Sunday, April 5, 2009

NYT Goodwins itself and SNL asks what else will Obama go after.

A lot of people have been pointing outhow the dramatic entanglement of government into certian bisneses can operate is a bit... familiar.

Think Italy, think of a "Third Way" formed after markets collapsed and capitalism failed. A new system, one where companies would have protection and guidance by a supporting state.

Now look to the New York Times, where David Leonhardt notices the... retro connection between certian... policies.

In the summer of 1933, just as they will do on Thursday, heads of government and their finance ministers met in London to talk about a global economic crisis. They accomplished little and went home to battle the crisis in their own ways.
More than any other country, Germany — Nazi Germany — then set out on a serious stimulus program. The government built up the military, expanded the autobahn, put up stadiums for the 1936 Berlin Olympics and built monuments to the Nazi Party across Munich and Berlin.
The economic benefits of this vast works program never flowed to most workers, because fascism doesn’t look kindly on collective bargaining. But Germany did escape the Great Depression faster than other countries. Corporate profits boomed, and unemployment sank (and not because of slave labor, which didn’t become widespread until later).

We sure do live in funhouse times. The people that used to cry facist and Nazi at everything Bush did are now praising the Third Reich's economic policies. So, is it okay to call the president Nazi-like if it's a compliment? How did Leonhardt think this was a good idea?

Steven Green gets snarky:

What author David Leonhardt leaves out is one little tiny uncomfortable fact: Hitler’s plans required wars of global conquest no later than 1942-43 (that he got a global war in 1939 was an accident; he thought the Allies wouldn’t fight). Because after eight or nine years of Obamanomics Nazinomics, Germany was going to be out of money. Totally out of money.
So I’m thinking that sometime around summer 2017, we really ought to invade Poland.

Jonathan Tobin adds more

That’s right. Leonhardt believes that Adolf Hitler’s building of the autobahn, facilities for the 1936 Olympics, and other public works projects such as monuments to the Nazi Party “helped Germany escape the Great Depression faster than other countries.” Unmentioned by Leonhardt was Hitler’s vast expansion of the German military (long before the United States expanded its own armed forces) as well as the wealth that accumulated to various official arms of the state from the theft of Jewish properties. Later in the same piece, Leonhardt also lauds America’s World War II mobilization as showing the genius of a stimulus, though he fails to mention that along with all the tanks, planes, and ships that were built, nearly 15 million Americans were also under arms during the war. That helped lower unemployment too.
This doesn’t mean that Barack Obama is a card-carrying socialist or that he is plotting a rerun of Nazi Germany. What it does mean is that there is a slippery slope in arguments that assume statist economies and systems are a good thing. There is a price to be paid for putting so much power in the hands of government. Americans rightly tried to steer away from the excesses of the New Deal (such as the National Recovery Administration which arrogated to itself the right to decide virtually everything about the American economy). We repeat those mistakes or go further only at the peril of our prosperity and our liberties.

Emphasis added. The problem with arguing that statism is a good thing, that expanding the power of government over the individual in the name of fairness, the problem is... well... eventually you end up going "Maybe the Reich wasn't all bad. At least economically."

Looking at the date it was posted (March 31st)... could this all be some elaborate April Fool's joke?

And if so who is it on?

Some have said that if you lay out a facist platform and scrub it of any historical context, the Left would lap it up.

Goldberg's book showed how these ideas kept popping up with the Liberal/Progressives.
Is Leonhardt showing that you don't even have to whitewash facism, even Nazism, to make these ideas palatable?

What's going on?

Stephen Green's response: I wondered the same thing. But the article is dated March 31, and the whole thing is just so serious.

So if it's all a joke... man is it a straight-faced sardonic one.

And Stephen Green comes up with a corollary to Godwin’s Law: In any internet discussion, the first side to mention Hitler in defense of his argument shall be mocked, and mercilessly.

Speaking of sardonic satire.

Saturday Night Live has a sketch that asks: "What's so special about the Auto Companies? Why do they get "special attention" from Obama?"

Their response: Give Obama time. He'll get to the rest soon enough.

As hotair notes: Not so much “funny ha-ha” as “funny this-isn’t-nearly-as-far-from-reality-as-it-should-be.”

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