Consider this a bookend to Ari’s post, as those are the words of Hitler according to this protester:
According to her and those like her, Hitler didn’t actively conspire to murder millions of people in the service of a racist eugenics, he passively refused to “spend the money to keep them alive.” Who are “they” here? Because she claims that “limiting Medicare expenditures in order to reduce the deficit . . . is the T-4 policy of the Hitler—of a Hitler policy in 1939,” she must be talking about those killed under the auspices of the Aktion T-4 Euthanasie: the lebensunwertes Leben, or “life unworthy of life,” i.e. the elderly, the mentally disabled and the otherwise infirm. Par for the course for those who believe in “death panels.”
However, if people like this protester possessed a perspective of more depth and extension than the Wikipedia Brand Knowledge currently bandied about conservative discussion boards and listservs, they would know, for example, that the T-4 initiative was prohibitively expensive. Its predecessor, the Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses, or “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring,” which mandated the sterilization of the physically and mentally disabled, had been scaled back because it was too expensive. That is, they stopped, not started, the ideologically-based murders of those they considered defective because it would save Germany a few million Reichsmarks.
This should go without saying: the Nazis wanted to kill these people, they simply couldn’t afford to. In fact, it was only in 1939, after they’d planted a war on both horizons, that Hitler could justify the expense required to expand the T-4 initiative into the concentration camps.
In short, whatever Obama’s policy will be, if it is, as this protester claims, designed to reduce the national deficit, it won’t resemble Aktion T-4 one whit. Moreover, the category of lebensunwertes Leben wasn’t limited to those with mental or physical handicaps as we currently understand them: opponents of Nazi policy were routinely deemed to be insane and euthanized, meaning that so long as this protester and those like her are free to berate Barney Frank with patent nonsense, Godwin’s Law is still in full effect.