If you mention Hitler or Nazis in a post, you've automatically ended whatever discussion you were taking part in.I had thought that there was something about losing the discussion, too, but the link, which seems to be authoritative, indicates that there's more nuance and strategy than that to Godwin's Law.
What I'd like to know, and the link doesn't address, is whether invoking Neville Chamberlin and appeasement qualifies as a corollary of Godwin's Law. Looking at the formulation above, I think it does. Unfortunately, the latest and most public example requires responses. Olbermann, Kaplan, and Arkin have some of the best.
So the new Republican strategy is no more than a variant on the old Usenet flame wars, which continue, with the same unhappy results, on blog comment threads across the political spectrum.
Emotion is one thing, but dealing with our enemies is another. I'm wondering if we can develop another corollary of Godwin's Law in regard to "Islamofascism." Maybe
Tying the suffix -fascism to a prefix indicative of your opponent automatically ends the discussion?
There's a real danger here. If we want to know our enemy, we need more than labels. And we need to identify the enemy correctly. How about that cliche about circling the wagons and shooting in?
All this nazi stuff, and we can easily think of more spewing from the rightwing noise machine, is indicative of both a paucity of critical thought and a desire to demonize. It's too bad that our national leaders, if we can call the recyclers of Usenet's worst that, have decided to make it their theme for the next few months.