Far Right Lunatic Fringe Fears

Mark Steyn links to one Barry Jay Warsch, who links to Miss Laura, a Daily Kos diarist who wrote a post about the importance of GOTV (Get Out the Vote) to this election. Miss Laura, who finds it difficult to urge people she doesn’t know to get out and vote, relates how she’s found a way to reward herself for pushing past her fear, to do this important work:

Getting Out the Vote

Getting Out the Vote

The 204 refers to the number of phone calls she made. Apparently, this is a chillingly insensitive and historically ignorant reminder of the Holocaust:

Admittedly, this may be a Jewish thing, but aren’t you frightened of people tattoo-ing numbers on your forearm to memorialize your service to “The One”?


It’s creepy, and it shows no knowledge of or respect for the Holocaust. No wisdom. No memory. No historical perspective.

I don’t think it’s a Jewish thing, Barry. I’m Jewish, and I come from a family of Holocaust survivors — which has shaped who I am and how I think probably more than anything else in my background. And I think you’re nuts. Here is a picture of an actual Holocaust survivor with a number tattooed on his forearm:

Holocaust survivor with number tattooed on forearm

Holocaust survivor with number tattooed on forearm

Does that look anything like Miss Laura’s number? For one thing, the numbers tattooed on the arms of concentration camp survivors were always on the back of their forearms, and higher up — not just above the wrist on the underside of the arm. The numbers are larger, there are more of them, they don’t even look anything like the 204 Miss Laura handwrote on her arm.

And another thing. Miss Laura did not “recommend memorializing your service to the cause by getting numbers tattooed on your forearm.” I mean, that’s just a lie. Here is what she wrote:

This is a lesson I learned in 2006. In September of that year, I wrote about how I’d always hated canvassing, to the point of praying as I walked up to every door that no one would be home. But I was learning to like it. In October, I wrote about how while I was now ok with canvassing, I still hated phonebanking. At that point, the most calls I could force myself to make in one sitting was 36, and I was hoping to get to 40 by the time of the election.

That’s why it was such a surprise the day I found my desire to win was stronger than my fear, and made 204 phone calls. I gritted my teeth every time I dialed. But I did it. So I got myself a souvenir, to remind me I can push myself further than I thought I could go.

There’s a lot to love about doing GOTV. Maybe you have a cool canvass partner, maybe a walk through a neighborhood of pretty houses on a beautiful day. Maybe you have one of those incredible conversations with someone on their doorstep — maybe an immigrant proudly tells you in halting English that he is now a citizen and is so excited to get to vote for the first time, maybe you actually change someone’s mind, or even just plant an idea you can see they’ll be thinking over for a while. Maybe there’s the thrill of finally getting to log onto Daily Kos and tell your friends you, too, were out there working to elect Democrats.

But even if you can’t find a way [that’s] fun, if you really believe we need Barack Obama to be president, need 60 in the Senate, need a progressive majority in the House that isn’t constantly undermined by the Republican-Blue Dog alliance, then you need to find a way to push yourself.

“I got myself a souvenir… you need to find a way to push yourself, too.” NOT “I got myself a tattoo… you need to get yourself a tattoo, too.”

These people can’t read, can’t think, and can’t tell the truth.

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