Frank Schaeffer, Jr., on the Rachel Maddow Show ("Nazism is Not a Metaphor," 8/7/09):
"What's really being said here is two messages. There's the message to the predominantly white middle-aged crowds of people screaming at these meetings, trying to shut them down, but there's also a coded message to what I would call the loony toons, the fruit loops on the side that's really like playing Russian Roulette. You put a cartridge in the chamber, you spin, and once in a while it goes off. And we saw that happen with Dr. Tiller. We've seen that happen numerous times in this country with the violence against political leaders, whether it's Martin Luther King or whoever it might be. We have a history of being a well-armed, violent country. And so, really, I think that these calls are incredibly irresponsible. ...
"When you start comparing a democratically elected President who is not only our first black President but a moderate progressive to Adolph Hitler, you have arrived at a point where you are literally leaving a loaded gun on the table and saying, 'The first person who wants to use this, go ahead, be our guest.'
"Now, all these people, when something bad happens, will raise their holy hands in horror and say, 'Of course we didn't mean that. We were just talking about being American. It's American to protest.' B.S. They know exactly what's out there. There is a whole public out there that went out and stocked up on ammunition and guns, thinking Obama would take away their weapons. One such person shot down three policemen in Pittsburgh. I'd like to know exactly what Glen Beck, and Fox News, will say the morning after someone takes a shot at our President, or kills a senator or congressman. And if it's one of the people who, we find a little note in their car or the literature or their television watching habits who's tied to these people who are stirring the pot, or tied to these foundations that people like Dick Armey are running and trying to use insurance company money to make these fake grass roots movements, then we'll see what happens. But at that point, we'll be in a new zone, and it'll be too late.
"So my warning to my old friends on the right, and those who read my book Crazy for God know that without the work of my father and C. Everett Koop and myself there would have been no Pro-Life Movement, no Religious Right to be fomenting these things from, it's the same cast of characters: I came to a place in my life where I realized that I'd made a big mistake. Now we've crossed a line where hate and vitriol have gone to a place that is anti-democratic and anti-American. ... We've arrived at a point where enough is enough.
"So these people are hate-mongers, and they are distributing a kind of information on two levels: one, the lies about the health care system requiring euthanasia and all this nonsense, and on another level, as I say, leaving a loaded gun on the table, they're calling our President 'Hitler,' they're spreading this rhetoric, they're spreading these lies. It isn't just a question of being bad journalists any more. These are bad Americans, and they are putting all of us at risk."
I'd embed the video of this segment, but LiveJournal doesn't seem to support embedding MSNBC clips. Please, go to rachel.msnbc.com and watch the rest of Rachel's show from last Friday night, if you didn't already (and why not?) and if you can (please!) spare the 45 minutes or so.