The Nevada Republican Party last week distributed material describing Democrats as sympathetic to Hitler.

The e-mailing was an excerpt from an article by Wayne Root, author of The King of Vegas’ Guide to Gambling. The article was a reaction to the defeat by Connecticut Democrats of U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman for the party’s nomination for reelection. Root equated support for Lieberman with opposition to terrorism, and opposition to Lieberman with “appeasement.”

“Democrats have chosen to embrace the politics of cowardice and retreat,” said the material sent out by the Nevada GOP. “They are now the party of Neville Chamberlain (who almost handed England to the Nazis through his incompetence, naiveté and cowardice). They have chosen to abandon Israel. … Democrats are the new Party of Appeasement. They want to make nice with Adolph [sic] Hitler. They want to shower the devil with wine, roses and dessert.”

Aside from the mean-spirited tone of the piece, the claim is also bad history—Democrat Franklin Roosevelt faced opposition from dozens of Republican leaders like Robert Taft, Herbert Hoover, Arthur Vandenberg, Gerald Nye, Burton Wheeler, William Borah, Frank Gannett, Charles Lindbergh and Henrick Shipstead when he tried to take steps like Lend-Lease to aid the British government against Hitler.

It also overlooks the fact that most national Democratic leaders, including Harry Reid of Nevada, intervened in a party primary in Connecticut to try to save the hawkish Lieberman.

Dennis Myers was the news editor of the Reno News & Review. He was a journalist for more than four decades. In 1987-88 he was chief deputy secretary of state of Nevada. He was coauthor of Uniquely...