Hey, Pundits: Think Before You Say 'Nazi,' 'Katrina'

Bush was no member of Third Reich; ObamaCare is no deadly storm: Kathleen Parker
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 20, 2013 11:49 AM CST
The main landing web page for HealthCare.gov as seen last month.   (AP Photo/Department of Health and Human Services)
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(Newser) – Ask a pundit, and you might learn that ObamaCare is this president's Katrina; or, as Sarah Palin recently attested, that that national debt is like slavery. Plenty of others have called George W. Bush and/or President Obama a "Nazi." It's time to rein in these comparisons, writes Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post: They refer to horrors that are "sui generis," or "unique." And "some things, even if they share certain characteristics, shouldn’t be compared."

Such links are a product, in part, of laziness, Parker writes. "Do we really have so little imagination that all we can do is summon Katrina every time an administration fails to meet our expectations? Or Hitler to denote our impression of bad?" There's also a political goal. If you compare ObamaCare to Katrina, for instance, Obama comes out looking good: "People died in Katrina and President Obama only wants to help people," listeners may think. But "comparing a horrific tragedy or atrocity to any other thing else trivializes and diminishes it," Parker notes. "By trying to capture, quantify and categorize others’ suffering, we trespass on the sacred." Click for her full column. (Read more Kathleen Parker stories.)

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