If right-wingers are too quick to use epithets against an argument they don't like, the left is just as guilty for throwing the word "fascist" around too quickly.
Now the White House speechwriters are tossing the f-bomb around on a PR offensive featuring the president talking to the VA--tough crowd, gutsy move. Apparently he's asking the rest of us to help him clean up the mess he himself made, a familiar litany in this man's life. The Donald (Rumsfeld) is using it too, talking about "a new type of fascism" and honking about appeasement, the broad hint being that anyone who opposes Rumsfeld must be an appeaser and a Very Bad Person.
Rove’s Republicans must have been concerned that the left still had one powerful word left in their quiver. Now every neo-con from Bush to Rumsfeld to Tony Snow to Rick “I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator”Santorum to Majority Leader Bill “Cat Killer” Frist is evoking the shade of Chamberlain at Munich.
I try to stay close to the word's etymology: those who emulate a bundle of sticks or "fasces", a political organization wherein the individual is subordinate to the state, and things get damned uncomfortable for the sticks that don't quite fit.
The irony is that nothing resembles modern fascism quite so much as the Bush administration’s insistence on a monolithic point of view. The Japanese phrase “the nail that sticks up gets hammered down,” fairly describes the national dialogue during the rush to invade Iraq. Digby’s Hullabaloo has called them on it, and the Los Angeles Times are drop kicking the analogy as well. The Christian Science Monitor lets the word speak for itself. If this propaganda initiative fails, I wonder what vile phrase the Rover Boys will next tie to their test balloons.
Keith Olbermann has articulated as well as anyone why we refer to this administration as "fascistic”. I first saw Olbermann as a hockey reporter on ESPN, and still miss the phrase “drop the chalupa”, but an essay like this is worth his disappearance into the shadows of MSNBC.