”Then They Came For Me. . .”
Vol: 97 Issue: 21 Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller was initially a strong supporter of both Adolf Hitler and of national socialism. Neimoller served as an officer of the Imperial German Navy during WWI . His daring exploit as as submariner in action against the Allies earned him the Iron Cross First Class.
After the war, Niemoller resigned his commission to protest post-war Germany’s new democratic government following Kaiser Wilhelm’s abdication. The son of a Lutheran pastor, Niemoller eventually attended seminary and was ordained in 1924.
Niemoller openly supported opponents of the new Weimar Republic and welcomed Adolf Hitler’s election in 1933 as Chancellor of Germany.
Although no less anti-semitic than most Germans of the time, Niemoller nevertheless founded the Pfarremotbund, a group of clergy dedicated to “combat rising discrimination against Christians of Jewish background.”
In 1934, Niemoller joined fellow pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer in founding the Confessing Church which was a movement to oppose the Nazification of German Protestantism.
Unlike Bonhoeffer, Niemoller had no particular quarrel with Hitler’s politics concerning the Jews — it wasn’t until the Nazis threatened the churches that he began to openly oppose the regime.
In 1938, Hitler had Niemoller arrested and interned in Sachsenhausen and later Dachau. Somehow, he survived the camps and later authored the famous poem, First They Came . . .
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist,
Then they came for the Jews; and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me. And there was no one left to speak for me.
Yesterday, I posted a poll question about the administration’s war against Fox News. More than half agreed with the statement, “Because the first step in imposing a totalitarian regime is to take control of the opposition media.”
The rest were more or less evenly split between “Because the administration can’t control the message” and “Because the administration hopes to marginalize it with its viewers.”
But the choice, “Because the administration can’t provide answers to its charges” received not a single vote at the time of this writing. I was very surprised. I half-expected this to be the number one answer.
Noted a recent issue of Politico Magazine:
With a series of private meetings and public taunts, the White House has targeted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest-spending pro-business lobbying group in the country; Rush Limbaugh, the country’s most-listened-to conservative commentator; and now, with a new volley of combative rhetoric in recent days, the insurance industry, Wall Street executives and Fox News.
Obama aides are using their powerful White House platform, combined with techniques honed in the 2008 campaign, to cast some of the most powerful adversaries as out of the mainstream and their criticism as unworthy of serious discussion.
Press secretary Robert Gibbs has mocked Limbaugh from the White House press room podium. White House aides limited access to the Chamber and made top adviserValerie Jarrett available to reporters to disparage the group. Everyone from White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to White House Communications Director Anita Dunn has piled on Fox News by contending it’s not a legitimate news operation.
All of the techniques are harnessed to a larger purpose: to marginalize not only the individual person or organization but also some of the most important policy and publicity allies of the national Republican Party.
Dunn said that in August, as the president’s aides planned for the fall, they made “a fundamental decision that we needed to be more aggressive in both protecting our position and in delineating our differences with those who were attacking us.”
Look at some of the allegations made by Glenn Beck, to take the most extreme example. Glenn Beck has alleged the Obama administration includes Marxists, Communists, Maoists, pedophiles, convicted felons, terrorists, and other folks with views so extreme that their government involvement should be limited to their inclusion on an FBI watch list.
If only half of what Beck says is true, then the United States government has been taken over by ideological fanatics no less dedicated to imposing their ideology on the country than were the Nazis in 1934.
And no less dangerous — there are those within the administration who believe that the only way for mankind to survive is by culling the existing population down to a more manageable level.
President Obama’s top science and technology advisor John P. Holdren co-authored a 1977 book in which he advocated the formation of a “planetary regime” that would use a “global police force” to enforce totalitarian measures of population control, including forced abortions, mass sterilization programs conducted via the food and water supply, as well as mandatory bodily implants that would prevent couples from having children.
Cass Sunsteen advocates extending civil rights to animals, including the right to sue human beings. Sunsteen is Obama’s pick to run the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Sunsteen advocates a policy under which the government would “presume” someone has consented to having his or her organs removed for transplantation into someone else when they die unless that person has explicitly indicated that his or her organs should not be taken.
You see, that’s the problem, says Sunsteen. “The major obstacle to increasing [organ] donations is the need to get the consent of surviving family members.”
Under Sunsteen’s policy proposal, hospitals would harvest organs from people who never gave permission for this to be done. Instead of consenting to the procedure, one must somehow let the doctors know you oppose it.
The next logical step is to harvest the organs so that they are as fresh as possible by deciding whether or not somebody is dead — based on the condition of his donor-suitable organs.
Let it all sink in for a few seconds — this guy is Obama’s chosen Propaganda and Regulations Czar.
So along comes Glenn Beck and lays it all out before us. Then the White House accuses him of distorting the truth. Beck installs a red telephone on the set, gives the White House the phone number, and offers to correct any errors — on air.
The phone never rings.
Why? Because the White House can’t dispute the charges. Everything Beck has alleged is documented. Van Jones is a Communist. Anita Dunn is a Maoist. Cass Sunsteen is a moonbat. John Holdren is an elitist whose views faintly echo the ones that Martin Niemoller found so objectionable.
It’s all true — and there isn’t a thing the White House can say to address the charges directly without having to confirm its all true. It is a conundrum.
The White House has indirectly admitted that it has banned top administration officials from appearing on Fox News. The spin they are putting on it is that they are punishing Fox News for being so negative.
But what is behind the spin is the fact that they can’t. It’s all true. So instead, the plan is to systematically marginalize any journalist or news organization who either picks up or repeats it.
I was amazed to listing to David Axelrod obliquely warning the mainstream media via an appearance on “State of the Union” that they should “not follow Fox News” — in other words, not pick up on stories broken by Fox.
What is equally amazing to me is the reaction from the rest of the mainstream media — or perhaps, the lack of reaction. Here we see the Executive Branch directly targeting the 1st Amendment-protected free press, and the rest of the so-called ‘free press’ looks the other way — and says nothing.
The administration’s effort to marginalize its critics instead of engaging them directly is classic. That is what Niemoller’s
poem is all about:
First they came after Limbaugh, and I was silent, because I was not Limbaugh;
Then they came after Fox, and I was silent, because I was not Fox
You’d think the rest of them could see where it is going from here.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2nd Timothy 4:3-4)