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Breaking the "Hyperbole Meter"
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, June 09, 2005

You know, my "hyperbole meter" gets pegged pretty regularly these days by the likes of Dean, Pelosi and Reid. But setting a new high (or low, depending on how you look at it) today is Charles Rangel in remarks made on a radio show interview. It seems that Rangel, in an effort to make the "Downing Street Memo" relevant, has characteristically resorted to the most tortured and inappropriate attempt yet to condemn the war in Iraq. This even tops the Amnesty International characterization of the military prisons as gulags. Godwin's Law alert:
"It's the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country," Rangel told WWRL Radio's Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter. "This is just as bad as six million Jews being killed. The whole world knew it and they were quiet about it, because it wasn't their ox that was being gored."
Is it any wonder when people like Charles Rangel and Howard Dean represent the Democrat Party that anyone, even relative moderates on the right, are going to be condemned by them as "extremists".

If someone feels compelled to label anything as extreme, it is this sort of rhetoric and this sort of comparison which is extreme. And it isn't at all useful. In fact it displays an ignorance that borders on abject stupidty. I can't imagine a way a truly intelligent person could make that sort of an inept comparison. Only someone not thinking or incapbable of thinking would.

Another in a long line of divisive comments from the left which may cheer their extreme base but pushes reasonable people further and further away from them.

UPDATE [Jon Henke]—(via Polipundit and Malkin) Charlie "perspective" Rangel:
The Iraq war "is the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country. ... This is just as bad as the 6 million Jews being killed," the [Charlie Rangel] insisted during a Monday radio appearance ... "I am saying that people's silence when they know things terrible are happening is the same thing as the Holocaust."
If you recall, when Rick Santorum made a similarly offensive "Hitler" comparison a few weeks ago, Oliver Willis noted a few right wing blogs and wrote: "Not one of these blogs has a single word on Rick Santorum calling the entire Democratic party Nazis. That's how they work, folks. This is how they do it." When Instapundit, the very next morning, put up a post decrying Santorum's remarks, Willis wrote "Yeah it just took him 24 hours to do it."

In the interest of fairness, I'll note that it's been 24 hours since Rangel's remarks, with not "a single word" from Oliver Willis on Rangel's comment. It's also been over 3 months since Senator Byrd's Hitler comparison, without "a single word" from Oliver on that front.

Of course, one must recall that, so long as there's "nothing to be gained here", Oliver is perfectly happy to excuse his own side, while still demanding that the other side condemn the the distasteful utterances of their leaders. Of course, that puts him squarely in the mainstream of the 'Sphere:Left, as a glance at Memeorandum will disclose.

That's how he works, folks. That's how he does it.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

What is this "Downing Street Memo"? I’ve only ever heard of it in the context of US politics.. no one over this side of the pond seems to be talking about it (unless they did and we called it something else). If that’s the case it certainly says something about its veracity..

Either way, enlighten me someone...
Written By: Chez
It’s a memo from a British official describing the lead-up to war, and indicating that the intelligence was being "fixed around the policy". Some take that to mean that we were making stuff up to fit the desire for regime change, some take it to mean that we were gathering the intelligence necessary to pursue the policy of regime change in Iraq. (though, whether that was by military, diplomatic or other means was unclear) I think the latter is the case. Critics differ.
Written By: Jon Henke
Many thanks to internet denizens for pointing out this factoid called Godwin’s Law. In many social environments it has enabled me to get away quickly from a potentially explosive situation in favor of a visit with my old friend from Glenlivet, Scotland. :-)
Written By: D
URL: http://
Rangle’s comments point up exactly what I’ve been saying all along: Howard Dean is where he is because he represents the Democrats perfectly. What this slime is mouthing is at the exact root of the Democratic party today.

And very their public complaints about him are all for show.

Written By: Bithead
It’s coming, we all see it coming down the pike so can the Dems just skip the next increments on the escalating lunacy scale and just do what they really want to do: publically call for the asassinations of Bush and the evil GOP?

You think I’m nuts on this one? You tell me, what’s the next logical step to the rhetoric? Bush and the GOP are liars, evil, HITLERIAN, murderers, torturers, criminals who never worked an honest day in their lives, racists gulag jailers, oligarchs, immoral, committing crimes on a par with the holocaust, knew about 9/11 in advance, uber-religious zealots, dangerous extermists, don’t care about the country, are corrupt etc etc etc. according to rhetoric from MAINSTREAM DEM PARTY LEADERS. You tell me, where does the rhetoric go from here? GOP campaign offices were already broken into, vandalized, shot up and rioted in during the last election cycle. Bush is regularly depicted in leftist "art" with guns at his head or wearning Nazi regalia. Air fucking America ran a GWB asassination skit (but they apologized for it later on how big of them)

Not going to be very long until someone takes a potshot...
Written By: shark
URL: http://
McQ - On the one hand, good call here mocking Oliver Willis, who of course is beyond parody as far as partisan Kool-Aid drinking.

On the other hand, there’s a lot of merit to taking the pledge.
Written By: Crank
Actually, I wrote the part about Willis. I’ve seen the pledge, but I get pleasure out of pointing out his rather obvious hypocrisy.
Written By: Jon Henke
On the serious side, if you want to join Rangel’s campaign
Written By: Turner
URL: http://
Sorry Jon, I was switching back between the comments and the post too quickly.

I went over to his site to check it out - man, he’s gone way further off the deep end even than he had the last time I was there back in December or so.
Written By: Crank
Yes, Rangel compares the silence of the masses in two situations and its the end of the world. Santorum calls the Democratic party a bunch of Nazis.

Yep, same thing.
Written By: Oliver
You know full well he didn’t "call the Democratic Party a bunch of Nazi’s". Santorum simply said that the Democrats were doing something as improper and audacious as Hitler telling the Allies not to bomb Paris. It’s a hell of a long way from that to "you guys are Nazi’s".

Of course, lots of us on the Right condemned Santorum. How many people on the left condemned Byrd? Rangel? Even you, after bitching about Instapundit taking 24 hours to criticize Santorum, have just taken the fucking year off with regards to criticizing Democrats. You’re the clown fucking prince of "my side, right or wrong".
Written By: Jon Henke
Amazing how much rhetoric Mr.Rangel’s comments have stirred up, when the real issue that should be debated is the contents of the Downing Street Memo and its implications. The blog elite swarm to condem Rangel’s remarks yet seem reluctant to fully examine a document that may well burst the bubble about the validity of their war. I’m not saying his comments were appropriate, what I am saying is that what is important and should be of interest to all is usually put on the backburner in favor of the inflamatory statement or issue. If we held our politicians just as accountable for what they do instead of what they say we would be in a lot better shape as a country today.
Written By: JR
URL: http://
I made this comment on Dean’s World about the memo.

I read the Downing Street Memo and thought, "What smoking gun?" It reads like a summary of the discussion going on in the blogosphere. It’s tone is uncertain, and every single point it makes on both sides were points that were being made in public on news shows, talk radio and in the blogosphere at the time.

Where’s the smoke in a memo by someone who clearly hasn’t made up his mind?

In fact, the Downing Street Memo makes it clear that British defense analysts were very concerned about Saddam’s WMD’s:
For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.
I will describe some actual smoking gun memos:

1. One which details the steps taken to deceive us.
2. One which details the conclusions desired, and directs a subordinate to find facts to back them up.
3. One which details the conclusions not desired, and directs a subordinate to suppress facts that back them up.

It does not include memos which disagree with a subordinate’s facts or a subordinate’s conclusions. Those should be common.

I haven’t seen any memos like that. In fact, the Bipartisan Intelligence report explicitly said that the intelligence was neither cooked nor coerced.

The Downing Street Memo proves that Tony Blair was taking his responsibilities seriously and considering all the facts and all the arguments, including the anti-war arguments. It proves that anti-war voices in the British government were not silenced, that their concerns were heard and that a lively debate was underway.

What’s not to like about that memo?

Written By: Wince and Nod

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