The rash of recent Hitler comparisons has caused descendants of the Fuhrer to launch a public campaign to protect the memory of the late dictator.
"He was an evil megalomaniac of the first order," said family spokesperson Larry Hitler of Berlin, Ohio. "It’s unfair to keep comparing the Bush Administration to one of the most ruthless regimes of all time."
Larry, who is Adolph’s third cousin twice removed, said that a number of distant Hitler relatives recently decided that enough was enough.
"We couldn’t stand by and see Adolph’s sterling reputation for evil besmirched by a second rate gang of pretenders," said Larry. "I read about Adolph Hitler, I’m related to Adolph Hitler and George W. Bush is no Adolph Hitler."
Asked to comment on recent Hitler comparisons concerning excesses at Guantanamo Bay and the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the Berlin resident sighed and dismissed the charges as laughable.
"The Bush Administration has killed a few prisoners and tortured what - maybe a few thousand more?" said Mr. Hitler. "That’s not bad but it hardly compares to the millions my cousin killed."
Asked for his view on the Iraq War, Mr. Hitler was equally curt.
"The unilateral invasion of one or two nations is hardly reason to rank Mr. Bush with the leader of the Third Reich," said Mr. Hitler. "Remember, we’re talking about a guy who unilaterally invaded half a dozen different countries. When and if Mr. Bush invades Syria, Iran and North Korea, maybe we can start talking ‘new Hitler’ but not until then."
Similarly, the Bush Administration’s profiling and harassment of Muslims both at home and abroad falls far short of the Hitler gold standard according to the family spokesman.
"It’s a start," said Mr. Hitler. "And I have to hand it to Mr. Bush for his crusade reference, his religious fundamentalism and his suspension of civil liberties. But he’s got a long way to go before he deserves comparison with the master of genocide."
And when it comes to desolation and destruction, Mr. Hitler says that Mr. Bush can’t hold a candle to his much-maligned cousin.
"Thanks to his grandiose plans and schemes, Adolph left Germany in ruins," said Larry. "Mr. Bush has only brought America to the brink of financial insolvency. That’s hardly apocalyptic."
Comparisons to Hitler henchmen like Joseph Goebbels also get Hitler family members riled.
"Remember, Goebbels was the master of the big lie," said Larry Hitler. "The best that can be said about the efforts of folks like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney is that they qualify as medium lies. When less than half of the American public still believes in weapons of mass destruction and an Osama-Saddam connection, it’s insulting to put such fabrications in the same league as Joseph’s whoppers."
Larry Hitler says he hopes calmer heads will prevail and that the recent spate of Hitler analogies can be stopped now.
"Unless and until Mr. Bush achieves his true potential," said Mr. Hitler. "I just don’t think comparing him to Adolph is fair to anybody. I’m not saying he couldn’t be the next Hitler but let’s not jump the gun."
Hitler family members have apparently not ruled out taking their grievances to the U. S. Supreme Court which they are confident would grant them the relief they seek.
"Let’s face it," said Larry Hitler. "So long as we have a judiciary that protects private property from business needs and won’t interfere in free elections, we’re a long way yet from a truly fascist state."