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Unfortunately, Calling Him A Pathetic Wanker Will Make Me Worse Than Pol Pot

[ 102 ] October 12, 2012 |

Shorter Verbatim Daniel Henninger: “The Obama campaign’s resurrection of “liar” as a political tool is odious because it has such a repellent pedigree. It dates to the sleazy world of fascist and totalitarian propaganda in the 1930s. It was part of the milieu of stooges, show trials and dupes. These were people willing to say anything to defeat their opposition. Denouncing people as liars was at the center of it.”

Calling people CommieNazis for pointing out that untrue things aren’t true, of course, is the highest refinement of political discourse.


Comments (102)

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  1. Njorl says:

    I just hope Republicans never do for murder what they’ve done for racism and lying.

  2. DocAmazing says:

    You know, Hitler had a dog, and so does Obama…

  3. c u n d gulag says:

    We can’t say “lie?”

    Oh well, then, we have to give up the fight – ’cause we’re screwed.

    We can’t use “prevarification,” or “mendacity” – those have more than one syllable, so the rubes in the this country won’t know what they mean.

    They’ll think the former is something you need to do before ‘varification,” and the latter is a city where the chicks aren’t allowed in.

    “Hey, Paulie, you start ‘varificating’ yet, or you wanna join me and go to the ‘men-dacity’ for a few cold ones, and watch the big game?”

  4. howard says:

    i used to be of the class of wall street journal reader who simply skipped the op-ed section and otherwise enjoyed the paper (murdoch put paid to that, but i digress).

    but, you know, i fly a lot on business and especially pre-digital media i would always bring a stack of papers to read, and every now and then, in a desperate moment, i would, in fact, go to the wsj op-ed section.

    and even by the standards of the usual gang of clods and idiots on those pages, henninger was completely deranged. glad to see nothing has changed since i’ve stopped reading the journal.

    p.s. the extra-special, super-delicious irony here is that there was no media outlet – not even fox – more frothing at the mouth upon the importance of impeaching, convicting, and removing from office bill clinton because he was a “liar” than the wsj.

  5. DrDick says:

    Criticizing conservatives for things they actually, do, say or believe is always worse than Hitler and Stalin combined! Labeling liberals with base canards is the height of civility.

    • L2P says:

      Remember when it was just accepted that Al Gore was scumbag liar who said he invented the internet? And remember when even implying that George Bush lied about the Iraq war was maybe treason and certainly a sign of godless communist fascism?

      Some things just don’t change I guess.

  6. ploeg says:

    I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends… that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. – Adlai Stevenson

  7. Joshua says:

    You can really tell that these people are desperate for this election. Was this how they acted in 2000 too?

    I am tempted to say that this is because they feel like this is their last and best chance to turn this country into the plutocracy they’ve always longed for, but we all know they’ll never quit.

  8. Glenn says:

    I’m getting bored with Hitler as the apotheosis of evil. Stalin and Pol Pot too. Can’t we get someone new? Vlad the Impaler, maybe? I like Vlad the Impaler.

    • DrDick says:

      I much prefer St. Ronnie Raygunz.

    • Malaclypse says:

      I’m voting for Tomás de Torquemada or Arnaud Amalric.

    • Rachel Carson, duh.

      A guy who used to get paid to shill for the cigarette companies told me she killed more people than Stalin.

      • Warren Terra says:

        I often wonder whether these anti-environmentalist nitwits can truly be so ignorant as not to be aware that DDT was never banned where it could serve a vital public-health function, and indeed is still used in malaria control to this day. DDT was banned in most circumstances, especially those we see in the wealthy temperate world, but never where it could save lives from malaria.

        • Or that Rachel Carson listed among her reasons for opposing the widespread use of DDT in agriculture the danger that it could lead to DDT-resistance mosquitoes, rending DDT useless for domestic application.

          The particular individual I’m talking about – Ron Bailey of Reason Magazine – knows these things perfectly well.

    • Jameson Quinn says:

      Genghis Khan. Scariest dude ever. Killed way more than Hitler.

      Columbus. OK, that one’s a stretch. Well, Cortez or Pizarro then. Or fucking Pedro de Alvarado.

      Cecil Rhodes.

      King Leopold.

      • John says:

        Genghis Khan certainly killed more people personally than Hitler (would Hitler have killed anybody personally? He was a messenger during the war, so he probably wouldn’t have, right?). I don’t see how it’s even vaguely possible that he was directly responsible for more deaths.

        • Jameson Quinn says:

          Genghis Khan: 40 million
          WWII: 66 million. Including the Pacific and Asian parts. Doubt that Hitler is 2/3 of that.

          Khan certainly wins proportionally.

          • Warren Terra says:

            No Hitler, no WWII as we recognize it. You can certainly argue that a similarly scaled war or collection of wars was inevitable – Germany was spoiling for a fight after the humiliation of Versailles, Imperial Japan wanted at least economic domination of everything from the Indian Ocean to Hawai’i and believed force of arms was the way to go, Stalin wanted Eastern Europe and global renown – but then, I have no idea what the Mongols might have done without Genghis Khan, either.

            • Jameson Quinn says:

              But you have at least 2 other supervillians running things in WWII, 2.1 if you count Mussolini. If you grant shares of 6, 2, 1, 0.5 of the blame, Hitler ties Genghis Khan in absolute numbers. And as a proportion of world population, it’s no contest.

          • John says:

            Where on earth is this 40 million number coming from?

          • ironic irony says:

            I thought the Mongols whole M.O. was to only kill those who resisted their rule (i.e. giving cities a chance to submit, or else the entire town be put to death or enslaved), and were more interested in tribute than in actually running the place (in Russia, they often left local leaders in place to run the day to day, but they had to pay up when the Mongols demanded it). Feel free to correct.

            Hilter was very much about totally destroying a couple of groups of people, and enslaving other groups.

            So in outright evil-ness, you could argue Hilter was more evil, but Genghis and his crew certainly personally killed more than Hitler did.

        • calling all toasters says:

          Bitch all you want, but Mongol was one of the most kick-ass movies ever.

      • John says:

        Pizarro always struck me as clearly more evil than Cortes. Pizarro’s behavior with respect to Atahualpa was clearly in bad faith, and more or less the kind of thing that a James Bond villain would do. Cortes was no prize, either, but he never acted like a cackling movie villain.

        • Jameson Quinn says:

          Which is why I replaced Cortez with Pedro de Alvarado. He’s the cackling villain of the Mexican conquest.

          • Cody says:

            I always assumed Cortez was just dumb and really lucky with his impeccable timing and well-played political tactics. Pretty sure the other Natives were just using him to advance their means, but man did they ever misjudge the white man.

      • heckblazer says:

        No love (hate?) for Tamerlane?

    • Manju says:


      I think the numbers are on his side, ie he killed the most (according to some prof at the U of Hawaii whose name eludes me and btw I forgot to pay my monthly google account bill so i can’t look it up).

      Why not Stalin, you may be wondering? Well, we RWingers see his use as a sort of dogwhistle. “Stalin was evil” is a way for lefties to avoid saying Communism was. So I don’t want to provide you with the out.

      Mao still commands some respect, so he’s a more cutting rebuke to the left. I’m open to Lenin. Big Byrd too.

      • Warren Terra says:

        “Mao still commands some respect” – where, pray tell? Between the Cultural Revolution and the scheme to put a horrifically inefficient and polluting iron smelter in every backyard, Mao’s record is antithetical to the ambitions of every part of the liberal ooalition that I can think of. Indeed, the people demanding self-criticism and enforcing ideological unanimity are the aptly named Dittoheads, not the people grooving to the professorial demeanor of Rachel Maddow.

        Mao had some good slogans about nationalistic popular revolt, insights that were probably not novel but were pithy and remain important considerations to this day. If only the Bushies had read them before they decided it would be nifty to occupy Iraq! But I doubt the parts of Mao that you oppose are his advocacy for popular nationalist revolt against foreign-backed corrupt kleptomaniacal autocracies and direct foreign occupation.

        • Malaclypse says:

          “Mao still commands some respect” – where, pray tell?

          If you lack any sense of irony, here.

          Or, if you insist on wallowing in the 1960s, which I know Manju would never ever do, you can find a bunch of New Left types insisting Mao was a Third Way innovator.

          • Holden Pattern says:

            Something something International A.N.S.W.E.R. something something anti-war rallies something something.

            Never mind that International A.N.S.W.E.R. hijacked the anti-war movement, they didn’t represent it.

        • John says:

          I believe that the current Chinese regime contends that Mao was correct 70% of the time.

          • Warren Terra says:

            I should perhaps clarify that I meant among American liberals, which I might be willing to expand to Canadian or even Western liberals (I believe, without knowing any details, that there are or perhaps were rather more florid and extreme leftist groups popular, mostly among students, in the UK and some European countries, groups that lack any remotely popular parallels in the US in the last four decades).

        • DrDick says:

          In Manju’s fevered and hallucinatory imagination, just like everything else he posts about.

        • Manju says:

          “Mao still commands some respect” – where, pray tell?

          Anita Dunn

          • Timb says:

            Wow, Manju’s quoting noted poop scholar Glen Beck.

            • Warren Terra says:

              To traduce Anita Dunn – who was making an obvious joke that she turned out to have stolen from noted leftist Lee Atwater.

              • The Dark Avenger says:

                Clueless Manju, trying to throw mud in the place of ‘scholarship’:


                A veteran political operative, Dunn, as interim White House Communications Director, took the lead in the Obama administration’s criticism of the Fox News Channel.[5] On Sunday, October 11, 2009, she appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources and was asked to clarify a statement she made to Time magazine regarding Fox News, “it’s opinion journalism masquerading as news.”[6] She responded by saying, “if you were a Fox News viewer in the fall election, what you would have seen would have been that the biggest stories and biggest threats facing America were a guy named Bill Ayers and something called ACORN. The reality of it is that Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.”[7] She added, “And it’s not ideological. Obviously, there are many commentators who have conservative, liberal, centrist, and everybody understands that. But I think what is fair to say about FOX and certainly the way we view it is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party.”[8]

                Following her statements, Fox News host Glenn Beck played on his show a portion of a speech Dunn gave at a high school graduation, during which she referenced Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa as two of her “favorite political philosophers.”[9] Beck stated that the speech revealed Dunn as a Maoist, while Dunn stated that her reference was meant to be ironic, and was a quote borrowed from Republican strategist Lee Atwater.[10]

    • Bill Murray says:

      Why do you have to be such a speciesist. I’m going with The Black Plague. Think of all the rats that killed along with some people.

      La peste noire as they said in France or la nigra pesto in Esperanto. The Republicans will know what you are talking about

    • arguingwithsignposts says:

      Are there no popes available?

    • Keaaukane says:

      Abdul Alhazred, writer of the Necronomicon? He even sounds Islamic, though Pam Geller thinks his actual religion was not as bad as Islam.

  9. mark f says:

    Future Daniel Henninger, next time a Republican president is running for re-election:

    You know who else campaigned against an incumbent?

  10. david mizner says:

    In fact, unfortunately, the most an Obama official has said is that Romney lied — that’s different from calling someone a liar. For inspiration, Obama advisers should look to Republicans like Bob Dornan, who called Bill Clinton a “pathological liar” or William Safire, who called Hillary a “congenital liar,” or, of course, Joe Wilson, who called Obama a liar during the State of the Union. Now that’s how you do it.

    When it comes to calling opponents liars, Democrats, as usual, are mere pikers compared to Republicans.

  11. Remember when conservatives hated moral relativism? Now it’s all they have, as there is no such thing as objective truth. And Godwin of course, he’ll always be there. Just like the Third Reich.

  12. Semanticleo says:

    When Dianne Sawyer interviewed Obama, her questions reminded me of what Nixon said regarding her; “That smart girl from Ron Ziegler’s office”

    Yes, the liars need their lies promulgated with regularity. But, this latest gambit is one of desperation. It’s almost like they believe we are lying, but can’t stand to see us do it better. The truth has become something akin to ‘white lies’, or lesser lies from their perspective; neutered, ineffective in moving the chess piece while your opponent takes a potty break. We can fact-check each of the supposed lies to throw it back in their faces, but it doesn’t matter when their brains exist primarily to justify what they’ve already decided.

    Ben Franklin

  13. Cody says:

    It is really upsetting. Thank god no Republican has ever called Obama a liar.

    It’s disturbing that in the midst of calling Obama a bad person for saying someone has lied, he in fact lied about the lying on the Right.

    I’m still holding out on Obama campaigning to give everyone free Unicorns, and when the Right claims he’s lying we can just tell them they’re commies! The media would be totally okay with that, right?

  14. el donaldo says:

    I seem to have made it my personal mission to remind everyone every time Daniel Henninger’s name comes up that he’s the one that blamed the 2008 financial collapse on Jews and secularists because we don’t say Merry Christmas anymore:

  15. Deggjr says:

    Thank goodness no one ever wrote a book called ‘Liberal Fascism’. Of course if someone wrote such a book it would only sell one or two copies.

    • Semanticleo says:

      I seem to recall an anorexic makes her living doing just that :)

    • Manju says:

      Well, just be glad they don’t know what DW-Nominate is. I mean, really, they don’t. Even when they stumble across it:

      And protest:

      Think of it like this. A right-wing legislator in the “bipartisan” 1960s would likely have opposed the Civil Rights Act, but a modern, “extremist” right-wing legislator would almost certainly vote for its extension. Looking at it another way, a vote against the Civil Rights Act in 1964 would earn you a 1. Today, you’d earn a 1 by voting against affirmative action.

      I was going to pop in and explain, but I think it best we keep this stuff amongst ourselves.

      • The Dark Avenger says:

        So that means that Perry in Tx is an extremist, because he’s against affirmative action?

        Perry’s appointments of African-Americans are significant and in some ways ground-breaking and they can and should be applauded. But Perry’s appointments of prominent blacks also follows the template that conservative GOP Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr. and George W. Bush established. Bush’s appointments of Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Rod Paige, as Secretary of Education were hailed as ultimate proof that GOP conservatives really do believe in merit not color.

        • Manju says:

          So that means that Perry in Tx is an extremist, because he’s against affirmative action?

          Not necessarily. The AEI’s interpretation of the graph is wrong.

          • Holden Pattern says:

            How would you know?

            • Manju says:

              Take a look at this sentence:

              A right-wing legislator in the “bipartisan” 1960s would likely have opposed the Civil Rights Act,

              Now, lets take every Senator from the 88th Congress whose DW Nominate score is to the right of the (then) most rightwing Democrat, Strom Thurmond.

              [R] 0.680 N SIMPSON
              [R] 0.675 N GOLDWATER
              [R] 0.610 Y WILLIAMS J
              [R] 0.553 N MECHEM
              [R] 0.506 Y CURTIS
              [R] 0.474 N TOWER
              [R] 0.464 Y HRUSKA
              [R] 0.460 Y BENNETT
              [R] 0.412 N COTTON
              [R] 0.384 N HICKENLOOPE
              [R] 0.377 Y JORDAN L.
              [R] 0.376 Y DOMINICK
              [R] 0.336 Y MILLER
              [R] 0.328 Y DIRKSEN

              I’ve included their vote on the 64cra. 8 Y’s and 6 N’s.

              (Thurmond pops in at 0.321)

            • DrDick says:

              The voices in his head tell him, which is a good thing since he obviously has the reading comprehension of a backward third grader.

  16. synykyl says:

    …. These were people willing to say anything to defeat their opposition …

    Is Henninger talking about the Nazis here, or Romney and Ryan?

  17. Halloween Jack says:

    Henninger actually says this thing: “This Obama campaign is saying, We don’t want to compete with Mitt Romney. We want to obliterate him.” Because it’s all just a friendly game of cards, of course.

  18. Major Kong says:

    OK – let’s just say that Mitt has a rather, ahem, casual relationship with the truth.

  19. Roger Ailes says:

    Pathetic wanker?

    Danny’s justifiably proud of his wanking skills.

  20. What’s the pedigree of using “shit for brains”? Because that’s what Henninger’s obviously got.

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