Phony Outrage of the Day

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 19 2012 1:47 PM

Phony Outrage of the Day

Shortly after 10 a.m., Obama strategist David Axelrod tweeted some banal observations about Mitt Romney's copybook Illinois strategy. I've called it the Silver Surfer strategy -- send in a herald (Restore Our Future) to paper the place with ads, then come in like Galactus and devour everything. Axelrod called it a "Mittskreig."

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Three hours later came a statement from the Republican Jewish Coalition.

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At a time when there is so much talk about the need for civility in political discourse, it is disturbing to see President Obama's top campaign advisor casually throw Nazi imagery around in reference to a Republican candidate for President. Holocaust and Nazi imagery are always inappropriate in the political arena. Axelrod should apologize for his offensive language.

We call on Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to publicly rebuke Axelrod for his language. We hope that the National Jewish Democratic Council will join us in denouncing Axelrod's comment, as they have frequently denounced Holocaust imagery in politics in the past.

Two things.

1) The blitzkreig was/is a portmaneau meanining "lightning war," referring to the Wehrmacht's temporarily successful tactics of fast mobilization and overwhelming force. Referring to it is not referring to the Holocaust. This is a bit like taking offense to someone mentioning "the Desert Fox" -- too soon!

2) Axelrod is Jewish.

Maybe this blog post will be the sum of the RJC's media coverage, but I think organizations deserve to get credit when they sprawl on the ground claiming a soccer injury, and no one's actually been hurt.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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