It’s in the nature of every authoritarian government to call its opponents traitors, or compare them to The Enemy. Bush’s government, with its “Of course a dictatorship would be easier, so long as I’m the dictator” slogan, is no different, with Rumsfeld’s “If you disagree with me, you’re a fascist” rhetoric.

Jeffrey Feldman suggests a way for the Democrats to counter Rumsfeld’s attack – if they have the spine.

But how should Progressives reframe this?  They can change the frame from ‘Nazis’ to Republican fear of being held accountable for what they have done.  But the word ‘accountable’ and ‘accountability’ or so unwieldy, so technocratic.  It is much better to respond to Rumsfeld’s outlandish Nazi comments by saying something along these lines:

  • Rumsfeld is campaigning again
  • Rumsfeld is afraid Democrats are about to regain control of Congress
  • Rumseld is worried he will soon have to answer for what he has done
  • Nothing scares Rumsfeld more that the fear of facing the American people
  • Facing the prospect of answering to the American people, Rumsfeld will accuse us of more and more outlandish crimes
  • Rumsfeld is lashing out like a cornered thief
  • The more he senses he might have to answer for his crimes, the more he will accuse his accusers

Rumsfeld’s campaign against Americans is a sign that he is looking up the road and sees himself sitting at a table in front of a Congressional committee chaired by Democrats.  And the more he senses that reality about to drop on him, the more he will up the ante in the PR war to cast Americans as treasonous turncoats.

And Progressives should keep turning up the heat.

I know that the West Wing is fiction, but there, when the President has an approval rating even at 45, the hyenas jump on him with ultra-conservative Congressional resolutions. Why aren’t the Democrats doing the same and trusting Bush’s abject lack of popularity to help them get a majority?

(via Avedon)

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