Republicans Show 1930s German Colors

The era of Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party being ‘a big tent’ for all sorts of Americans is long gone. Now the party is an angry, undignified, idea-free party of angry whites who love to share their grievances. Right after the litany of their health problems has been reported they launch into the latest cultural war issues–which normally includes a Black or a Latino. Oh, yes, and the latest sign of any deviation from following the words and thoughts of Donald Trump must be called out for attention.

To get on the wrong side of the base of the Republican Party these days, or to be verbally assaulted by their leaders, does not require taking a different view on policy. After all, one of the most conservative members of Congress, both in terms of voting on the floor, and espousing views in speeches is about to be considered for jettisoning from ‘the big tent’.

News this week the Republican National Committee will actually debate endorsing the ouster of Congresswoman Liz Cheney is something that prior to Trump would have seemed so implausible that no one would have even dreamed it. But that is now in the offing during the upcoming House GOP conference. It will not be as notable as the Night of the Long Knives from our reading of German history, but the tone will be the same.

The bizarre behavior from the GOP is due to Cheney standing up for a process of sound and fair elections and agreeing with George Washington about the need in a republic for the loser of an election to step aside for the winner. That, however, runs counter to the Big Lie from the party’s Dear Leader.

The continual effort by the GOP to show absolute fealty to Donald Trump above all else showcases more proof that the party is now a cult-worshipping group. They are in line with nations, both current and those relegated to the ashes of history, that imposed often stiff penalties for those who criticized or did not show proper respect for the leader in question.

Donald Trump says bend, and without any spine, the vast majority of the Republican Party simply comply. Slinking and slithering are now so common that the next national GOP convention will save lots of money by not needing chairs for delegates to sit in. Without a backbone, the roll call of the states will be unnecessary as the contest will be over upon Trump announcing his intentions.

This week David Bossie, a close ally of treasonous Trump, has offered the resolution endorsing the removal of the two members of Congress. While the bite of the resolution is most doubtful, it needs noting that events started in Nazi Germany with using the fear factor as a political tool. The next step was a public that could not understand the gravity of the situation unfolding around them.

So it is today in the Republican Party. Agree, abide, or else. Do not be an opponent to the new Dear Leader.

And so it goes.

New Doty Land Podcast: Compassion On The Battlefield

This is my second podcast this week!

When a German soldier in WWII acts with compassion to save the lives of Americans what does that tell us about humanity?  Those types of acts of compassion on the battlefield are explored in an upcoming documentary.  Stephanie Manesis, director and producer of the film talks not only about the multi-year project but also how creativity has manifested itself in her life.  Podcaster Gregory Humphrey notes it is a joy to have such a great conversationalist to interview. 

The podcaster at work.
My happy spot.

Der Spiegel Shows Mood Of Europe Towards Trump’s America

This is not how I would have made the front cover of Der Spiegel, one of the most respected publications in Germany, but this is how our friends in Europe see Trump’s America.

Make no mistake about this cover and what it means.  This matters. When “America First” actually means America Alone, the United States is significantly weaker.

Too Many Forget History

lessons_from_history___dom_nelson

Don’t Insult A Foreign Leader!

From the what did I learn today file—-or this can not be true file?

In Berlin this week, top diplomats and aides to Ms. Merkel are huddling to plot a response to Turkey’s demand that Germany agree to a criminal investigation of the comedian, Jan Böhmermann, for reciting a crude poem on air about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Under a rarely invoked German law that prohibits insults of foreign leaders, Germany’s government is required to decide whether to allow an investigation if one is demanded by the insulted government—a feature that differentiates the law from other German statutes and sets up Ms. Merkel for the conundrum she now faces. Turkey said on Monday that it was formally seeking a probe.

A handful of European countries, such as Poland and Switzerland, have similar statutes on the books, a legacy of when emperors and monarchs ruled much of continent. But the laws are so obscure that domestic media and comedians ridicule foreign politicians with little thought.

In Germany, the law had been most prominently invoked by the shah of Iran in the 1960s. A court ordered two employees of a Cologne newspaper to pay a fine for publishing a cartoon in 1964 ridiculing the monarch, according to German news reports at the time. Three years, later the shah threatened but decided against invoking it again after, on a 1967 German visit, he was greeted with a poster reading “Persia—a concentration camp.”

Time Magazine Made Correct Call With Angela Merkel For Person Of The Year 2015

Over the past few days there has been a few notes made in the news that Donald Trump got this nose out of place for not making Time magazine’s Person of the Year.    His supporters have argued that he is the most influential American or politician this year, and as such should be on the cover of the year-end issue.

To them I say the magazine is one of international scope and in no way depends on the loudest or most brash in this country to determine person of the year.  I grant to his supporters that Trump has upended the GOP primary season and brought racism and bigotry into sharper focus than anyone else in the conservative movement since David Duke.    But that is not enough to make the prestigious cover.

Over and over we have seen it usually takes a woman to show the rest of us how to manage our affairs–if you think I am wrong consider the role Moms play in every household.  Just think of the times Angela Merkel made headlines this year and the degree her political skills were employed to persuade her European counterparts or press America to do better with those needing our help.

I think she has been more shrewd with Russian President Putin than President Obama has been.  And if one is looking for a tough negotiator–as Trump always asserts himself to be–they need look no further than Merkel and how she dealt with the matter of Greece’s economic woes.

The person chosen this year by Time makes this annual event most worthy of a read.  It was appropriate and one that echoed with the events that played out in the world–the only criteria that matters when it comes to making the choice.

merkel-time-person-of-year-today-151209_5814f6f2c30b9ba9ea6d5e4abecba4ec_today-inline-large

 

Hitler’s Home When He Was An Infant Can Be Rented

Hmm…..no.

lead

The Austrian government is having an extremely hard time finding a tenant for a peculiar space that it has been renting: Hitler’s birthplace. Not surprisingly, no one wants to occupy the $6,000-a-month building, and it has stood empty since 2011.

At just under 9,000 square feet, it is a vast space that the Interior Ministry was hoping to match with an educational center or aid organization. However, the owner of the building has vetoed both of those options. And since the ministry has been burdened with the pricey rent, they’re asking for help.

Though the Führer only lived in the building as an infant, there is concern it could become a shrine or museum to the Nazi leader. In order to keep a neo-Nazi from signing the lease, the building can only be rented to those who intend to use it for a “social or educational purpose.” With any luck, another ministry will take over the space before 2015.

Erik Larson Wows Me With “In The Garden Of Beasts”

This winter I read and talked about one book more than any other, and that is saying far more than the printed words here might lead my readers to understand.

InTheGardenOfBeasts_magnum

Erik Larson is a favorite here at CP, and for good reason.  He knows how to research, and write a narrative that carries the reader from early evening into the very late night hours.  Larson informs and entertains as the pages turn and my only regret with this book is that there was a last page.

The book is set in Germany in the 1930s as Hitler consolidates his power.  Among the main players in the book is Martha Dodd, a tartish and flirty woman who also is the daughter of the new American ambassador.   Her father  was a University of Chicago history professor who had lived in Germany, and will come to see the danger Hitler posed.  Trying to alert the disbelieving State Department to the danger of the Nazi menace will prove to be his hardest task.  His second task, had he been more alert would have been to better inform his daughter about those trying to recruit her as a Soviet agent.

We all know how history plays out with the various nations and cast of characters the Larson brings back to life in this dramatic read.  But the great talent that Larson weaves in the pages is the ‘here and now’ feelings of those who lived at that time, but knew not what the future held.

No matter what else I read this year In The Garden Of Beasts will rank near the very top of the list.