Hitler the Politician

In modern society the name Adolf Hitler is synonymous for evil. As the perpetrator of the greatest crime of this century and its most destructive war, Mr. Hitler well deserves this reputation.

Yet too often in speaking of Adolf Hitler people forget the man and see only the legend he has become. Hitler, after all, gained power as a politician in a democratic Germany. He played the game of compromises, elections, and leverage that all politicians play. Indeed, Hitler was quite adept at politics; without his skill the National Socialists would have remained a fringe party like so many others

Take the Enabling Act of 1933, the law which effectively turned a semi-democratic Germany into a one-party dictatorship. It essentially shifted all power – the ability to make laws, most importantly – from the legislative Reichstag (Germany’s parliament) to Germany’s executive government (Hitler, in other words). One clause, for instance, read:

Treaties of the Reich with foreign states which affect matters of Reich legislation shall not require the approval of the bodies of the legislature. The government of the Reich shall issue the regulations required for the execution of such treaties.

In getting this law passed Hitler could not merely declare his will and have all Germany follow; there were still checks against his power at that time. Because the Enabling Act modified the Germany’s constitution, it required a two-thirds majority in parliament. At the time the Nazis only controlled 288 out of 647 seats (under semi-free elections taken during the same month of March). Moreover, the Social Democrats and Communists – which together held almost one-third of parliament’s seats – were adamantly opposed to the Enabling Act. If Hitler was to pass his law, he would have to tread a very fine needle.

Events, however, had provided a useful tool for Hitler to wipe out his political opposition. A month before, in February 1933, unidentified arsonists set fire to the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament (today many suspect the Nazis themselves as culpable). Placing blame on the Communist Party, Hitler had passed an emergency decree eliminating civil liberties. Communist representatives in parliament were summarily jailed, prevented from voting against the Enabling Act.

Several other factors helped Hitler. The influential Catholic Centre Party agreed to support the Enabling Act; in return Hitler promised to protect the Catholic Church. Intimation was present: on the day of the vote Nazi Brown-shirts surrounded the legislature, chanting “Give us the Enabling Act or there will be another fire!” A number were present inside the building, armed and in full uniform, as voting proceeded.

In the end, the vote was 441 in favor, 94 against. On March 23rd, 1933 the Reichstag voted itself out of existence.

All in all, the Hitler portrayed here is quite different from the evil caricature. One sees a clever and ruthless politician, not a madman. Watching Hitler the politician makes the myth more mundane, but it also paints a more accurate picture of events as they were.

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

 

 

Alaskan Citizen Profiles Sarah Palin for the Rest of Us.

I have once mentioned and quoted the feedback of one of my former classmates who lives in Alaska, and his thoughts on Sarah Palin.  Well this email if from one of his friends, who is a school Principal and has experience working with and advising Governors and others in Alaska.  This is the email he sent to those who were asking him about Sarah Palin.  

It's enlightening for sure.  

Please enjoy and share!

Hi Friends,

My brother sent this note regarding his impressions about  Sarah Palin
(McCain's baffling VP choice).  I thought it was interesting  coming from
his inside-Alaska perspective, and worth passing along.  For  those who
don't know my brother,  he is a principal of a school up in  Alaska,
where he and his wife also teach.  THey've been Alaskan transplants  for
about 10 years.

Alice

From: Peter     Date: August 29,  2008 11:58:15 PM PDT
To:

Good evening, lots of friends and relatives  have been asking me (as an
Alaskan) what I think of Sarah Palin, our  Governor, and new choice for
McCain as a VP candidate.

Here it  goes:

This pick floored me.  Sarah Palin is a nice person.  I've met her,  I've
even talked to her for a few minutes at a principal's conference  a
couple of years ago.  She has lots going for her superficially.    She
speaks from the heart, like a spitfire mother; she can even be sort  of
funny sometimes.  She is quite beautiful;  athletic, and has  that
radiant glow of someone who actually spends time doing things  outside.
Unlike many politicians, she has lived a 'real life' and done  things
that few living and working in DC could ever do....like dipnettin'  fish,
shootin' stuff and eating it out on the tundra, and havin' 5  kids.

Personally, I'd never vote for her. She has an extremely simple  view of
the world.  I don't even think she has ever been abroad.  As  governor
she has repeatedly shown us that she is unable to grasp the demands  of
leadership.  She is very prone to cronyism of the worst kind.   Every
cabinet level political appointment she has made she has  over-ridden
suggestions of our state advisory boards, and instead promoted  those who
had granted her direct political favors.  Not that other  politicians
don't do this, they do, but most of them are able to balance  their
appointments to ensure that at least a few people with real skill  and
experience are running big state agencies.

She also has been  unable to pay attention to her Alaskan constituency.
Personally, I've written  several of our previous gov's and been asked to
comment publicly on education  policy.  All the previous gov's have
always acknowledged that contribution,  criticism or comment; sometimes
by direct reply, or at least by that of a  staff member.  Palin's office
has been a zone of silence.  Not I, nor one  person I know commenting has
ever gotten any sort of reply.   Her claim of  running an open or
transparent government is totally false; the public simply  has no role
in her administration.

Her previous claim to fame was  being mayor of Wasilla, a growing town
about 40 minutes from Anchorage of  about 15,000 people.  Wasilla is a
hellhole, even by Alaskan standards, where  there are plenty of hellhole
towns and villages. Wasilla is an ugly place  that shows a complete
absence of planning, design, or sense of public  vision.  Gov't agencies
and services are completely overrun in this town;  things are so bad that
they can't even track their population or build  schools in the right
place, because most parts of the town don't require  building permits, so
the only clue about where people are settling are  utility receipts.
Imagine trying to be an emergency responder in this kind of  place:
Houses don't just catch on fire in Wasilla, they burn to the  ground,
because by the time the fire department has figured out which road  to
take (no signs) or whose house it is (no directory), the place is  done
for.  Palin was mayor this town for at least 2 terms
before being  elected gov. a year and a half ago.

Her moral sense is simplistic and not  inclusive.  She is the sort of
person who is used to using their 'faith' to  divide and isolate minority
groups of human beings instead of uniting them.   To her credit as Gov.
she has kept out of this arena pretty well, but when in  comfortable
company (i.e the Matanuska Valley Republican Women's Club), she  lets her
moral cat out of the bag.

I will do what I can to ensure her  defeat and that of her running mate
as well.  :)  Please share this  information with those who can use it
well.

Cheers, Pete

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