Rep. Cohen had a discussion with CNN’s Anderson Cooper where Mr. Cooper was incapable of getting the Congressman to understand that sprinkling your statements with Nazi references is incendiary and runs counter to recent statements from many on the left, including Congressman Cohen himself, to tone down the rhetoric surrounding our political discourse.
In Congressman Cohen’s view, comparing an organization (the Tea Party) with “George Wallace‘s fan club” minus the “hoods” and “robes” isn’t an incendiary reference to the Ku Klux Klan, it’s is simply an accurate description of the Tea Party.
In Congressman Cohen’s view, comparing Republicans to Goebbels and making references to “lies about the Jews” and the Holocaust are simply reasonable ways to describe Republican efforts to repeal Health Care Reform. His premise is that Goebbels was the master of propaganda (he wasn’t, Goebbels learned “everything he knew about propaganda” from Edward Bernays’ book “Crystallizing Public Opinion”), and since the Republicans are repeating a simple lie over and over again to achieve a victory (as Goebbels, who studied Bernays, teaches) it is a fair comparison.
Of course, Congressman Cohen went on to explain he was merely describing the ascension of the Klan and comparing it to the Tea Party, not equating the two, and he was referring to the lies the Nazis used to discredit the Jews and the lies the Republicans are spreading, not equating the two organization… But when Anderson Cooper points out there are other ways to make the same point, Congressman Cohen says: “I won’t say it again, but I was right.”
The Congressman’s pleas for reigning in reckless speech in Roll Call can be seen here.