January 19th, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Democrat compares Republican 'lies' to Nazi: Join the Live Chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen is comparing Republicans who he says lie about health care to Nazis. Remember all the talk of toning down the rhetoric? Apparently that was last week. We're Keeping Them Honest. Plus, a follow up to our Kids, Guns and Politics report last night on the Florida state lawmakers who want to make it illegal for pediatricians to ask a patient if they have a gun in the home. The co-sponsor of the bill we had on last night said we didn't have the facts. Now he admits he was wrong. Plus, tonight's other headlines.

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. lisal -canada

    if one purchases a gun in the u.s. is there not a record of it ? if the government, or insurance companies, or legal authorities want to know who legally owns a gun, are there not records?

    is the real issue here is one of illegal firearms – if one has (a) firearm(s) in their house by verbal admission, but no legal ownership record, perhaps illegal gun control is the issue rather than "nosy" pediatricians – kind of "out there" but so are the proposed points and penalties of the bill

    January 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |

    This conversation about privacy / guns etc.... is built on so many levels of societal dysfunction it is mind boggling.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  3. Daniel

    He could have said `tell a lie over and over again and the people will believe it`. If his issue was lies he could have just said that. He didn't have to mention Goebbels, Nazis, and Holocaust. But he did in doing so he made a comparison between Republicans and Nazis.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  4. Alex Tuscano

    Oh I wish I could agree with a fellow democrat, but I believe the Holocaust should stay out of EVERY present political issue in America. I also believe that it was his frustration that lead to this unfortunate analogy in hopes that the "extremeness" of the comment would jump out and get people to understand what he holds true.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  5. Caleb

    Both sides do this. The GOP and the Dems. I just don't see how we can compare anyone to the Nazis. Pretty uneducated response. Both sides should stop using the slander. The only thing it does is draw attention to the person that uses it.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  6. Charles

    Re current political discourse: It's gotten to the point where people relate to their political party like they relate to their favorite football team. They wear their team jersey, they recite their team cheer, and they wish ill on their team's nemesis even when their team isn't contending. Small minded.
    Re handgun education from pediatricians: The penalty in the proposed legislation is stupid; there should be no penalty at all. Still, having said that, I don't really think pediatricians are competent to dispense education regarding firearms. It's a bad idea.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  7. Jaidev

    Similarly as is taught in schools across our country or atleast discussed children speak of Hitler's propaganda skills. Cohen is merely relating one of these tactics in both cases used for negative reasoning. Therefore he is stating both groups used such tactics for bad purpose and should stop using unproductive tactics. I should know this is discussed in schools for i am in a US school.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  8. Starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Paul & Sharon H.

    Both of your posts are excellent. Thanks for sharing.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  9. Lela Lombardo

    The Republicans have been getting away with the most outrageous tactics for years now and especially since president Obama is in office it has been mostly lies and distortions to push forward a racist and exclusionary agenda.

    Propaganda is the word and Mr. Cohen is not wrong in pointing out where such tactics have been used.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  10. Gianna

    There is a difference between a "comparison" and an "example." Putting a Hitler mustache on Obama is a comparison. What Rep. Cohen did was list a well-known example of a rhetorician. If he had listed anyone else, there is a good chance his reference would have gone over his listeners' heads. What he said was fair and I'm glad someone is calling out the conservatives for their propaganda.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  11. carl

    I think the congressman used the right example, there is no excuse to lie to people and that is exactly what Gobbles did. So the congressman is right.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  12. Nina

    Why is there a need to have the MD ask or instruct parents in gun safety. Does the MD have a degree in gun safety? Why is this even an issue? Hopefully parents would know better, and trust me, trying to educate them would be met with resistance and insult!!!

    January 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  13. Christopher Davis

    I don't see how Cohen is heating things up with his comments. He is simply "telling it" to the people as he sees it.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  14. Joyce

    I was disgusted by Sen. Cohen's comments last evening comparing Republicans to Nazi's. And we wonder why things can't get accomplished in our government. When will our Senators and Congressmen begin acting like adults?

    January 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |

    It should not be the role of doctors to provide generic information about safety of almost any kind. Thta is a waste of expensive professional resources. Any number of community organization can provide that information.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  16. Veronica

    If I spoke to people at work the way our so called leaders do. I would be repermanded for work place hostility and perhaps fired. I think it is unacceptable the way the politcians speak.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  17. Kit

    I think he was right in what he said. I see nothing wrong with comparing them to masters of lies and propaganda. The fact that they were Nazis, is pure coincidence, and was not the focus of the subject at hand.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  18. Jay

    Very impressed by the well rounded coverage–I'm a conservative independent and I think his comments are reprehensible. We DO need to get back to a civil dialog- This hate-speech is killing our nation.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  19. George adams

    Finaly some one is willing to call it right the republicans have been behaving with no morals no honesty and masive disinformation for a decade. the senator from tennessee gets my vote.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  20. Courtney

    Mr. Cohen has done something no other Democrat was willing to do. Say something that is more strong than just the "Republicans are lying." By making the valid comparison he got our attention and may actually make Americans wake up to the reality of Republican and Tea Party adjustments of the truth. Although what he said may seem slightly insensitive its getting us talking about the real problem in politics...the lack of truth and honesty from Republicans and Tea Party activists.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  21. Gina

    The congressman needed to say he is compareing
    the Republican rederic to those BRAINWASHING
    Call it what it is. When they repeat a lie over and over again their people think it is true. They may even believe that they have seen it with their own eyes. This is FACT.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  22. Matthew

    I agree with you that it was wrong for him to compare anyone to a nazi, but calling the Republican party innocent when they did in fact use and continue to use the tactics he specified is an even larger lie than "Government take over of Healthcare"

    January 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  23. caroline rose

    If it's true, is it still uncivil?
    The slander that harms is the propaganda and here say, gossip in political discord where there should be sensible discussion.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  24. Sue from Syracuse

    Manuel, I agree. It's their tactics that makes them quite close.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  25. Brian

    I believe that his comment could have been worded better but i do agree with him about the republicans, not that they are like nazis in any way but that they have used the same lie over and over again which is similar to the tactics of many dictatorships.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  26. John

    While the "keep it short" ... "repeat it often" is certainly Goebbles philosophy – what politician doesn't use that method to get a message out. I agree that the Republicans have lied about health care and today's polls put only 18% of the public supporting repeal, but given the bill is going nowhere – I really don't "get" the rhetoric,

    January 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  27. Elle

    This was a great piece. I don't think people on the left do this Nearly as often as people on the left. But either way its wrong and it was great see someone express this to senator cohen. If people on the left don't do better than the republicans, they have no credibility when they call people on the right out for it.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  28. Gabriel Mayer

    Regarding Cohen and his remarks.
    Recently I took a post graduate course on Propaganda given at a local Holocaust Center- 6 weeks long.
    Indeed, Goebbels was studied as a propaganda genius and his techniques
    were analyzed in detail.
    Please look carefully at what Mr. Cohen was saying ; it was highly accurate, and not at all offensive from an ethnic or political viewpoint

    January 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  29. Zalman

    I wish Rep. Cohen didn't use the Nazi comparison. I was wrong, and I, as a hard-core liberal, condemn it.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  30. Stephen

    Perhaps invoking the Nazis was a mistake, but that mistake is miniscule compared to the incessant, pervasive lies and manipulations used by Republicans to misrepresent the Health Care Bill.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  31. Shane Burkett

    I understand the comparison – I think intelligent people can deduce the spirit of his comments. Both sides are guilty of using this practice.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  32. Joyce

    I was appalled by Sen. Cohen's commentlast evening. Shame on him. And we wonder why things can't get accomplished in our government. When will our Senators and Congressmen begin acting like adults ???

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  33. marshall dooley

    I am a former lifelong Republican, now an Independent.
    I think the congressman is right in his analogy.
    I think the Republicans and tea-party are fear-mongers committed to reducing government at all costs – including bold face lies.

    They are a disgrace to the US and embarrassment to the entire world.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  34. Shirley

    I am so glad to see Anderson take on Cohen as he did regarding his Nazi statement. Cohen was obviously offensive, not only with his Nazi comparison but also his tea party comparison to the KKK. Those kinds of statements are inflammatory and inappropriate and, frankly, might drive me straight to the tea party. Sheesh.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  35. Louis

    Yes repeat the lie till it is believed. Isn't that what the Congress and President did before they forced the Health Care Bill on the people.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  36. susantrappe

    GOP says healthcare in the US is the best in the world. The best for who? Government employees – yes, the common person, no. GOP is out of touch with the real world. Comments like Cohen's may jar people awake to see through the rhetoric.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  37. Paula, Colorado

    It's great to hear how well Rep. Giffords is doing.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |

    It is impossible to have a sane discussion about guns in a country that allows it's citizens to own lethal weaponry.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  39. Peter

    The congressman should be saluted for standing up against the massive lie campaign GOP ran. Stve is spot ob on the tacic they used and how TEA party is no different KKK.

    You cannot just pretend to go against something, when it is so explicit and factual. GOP is the American version Nazism, that is for sure!!

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  40. Manuel

    Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade ... GOP propagandists are *like* the Nazi's... They may not be Nazis, but they use the same tactics.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  41. Blake Hawkins

    We really need to get away from stuff like this. This is what is keeping our country from going forward. I agree with Anderson on the fact that BOTH sides should be held accountable. This is just wrong and makes everyone look bad. Lets stand together for once and get something accomplished. We can disagree without comparing others to Nazis

    January 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  42. Sue from Syracuse

    Good Evening Anderson, fellow bloggers!

    January 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  43. Anita

    I do not think Cohen was comparing Rep. to Nazis at all. He was analogizing the lies that
    they promulgate on the very vulnerable public about health care reform to the lies (progaganda) used by the Nazis to incite hatred
    against Jews. I absolutely agree that if you tell a lie often enough to people who soak up
    what is presented by the media or politicians without checking facts, those people tend to believe the lies, i.e. death panesl. This was a fair and very accurate analogy.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  44. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Well, I was not please with some of those tea party's signs of our President! The tea party accused the President of the same thing they are now being accused.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  45. Julie

    Thank you Anderson for not backing down with Congressman Cohen. Well done! I hate hypocrisy from either side, and I love when anyone in office is made to take responsibility for their comments. Freedom of speech is everyone's right, as long as you take responsibility for what you say.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  46. Ron Smith

    I agree with Rep. Cohen. Bottom line, the republicans/tea party were using a Nazi tactic. I am sorry no one can arque with that. It is a fact.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  47. Sharon Hastings

    This is not a Republican or a Democrat thing. It was just wrong to say it no matter who said it. But stepping back, I don't understand why the Republicans picked this fight right now. It's going nowhere and there are other things that do require immediate attention.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  48. Paul

    I wish the congressman would have invoked Karl Rove's name instead. He's someone else who lied over and over again but has a slightly less negative taint.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  49. Janet

    If the Congressman thinks it is such a great Health Care Bill why did he and all- every single one of the Democrates vote against themselves having the same care when they passed the bill before ?

    January 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  50. Linda

    Cohen spoke the truth. I'm from Tn can't believe he is speaking out about the truth...thank you Rep. Cohen!

    January 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
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