Bush Equals Hitler And Mussolini

Well, at least we’re getting some progress: Bush is now comparable to two of the Fascist leaders who butch ered millions of people rather than just one.


A prominent federal judge has told a conference of liberal lawyers that President Bush’s rise to power was similar to the accession of dictators such as Mussolini and Hitler. “In a way that occurred before but is rare in the United States, somebody came to power as a result of the illegitimate acts of a legitimate institution that had the right to put somebody in power. That is what the Supreme Court did in Bush versus Gore. It put somebody in power,” said Guido Calabresi, a judge on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which sits in Manhattan.

“The reason I emphasize that is because that is exactly what happened when Mussolini was put in by the king of Italy,” Judge Calabresi continued, as the allusion drew audible gasps from some in the luncheon crowd Saturday at the annual convention of the American Constitution Society. “The king of Italy had the right to put Mussolini in, though he had not won an election, and make him prime minister. That is what happened when Hindenburg put Hitler in. I am not suggesting for a moment that Bush is Hitler. I want to be clear on that, but it is a situation which is extremely unusual,” the judge said.

Judge Calabresi, a former dean of Yale Law School, said Mr. Bush has asserted the full prerogatives of his office, despite his lack of a compelling electoral mandate from the public. “When somebody has come in that way, they sometimes have tried not to exercise much power. In this case, like Mussolini, he has exercised extraordinary power. He has exercised power, claimed power for himself; that has not occurred since Franklin Roosevelt who, after all, was elected big and who did some of the same things with respect to assertions of power in times of crisis that this president is doing,” he said.

The 71-year-old judge declared that members of the public should, without regard to their political views, expel Mr. Bush from office in order to cleanse the democratic system. “That’s got nothing to do with the politics of it. It’s got to do with the structural reassertion of democracy,” Judge Calabresi said.

His remarks were met with rousing applause from the hundreds of lawyers and law students in attendance.


Update: Glenn Reynolds (who was apparently at Yale Law when Calabresi was dean), Eugene Volokh, and Andrew Sullivan have more.

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election, Democracy, , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OF Jay says:

    Mercy on me should I turn 71 and start blathering similar prattlings. I’d sooner die young.

  2. Ken says:

    Judge Guido Calabresi’s comments appear accurate. Too bad he felt compelled to apologize.

  3. Johnathan Ivan says:

    Let us perform at least a perfunctory review of factual information:

    1. The United States has never invaded a country which did not attack us first.

    2. The United States, under Reagan (the Gipper!), normalized relations with Iraq (1983) under the guidance of Rumsfeld (as Reagan’s personal envoy to Sadaam).

    3. The United States, in seeking to make Iran pay for the 1979 hostage crisis, provided assitance to Iraq and made available chemical technologies so that chemical WMD could be used against Iran.

    4. The Unites States, when the Security Counsel issued a condemnation of chemical WMD being used in the Iraq-Iran war, asserted its authority to ensure that Iraq’s use of WMD would not be mentioned specifically.

    5. As late as July 2001, both Condi Rice & Colin Powell asserted – in public briefings – that Sadaam was not a threat and his military capability was so degraded due to sanctions that he no longer posed a threat to either his immediate neighbors or the United States.

    6. The American Enterprise Institute, http://www.aei.org , called on Clinton in 1997 to attack Iraq (as well as other Middle Eastern nations). The letter is dated and signed by Rumsfeld, Rice, Cheney, and others. It is posted proudly on their own webiste for all to see.

    7. We invaded Iraq to remove Sadaam’s WMD. Where are they? They don’t exist. Now the reason is we invaded to remove a brutal dictator who used WMD on his own people. If this new reason is factual, why did we not do so when Sadaam first begin a campaign of terror against his own people? Why were U.S. companies still doing business and supplying him with enabling technologies up until the Gulf War? Are we actually to believe that we invaded a country to stop a brutal dictator, and yet, we couldn’t even bring ourselves to stop providing him trade / technologies previously?

    8. If the Islamic people hate us because of our freedoms, then why did we surrender some of our core freedoms via the Patriot Act? Are we not Americans? Do we cower in fear and willingly surrender our values to achieve safety? If the terrorists hate us due to our freedoms, I suggest they attack Denmark. After all, those people have far more freedoms than we do; For example, they don’t prosecute drug users.

    9. We are ruled by a corrupt regime whose hubris has reached an unprecedented level as a result of their recognition that the middle class supports them, in spite of the fact that they view the middle class as nothing more than chattel to further their own lifestyles.

    10. All nations throughout history which initiated invasions, did so on the premise of pre-empting threats to nationalist interests. Prior to such invasions, the leaders of the aggressor nations spent several years changing the mindset of the populace to be fearful and suspicious of “outsiders”.

    I pray for America and hope we reverse course while we are still able. Another four years under Cheney / Ashcroft will weaken our democratic institutions beyond the ability of civil action to repair them.


    Johnathan Ivan