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. Marie

    Congressman Cohen was right on with his comments about the Republicans lies about health care. The're only agenda is to defeat Obama. I'm tired of the lies, as a health care professional and loyal citizen we need this healthcare bill. I aplaude the Dems for standing firm, I feel the Republicans agenda is to destroy the middle class, there are no statesmen on the Republicans side for the people, only the rich. We all need to row this boat in the same direction or we will all sink.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  2. Mike Walsh

    Hi Anderson,
    As distasteful as the comments were, I feel the main point about the republican tactics are right on target. While bringing nothing constructive to the table on any of the tough topics of our time, republicans repeatedly practice propaganda tactic of telling short little lies about bills and programs democrats have proposed and/or passed into law. I challenge you to hold a show about this very topic. For example, if you take republican statements made about the health care bill alone, you could come up with enough to fill your entire show. The aim is, if you repeat a lie long enough and loudly enough, no one will even care anymore about having a civil debate about the true issues.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  3. Walter Kaz

    This was a good comparison of successfully repeating a lie, because it helped move Germany to act in a way that had national implications. There may not be another good example of this to be found by many of us that we can understand and relate to.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  4. Ron

    Anderson –

    I feel that Mr. Cohen chose a poor analogy, but I agree with the basic tenent of his statement.

    One of your biggest fans,


    January 19, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  5. mike

    This is unnecessary comments by this Democrat. Where is the NewYorkTimes, or other news medias criticizing him? and asking him to clean his act.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  6. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Jared Loughner already indicted!!!! Yes! he will be back to jail for now! 🙂

    January 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  7. Becky Gomes

    Dialing down the inflammatory interaction includes not just speech, but active listening, prior to a response. I believe Mr. Cohen made a good point about the effectiveness of a short, sweet lie, repeated frequently, is a powerfully effective propaganda technique. Making the connection to the fact that the Nazi's found it effective, while supporting the effectiveness of the technique, unfortunately triggers a huge reaction, overwhelming his point. I appreciate that he said he wouldn't repeat it, but that he stands by the point of the technique's effectiveness as shown by history. We all have triggers. If we speak carefully, and listen even more carefully, then we will achieve a more constructive respectful interchange.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  8. Joe

    Cohen appears to be doing alot of reading on the Nazi's propaganda methods.

    Anderson you were right on with Cohen statement calling the GOP nazi's.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  9. Daniel

    If it's all about lies and propaganda tactics fine. He could have said that without mentioning Goebbels, Nazis and Holocaust.

    What if a Republican had made this case about Democrats lies? If you would be against it in that case you have to be against it in this case. It's hypocritical otherwise. Golden Rule anyone?

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

    congressmen Cohen's statement may be shocking to many people, but he is completely correct in that the GOP's tactics are those that were pioneered and developed by the Nazi's, and they are extremely dangerous and destructive to our democracy.

    He never compared the gop to Nazi's he simply stated that their tactics are of Nazi origin

    January 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  11. Jayme

    And By The Way.. I thought it was a privilage to drive... but a RIGHT to own a gun... uh... clarification please?!?!?

    January 19, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  12. Suzanne, Annandale, NJ

    Congressman Cohen may have some valid points, unfortunately no one is listening to them. His points have been completely overshadowed by his puzzling Nazi analogy, which is inflammatory and just plain ludicrous. For the record, I happen to believe that the Republican rhetoric around health care has been dangerously misleading, and I'm angry about today's repeal in the House. But Cohen's not doing the cause any favors; in fact he's taken the focus off the real issue.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  13. JT

    Why are we so affraid of remembering the lessons of our recent history? Too bad if the truth hurts! Senetor Cohen makes a valid point suggesting that, in this case, the republicans are employing a political tactic that was use by the destructive political machine of Nazi Germany. I seem to remember a saying that goes "those who forget histroy are destine to relive it"!

    January 19, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  14. Vernon Moore

    Maybe I missed something, did he use the word Nazi or did he compare him to someone who was a Nazi! I think it’s a difference.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  15. Riaz Ansary

    For a politician it is extremely important to chose the words very wisely. I am totally against his use of the word Nazi. But I also believe that he did not call republicans Nazis he clearly says that some of thier actions are exactly what Nazis used to do. Why there is a strong reaction about this. Nazis is a dark era of history and it is a part of our history unfortunately and it is normal that there might be some folks like this guy that compared some particular actions of republicans to what Nazis used to do.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  16. liz

    Hi everyone,

    Each party repeats its talking points over and over. Many times the point is incorrect (or right on the line). If a republican made the same statements regarding the democratic talking points, there would be an uproar on msnbc and other liberal outlets. The hypocracy is rampant and it is more disturbing than the talking points themselves.Being an Independant, many times I laugh at the indignant comments by both sides. If we are going to change the current politcal environment, everyone need to take off their partisan glasses. Hate speech is hate speech.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm |

    But most americans would have been unable to grasp a more subtle (but accurate) analogy.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  18. anna

    Good evening Anderson, tonight was a perfect example of why I still do watch you. To try and keep it "real", and you try. Rep. Cohen has taken this beyond too far to bring up Nazi...His last name expalins a great deal as to how he expresses himself but America is not Europe and what happened in Europe in WWII. Enough is enough about the Nazi'z. America is for everyone, not just the Jewish American...

    January 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  19. Emy

    "The idea of political representatives lying consistently and persistently till it is considered the truth" is the truth itself. However, Steve Cohen's comparison of Republicans to the Nazi Propagandist is unethical. With him making a statement so out of context, should be able to create awareness on the topic to the public eye, and becomes a controversy for the media and politicians. However, this idea of false propaganda should not only imply on the Republicans, but also the Democrats and every person who has authority within the government. Lying and imposing a campaign and not living up to it's par is unethical itself.

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

    In all fairness to the Congressman, while his analogy to the Nazi Goebel was extreme, he is correct in pointing out that lies repeated over and over again do influence uninformed minds and sway people and eventually are seen as the truth. It's a dangerous road to travel for anyone and needs to be addressed.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  21. Royce

    This is a great piece showing how all of our comments in so many ways have become rehortic.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  22. Regina

    I don't think that Steven Cohen Is wrong. Unfortunately all of the focus now is on his indelicate choice of comparisons and not the message. Now the Republicans will dismantle the health plan while everyone focuses on what was said. Health care may not be perfect, but it is a step in the right direction.

    What is wrong with this country? Why don't they do their job and work on making health care better for the American public instead of wasting taxpayer time and money dismantling what little progress was made

    January 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  23. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    I am glad that Gabby Giffords are doing great, she will go to rehab for Houston this Friday!!!! Yay!!!!! She is my prayers right now. 🙂

    January 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  24. Dean

    heres the thing. Cohen was comparing a tactic used by the republicans to a tactic used by the Nazis, specifically Goebbels. This doesn't mean that Cohen was calling the republicans Nazis.

    If Goebels was a juggler for example you wouldn't say that Cohen was calling the republicans juggler.

    of course the nazi imagery is powerful but you have to see past it. Also there really isn't a way to talk about Goebbels without Nazism.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  25. Nicole The Netherlands

    What a stupid thing to try to educate parents about guns in the home, since, well it never happens does it, just once in fifty years a child dies by playing with guns... 🙁

    January 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  26. Kaytee

    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."

    This is so true.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  27. Randall

    I agree with Anderson that Using the word Nazi is extreme and could be inflammatory.
    However, I see the republicans as masters of manipulation and will do or say anything to regain power. They do lie and they do repeat their lies over and over until the population believes them. I feel that they are a selfish, money grubbing heartless cancer and that we do need to stand up to them. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck!

    January 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  28. Manuel

    I didn't see anyone make a big deal when President Obama was portrait as Hitler. The GOP has shown but disprespect to this administration and continue to do it.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  29. Stephen Duplantier

    Rep Cohen is smart and is using words precisely. He is comparing the propaganda techniques of Goebbels and Republicans, and despite the outrage, he is exactly correct. Notice I said techniques. That's as far as it goes. He is not saying they are Nazis. Actually, Goebbels learned everything he knew about propaganda from Edward Bernays, the American master propagandist. Goebbels reportedly kept a copy of Bernay's book on propaganda on his desk, even though Bernays was a Jew. What Cohen might have said was that both Goebbels and the Republicans employed the tactics described and used so effectively by Bernays.

    But as it stands, Cohen spoke accurately. The Republicans can hide behind their outrage, but facts are facts.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  30. Shawn

    Cohen never called anybody a Nazi but cited a similar situation to represent the tactics employed by the republican party. If you tell a lie long enough, it takes on a life of its own and that can be dangerous....

    January 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  31. Starr, formerly known as vincent

    Yeah! Jeff Toobin is putting the "gun" question from Dr.s in perspective!
    It IS an important question re: childrens' safety and many people who own guns are not necessarily trained in their use or their danger to little ones.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  32. Sharon Hastings

    Thank you Jeffrey Toobin for the best common sense statement regarding this gun issue that I've heard so far.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  33. Linda Dufour

    Rep Cohen was trying to say the republicans are using Gobbels style propaganda tactics keep it short and repeat until people beleive it. It is standard communication tool Information vs propaganda

    January 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm |

    Preventative medicine is about dicsussing diet and excercise not pool or car safety.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  35. Michelle

    Many conservatives do use sophisticated propaganda techniques like those used by dictators of the past. I have watched conservatives on T.V. repeating a lie over and over until my 101 year old grandpa repeated it verbatim. It's really scary. Thank you Rep Cohen. Sometimes the truth is not politically correct.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  36. Nina

    MDs do NOT hold a degree or expertise knowledge in gun safety. Many doctors know less about guns than the average gun owner.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  37. Lori

    It is frustrating to hear that the representatives of the public waste their time on legislation to throw pediatricians in jail.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  38. Abel

    The standard rule for political discourse should be that if you compare someone to a Nazi, you automatically lose the debate. This is not the first time Republicans have been compared to Nazis, as Bush often was and even Representative Cantor, who is Jewish, has been. As a Republican, this is extremely offensive, but I can't pretend some GOPers haven't made such disgraceful comparisons before.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  39. eric

    Gobell is a know propagandatis. comparing the GOP to him is fitting, because it clearly shows the Gop persistent lie to the american people. If he was a christain, and a propagandatis, the comparison will still hold.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  40. Sue from Syracuse

    I dont think all politicians lie.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  41. Amy

    Can you name another famous propagandist who spread outrageous lies that changed history? Why does everyone in this country freak out when any reference to the Nazi era enters conversation? He didn't call Republicans Nazis, he said they used a similar technique that's effective for spreading lies.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  42. susan

    Glad someone is making the point how these kinds of tactics can lead to horendous consequences.
    thank you for making an analogy that has caught anderson cooper's attention so that maybe people will think about it.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  43. Ale G

    Frankly... I think that finally someone said something real about the Republicans.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  44. Sue

    He is talking about Brainwashing and he is right....They need to stop!!

    January 19, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  45. Jo

    Dear Mr. Cooper,
    Thank you for calling that disgrace of a politician on the carpet for his shameful comparisons to Nazis and KKK and for not letting him divert the conversation as he tried to do over and over. I am sick of all politicians comparing the opposing party to history's worst and being allowed to get away with it by their own party! Shame on his party too for being silent!

    January 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  46. Fran

    Anderson, you are so correct telling
    Steve Cohen how wrong his speech was. I know him personally and he was sure out of his league trying to keep up with your questions. Thank you for speaking out regardless of the party.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  47. Steve

    Rep Cohen is being rediculous...Thank You Anderson for calling him out..Rep Cohen is a hypocrite. Republicans are not Nazi's. Democrats are not Nazi's. There are both just doing what politicians do! Lie!

    January 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  48. Fred

    The tactic is what is being compared to Nazis. Perhaps of if anyone knows who else in history has used short repetative lies to win over the simple minded, well then perhaps the representative would refer to them instead of the Nazi propaganda machine.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  49. David

    I want to thank you for being equally critical of politicians, their respective statements and their actions, despite their party affiliation.

    Our national discourse is not between the left or the right, but rather against a culture of activism that violates social responsibilities and for some bizarre reason allows these activists to justify their horrible actions from either the left or right, and then find political cover from social media and various news media.

    This behavior is unacceptable.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  50. Manuel

    He is referring to the tactics used. The use of those tactics is correct.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
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