How times change

In January 2004, Moveon was running an ad contest, the winner of which would get a spot during the Superbowl. Someone entered a video which compared then President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler, which caused great outcry throughout the land.

RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie (search) called the ad, "the worst and most vile form of political hate speech."

MoveOn.org is "using the memory of that genocide as a political prop," American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen (search) wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, referring to the Holocaust.

"President Bush has shown us leadership in Iraq, and our troops have liberated a people who were oppressed by another murderous dictator … comparing the commander-in-chief of a democratic nation to the murderous tyrant Hitler is not only historically specious, it is morally outrageous," Rosen continued.
Mind you, Moveon didn't make the ad, and immediately removed it from the contest, where it was doing poorly in the member voting, because most Moveon members felt it was inappropriate, but that didn't stop Republicans from screaming in outrage--and trust me, I could have gotten a lot worse quotes if I'd gone blog-surfing.

Fast forward to today. One of the most prominent members of the Republican party, Rush Limbaugh, compares President Obama to Adolf Hitler, and the Democratic party to the Nazi Party, a comparison so odious that Pat Buchanan distanced himself from it.

Look at the power differential here. In 2004, Moveon was one of many grassroots organizations trying to affect the outcome of the coming presidential election, and boasted a very large fundraising base. Powerful, yes? Sure--so powerful that CBS wouldn't air the ad that won Moveon's contest, even though it was about as uncontroversial an ad as you could find. Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh gets to compare President Obama and the Democrats to Hitler and Nazis and hardly anyone bats an eye. Fox News, which was all over the Moveon story five years ago, has this on its front page right now: Dems Raise Specter of Swastikas to Cancel Town Halls, a story about altercations at the events. No mention of Limbaugh (or his yippy little wannabe Fox News host Glenn Beck, who's been doing much the same thing)--just a story about how protesters show up with Nazi symbolism and Democrats call it Nazism, and somehow that makes both sides equally bad. Go figure.

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