Greatest. Godwin. Ever.

Greatest. Godwin. Ever. September 11, 2012

Not so fast, Steve King, Michele Bachmann and Allen West. If you want the title of the dumbest and craziest person in Congress, you’re gonna have to take out Roscoe Bartlett first. Did you know that student loans lead to Hitler? I didn’t either.

Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans, it certainly is a good idea to give them loans. But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.


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  • eric

    If Mr. Bartlett thinks the federal government giving students loans is bad, he has obviously not thought about what paying taxes in the next April implies.

  • But was Hitler highly educated? That’s the question…

  • Chiroptera

    Well, I agree in principle that it sets up a bad situation if one just ignores the Constitution when it’s inconvenient.

    But student loans are unconstitutional? Good heavens! I already know the plot to this story. “According to my idiosyncratic interpretations of the Constitution, which, by the way, is the clear and obviously only way to properly interpret it, this particular policy to which I am opposed is not allowed while that other policy over there which I support is.”

  • We should pass a law requiring all congress members to wear helmets at all times. That way, if they fall down any of the slippery slopes, that seem to be everywhere, they won’t suffer any more brain damage.

  • So much fail.

    Student loans are unconstitutional? Where does it say that? And how can student loans be unconstitutional, while warrantless wiretapping, police surveillance of religious services, treating legal actions like taking photographs in public as criminal activities, and the TSA are NOT unconstitutional?

    I would say that his grip on reality is fragile, except that would imply that he has one.

  • None of this is surprising at all. Libertarians have been linking innocuous liberal policies like this to Nazism since 1978, if not earlier; and the same libertarians have been mainstreaming their insanity and stupidity through the Republican Party for almost as long.

  • abb3w

    So, ban scholarships to art schools?

  • slc1

    Actually, this is kind of sad. Congressman Bartlett is one of the few members of congress with a science background (has a PhD in physiology with minors in chemistry and biology). However, at 86, it would appear that he’s no longer operating on all 8 cylinders.

  • Chiroptera

    Oh, and by the way:

    If I had left my wallet on a restaurant table while I went to the rest room and someone took it and that person was caught…

    …everyone realizes that the judge at the trial would not have admonished me to be more careful, right? In fact, based on an actual experience I had with a theft, I imagine that if I had said, “I guess I should have been more careful,” the judge would have responded, “Why? It was your wallet that you left on the table you were using.”

  • Chiroptera

    Oops. That last comment was meant for another thread.

  • slc1:

    “However, at 86, it would appear that he’s no longer operating on all 8 cylinders.”

    Meh, a valve job, new rings, good to go! Maybe he can get one of Cheney’s loaner hearts.

  • slc1

    Back in 2006, the newly installed Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, set up a special House panel on the subject of global warming. Rethuglican Congressman Vernon Uhlers and Roscoe Bartlett applied to then majority leader Boehner to be appointed to the committee, citing their scientific backgrounds (Ehlers has a PhD in physics). They were turned down, apparently because Boehner didn’t want any Rethuglicans on the committee who might possibly know something about the subject matter.

  • d cwilson

    Are there any policies that don’t remind republicans of the Nazis and the holocaust? Besides dropping bombs on brown people or anything (like torture) that might lead to dropping bombs on brown people, that is.

  • I missed the beginning, was he referring to warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, or Pvt. Manning?

    Wait, student loans? WTF??

  • raven

    There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany.

    Huh? What!!!

    I didn’t know being a genocidal maniac was hereditary.

    Oh well. As someone whose distant ancestors were Vikings, I feel compelled to launch a raiding expedition using a long wooden ship with a decorative dragon prow.

    Who is up for “visiting” Santa Cruz, Bolinas, and Coos Bay?

  • imrryr

    @slc. Indeed, I live in his district and with his scientific background it’s sad to see him making such an ass of himself. Bartlett is in favor of developing renewable energy sources and getting us off our dependence on oil, which is probably one reason Boehner didn’t want him on the global warming panel that you mentioned. Still, his votes on environmental and oil drilling issues aren’t very consistent, imo.

    Also, to his credit, he also voted against extending the Patriot Act, though he did vote ‘yes’ to it in 2001… bleh.

    I’d much prefer a representative who didn’t have issues with gay marriage, and reproductive rights, and about a million other things, but as far as Republicans go Roscoe is usually fairly tame.

  • blf

    Oh fecking great. Excuse me whilst a rant a bit…

    Look, Mr Congresstwit, my parents, both sides, are of Germanic ancestry. One side of the family immigrated to the USA before the Revolution, the other side about the time of the Civil War. How the feck does that make them, my parents, or me a godsdamn facist?

    Look, Mr Congresstwit, my father served in the USA military, got veterans education benefits (G.I. Bill) — How the feck did that make him a facist?

    Look, Mr Congresstwit, I got a student loan and went to one of the top-ranking universities in the world. And paid off the loan, in full. How the feck does that make me a facist?

    Look, Mr Congresstwit, I suspect my grandfather, who also served in the USA military and actually fought the nazis, would quite enthusiastically explain to you, with examples shoved up the dark and smelly place where your useless head is, just what a facist really is.

    A hint, Mr Congresstwit, it’s got godsdamn nothing to do with Germanic ancestry or student loans.

    Look, Mr Congresstwit, you are stooopid.

  • Nepenthe


    As a Norwegian-German-Scot, I’d love to come, but only if we can set up ritual concentration camps while “visiting” and wear kilts and blue face paint.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    Gregory @ 5

    Student loans are unconstitutional? Where does it say that?

    That’s the problem for the libertarians and conservatives, it doesn’t. The banner-wavers for “limited government” are much like Biblical literalists. Unless the Constitution specifically mentions and approves student loans, food stamps, social security, etc., the government is unconstitutionally overstepping its bounds if it provides them.

  • dingojack

    But Roscoe Bartlett* is right!

    All those of German ancestory are danned Nazis, it’s genetic or sumptn. They’re like vermin, creeping around befouling the place. We should round ’em all up into big camps and work ’em to death, those that can’t will get gased with HCN.

    That’ll goto show ’em that Americans aren’t Nazis – no sireebob. you betcha! [*wink*]



    * the name suggests to me either Elmer Fudd or Deputy Dawg is a baggy il-fitting 70’s LAPD uniform and ditto black, fingerless leather gloves.

    [I’m guessing Jeb Barlett’s idiot cousin, who escaped from the baseent, got himself elected and nobody could tell the difference fro the other congresscitters].

  • Menyambal — Sambal’s Little Helper

    I like how conservatives always talk about slippery slopes as if any disturbance will send them careening helplessly downslope into anarchy. It is very revealing of their psychology.

    First, they regard whatever position they happen to have—wherever they are—as the firm and proper place to be. It’s usually whatever was the custom when they were growing up. But it can be conditions as recently as ten years ago, if there has been a strong movement to change. Or in some cases, such as a clever persuasion by someone they trust, quite recent. In any case, their self-regard for their own unexamined stance is remarkable.

    Any deviation from said position is going to lead to total collapse, in their view. They cannot imagine changing their view, then taking a firm and principled stand in a new place.

    Liberals and intellectuals, by comparison, seem to realize that we are hanging on the side of a very slippery slope, working with care and all available tools, to move toward truth and safety by mutual cooperation. (While the conservatives scream and gibber and huddle in fear.)

    Conservatives also talk about people lifting themselves by their own bootstraps, but that impossibility is another rant.

  • baal

    It’s possible that having a broad educated middle class and stable economy could be protective against a Hitler style take over. I somehow recall that the Germany he took over wasn’t in the best of shape.

  • whheydt


    Heh… Two grandparents from Denmark and a great-grandfather not only from Germany, but specifically from Prussia. (He left Prussia–so far as the family can tell–because he didn’t want to be drafted for the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.)

    His older son (my grandfather’s older brother) made good, though. Wound up working in the Rockefeller’s inner circle.

  • slc1

    Re blf @ #17

    I seemed to recall that a fellow named Dwight David Eisenhower was of German ancestry.

  • slc1:

    Vern Ehlers was a moderate Republican and a decent guy, and he actually took pro-science positions. He was replaced by a right wing loony when he retired, unfortunately.

  • Yeah, but if Hitler had been able to go to art school, then couldn’t student loans have led away from the Holocaust?

  • “He was replaced by a right wing loony when he retired, unfortunately.”

    Well, that could have been pretty much anytime in the last 40-50 years.

  • onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork

    Bartlett hasn’t been operating on any cylinders for YEARS. imrryr, I live in his district too–unfortunately.

  • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Republicans’ idea of a slippery slope to fascist grandma-murdering:

    Enacting the health care reform legislation in 2010 that the republicans said in 2009 was a republican-endorsed and needful change to our system of health care to protect families, prevent bankruptcies that hurt creditors, and prevent loss of competitiveness as US businesses would otherwise face steepening health care costs.

    Why? Because Obama did it, and was going to get credit. The real slippery slope is allowing your political opponent to get any good press.

    Seems that they haven’t figured out that good press is relative and that their own bad press for being lying idiots might lead to the same outcomes.