Monday, February 12, 2007


[posted by Callimachus]

George Soros was decent enough or wise enough to back away from his "de-Nazification" remark, for which I'm glad.

As regards my use of the term "de-Nazification," I am not too proud to admit this was a bad choice of words. I certainly do not put the United States and Nazi Germany in the same moral category. What I meant was that the United States needs to engage in a profound soul searching about the harm the war in Iraq has done to others and ourselves.

That's fine by me, we're back to zero, and he was speaking off the cuff when he made the original remark, I believe.

But I wonder where this leaves those who wrote in enthusiastic endorsement of the "de-Nazification of America" idea, who did put the two nations in the same moral category, and who were, well, very much on the cuff?* They don't have Soros to hide behind anymore.

*[My phrase is a false inversion. Off the cuff meaning "extemporaneously" first turns up in the late 1930s in U.S. English and suggests an actor or speaker reading from notes jotted on his shirt sleeves rather than learned lines.]