A well-known rule of Internet discourse is Godwin's law, which states that, as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches inevitability.
Let me propose Nyhan's corollary: As a foreign policy debate with conservatives grows longer, the probability of a comparison with the appeasement of Nazis or Hitler approaches inevitability.
Make sure to read the whole thing...
Update 9/1 11:10 AM: Some commenters are complaining that I didn't mention liberals using Hitler analogies. The reason is that it was outside the scope of the column. However, I linked in the column to a blog post taking a liberal to task for using a Hitler analogy, and we wrote extensively about both sides' use of Hitler and Nazi analogies on Spinsanity.
Also, I should note something else about the appeasement rhetoric that I took for granted in my column -- the Bush administration is assailing a straw man, as the Washington Post pointed out (in an article I criticized for other reasons on THM):
Bush suggested last week that Democrats are promising voters to block additional money for continuing the war. Vice President Cheney this week said critics "claim retreat from Iraq would satisfy the appetite of the terrorists and get them to leave us alone." And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, citing passivity toward Nazi Germany before World War II, said that "many have still not learned history's lessons" and "believe that somehow vicious extremists can be appeased."
Pressed to support these allegations, the White House yesterday could cite no major Democrat who has proposed cutting off funds or suggested that withdrawing from Iraq would persuade terrorists to leave Americans alone. But White House and Republican officials said those are logical interpretations of the most common Democratic position favoring a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq
Sound familiar? It should. The administration has a penchant for attacking straw men. Here's a virtually identical passage from an interview with Dan Bartlett back in June -- he fails to name a single Democrat who wants to surrender, as President Bush suggested:
LAUER: The white flag of surrender — that's a very dramatic and harsh expression to use against the Democrats. Have you heard any Democrats calling for the white flag of surrender?
BARTLETT: Well, I have heard a lot of Democrats call this President a liar, saying we’ve gone into Iraq for the wrong reasons, saying that he’s incompetent. So there is a lot of heated rhetoric in Washington. But what we see in the heart wrenching developments, when we see our 2 soldiers lose their lives in such a horrific way, is that we're up against a very determined enemy. This is an epic struggle in which we have to be committed to winning.
Update 6/10/08 8:45 AM: A historian alerts me that there are questions about the veracity of the alleged Borah quote.