Our presidential election year has barely started, and already left-wing troublemakers are getting away with murder. In 2000, the NAACP produced an ad featuring James Byrd's daughter suggesting George W. Bush was forcing her to relive her father's pickup-dragging death by refusing to sign a "hate crimes" law. Now the radical haters at MoveOn.Org have used their Internet space to show ads comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler, and the media, so quick to condemn any negative ads produced by Republicans, are giving them a free ride.
Two 30-second Hitler spots were among more than 1,500 entries for a contest MoveOn.org sponsored to find one that ''tells the truth about George Bush's policies.'' The rules promised that "we're not going to post anything that would be inappropriate for television," signaling it's perfectly appropriate to compare the president to the author of the Holocaust.
One ad put graphics over pictures of Hitler speaking in German, graphics that somehow made Hitler and Bush both megalomaniacs channeling the will of God. "I believe I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator ... God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then He instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did." The ad ends with the words ''Sound familiar?'' on a black-and-white screen. The other Bush-Hitler ad ended with the message "What were war crimes in 1945 is foreign policy in 2003."
Republicans were understandably furious. "This is the worst and most vile form of hate speech," protested Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. Jewish groups also denounced the incivility. "Their lack of discretion cheapens the level of political discourse in America," said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. Even soul mates of the group were aghast. Liberal foreign policy analyst Mel Goodman, who was recommended to reporters a few weeks ago by MoveOn.org publicists, denied any connection to the group and said their ads were "beneath contempt."
Wes Boyd, a MoveOn.org founder, fired back, claiming Republicans were somehow "deliberately and maliciously" misleading the public by asserting that MoveOn.org had sponsored the advertisements, but even Boyd had to confess the group's officials "deeply regret" that the ads "slipped through our screening process."