On Monday’s edition of CNN’s Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer opened the show by telling viewers that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had “essentially, essentially likened [Barack Obama] to Adolf Hitler.” However, that is a mischaracterization of Huckabee’s remarks.
The second “essentially” is the “tell”–it almost functions as a double negative, indicating that Blitzer actually knows Huckabee did not really compare Obama to Hitler. But the sensationalized claim of a sensational quote does more to create faux media controversy and attention.
Here is what Huckabee actually told Breitbart News Saturday:
This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people. I read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store. It’s got to be stopped.
The implication is not that President Obama is Adolf Hitler. Rather, it is that Iran is Nazi Germany and that Obama is leaving Israel vulnerable–just as the U.S. left the Jews of Europe vulnerable to Hitler in the 1930s.
The analogy is strident, to say the least, and provocative. Perhaps it is even clumsy, and–who knows–genuinely offensive to some.
Yet it is also exactly what is on the mind of millions of Jews, in Israel and around the world, who understand that if a dictator like Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei promises to slaughter you, he usually means it–and not just for domestic consumption, as Obama would like to think.
False accusations of Hitler analogies are par for the course in mainstream media coverage of conservatives. In 2009, media outlets (and elected Democrats) falsely accused Tea Party rallies of comparing Obama to Hitler, when the culprits were almost always Lyndon LaRouche supporters and provocateurs.
In one case in 2010, Democrats actually carried caricatures of Republicans drawn with Hitler moustaches.