Guy Benson

Flag on the field.  Godwin's Law was confirmed in a particularly egregious manner over the weekend, this time by Left-wing attack dog Matt Yglesias, who contributed this appalling non-sequitur to the Democrats' manufactured feeding frenzy over Mitt Romney's tax returns:
 

RT @mattyglesias: You know who else had a secret Swiss bank account?


The link he included leads to a story from the UK Independent:
 

Bank accounts which may hold Adolf Hitler's royalties from Mein Kampf have been discovered by investigators on the trail of billions of pounds in stolen Jewish money and possessionsDeclassified intelligence documents at the US National Archives show that one of Hitler's closest confidantes opened the accounts at the Union Bank of Switzerland in Bern after the Fuhrer's book became required reading in German schools. The information, contained in an intelligence report by the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA, was uncovered by World Jewish Congress researchers in Washington under America's freedom of information legislation, and passed to the Jewish Chronicle. Among reports on movements of money under the heading "Objectionable Activities by Switzerland on Behalf of the Nazis", the late 1944 report says: "Telegram from Bern reported that information received in Bern indicates that accounts are held for Hitler in the Schweizerische Bankgesellschaft [UBS] by a German official named Max Ammann."


Can't you see the relevance?  Point 1: Hitler was a genocidal maniac who slaughtered millions of Jews throughout his barbaric quest for world domination.  He also appears to have channeled some of his assets into a Swiss bank account.  Point 2: Mitt Romney -- a noted non-genocidal former businessman who is running to be the 45th democratically-elected President of the United States -- might have opened off-shore accounts of his own at some point, according to some Democrats.  Conclusion: There are very disturbing and meaningful similarities between Adolf Hitler and Mitt Romney!  I look forward to Yglesias' hot scoop in October that Hitler's last name began with a consonant, just as Mitt Romney's does -- but unlike Barack Obama's pristine, un-Naziesque, vowel-laden surname.  All joking aside, this is tawdry, ugly stuff.  And lest you think I'm elevating an obscure crank just to make the Left look bad, Team Obama's chief spokesman (who was last heard from ham-handedly deflecting factual complications to his camp's relentless Bain attacks) amplified some of Yglesias' speculation about Romney's assets within two hours of the Hitler tweet.  New tone, and all that.  I'll leave you with three ironies:

(1) President Opaque's shameless campaign has decided to try to make their opponent's old tax returns a primary line of attack in this election.  This after another dreadful jobs report landed with a thud on Friday.  It's almost as if they're deliberately trotting out one irrelevant distraction after another in order to steer the public's attention away from Obama's abysmal record, or something.  They also happen to be doing so with zero regard for the truth; Obama's latest ad recycles the very "outsourcing" claims that have been thoroughly discredited by the Washington Post's fact-checker ("misleading, unfair, and untrue"), as well as FactCheck.org ("no evidence" supporting Obama's claims).  These attacks have been somewhat effective, driving down Romney's favorability and preventing him from opening up any significant lead over a period of several months.  That they rely on totally false allegations and innuendo is immaterial.  Democrats will keep on repeating them, and the media will continue to rap them on the wrist for dishonesty, even as the smears hit their mark.  Romney's team needs to respond much more forcefully and publicly.  This ad was a good start, but is only a start.

(2) According to a Reuters report, the intent behind Democrats' sudden renewed interest in Mitt Romney's tax returns (we've already learned that he paid what he owed and donated generously to charity in 2010 and 2011) is to paint the presumptive GOP nominee in a very specific negative light:
 

Democrats and Republicans tussled over the economy, but it was Romney's offshore assets that Democrats seized on during the Sunday talk shows in their quest to portray him as a wealthy man out of touch with ordinary Americans. Romney faces Obama in the November 6 election and polls indicate a close race.


Romney will never be Mr. Salt-of-the-Earth.  He's worked hard and enjoyed an immensely successful ("sterling," to quote President Clinton) business career, but he's also a bit of a stiff nerd.  As Jonah Goldberg has argued, the former Massachusetts Governor's campaign ought to just embrace that reality.  Romney may not seem like your next door neighbor, but he is an extremely competent executive who understands the economy -- unlike the ostentatiously empathetic, pandering, self-serving mess currently occupying the Oval Office.  Who would you rather have at the helm over the next four years?  It's also a bit unusual for Democrats to be tossing around the "out of touch" allegation after their nominee and party chairman just got through telling Americans how "happy" they are about Friday's "step in the right direction" on jobs.

(3) Finally, consider this quote from Robert Gibbs:
 

Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs, on CNN's "State of the Union," called on Romney to release years of back tax records to allow scrutiny of his adherence to tax law. Asked whether Romney had broken the law, Gibbs said, "Well, we don't know."


That, my friends, is the veritable definition of a political "fishing expedition" -- the very phrase faux-indignant Democrats repeatedly used to denounce the House Oversight Committee's investigation into the Fast & Furious scandal and its apparent cover-up.  The Holder DOJ has been forced to withdraw two false letters it sent to Congress, and Holder himself wandered perilously close to the perjury line in answering a question about the timeline of his knowledge regarding the operation.  Hundreds of the pages presented to Congressional investigators have been heavily or entirely redacted, and tens of thousands more documents remain under wraps.  With hundreds of innocents dead, including at least one US agent, the White House is stonewalling Chairman Issa's legitimate inquiry -- going so far as to involve the president and a dubious claim of executive privilege.  Yet this exact same crew is demanding years and years of Mitt Romney's tax returns, hoping that they will turn up some politically-exploitable evidence of the Republican's elitism.  Priorities.


UPDATE - Another Godwin's Law Red Alert, incoming from the Right.


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography