Once upon a time, charging political opponents with Nazism was-off limits. Even if you could make an intellectual case for a Nazi (or National Socialism) comparison, it was chalked up as fear-mongering, hyperbole, etc. No longer, at least not when it comes to the likes of Joy Behar and her ilk. They can safely cry Nazism based on what they've seen in the movies and back it up with vague generalities, and it's fair.
On her April 26 broadcast, HLN's Joy Behar suggested the new Arizona immigration law that would allow local law enforcement to arrest immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. is comparable to "World War II Germany."
"Well, Arizona has a new immigration law and to call it controversial would be to underestimate it. It requires police to stop an individual if there is reasonable suspicion that he or she is in this country illegally," Behar said. "Critics say the law will make Arizona feel more like World War II Germany than a part of the United States."
Alex Castellanos, a CNN contributor and a Republican strategist, expressed his disapproval of the Arizona measure as well, suggesting it had some Constitutional problems.
"I think it's kind of tough," Castellanos said. "You know, if looking like an illegal alien is going to get you in trouble, then you know, my driver's license picture is going to get me deported. How can you tell? You can't. I think that's one of the reasons this law may be unconstitutional, in addition to the fact that the federal government Constitution says that it's the federal government's job to deal with immigration, not the state. So I think there is some real trouble here."
But according to Jena McNeill of The Heritage Foundation, there is a constitutional case to be made for the Arizona law.
"Under the Tenth Amendment which preserves the traditional police powers of the states to control their own jurisdictions," McNeill writes "The Heritage Foundation has advocated for extensive innovation at the lowest levels of government in terms of immigration enforcement. A 2009 report of Matt Mayer highlights how "state and local governments must [and can] do more" to do something about the illegal immigration problem - a conclusion that came from a series of THF roundtables aimed at talking to state and local officials about pressing public policy problems."
However, for Behar it was appropriate to apply the same sort of rhetoric to the measure that her media colleagues have decried others doing.
"Do you think it's kind of - doesn't it feel like sort of Nazism a little bit?" Behar asked. "I don't want to overstate it, but ‘may I see your papers,' you know?"
Former talk show host Phil Donahue, a self-identified liberal, wasn't quite as harsh on the state's decision, and suggested it was a cry for help to the federal government from the state.
"You know what I just don't understand - first of all, I believe that the political establishment, Governor Brewer and others in Arizona did this as a cry for help," Donahue said. "She made that clear when she announced the reason for her support of this. But I have no doubt that - if this isn't unconstitutional ..."
Behar, replied with the not-so-astute observation that the bill was "creepy." But Donahue leveraged his critique in a bizarre attempt to blame Bush administration, despite evidence of the contrary.
"You know and then I think we've - the last administration turned its back on the entire Bill of Rights," Donahue said. "And now we're walking up to people and ‘say, oh let me see your papers.'"