There is a tale out of the Holocaust that is utterly surreal. To the point: Susan (Sora) Seiler Vigorito was a twin, and twins were of great interest to Nazi monster Josef Mengele. Susan and her sister Channah were sent to Mengle’s lab at age 4. They were caged. They endured sugeries without the benefit of anasthesia, injections, and beatings. At one point, young Susan tried to defend her sister from the onslaught and received the reply of a beating with a hammer that left a hand broken for life. She was liberated in 1945. Her twin sister died at Auschwitz.

This is by way of illustrating a tragic crime and/or a strategic political blunder being perpetrated in American politics today. Some Americans, it seems, are hell-bent on setting a Guiness record for “instances of Reductio ad Hitlerum per month.”

I maintain that comparisons of this administration or of health care reform to Nazis doesn’t hurt President Obama. Those who are prone to think this way are natural-born
troglodytes and can’t be helped. Reasonable people understand the outrageous foolishness of these statements.

But there is harm done. Nazis were not mere political activists. They were monsters. They should be relegated in everybody’s mind into their own special ring of Hell and left there to burn, isolated and untouched. See what they saw fit to do to a toddler such as Mrs. Vigorito, to apply a scalpel to her tibia without even the benefit of local anasthesia, to inject unknown substances into her, to kill her sister by her side. These were monsters, and to compare their actions to the attempted reform of a sadly broken health care system is not only uglier than a lard bucket full of armpits, but it trivializes the sheer evil of this historical era. Were that ugly syphillitic tweaker freak Adolf Hitler alive today, he’d be patting these dumbasses on the back. “Thanks for making me look good, you assholes,” he might say. “Really, thanks.”

Some might say that comments likening the powers that be to Nazis are objectionable, but protected. I disagree. This is obscenity, obscene to a far greater degree than 1,200 pages straight of the “f-word” or to that many “wardrobe malfunctions” looped. We are somehow tolerating outright incitement to violence and outright historical mangling (see Basso, Bob). And, in the process, people with stories such as Susan Vigorito’s, they are badly maligned. Such a shame.

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