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"The Godwin Candidate"
By Ed Driscoll · January 31, 2006 11:20 AM · Democracy In America · The Reich Stuff

Ed Morrissey and Betsy Newmark have some thoughts on Colleen Rowley, a former Time "Person of the Year" who is now running for Congress against Representative John Kline of Minnesota. As Morrissey writes:

She has descended far into the fever swamp during her brief yet notorious campaign to unseat Mr. Kline. When last CQ heard from Ms. Rowley, she had just missed her chance to draft off of Cindy Sheehan's momentum in Crawford, Texas. Rowley had trekked down to her campout just as Sheehan gave up on her protest. Unfortunately, she has resurfaced to start her campaign -- and in doing so, she decided to depict the Marine Corps veteran as a Nazi:

This is the nadir of Democratic demagoguery, referencing anyone with whom they disagree as a Nazi. This slur is especially egregious when directed at a man who served his country faithfully for 25 years in the Marine Corps and then for two terms in Congress. No one disputes anyone's right to disagree with Rep. Kline's positions, but to call the man a Nazi goes beyond political debate and into character assassination.

Rowley later took the picture off the website but never issued an apology or even an acknowledgment that it had been posted. Fortunately, others did a screen grab of the site before the cowards at Rowley's headquarters went into full retreat. If Minnesota Democrats have any sense of honor and respect, they will call for the immediate withdrawal of Rowley from the race. She disgraces not just the Second District but all of Minnesota with this kind of campaigning.

The many violations of Godwin's Law over the last three years or so become numbing: when I first saw the screen grab of Rowley's slanderous Photoshop exercise, I thought "ho-hum, another Republicans are Nazis slur, here we go again". And that same numbing effect works in reverse, making it an ad hominem that becomes all the more easier to use. But as Jonah Goldberg wrote shortly Dick Durbin's Springtime For Gitmo meltdown:
Hitler holds our fascination because of his singular villainy. But this shouldn’t crowd out our ability to make distinctions. Hitler is supposed to define the outer limits of evil, not the lowest threshold.

Update: More here and here.

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