Thursday, 28 March 2013

Barack Obama's big fat Nazi experiment

Barack Obama may be a disappointment to some, but at least he's still infuriating some of the right people. I've just come across an interesting blog post on the Obama health care reforms that dramatically illustrates the gulf that's opened up between the reality-based community and the folk who sincerely believe that the 44th President of the United States is either a socialist, a Muslim, a foreigner, a Nazi, the Antichrist, or all of the above.

The post's entitled "ObamaCare Through the Ages" and it appears to suggest that there's some sort of moral or functional equivalence between Obama's health care bill and potentially lethal medical experiments involving malaria drugs that Nazi doctors forcibly inflicted on prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp, or with the actions of US doctors who deliberately left poor black people with syphilis to infect others and to die untreated, in order to observe the progress of the disease, back in the 1930's.

It's not the extreme nature of the comparisons that weirds me out - I'm sure there are plenty of shock jocks and Fox News fans who call Obama a Nazi twelve times a day before breakfast. What's disturbingly strange is the way the parallel is made. There's no attempt at an argument, along the lines of  'Obama's proposed health care reforms are just like the medical experiments the Nazis performed on prisoners because [insert some sort of explanation of why these two, apparently unrelated, things might be in some way similar].'

Nope, there's just the title, "ObamaCare Through the Ages", a photo of Claus Schilling (the doctor responsible for directing malaria drug experiments at Dachau), on the scaffold prior to being hanged for war crimes, followed by two paragraphs, one describing the Nazi experiments on prisoners, the other telling the story of how those 1930's American doctors used black sharecroppers as human guinea pigs, deliberately letting them die of syphilis, rather than attempting to treat them. And that's all, folks. See "ObamaCare Through the Ages" for youself and go figure.

In this guy's head, the parallel between the current health care bill and history's most chillingly unethical and callous medical experiments is so blindingly obvious that it doesn't even need spelling out. Maybe that's why the angry coalition of conservatives, God-botherers and libertarians seemed to implode at the last presidential election. It's not just that they hold some very weird ideas to be self-evident truths, but they apparently don't even see why they might need to explain or justify these bizarre notions to anybody who isn't already a true believer.