Reductio ad Hitlerum – FT#109

Reductio ad Hitlerum – FT#109

Show Notes

Reductio ad Hitlerum is committed when someone compares their opponent to Hitler without due cause, usually in a Herculean avoidance of nuance.


We started out by this tweet from Trump:

We followed that with this (non-exhaustive) string of examples from batshit Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene

  • Jan. 11, 2019 Before her run for office, Greene took aim at a conservative who praised the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, tweeting that it’s “kind of like saying, while I don’t agree with Hitler, you have to admit what he accomplished in his lifetime is impressive.”
  • Feb. 15, 2019 Greene appeared to invoke a debunked conspiracy theory that liberal megadonor George Soros, who is Jewish, was a Nazi collaborator, tweeting of Soros, “the Nazi himself trying to continue what was not finished.”
  • May 22, 2021 Greene said this about a House mask mandate on a conservative podcast: “You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star. And they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany. And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”
  • May 25, 2021 Greene tweeted about a supermarket that added logos to vaccinated employees’ badges.“ Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazis forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,”
  • May 28, 2021 At a rally with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Greene pointed to the fact the Nazi Party was officially the “National Socialist German Workers’ Party” to claim they were “just like” the Democratic Party, which she said is “now a national socialist party.”
  • June 15, 2021 Green visited the Holocaust museum and apologised.
  • July 6, 2021 Greene likened the Biden administration’s plan to launch a “door-to-door” vaccine information effort to a Nazi paramilitary group, tweeting that people “don’t need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door.”
  • Feb. 9 2022 Greene accused “Nancy Pelosi’s gazpacho police” of spying on Members of Congress.
  • Sep. 2 2022 Greene tweeted “Joe Biden is Hitler. #NaziJoe has to go”

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about the news story that led to this tweet from former MP Ian Austin:

Then he looked at this comment from Keir Starmer:

Which led to this confusing insult:


Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the Wild we looked at this clip from Community

Then we discussed this clip from Office Space

We also talked about this clip from Fawlty Towers

And we finished with this song


Fake News

Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game:

  1. Now, I shouldn’t say it to the people in this room — because, you know, a couple of you are a little marginal about this. But I came up with this expression — it’s called, Drain the swamp, right? Drain the swamp.
  2. I’m the one that came up with the term rigged system, and I said it a year and a half ago pertaining to my system. And frankly, had I not won all of these states by massive landslides, I wouldn’t be standing here.
  3. So I called the media, the fake news media, enemies of the people. I came up with that phrase, I was very proud of it. People said I went too far, but I really believe that’s what they are, OK? Enemies of the people.

Mark got it right this week, and is now on 48%


Human Trafficking is not a logical fallacy

We talked about the unbelievable treatment of 50 Venezuelan immigrants by Florida Man Ron DeSantis


The stories we really didn’t have time to talk about

  • After three and a half years of gathering evidence, New York Attorney General Leticia James finally filed her civil lawsuit against Trump last week. Given the number of legal battles Trump is currently facing, I wouldn’t blame you for wondering which one this is, so let me explain. When Trump paid his property taxes in New York he claimed his properties were tiny little run-down hovels too small for even a mouse, but when he used them as collateral for loans, he claimed they were sparkling magical palaces built from jewels and gold nuggets mined by hand and licked clean by unicorns. I’m only being slightly facetious – according to Tish James, Trump inflated the value of Mar a Lago by almost 1000%. Donald isn’t the only target of the lawsuit, which also names the Trump Organization, Don Jr, Ivanka, and, presumably just to make him feel like part of the team, Eric. Penalties sought by the lawsuit include $250 million in recovered assets, a five year ban on Donald buying any property in New York, and a permanent ban on Donald or any of his three oldest children running a business in New York at all.  Which sounds to me like a small town sheriff in a Jack Reacher book telling him to leave town and not come back, but with actual repercussions for someone other than the sheriff. Are we being optimistic in thinking that the Trumps might face some actual consequences for their actions even one time? Maybe, but given that this case is based on documents rather than witnesses, and documents are harder to intimidate, maybe it’s finally time for a bit of optimism.  
  • Just as Trump apparently hired lackeys/caddies to follow him round the golf course telling him he was an all round good guy if conveniently skirting round his prowess as a golfer/links-cheat it appears Trump’s doing the same on Truth Social “There always seems to be a correlation between the amount of times Trump is amplifying QAnon accounts and periods where I’d say he’s under stress,” Media Matters senior researcher Alex Kaplan told The Daily Beast. “QAnon accounts are usually ones that are giving him praise and reassurances, which I’m sure he likes.” Ever mindful of the optics of how this affects his previous plausible deniability stance, no no he isn’t he can’t remember which lies he’s told when and how often or to whom – Trump seems to have forgone all pretence of not knowing who QAnon are who Q is (unless it’s still him and not amateur opera singer and kung fu practitioner Ron Watkins) in an attempt to boost membership of Truth Social and thus allow them to continue to churn a steady flow of nonsense for Trump and his defenders to pluck and deploy in a smokescreen they hope will separate them from any semblance of accountability. I guess in a way it’s crowd-sourcing Trump policy, but just as it says on the tin folks; the Truth is out there!
  • Trump has not had a great couple of weeks, legally speaking. After his hand-picked judge, Aileen Cannon, appointed one of his suggestions, Judge Raymond Dearie as Special Master in the Mar a Lago documents case, he probably thought it was going pretty well, especially since the DOJ had to appeal to the 11th Circuit, one of the most conservative appeals courts in the country, in the hope of getting Judge Cannon overruled.  But then the Special Master started doing his job, and he started by saying, and I’m paraphrasing here, “What the fuck is this bullshit?” After pointing out that the court doesn’t get to decide whether documents are classified or not, he asked Trump to provide, you know, evidence for some of their claims. Like specifically which documents did you declassify, and can you prove that please, and also which documents are you claiming the FBI planted? Meanwhile, a three judge panel from the 11th Circuit, which included two Trump appointees, ruled on the DOJ’s appeal. The ruling said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “What the fuck is this bullshit?” Around halfway through their 29 page ruling they concluded that “the district court abused its discretion” in ruling for Trump and then spent the next 12 pages pointing out all the ways Cannon fucked up in applying the law. Well, ignoring the law to give Trump what he wanted, anyway.  The upshot is that the FBI can continue using the documents for their criminal and national security investigations, and neither the Special Master or Trump’s lawyers will be allowed to look at the classified documents.
  • It’s nearing Halloween/the mid-term elections and even Bill Clinton has appeared out of the swirling mists pointing out to CNN on Sunday “Republicans always close well. Why? Because they find some new way to scare the living daylights out of swing voters.” This year cos we’re not yet in ‘They’re banning Xmas Season’ RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel pointed back at Clinton and Democrats saying “You’re scaring voters everywhere with the open border, I mean, just last month, 2,000 pounds of fentanyl came across our border. That could kill 500 million people. We’re coming into Halloween and every mom in the country is worried, ‘What if this gets into my kid’s Halloween basket?’” cos of course that’s why dealers have been colouring their product; not to distinguish it from their competitors but to attract children to the bright yummy colours like some kind of mashup of Willy Wonka’s Candyman and Chitty’s Child-Catcher – come to think of it that’s exactly who Ronna reminds me of a greasy fat version of Robert Helpman prancing around in her pointy hair driving the RNC childcage thinly disguised as a limousine – the cage that is, not her – oh I dunno though! But it’s not just Ronna; Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn and Joni Ernst have been dealing the stuff to the minds of the easily led:  “From June to July, fentanyl seizures were up 203% at the southern border,” Blackburn tweeted last month. And Ernst wrote a few weeks later. “Enough fentanyl to completely wipe-out entire cities in the U.S. has been seized at the Southern border,” The key word there of course is ‘seized’, which means it didn’t make it into the country — but that’s irrelevant. Candy-coloured fear is all the Republicans have, now that abortion is clearly not a winner for the party, nor indeed are most of its other policy positions, so they’ve reverted to border control oh and steering well clear of the actual evidence fact-based truth.
  • Kash Patel, minor Trump administration official and major post loss Trump water carrier, spent a considerable amount of time trying to convince TV hosts that Trump really did declassify all those documents, but even he didn’t make the claim that Trump seemingly came up with during a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity this week, that when you’re the President you can declassify documents “Just by saying it’s declassified. Even by thinking about it. Imagine if that was true! “Is this document top secret? It says top secret on the cover”. “Sure, but maybe the President declassified it in his mind and didn’t tell anyone about it. It’s probably fine”. What the fuck? But there’s a more important news story about Kash Patel that we somehow missed back in May. I’m not saying it’s connected, but it was on the day we went to that beer festival in my local village. Anyway, Kash wrote a children’s book about the Russia investigation, called The Plot Against the King, in which Good King Donald is targeted by the wicked Hillary Queenton, and since he is a Republican and therefore doesn’t even understand the concept of shame, let alone has any himself, the plot is foiled by King Donald’s faithful wizard, ‘Patel’. And because the GOP stands so strongly against the indoctrination of children, last month Kash released a sequel which seems designed to make all Mark’s dreams come true. It’s The Plot Against the King Part 2: 2000 Mules, in which “two inquisitive minds, Dinesh and Debbie, search for the truth and uncover evidence of a terrible scheme to elect Sleepy Joe instead of King Donald on Choosing Day”. Yes, Dinesh D’Souza’s version of the book of the film was just a boring old book full of words for adults who can read above a fifth grade level, but Kash knows his audience and made a version for Trump supporters.
  • We here at Fallacious Towers are all-in for any Trump-based/Trump-adjacent media – we watched Home Sweet Home Alone for no other reason for godsakes – (don’t you do it by the way – save your sanity, become a patron and listen to our episodes on why you shouldn’t!) And so it seems are the publishers of Servants of the Damned: Giant Law Firms, Donald Trump, and the Corruption of Justice New York Times’ business investigations editor David Enrich’s new book – out now. Okay you might not be interested in an exposé of the Jones Day law firm but one anecdote may prick your ears up. Back in the 1990s, “a lawyer at a white-shoe law firm” who worked for Trump confronted him about a $2 million bill he refused to pay: barging into Trump Tower incandescent with rage the lawyer was not offered a cheque and humble apology but rather Trump opened a drawer and got out a deed for a stallion, which he maintained. ‘It’s worth $5m.’ Enrich reports that “once he regained the capacity for speech”, the lawyer to whom Trump offered a stallion supposedly worth $5m “stammered … ‘This isn’t the 1800s. You can’t pay me with a horse.’” Several questions occur to us, and to Intelligencer reporter Margaret Hartman, including – Trump filing systems? Couldn’t find hundreds of Top Secret documents in a storeroom specifically used for storing them, but could find deeds to a horse. $5Million? Will he have blamed the Horse-Valuing Association for not checking the horse’s mouth when it turns out to be worth less than Mr Ed’s Stunt Double? And what was the horse’s name so we can check how it did in our copy of Gray’s Sports Almanac from Back to the Future 2? Also how did the lawyer not bankrupt the firm and yet they still became subject of Enrich’s book? Guess we’ll never know – cos we sure ain’t gonna take the bait and buy it! 
  • In today’s GOP, it’s pretty hard to go so far that you lose the support of your own party. Remember, this is a party which still embraces Matt Gaetz. But Ohio Congressional candidate JR Majewski seems to have done it. You may remember Majewski as the guy who painted a 19,000 square foot Trump banner on his lawn, leading Trump to give him just about the laziest endorsement ever, where he said “he’s a great guy and he’s in there fighting for whatever the hell he’s fighting for. I don’t care. I love him, J.R. Majewski.” The National Republican Congressional Committee has withdrawn the million dollars of ad spending they had booked for Majewski’s district in the weeks running up to the midterms. It’s not because he was at the Capitol on Jan 6 and has since said he’s pissed at himself for not going inside, it’s obviously not for his support of Q Anon conspiracy theories or denial of the election results. No, the straw that broke the elephant’s back was claiming that he had served in Afghanistan. The Associated Press checked and, well, he didn’t.  He was in the military, spending six months loading planes at an air base in Qatar, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of – military service in general is seen as a positive in a campaign, but stolen valor is too much even for Republicans. Majewski’s desperate claim that the reason the AP couldn’t find any evidence he served in Afghanistan was that his deployment was classified didn’t convince anyone, least of all Trump, who immediately declassified it just by thinking about it. 
  • In the Disunited Mess of Unlevel Britain this week – good news – a politician does what they said they would Liz Truss said she’d cut taxes in order to get voted in and she has yaaay – cue the sounds of triumphant end of empire violins – is that Nero at the front I can see? Cos oh no sorry there’s bad news – it’s only actually for the 346,000 odd people who earn more than £150,000 a year; they’ll get several more thousand pounds to spend in a new iteration of the even-Michael-Gove-lambasted trickle-down economic model; which works basically like this: I see a homeless person (perhaps one who was cleared from the streets so the people queuing to file past the Queen’s coffin could more comfortably be seen to be sleeping on the streets in a national demonstration of subservient forelock-tugging) I feel sorry for the fate of that person so I drive to nearest rich person’s house – up the road in Mayfair – and post a ten-pound note through their door in the belief, faith, hope nay propagandised certain knowledge that it will thus benefit the destitute immediately and directly…weee-eeell okay then, eventually once growth has occurred now we’ve left the EU – the fastest growing trading block in the world btw. On the upside the Tories have revealed their true colours as the Nasty Party again – a party that Labour recognises as the old enemy and knows how to fight. And yet still twitter is alive with #neverlabour. Thankfully including some tongue-in-cheekiness from  Richard Littler – Creator of Scarfolk Summing it up with “If Labour get in, I could lose everything! Never Labour! I’d rather vote Conservative and lose everything twice over than vote for Labour!” The project is complete folks, in our Brave New World Soma has been distributed to all via the Daily Mail, the Period of National Mourning and Strictly Come Dancing, people described as demonstrating cos they’re  holding up blank pieces of paper in the monarch-mourning crowd have been arrested; it’s all over  – would the last one to leave please switch off the lights – oh no they’re off already cos we can’t afford to keep them on.

That’s all for this week, thanks for listening!

Jim Cliff

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