Monday, Jun. 06, 2011

The Hitler Tweet

Twitter may be many things, but a venue for nuance it is not. If you're going to call Adolf Hitler a "strong leader," then you better do so with more caveats than can be expressed in 140 characters. And yet, in 2010, Wisconsin Republican state Senate candidate Dane Deutsch tweeted, "Hitler and Lincoln were both strong leaders. Lincoln's character made him the greater leader whose legacy and leadership still lives on!"

When TIME named Hitler 1938's Man of the Year, it was an acknowledgment of his malevolent power; he was a strong leader, yes, but a leader of a "demagogic, ignorant, desperate movement." Deutsch apparently meant as much, but Wisconsin's Senate Democratic Committee pounced on the words months after they were posted and the ill-advised tweeter lost the election to the Democratic incumbent.