The “despot comparison throwdown” this week is just just about to get underway, and it’s a doozy. Today, our competitors are two heavy hitters in politics.

In the red corner, we have Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe, solid conservative and former participant in this competition for once comparing the EPA to the Gestapo. When cornered, Inhofe is known to lift old people with one hand and threaten to drop them:

In the blue corner, we have DNC Chairman Howard “Yeeaargh!” Dean. Dean’s skills include a high decibal yawp that makes the ears of political opponents run red with blue-state blood — it’s a yell that is also, coincidentally, the mating call of the Tinitus Warbler. Dr. Dean has been known to sacrifice little kitties when cornered:

And we’re underway!

Inhofe has scored quickly by comparing Al Gore’s global warming fright-fest to tactics used by the Nazis.

“It kind of reminds . . . I could use the Third Reich, the big lie,” Inhofe said.

“You say something over and over and over and over again, and people will believe it, and that’s their strategy.”

Actually, that reference is one part Hitler, and one part Joseph Goebbels, so Inhofe scores two points on this shot.

But the competition won’t take it lying down…

Doctor Dean is countering the Inhofe strategy by comparing Florida Senate candidate Katherine Harris to Joseph Stalin:

“Thank God for Bill Nelson, because we’d have another crook in the United States Senate if it weren’t for him. He is going to beat the pants off Katherine Harris. She doesn’t understand that it’s…improper to be chairman of a campaign and count the votes at the same time. This is not Russia and she is not Stalin.”

This gallant effort to compare the former Florida Secretary of State and current U.S. Representative to the man who murdered 20 million people earns Dean a point. But what now? Dean is still down 2 to 1?

This is where a good politician finds his second wind. This is what they’ve trained for.

Dean is now pushing Inhofe, and the entire Republican party, back on the ropes by calling Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki an “anti-Semite.” Ooh, that had to hurt! This is, by default according to the judges, the equivalent of comparing every Republican to Adolph Hitler, and earns the man that his opponents call “The Vermont Vermin” another point. Howard Dean has tied the score at 2-2 right at the end of regulation!

Get ready for the overtime! These two competitors do not like each other.

Some action now down in the bullpen. I see a Pol Pot reference warming up alongside an Osama bin Laden comparison. Will Dean and Inhofe go to the righty, or the lefty in the overtime?

Stay tuned!

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