We’ve been doing a lot of Ad Hitlerem–spotting these days at the NS, but, hey, it’s the season of the Godwin.Â Check out the statement from Brenda Barton (R) from Arizona on Facebook:
Someone is paying the National Park Service thugs overtime for their efforts to carry out the order of De Fuhrer… where are our Constitutional Sheriffs who can revoke the Park Service Rangers authority to arrest??? Do we have any Sheriffs with a pair?
I object for a few reasons.Â First is just linguistic.Â It’s der Fuhrer.Â Second is analogical – how in any way is using the force charged with protecting the parks to close the parks like Hitler’s abuse of power in Germany? And park service rangers are given police force training.
Here’s the rich part.Â Barton’s responded to criticism of her post, and she’s issued the following clarification.
What I did suggest, rather directly, was that the National Park Service enforcement personnel (referring to them as ‘thugs’ for their reported behavior) were simply following orders of ‘their leader’ â€“ and I used the German phrase for emphasis, Der Fuhrer. . . .I am referencing the Presidents behavior as indicated by his actions. The Merriam-Webster New Collegiate Dictionary defines ‘Fuhrer’ as ‘(2) a leader exercising tyrannical authority. . . . As many are aware, some recent comments of mine on Facebook have touched a sensitive nerve with many people. Additionally, many have simply taken my posting out of its contextual environment. . .Â Had I chosen my words differently, or had the President offered to use the power of his office to lessen or mute the public impacts of this impasse in Washington, we might not be having this discussion.
OK, so the defense is as follows:
1. When I use ‘De Fuhrer’ I just mean ‘tyrant’
2. When I used the term it was for emphasis, and to take it as more is to take it out of context.
3. It’s the president’s fault that I had to compare him to Hitler.
Point-for-point, silly.Â In fact, to use 1 and 2 together is inconsistent.Â The term ‘Fuhrer’ has the emphasis it does not because its usage as leader, or even tyrant, but as THAT tyrant named Adolph.Â The context of using ‘Fuhrer’ is the context of exemplifying Godwin’s Law.Â 3 is amazing.Â In effect – it’s not my fault that I can’t think of another apt analogy… I mean the guy’s literally like Hitler when he does this!Â Â (This is, really, a case of instead of backing away from the Ad Hitlerem, but embracing it!)