Right-wing protesters aren't the only ones likening Democrats to Nazis for supporting Obamacare. As Josh Marshall notes, a group of LaRouche supporters joined the conservative hecklers who shouted down Representative McGovern last week in Massachusetts, reportedly comparing the congressman to Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele. In fact, the LaRouchies have dubbed their entire campaign, "Stop Obama's Nazi Health Plan," and they have played a central role in disrupting town hall meetings across the country. On the LaRouchePAC website, they cheered their part in shouting down John Dingell in Michigan last week: "When LaRouche PAC organizers held up a large poster, depicting President Obama with a Hitler moustache, and the words ‘I've Changed,' the crowd went wild with approval, taking pictures and videos, and backing down police." The group goes on to brag that their very own "Obama-with-Hitler-moustache" image has been featured on CNN, NBC, and the Wall Street Journal.
The LaRouchies' logic seems virtually indistinguishable from the current right-wing fear-mongering. "Citizens are receiving Hitler-era ‘reasons' for why they must accept drastic medical cutbacks, sickness, and death," LaRouche writes on his site. "For example, you must forego what is called ‘wasteful, excessive treatment,' during your end-of-life months." The only difference between their agitations and the far right's histrionics? Larouchies maintain that Obama and his cronies are in cahoots with HMOs and the insurance industry-and that the real solution to their fascistic agenda is a single-payer plan (which would presumably be rid of its Hilter-inspired leadership, though they don't go into the details).
When I came across the LaRouchies and their Obama-as-Hitler schtick in downtown DC last month, I thought their campaign was far too nutty to gain any traction, even at the very fringes of the debate. Unfortunately, that no longer seems to be the case, and the Larouchies seem to have attached themselves to every available public demonstration against Obamacare, whatever its political orientation. Shortly before August recess, a few of them joined up with the single-payer protest that repeatedly disrupted Lynn Woolsey's gathering of House liberals who opposed the concessions given to Blue Dogs, as I reported. The public protestations have only gotten more hysterical since then-and the wild-eyed LaRouche fanatics are no longer an anomaly.
Suzy Khimm is a senior editor at The New Republic.