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When You Hit Bottom, Don’t Keep Digging

When You Hit Bottom, Don’t Keep Digging February 1, 2013

Eliana Johnson explains why it was stroke of genius to attack Obama for calling the Holocaust “senseless violence” and announces that her critics only bear out her opinion of her own brilliance.

Here, let me help.  I don’t think Johnson really set out to defend the Nazis.  She’s on record, after all, as mocking Holocaust denial and similar lunacy.

No, what she was trying to do was get licks in on Obama and, as is the custom with many a Right Wing Noise Machine pundit, she just latched on to whatever she could find and cranked out something deriding it.  In this case, it was the rather unassailable point, also made by one Ronald Wilson Reagan in 1983 that the mass slaughter of millions of innocent people by the Nazis was “senseless violence”.  That’s slim pickins when you are looking for something to deride Obama about today, but she decided to go ahead and jerk the knee anyway.

There was a ghost of a point in what she was shooting for in deriding “leftists” as opposing all violence as senseless: one that NRO has made many times over the years:

It’s a perfectly respectable point and, if she’d had her wits about her, she could have made it.  She could, in fact, have said that what ended the senseless violence of the Holocaust–a violence *so* senseless that Hitler actually diverted urgently needed manpower and materiel from his war effort in order to maintain the pointless slaughter–was the violence the Allies brought to the Third Reich.  That would have been a point well worth making and could easily have been tied in to her ultimate point: that Obama left Americans high and dry at Benghazi when what they needed was the firepower to fend off the violence brought against them.

But in her eagerness to merely contradict something just because it was coming from Obama’s mouth, she did not make that point.  Instead, she opted to try to make the point that, because the Holocaust was a massively coordinated group effort by people with college degrees and sophisticated technological skills, it was therefore “sensible”.  What this reveals, of course, is a deeply impoverished view of what “sensible” means.  The mere fact that a lot of people devote themselves to an insane project that is fundamentally and radically at odds with reality–that is, with the Logos–does not make it sensible. It makes it the touchstone of just how massive senseless violence can become. Obama and Reagan are perfectly sound in their assessment of the Holocaust as a massive act of senseless violence.  The fact that this massive act of senseless violence was meticulously planned and executed by a huge act of societal cooperation does not make it “sensible”.  It simply illustrates that civilizations, like men, can go mad in the grip of grave sin and completely lose touch with reality–that is, with the Logos who is love and truth… and sanity.

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