The quote, with the context sucked out from around it, is astonishing.
In a new book, former Republican leader of the House Tom DeLay writes, “Liberals have finally joined the ranks of scoundrels like Hitler.”
But, restore the context, as with anything else, and you change the meaning of any quote.
In this case, you make it worse.
Mr. DeLay is comparing how he’s been treated to how the world was treated by Hitler and the Nazis.
The book is called “No Retreat, No Surrender: One American’s Fight.”
It has been officially out for nearly two weeks, and it has not cracked The New York Times top 30.
So the fact of this one quotation, first noted only last week by The Jewish Daily Forward, could have easily slipped through the cracks.
But even though nobody seems to be reading his book, Mr. DeLay is nonetheless referring to what he calls a lie — the accusation that he violated campaign-finance laws in Texas, for which he was indicted.
And on page 156 he writes:
I believe it was Adolf Hitler who first acknowledged that the big lie ...
Look, stop right there, Mr. DeLay.
If you’re going to throw around Hitler’s name, research the reference, huh?
As suggested on The Huffington Post, we have many useful Internet search engines now.
If you type in “Big Lie, Hitler” into the one called “Google,” you get 1,320,000 results.
I believe it was Adolf Hitler who first acknowledged that the big lie is more effective than the little lie, because the big lie is so audacious, such an astonishing immorality, that people have a hard time believing anyone would say it if it wasn’t true.
You know, the big lie — like the Holocaust never happened or dark-skinned people are less intelligent than light-skinned people. Well, by charging this big lie about money laundering, liberals have finally joined the ranks of scoundrels like Hitler.
OK, where do we start here?
Let’s try the gentlest interpretation.
Mr. DeLay believes that the accusation that he violated Texas campaign finance laws is on some kind of par with claims that light-skinned people are more intelligent than dark-skinned people.
Now that’s the gentlest one.
The somewhat less kind interpretation?
He’s equating anybody, charging him — just him — with anything, even if it were a lie, with the Nazis.
Just by going after Tom DeLay, you are like that old “scoundrel” Hitler.
So Tom DeLay is as important as — what? — democracy in 1930s Germany?
Poland in 1939?
The Jewish people?
So Mr. DeLay, go back to your Google and type in the name “Tom DeLay” and the phrase “Delusions of Grandeur.”
And you get 11,500 results.