- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
U.N. Dispatch‘s Mark Leon Goldberg, reporting on today’s House subcommittee hearings of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, quotes a very strange argument made by California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher:
Does progress on the Millennium Development Goals enhance American national security interests? The Obama administration apparently thinks so. They even included the MDGs and other development themes in their recent National Security Strategy…
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who is the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight apparently disagrees with this premise. At a subcommittee hearing on the MDGs that I attended this morning he railed against the very idea that security threats could emanate from poor countries. After, all, he said, "Adolf Hitler came from a developed country!"
Rohrabacher, who earned a spot on our "worst predictions" list last year by forcasting the ChiCom domination of the Panama Canal, has brilliantly elevated Godwin’s Law to previously unknown heights. He’s not even comparing a policy he doesn’t like to Nazism, he’s arguing that a policy should be opposed because it wouldn’t have prevented Nazism. (Put aside, for a moment, the fact that the 21st-century developing world is not exactly devoid of muderous dictators.)
With the rise of the Tea Party, it seems that American conservatives have opened up a healthy lead in the use of Hitler-related rhetoric — Sheldon Whitehouse, notwithstanding. Clearly, what the Democrats need right now to regain the rhetorical upper-hard are more Hitler-related arguments. Here are a few suggestions:
— The START treaty: You know who else didn’t honor his agreements with Russia? Hitler!
— The National Endowment for the Arts: You know what happens when aspiring artists can’t support themselves? Hitler!
— Cap and Trade: You know who else didn’t believe that global warming was caused by human activity? Hitler!
I look forward to the day when all U.S. policy debates will be conducted on the basis of what hypothetical Hitler would think.
Feel free to come up with your own Hitler arguments in the comments.