Joe Scarborough prides himself on being an independent thinker. Apparently that extends to not uttering a peep of protest, and indeed tending to concur, when a left-wing guest flatly accuses the Bush administration of using Nazi tactics to suppress democracy.
At about 7:45 A.M. EDT today, Naomi Wolf was a guest on "Morning Joe," there to promote her new book, the pretentiously-entitled The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot. The operating thesis of this alarmist screed is that the Bush administration represents a clear and present danger to democracy.
View video here.
According to Wolf, President Bush's minions are using the very same tactics employed by totalitarian regimes in the past.
NAOMI WOLF: What's happening is that the American people, again across the political spectrum, this is not a partisan issue [rig-h-h-t] really get it [arrggh, there she goes again] that something profound and dangerous is happening . . . what's happening in America is really much more recognizable if you look at other times and places where leaders have closed down open societies. And what I found through my reading, for the research I did for "The End of America," it's really scary but it's important for us to face so that we can, you know, basically save the country in time, what is clear that in every historical situation in which a leader is seeking to close down an open society, to put pressure on a democracy, to weaken it, to shift it toward a more repressive regime, or even to crush a pro-democracy uprising in a society that isn't free, they take the same ten steps, and that these ten steps have been taken systematically by the Bush administration, and we're really so close to a tipping point at which it will be difficult to redeem democracy unless we act now.
A bit later, Wolf made her Nazi analogy explicit.
WOLF: Congressional Democrats are saying to us off the record "we want to stand up for the Constitution but we're scared of being painted as soft on terror." What Americans really have to understand is that every time a leader has sought to close down an open society, they have invoked an external or internal threat, like terrorism, and often that threat can be real. I mean, you saw this happening in Italy in the 20s, in Germany in the 30s, in East Germany in the 50s, in Prague in the 60s, in China in the 80s. Again and again leaders that are trying to push through things that make it hard to recover democratic practice terrify the population and often the threat is real. So I really think it's important for our leaders to get some perspective because right now people are so traumatized by the threat of being cast as soft on terror that they are scared to stand up for the Constitution.
So here was Wolf, comparing George W. Bush to Adolph Hitler, and rather that uttering a word in dissent, Scarborough largely bought into her theory.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Of course they're scared to lose their seats. Because again, there is fear out there that if you do stand up on a lot of these issues it would be seen as not supporting the Constitution but opposing the war on terror.
A bit later . . .
WOLF: We're in a situation now where after the first American citizen that you or I might identify with is called an enemy combatant and held in these kind of conditions, you and I would be having a very different kind of conversation the day after the news of that.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh yeah, And that's the thing that bothers me so much.
Scarborough went on to add a pox-on-both-their-Republican-and-Dem-houses disclaimer. But Joe takes non-partisanship too far in failing to protest allegations by a hyper-partisan member of the paranoid left that the President of the United States is acting like a Nazi.