong increase in their level of distrust for the network- a 12 point gain from 48% to 60% for moderates and a 16 point gain from 66% to 82% for liberals. Voters between left and center tend to be more trusting of the media across the board, which is why a fair number of them were still rating Fox favorably even a year ago at this time. But it looks like with a lot of those folks it has finally crossed the line to being too political to trust."

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201101190031

Posted by: bernielatham | January 19, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

What a tempest in a teapot.

Repeating an audacious lie is a propaganda tactic pioneered by Josef Goebbels. He wrote about it.

The GOP has done exactly this with healthcare. Many big lies, endlessly repeated.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 19, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Sadly Representative Cohen is on the money when he compared the Republican big lies about health care with the big lie tactics of those charming brown shirted fellow from 1920s and 1930s Germany.

Even sadder is that the big lie has become a staple of the Republican and Tea Party strategy. They just make it up -- like making up the "death panels," calling the bill "socialism" (as any student of political science can tell you, it's even remotely socialist), "job killing," and much more.

They make up what's in a bill and attack it in the most incendiary way. They have made illegal immigrants the scapegoat for all that's wrong in America -- which is exactly what the Nazis did to Jewish people. They are rewriting our textbooks to make the civil rights era practically disappear and claim that slaves actually fought for the South and enjoyed slavery. That's exactly what the Nazis did in Germany.

I expect the Republican "outrage" at Representative Cohen's comments to be loud and huge -- because he has hit the nail on its proverbial head and they know it. He's talking about you Glenn Beck, you Rush Limbaugh, you Sarah Palin. And it's those who are most guilty of the practice who will be the loudest objecting to Rep. Cohen's characterization of their tactics.

Posted by: dl49 | January 19, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Sadly Representative Cohen is on the money when he compared the Republican big lies about health care with the big lie tactics of those charming brown shirted fellow from 1920s and 1930s Germany.

Even sadder is that the big lie has become a staple of the Republican and Tea Party strategy. They just make it up -- like making up the "death panels," calling the bill "socialism" (as any student of political science can tell you, it's even remotely socialist), "job killing," and much more.

They make up what's in a bill and attack it in the most incendiary way. They have made illegal immigrants the scapegoat for all that's wrong in America -- which is exactly what the Nazis did to Jewish people. They are rewriting our textbooks to make the civil rights era practically disappear and claim that slaves actually fought for the South and enjoyed slavery. That's exactly what the Nazis did in Germany.

I expect the Republican "outrage" at Representative Cohen's comments to be loud and huge -- because he has hit the nail on its proverbial head and they know it. He's talking about you Michelle Bachman, you Glenn Beck, you Rush Limbaugh, you Sarah Palin. And it's those who are most guilty of the practice who will be the loudest objecting to Rep. Cohen's characterization of their tactics.

Posted by: dl49 | January 19, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Geez, Cohen! Where were you last year! I love this line of statements:

"There have been so many lies about the health care bill," Cohen said, citing "death panels," the GOP rejection of the Congressional Budget Office's finding that repealing reform would hike the deficit, and the claim that health reform represents a "government takeover."

"You can't stop them from saying that lie," Cohen said of the "government takeover" line. "It's their mantra. They go to bed with it. They do Yoga with it."

Classic! I don't care if you call them Nazis, to be honest, because they've been subverting the country for such a long time, look at how much they've turned it into a frantic pseudo-police state. Look at the crazy right-wing. That was the Germans in Germany as Nazi Germany became. Nutty, intolerant, ultranationalists. You already have the brownshirts like Palin out there, talking about taking the country over.

But that's okay, he doesn't have to say this today. He hit home the point that they have been lying and repeating the lies to whip people up. No matter how much Dems haven't talked about the good in this law, they have failed moreso to call these lying goobers and Gohmerts out.

Posted by: fbutler1 | January 19, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Notice that Sargent does not venture any opinion on whether or not this is civil.

Funny how liberal pundits lose all of their opinions when talking about the actions of liberals.

Posted by: bobmoses | January 19, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

he is going to make Boehner cry again....boo hoo....!

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | January 19, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Rep. Cohen for telling the truth. The Republicans have outright lied on the floor of the House about the Healthcare Reform Bill and any clear thinking person knows it. Even Steve King of Iowa said two weeks ago on the floor. "Yes sometimes we lie, but we cannot be prosecuted for it". Isn't that wonderful?
Well I thank Rep. Cohen for telling the truth about all the GOP members in the House. They are so willing to deny Healthcare improvements to all Americans but refuse to give their Healthcare up. But when they resort to outright lies on the House floor they need to be called out for it.

Posted by: sumo1 | January 19, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

The longer you stand firm, the more attention will be drawn to what the Republicans told The Big Lie about.

____________________


No, the longer he stands firm the longer the story stays about him and kills all chance of a rational discussion. They won't have to defend anything because they can say we don't intend to exterminate 6 million people in gas chambers, which is the analogy that Cohen is drawing upon.

Posted by: Bailers | January 19, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Rep. Cohen for speaking the truth. The GOP has outright lied during this whole debate and need to be called out for it.

Posted by: sumo1 | January 19, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I suspected that the liberal outrage over Palin's use of "blood libel" was just faux-outrage, yet another example of Palin Derangement Syndrome, and Steve Cohen is proof of the double standard in which liberals defend and support their own outrageous behavior, which they condemn in conservatives. Hypocrites.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 19, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Steve Cohen. Typical progressive Jew, who like the Zionists, calls anyone who disagrees with him a "Nazi".

Newsflash. Most Americans were born after the last Nazi flag was torn down, not by Jewish lawyers, but by goyim of the 101st and Zhukovs Red Army brigade #228. Jewish smearmongers laying blood libel charges on Palin (Paul Krugman, Joe Klein) or calling any opponent a Nazi diminishes the charge into another cheap epitath, like a black pol calling any dimunition of pork he receives, "racist".

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | January 19, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

You can't have a rational discussion built around The Big Lie.

Of course Congressman Cohen had to lay out the origins and purposes of The Big Lie tactic.

Goebbels didn't perfect it just to deceive the German people about Eve Braun's bust size, you know!

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

If you're a Democrat, hate speech is always acceptable. If someone acted on this idiots comments and shot someone, the Democrats and their minions in the leftist media would say nothing. If it was Sarah Palin, they would be all over her in a minute. Democrats talk the talk, but never walk the walk.

Why are leftists so afraid of Fox News? It's the only conservative voice in the media. Fox will discuss the issues that the leftist media won't. Every media outlet, with the exception of Fox News, is associated with the political left. Interesting how the "power to the people" crowd wants to control free speech.

Posted by: Dodgers1 | January 19, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Notice that Sargent does not venture any opinion on whether or not this is civil.

Funny how liberal pundits lose all of their opinions when talking about the actions of liberals.

Posted by: bobmoses | January 19, 2011 7:19 PM
------------------------
Bob, read the Plum Line entry right before this one, "Dem Rep says GOP health care rhetoric worthy of Goebbels." Greg writes very well about how UNcivil Cohen's comparison is.

Posted by: CherieOK | January 19, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

How interesting. When a Republican shouted out that Obuma told lies during the State of the Union address every one of the Dems were squeezing their cheeks. Time has passed and we see that ,in fact, Obuma tells "BIG" lies.
Cohen is probably another one of those guys that got bullied in the playground and now he can spout off like a tough guy. Of course when Obuma suggested that the volume be lowered he was only referring to the Repubs. It will never change. We have a bunch of people in Washington who feel that they are above the standards of decency. Every elected official has the right to speak, however they do not have the right to spew invectives aimed to hurt. He deserves to be punished. Of all things he had the hubris to repeat the words of Palin about "Blood." He probably does not even know where to find the reference, and worse yet, to understand the meaning.

Posted by: MALBENNET | January 19, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Evoking nazis does no one any good. Saying the republicans are lying exposes the truth and I dare any republican to explain how this is a "government takeover". They never do, they just keep repeating it. They should be called out for the lies, but evoking nazis just gives them a defense. They should have no defense.

Expose the lies and dare them to respond. I guarantee they will not, can not. And all good Americans need to keep asking them to prove their rhetoric.

I've seen republicans back down when their lies begin to fail. Remember their stand on denying benefits to 911 heros? Once their lies were exposed for all to see they quickly changed their tune.

The truth works. Americans need to call these liars "liars" when they tell lies. It would be the first step to bringing back an effective American government, one that does not have debates based on lies, half truths and misinformation, especially on such an important topic as health insurance reform.

Posted by: Fate1 | January 19, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I am a jew, and I find this congressman's comments to be so over the mark, censor of him by the House is the minimal response.

God, the rhetoric of both parties is just so out of line, why are we, in the middle, subjected to the same, lame, ignorant and direspectful discourse by these Republocrats!?!? And I am sick of this feigned "change" mantra by both sides. You vote back in the same failed leadership of both parties and just sacrifice the newcomers, this is not change, idiot voters! Extremism is not just the rule, it is the only voice of Washington. And, in separate story, Harry Reid insults the Leader of China in his visit here, the country that owns most of our debt?

In order of disgusting displays of voter stupidity, Nevada, California, Ohio, and soon to be Kentucky (as McConnell was not reelected this past year), you voters are beyond pathetic. I just hope your specific leaders of your districts/states ruin your communities as much as not more than what they will try to do to the rest of us!

George Carlin, you were right, the public sucks, forget hope!

Posted by: Joelhassfam4 | January 19, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone recall Colin Powell's WMD presentation at the UN, where he even played tapes that purported to be radio communications between Iraqis, who were communicating about WMD.

Complete cooked up rubbish, just like the claims of The Looming Mushroom Cloud.

The Republicans are master practitioners of The Big Lie, to mislead the people.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sbj3
Call Cohen's DC office ... Ask him to apologize and tell him that his rhetoric is not in keeping with President Obama's call for civility."

HUH! Obama didn't ask Americans to accept republican lies ... did he?
I don't think so.

Any comments on Boehner and republicans unwilling to give up congressional life time health and pension benefits that "We The Small People" are "FORCED" to pay for????

Posted by: knjincvc | January 19, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Republicans Lie, People Die. Same old story.

But with the health care debate you know HOW MANY will die: 45,000 a year ... the number who die because their coverage has been rejected by the Republican-run insurance industry.

Posted by: silverfish1 | January 19, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Rep. Cohen.. keep calling those rotten lowdown repub scoundrels exactly what they are... LIARS!!

Posted by: VietVet68 | January 19, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

A true intellectual. Even able to create his own reality!

Posted by: bschaper | January 19, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

One of the posts noted, "I did not hear about this on any of the networks."

How right you are. Only Fox News would televise and comment on Cohen's hate filled speech. The leftist media did not even make a mention of it.

Posted by: Dodgers1 | January 19, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

You don't have to be a Nazi, or want to kill Jews, to use Hitler's playbook.
Ask any Republican, particularly Roger Ailes.
Politically, the Nazis were genius at using antipathies and ignorance to achieve political aims, and The Big Lie was their weapon of choice.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | January 19, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Really. Did he do that? I was not aware that he created fantasy stockpiles of WMD, and created his own reality about how Iraqis were going to welcome the American Invasion with Flowers and Sweets, and every other country in the region was immediatly going to see the error of their ways, and morph into Jeffersonian Democracies, almost over night.

I had not realized that it was Congressman Cohen that created that fantasy in his own mind, and use The Big Lie tactic to brain wash the American people into falling for it.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I strongly support the President and his health care reform legislation. Representative Cohen's presentation was among the most effective defenses of the the program I've heard UNTIL he used a Nazi reference to support his argument. Comparing the behavior/tactics of the Republicans who oppose this legislation, no matter how underhanded it might be, to the lies told by the Nazis even in a tangential way is insulting, highly offensive and demeaning to the memory of the over 6 million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis. He should be ashamed of himself and should be reprimanded by his colleagues in the House.

Posted by: MarkDL | January 19, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I noticed the comment about Colin Powell. More racist hate speech.

I never hear leftists talk about one of their icons FDR. FDR imprisoned Japanese-American citizens during WWII. He took away their homes, their jobs, and their dignity.

I never hear anything from the left talk about Harry Truman who used atomic bombs to obliterate thousands upon thousands of innocent Japanese citizens.

I never hear the left talk about LBJ. He used a minor incident in the Gulf of Tonkin to lead us into war in Vietnam. Over 17,000 American soldiers died for nothing.

Hypocrites!

Posted by: Dodgers1 | January 19, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie-

I hear ya. I wasn't very eloquent in my post above. No doubt you are correct regarding Goebbels' mastery.

Two things: Its dangerous politically to invoke Nazi Germany when referring to the other Party (whoever that is...) because of the simple fact that the more heinous the comparison, the more of a backlash against the maker of the camparison-not the argument.

Secondly, in Nazi Germany, this was a coordinated effort from the top down with absolute fealty. For all their message discipline in many ways, can one really say that the various lies of the GOP have the same "top down" mechanics? It seems more scattershot to me...

Interested to read your thoughts....

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 19, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Three cheers to Rep. Steve Cohen.

At long last somebody is speaking out against this madness.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 19, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Cohen represents the most violent district in the country. He has done nothing to help the people he represents, and insteads spends his days talking to liberals in D.C. while the people back in western Tennessee live in squalor, are unemployed, and deal with the second highest crime rate in the country.

Rep. Cohen sounds more like a person escaping to the cushy life in D.C. He is a very sad human being who has spread vitriolic rhetoric but does nothing for his constituents.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | January 19, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: MarkDL | January 19, 2011 8:08 PM
"He should be ashamed of himself and should be reprimanded by his colleagues in the House."

Fine reprimand Rep Cohen ... it won't change the facts ... Boehner, Rothschild Cantor and McConnell are spreading lies to protect the 17% of America's GDP that republicans want to continue to give their insurance company benefactors.

It's plain and simple ... republicans weren't willing to give up "THEIR" life time health and pension benefits to get their bill passed.

Posted by: knjincvc | January 19, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Except it does not appear to be dangerous for Republican Right Wingers to compare Obama to The Nazis and The Soviet Union.

Newt wrote that Obama is a bigger threat to America, than they were. No outcry what so ever.

Republicans can wage a war of perpetual lies and pay no price. Let one Democrat dare to give them a dose of their own medicine, and even Progressives all turn into clucking Church Ladies.

No wonder Republicans walk all over us. Liberals keep lamenting that no one will stand their ground among Democrats, but as soon as one does, many liberals rush to denounce that person, and also to apologize to The Party Of The Big Lie tactics.

Republicans don't care if they hurt Democrats' feelings, but much of the Democratic base just does not have the stomach for the fight.

The Republicans bring a knife to the fight, and the Democratic base brings Cookies and Ice Cream.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Well at least as a Jew, Cohen knows what he is referring to.

Posted by: Beeliever | January 19, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

OMG most seem incensed by his associating the tactics employed by Republicans with that used by Goebbels. Well it is true. That's been the mantra of this 'New Republican Party' which was birthed with the Nixon presidency. Lie after lie after lie..and if they repeat it enough those who don't check resources will believe them. That's what they've counted on all these years. Then to add to it, once they've got you believing in them, they change course on you or sell another bag of falsehoods like the 'kinder, gentler republican party of 2000' that road this nation into 2 wars depleting a social security surplus (something that the republicans have never supported). There are more incarcerated for either driving under the influence and/or having drugs paraphenalia on them as a result of people trying to escape reality, but know that the drugs have become more readily accessible over the past 40 years. No one can explain that one, but it seems to be too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence. Especially when you consider that duing Nixon's presidency it was reported illegal drugs being dropped by plane on military bases and during Reagan's presidency his subordinates easily acquired drugs to purchase arms.
I think the Congress should go without healthcare until they can find a way to make it affordable as well as available to ALL Americans. That would be one clear cut method of cutbacks in government spending. Another would be to do away with the kind of retirement benefits they receive. Unbeknownst to many, Congress gets their salary as a pension. How many of us do?

Posted by: ewjazzed | January 19, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is correct, the "government takeover" is a big lie as were death panels. Do a quick web search and look at the accusatory rhetoric from the right over the last two years and this is actually tame. Maybe he can invoke Palin. I will not be silenced, I will not sit down and shut up.

Posted by: chucko2 | January 19, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

amstphd wrote>>>>Normally I'd be appalled by Rep. Cohen's reference to Goebbels, but the Republicans lie, particularly on health care. They've been stopping rational discussion for months with "socialist," "leftist," "statist," and marxist. They think all they have to do is put the label out and there's no need to make a factual, reasonable case.

Exactly!!

Posted by: angie12106 | January 19, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Sending the loony toon left to Auschwitz would bring tears of joy to my eyes.

IMAGINE A WORLD FREE OF LIBERALS. SOUNDS NICE.........DOESN'T IT?!

Posted by: LibsRlost | January 19, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

A real man NEVER apologizes for speaking the truth.

Posted by: TOMHERE | January 19, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

A liar is a despicable sack of garbage who never tells the truth. The basterd uses a tv chain and a radio station to spread the lies. The more he lies the he thikns he is telling the truth, his version of the truth.
To call that bastard a liar is to recognize his condition of hypocrite. No need to apologize to sick basterd.

Posted by: analyst72 | January 19, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

A real man NEVER apologizes for speaking the truth.

Posted by: TOMHERE


Crocodile tears on full display. It's hard to take you liberal kooks seriously on health care, when you have done more to destroy the black family than the KKK could ever dream of.

Posted by: LibsRlost | January 19, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

A liar is a despicable sack of garbage who never tells the truth. The basterd uses a tv chain and a radio station to spread the lies. The more he lies the more he thikns he is telling the truth, his version of the truth.
To call that bastard a liar is to recognize his condition of hypocrite. No need to apologize to sick basterd.

Posted by: analyst72 | January 19, 2011 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Why would you censure the man? He tells it like it is. Sieg Heil !!!

Posted by: sameolddoc | January 19, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

sameolddoc, do you even know what "Sieg Heil" means? Did you read House Rule XVII above?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 19, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Typical lib/commie, etc. 1st a lib nut guns down a bunch in AZ then another is locked up in the spin bin for death threats now this. Lib violence knows no bounds.

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 19, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is absolutely, 100% correct. The GOP and Rupert Murdock's right wing propaganda machine have been lying about HCR since day one. Their only goal is to deliver a legislative defeat to president Obama. It's about time someone with courage stood up and called these liars exactly what they are.
I would say the GOP should be ashamed of themselves, but long ago it became obvious the GOP HAS no shame.

Posted by: cjbass55 | January 19, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

This is hyprocracy at its worst. Cohen is a bigot. The left has been saying and doing bad things for years. Cohen should be censored.

It is for sure the left will lose more seats in congress in 2012. Obama should lose his job, too.

Posted by: annnort | January 19, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

The attacks against Congressman Cohen remind me of Mark Twain's description of propaganda used to bolster a weak argument - "lies, damned lies, and statistics" It may be human nature to disparage facts that do not support one's position, but that doesn't justify Republicans attacking, or repealing, health care reform on a purely ideological basis. Remember, Congressman Cohen challenged everyone to weigh the content, as well as the tone, of this debate. We should all heed those words.

Posted by: hlipow | January 19, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

This is an extraordinary amount of coverage devoted to something so trivial -- you've done three posts about it and included various statements from Jewish/Holocaust organizations who similary wasted time responding to this non-event. The congressman's comments were a bit zealous but not beyond the pale...in part because his tone was so even-tempered (unlike Weiner's diatribe during the First Respond. debate) and in part because he clearly was not suggesting that the lies were of the same quality/depravity. If it's true that Politifact, an independent nonpartisan group, found the statement (the Dem healthcare plan is a government takeover) to be the biggest lie of the year and it's true that Americans now largely believe that lie then his framing of the issue was not inaccurate. Yes, he upped the ante of incivility by suggesting the Republican machine was deliberately deceiving the public (true or not, this is tough language) and by invoking Goebbells who employed such tactics to great and horrible effect, but let's be careful not to over-police the arguments and debates that take place over important issues. More distressing to me than his tough comments were the overly polite, weak response from Schumer this past weekend on Meet the Press when asked about whether Dems would advocate for additional gun safety measures -- citing the recent call to civility, he ducked the issue and encouraged the moderator to change the subject.

Posted by: wswest | January 19, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

So sick of the politicians, both sides of the isle. Both sides are more interested and spend more time trying to be the ones with all the answers and do things in their own parties interest.

When are these morons going to understand that the average american citizen is tired of their BS. DO WHAT'S BEST FOR THE COUNTRY, NOT WHAT'S BEST TO MAKE YOURSELF LOOK GOOD, THIS IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF BS WE WANT YOU POLITICIANS TO STOP.

Posted by: greenstheman | January 19, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Finally!! A Democrat with a backbone who won't back down to the Fox News faux outrage. Republicans DO LIE repeatedly and the mainstream media won;t call them out on it. The minute a Democrate tells the truth about these scumbag liars, they try to paint him as the enemy. Well, I have his back on this one!!

Posted by: PepperDr | January 19, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Great words from Congressman Cohen. The entire Republican playbook came from Goebbels and the Nazis, because they are just like the Nazis. Why equivocate? The truth is the truth. Strutting little neo-fascists, who use race, create a convenient "Other," lie, and demonise the opposition. That is the Nazi way and it is the Republican way.

Posted by: ElectricBill
;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

you accuse republicans of demonizing??? read your post, what do you call this?? yeah you are doing the same thing you accuse republicans of doing.

Liberal,progressive,communist,socialist, whatever the name it's all the same BS

Posted by: greenstheman | January 19, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I hope I live long enough to see the end of people using Nazi references to make a point.

Posted by: cleancut77 | January 19, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of ways to call someone a liar without dropping the N[azi]-bomb, just like there are a lot of ways to, say, call an African-American names without using the N-word, a Jew the K-word, etc.

Posted by: GWGOLDB | January 19, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

"Nazi" is short for National Socialism, as in SOCIALISM, as in "progressive" As in American democrat. Learn your history before you try hyperbole. Hitler, like Obama the Kenyan, knew that if you control the unions, you control the unionized companies. (like GM)

Posted by: carlbatey | January 19, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Nazi" is short for National Socialism, as in SOCIALISM, as in "progressive" As in American democrat. Learn your history before you try hyperbole. Hitler, like Obama the Kenyan, knew that if you control the unions, you control the unionized companies. (like GM)
________
What hog wash. For you to call Nazi's "progressives" is not just laughable, but completely sleazy. Your equation is beyond the pale, tacky, and shows a complet lack of decorum. You may dislike Obama, don't don't sink to this level.

Posted by: cadam72 | January 19, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

hey : Beeliever
your dems lied to you too. When they told you what the health bill would not cost us more. But dont beelieve me check for your self. compare the numbers that congress were handed to the ones they qouted us. tsk tsk my my.
did the left really think that the landslide of D.s out of congress and R's in, that has not been seen since Truman was in office was an accident? Well it was not. Everyone of those R's elected were told by those that elected them, they want that wastefull bill that may very well bancrupt the county, GONE. They are doing (for once) exactly what they were elected to do. Nearly every American wants the healthcare situation to be overhauled. Yet,this mess was going to give the people little tokens of help. While actually do nothing to ease the cost to anyone no matter how the politcos are spinning it, Are the R's infating the cost numbers? yes they are. did the D's deflate the cost? yes they did.
but adding thousands of govt jobs to oversee the same system with a couple of O-goodies tossed to the masses just does not get it

Posted by: kev4 | January 19, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Gee...a Democratic representative gets shot by a loony ex-supporter of hers, and Democrats fire off a salvo of attacks against conservatives for spewing vitriolic rhetoric, arguing that such uncivil speech led to the attack. (It didn't.) Now, a couple weeks later, just as Giffords is about to get out of the hospital, another Democratic representative stands on the House floor comparing Republicans to Goebbels and suggesting by analogy that a debate on health care is going to lead to a new Holocaust.

I guess this is the Democrats' shining example of civil dialogue?

Posted by: blert | January 19, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Nazi" is short for National Socialism, as in SOCIALISM, as in "progressive" As in American democrat. Learn your history before you try hyperbole. Hitler, like Obama the Kenyan, knew that if you control the unions, you control the unionized companies. (like GM)
________
What hog wash. For you to call Nazi's "progressives" is not just laughable, but completely sleazy. Your equation is beyond the pale, tacky, and shows a complet lack of decorum. You may dislike Obama, don't don't sink to this level.

Posted by: cadam72

----------------------

It's certainly not right to call Democrats Nazis. They aren't. However, Nazis did stand for big government. Their entire philosophy was that the state should provide solutions to social problems, and they pursued such state solutions aggressively in every respect. Really, this makes the Nazis a lot like their communist neighbors in Russia, except that the fascists always tended toward radical nationalism while the communists eschewed nationalism in favor of internationalism. In the end, though, both were about expansion of government to nurture and control every aspect of people's lives. In both cases, the state became the new religion.

To the extent that Democrats, liberals, progressives, or whatever we want to call them also place a lot of faith in government solutions, and to the extent that they want to create a state in which everyone is dependent on government, giving government considerable power in controlling people's lives...well, I guess people can draw their own conclusions about the extent to which these all share some underlying philosophy of government.

What is certain, though, is that the Nazis were not some loosely organized, small-government, libertarian-leaning rabble.

Posted by: blert | January 19, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

If the shoe fits..
Good for Steve Cohen. However, he should have taken it one step further and said that the Republicans are indeed Nazis.

Posted by: markappraiser1 | January 19, 2011 11:45 PM | Report abuse

The left sure seems to love dragging out the Nazi accusations against Republicans:

- Jan 2011: Rep Cohen's remarks
- May 2010: Rep Grayson calls Republicans Nazis
- June 2004: Gore, "digital brownshirts"
- March 2005: Sen Byrd calls Republicans Nazis on the Senate floor
- June 2005: Sen Durbin compares US troops to Nazis on the Senate floor

Republicans have more respect for their colleagues and fellow Americans than to go around hurling cheap accusations of Nazism at their political opponents. This ongoing pattern of Democrats calling their opponents Nazis is shrill, desperate, and completely disrespectful to the memories of hundreds of thousands of Americans who died fighting against and defeating the actual Nazi. Those of you congratulating Cohen's remarks should be ashamed of yourself and you should have more respect for your country.

Posted by: Illini | January 19, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

What's the fuss?
Cohen is absolutely correct.

Posted by: binkynh | January 20, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Obviously Obama gets no respect from within his own party. If Cohen can't control his behavior for even a week then it's hopeless to expect it from others outside the party. Doesn't say much for Obama's leadership abilities.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | January 20, 2011 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how much republicans would be willing to borrow, if even 10% of the people who die from lack of adequat medical care were killed by terrorists or commies? Think about it.

Posted by: jimbobkalina1 | January 20, 2011 2:06 AM | Report abuse

A few days ago, a vile and popular wingnut blogger by the name of Don Surber wrote a column titled, "I do not want civil discourse."

An excerpt:

"The left suddenly wants civil discourse.

"Bite me.

"The left wants to play games of semantics.

"Bite me.

"The left wants us to be civil — after being so uncivil for a decade.

"Bite me."

----------

That column was greeted warmly throughout the wingnutosphere. Lots of favorable mention and linking.

Dry your crocodile tears, wingnuts. Oh, and BITE ME

Posted by: MagicDog1 | January 20, 2011 5:54 AM | Report abuse

A good rule of thumb is that the "Nazification" of a debate usually means that the person doing so has nothing rational to say.

Some people were never going to try and improve the quality of their rhetoric because they either don't care or because they've convinced themselves that THEIR hysteria and extremism is OK. Cohen seems to count among their number but I still have some hope that at least SOME of our 'leaders' and 'representatives' were serious in their recent calls to improve our public discourse.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | January 20, 2011 6:10 AM | Report abuse

If Republicans don't want to be compared to Nazi's then they should stop telling so many lies.

Posted by: 8-Man2 | January 20, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Cohen (D-Lunacy) has merely updated his repertoire on his attacks against the Tea Party and Republicans.

Nine months ago, they were the Klan with better fashion sense...
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/04/03/house-democrat-all-thats-missing-from-the-tea-party-are-the-robes-and-hoods/

...now they’re Nazis using the tactics of Josef Goebbels.

One might think being the target of a nasty anti-semitic slur and compared to a Klansman himself (by a fellow Democrat in his home district) might have taught Cohen a lesson in civility before the New Tone became the new Ugg Boots on Capitol Hill.

But alas, as WaPo pundits can see for themselves, Cohen still suffers from his chronic case of cerebral-rectalitis.

Will WaPo pundits rush to their podiums to condemn Cohen for demonizing the opposition?

*not holding breath*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 20, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Cohen is correct in his comparison of the Republican liars to Goebbels. Just about everything the Republicans claim about health care reform is a lie and they know it. He didn't say the Republicans were Nazis. He didn't "target" them or put them in the crosshairs. He didn't suggest "lock and load". All this froth from the right is just their continued attempt to deflect attention from their truly incendiary rhetoric.

Posted by: gevn | January 20, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Q: Will WaPo pundits rush to their podiums to condemn Cohen for demonizing the opposition?

A: Nope. Greg get a running start to offer Cohen a podium to further explain and justify his slanders.

*duty*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 20, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

To "sbj3": Thanks for posting Cohen's phone number. I'm calling his office right now to thank him for having the courage to call out the lunatics who have entirely taken over what was once a moderately sane party.

Posted by: alexhancock | January 20, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the rhetoric was harsh, maybe even a little too harsh. But listen to the whole speech - there is a context here that makes what he said a little more nuanced than "The Republicans are just like the Nazis."
The larger point is the fact - the FACT - that the Republican Party has lied - LIED - about health care. It is the guiding principal of Rovian Republicanism in the 21st Century. It simply DOES NOT MATTER what the truth is. Just keep saying that black is white, that up is down, that in is out. Ignore the cognitive dissonance that results from much of what escapes your flapping lips and just keep saying the BIG LIE, and eventually it finds roots and blossoms. The principal problem with the GOP over the past decade is not their lack of civility - although there is certainly plenty of that as well. It is that they LIE - about everything. And for that reason, Congressman Cohen owes me no apology.
Carry on.

Posted by: jegan1 | January 20, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Geez Louise. I wish people, especially the Dems, would temper their language. There's a legitimate issue about the GOP lies and their effect on public debate. Any mention of Nazis while exposing GOP lies (and they do lie) just negates anything he or anyone else is trying to say. Shut up!

Posted by: waynewitherell | January 20, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company