Hitler talk is hate speech

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Are you ready for some foot . . . in mouth?

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Hank Williams Jr., the legendary country star, lost his gig with Monday Night Football and is being slammed in the media after he seemed to compare President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler on a Fox News program Monday.

ESPN is right to can him, and Fox and everyone else are right to criticize him.

Williams said Obama playing golf with House Speaker John Boehner was like Hitler playing golf with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, because the men are so far apart. Apologists will say he didn't imply Obama is a genocidal madman any more than he suggested Boehner is a Jewish world leader.

But Williams is a politically active celebrity, who in 2008, preparing to perform the national anthem at a rally for Sarah Palin, said, Obama's "not too crazy about this song."

He has a history not just of arguing that the president is wrong, but of implying Obama doesn't love the United States. Now Williams has escalated his disdain for Obama to Hitler comparisons. That's poisonous talk, meant to generate more hatred when we have plenty.

Our politics are too polarized, but neither side is populated by Satan, Hitler, Idi Amin or any other mass murderer or demon. Comparing our leaders to such creatures is the opposite of making a point. It's pointlessly destructive, and turns what should be an impassioned debate into a forum for hate.


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