John Leo

The hard left decided long ago that George W. Bush is Hitler. In maddened corners of the Internet and at swastika-choked antiwar marches, Bush is shown with a Nazi uniform or a Hitler mustache. But does everyone on the far left believe this? Not at all. Some think that Dick Cheney is the real Hitler (he commands America’s “storm-trooper legions,” said former right-wing crackpot and current left-wing crackpot Lyndon LaRouche). Others think Don Rumsfeld is Hitler (both men favored mountain­top retreats, the Action Coalition of Taos points out). These comparisons are still being argued. Air Force veteran Douglas Herman, writing an op-ed piece in Florida, says Rumsfeld is more like Goering, since both men were fighter pilots, while LaRouche decided that Cheney isn’t just Hitler -- he’s Lady Macbeth as well.

Many on the left believe that either Ari Fleischer or Karl Rove is Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Or maybe Richard Perle is related to Goebbels. The September issue of Vanity Fair suggested that Perle could be Goebbels’s twin (side by side photos, headlined “Separated at birth?”).

Another vexing question about Rove: Is he Goebbels or Josef Mengele? Goebbels is the top choice among antiwar commentators, but a writer to the MetaFilter site said: “Karl Rove made up stories about John McCain, just as Josef Mengele conducted medical experiments on children in Auschwitz.”

One Internet site referred to Tom Ridge as Heinrich Himmler; another calls him head of “Homeland Security, the new Gestapo.” Colin Powell is Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, according to a posting on the Democratic Underground site. And Frank Rich of the New York Times managed to work a famous Nazi filmmaker into the mix. He wrote that the recent Showtime docudrama, DC 9/11: Time of Crisis, was so pro-Bush that it is “best viewed as a fitting memorial to Leni Riefenstahl.”

The common charge that Bush is Mussolini is controversial -- many leftists insist that the Mussolini role is reserved for Tony Blair, the junior partner of Bush’s Hitler. Cartoonist Aaron McGruder said on TV that Condoleezza Rice is a murderer but failed to give her any Nazi designation -- a big mistake by prevailing standards. On the same show, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond said, “I generally agree with [McGruder] 100 percent,” but he too failed to offer a good Nazi comparison.

Paul Wolfowitz is a challenge to lefty analysts, some of whom think his intellectual background is fascist (Jeffrey Steinberg in Executive Intelligence Review), while others believe he has Bolshevik roots (he is Trotsky’s ghost, according to Canadian journalist Jeet Heer).

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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