Jan
12

Jonah qui aura I.Q. de 25 en l’an 2008*




Posted at 6:59 by Mister Leonard Pierce

Some people seem to think we hate Jonah Goldberg.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. First of all, the Doughy Pantload has given us hundreds of hours of entertainment; in his official role as Village Idiot of the Internet, he never ceases to amuse us with his falling off of walls, tumbling into ditches, and trying to come up with smart things to say when he’d really rather be at home watching Deep Space Nine DVDs. He’s so clearly ill-suited for the role in which he was thrust, he’s almost like a Terry Southern character: General Ripper with a bottle of GameFuel instead of grain alcohol and rainwater, the gun-wielding redneck at the end of Easy Rider gone to Goucher College, Mark Noonan with a rich mom.

the fact that i am an idiot is central to my point

But beyond that…we kinda feel for ol’ Jonah. There are even times, when he’s all wound up from talking about Battlestar Galactica with his soul-mate John Podhoretz and just needs to go run around in the yard for a couple of hours, that we almost like him. After all, aren’t his troubles our own? Haven’t all of us been forced into a position we can’t possibly live up to, possibly by our dagger-wielding harridan of a mother? Haven’t all of us at some point felt like a bit of an intellectual fraud? Haven’t all of us, once or twice in our lives, stood before the world, feeling doughy and bearing in our metaphorical trousers a reeking, sticky pantload of our own making?

The difference between us and Jonah, though, is that we know our limitations. We don’t keep up the pretense that we are something that we’re not. Having produced the occasional pantload, we do not strip off our trousers, turn our boxers inside out, and present it to the world as if it were a basket of flowers. Jonah Goldberg is a clown, but he’s a clown who thinks he’s a lion — or, worse yet, a lion tamer. When people like you and I make fools of ourselves, we quietly own up to it, make what amends can be made, and go on with our lives, determined to either better ourselves or at least avoid such humiliating circumstances in the future. When Jonah Goldberg makes a mistake — even a 496-page mistake that retails for $27.95 — he goes around the country on a media blitz telling everyone how awesome it is, and that if they think it’s a mistake, that’s not his problem because they’re clearly not smart enough to understand it. His job, in short, is to sell people shit and tell them it’s sugar.

His latest sales pitch comes on the electronic pages of Salon magazine, where the inhumanly patient Alex Koppelman does what very few of us would have the wherewithal to do: sit there nodding politely while Jonah Goldberg makes a gigantic ass out of himself.

The interview is a real pip, perhaps the purest distillation outside of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Dracula to All the Baldwin Brothers Except for Stephen itself of the unbelievably shoddy thinking, half-assed research, bogus equivocation, pathetic defensive self-aggrandizement and total inability to defend even the simplest premises of his own work that characterize the book. In order to make this entry serve not just as a review of the article, but as a consumer ranking — of the sort that appeared on the book’s Amazon page before they mysteriously disappeared [Gavin adds: Although I was wrong in reporting their disappearance on the book's publication date, life soon caught up to art] — we will rate some of Jonah’s choicer comments based on overall incoherence, dishonesty and sad-little-clownitude, using the symbol of which the Doughy Pantload himself is so fond.

What’s the book about?

It’s a revisionist history. It’s an attempt to reconfigure, or I would say correct, the standard understanding of the political and ideological context that frames most of the ideological debates that we have had since, basically, World War II. There’s this idea that the further right you go the closer you get to Nazism and fascism, and the further left you go the closer you get to decency and all good things, or at least having the right intentions in your heart.

RATING: smileysmileysmiley

Jonah comes out of the box strong, claiming the phrase ‘revisionist history‘ as if it were something to be gamely proud of, instead of something popularly associated with people like David Irving. Bonus points for his highfalutin’ hopes that he alone can rectify sixty years of bad history, and his implication that the misunderstanding about the right-wing nature of fascism arose soon after the defeat of an axis of right-wing fascist dictatorships in WWII by liberal democracies.

For 60 years most historians have been putting fascism on the right, or conservative, side of the political spectrum. What are you able to see that they weren’t?

There are a lot of historians who get fascism basically right. There are a lot of historians who don’t. I think the Marxists have been part and parcel of a basic propaganda campaign for a very long time, but there are plenty of historians who understand what fascism was and are actually quite honest about it.

RATING: smileysmiley

Nothing too special here, although he does score for not mentioning any particular historians lest he be exposed as even more of a putz than usual. What the Crazy Commie Conspiracy has to do with anything is a tad baffling — have they been going around poisoning historians’ water with fluoride so they can’t see how essentially liberal the history of fascism is? — but it’s not until his next paragraph that he really grunts and squeezes:

To sort of start the story, the reason why we see fascism as a thing of the right is because fascism was originally a form of right-wing socialism. Mussolini was born a socialist, he died a socialist, he never abandoned his love of socialism, he was one of the most important socialist intellectuals in Europe and was one of the most important socialist activists in Italy, and the only reason he got dubbed a fascist and therefore a right-winger is because he supported World War I.

Now, let’s leave aside the idiocy of the conception of “right-wing socialism”. Let’s leave aside the fact that Mussolini abandoned socialism the second he was in power (though we’ll return to that point). Let’s leave aside even the downright jaw-dropping characterization of Mussolini as a ‘socialist intellectual’ — Christ, he wasn’t even a fascist intellectual. Let’s instead focus on that last sentence, which I’d like to repeat for emphasis:

the only reason he got dubbed a fascist and therefore a right-winger is because he supported World War I

RATING: smileysmileysmileysmileysmiley

There you have it, folks: that right there is what we call an A-bomb of idiocy. The only reason, says Jonah, that Benito Mussolini got dubbed a fascist is because he supported WWI. HEY, JONAH, DO YOU THINK MAYBE HIS FOUNDING THE NATIONAL FASCIST PARTY HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT? DO YOU THINK POSSIBLY THE FACT THAT MUSSOLINI ACTUALLY COINED THE TERM “FASCISM” AND OPENLY IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS A FASCIST FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS MIGHT HAVE PLAYED A PART? I dunno, it’s worth thinking about maybe!

Moving on.

You write about militarism being central to fascism, and a militaristic strain remaining in today’s liberalism — the war on cancer, the war on drugs, the War on Poverty. Why include the war on drugs formulation with liberalism? It was Richard Nixon who declared it, then it withered under Jimmy Carter and then Ronald Reagan really brought it back and was the drug warrior.

I think that’s probably a fair criticism. But I should start at the beginning … What appealed to the Progressives about militarism was what William James calls this moral equivalent of war. It was that war brought out the best in society, as James put it, that it was the best tool then known for mobilization … That is what is fascistic about militarism, its utility as a mechanism for galvanizing society to join together, to drop their partisan differences, to move beyond ideology and get with the program. And liberalism today is, strictly speaking, pretty pacifistic. They’re not the ones who want to go to war all that much. But they’re still deeply enamored with this concept of the moral equivalent of war, that we should unite around common purposes. Listen to the rhetoric of Barack Obama, it’s all about unity, unity, unity, that we have to move beyond our particular differences and unite around common things, all of that kind of stuff. That remains at the heart of American liberalism, and that’s what I’m getting at.

RATING: smileysmileysmiley

Jonah turns the slickest intellectual trick of which he’s capable here: he clearly understands that any sensible person, realizing how central to fascism militarism is, would immediately identify it as a signifier of the right, seeing as the right is so fond of, you know, actually starting wars and stuff. So he defines militarism — indeed, the fascistic element of militarism — not as actual militarism, but as uniting people behind social causes and attempting to instill in people a bipartisan attitude towards problem-solving. So, since everyone who has ever written about militarism identifies it as characteristic of the extreme right, he just flips the script and comes up with a definition of militarism that doesn’t actually have anything to do with the military. It’s brilliant, in a sad, crazy way.

[Gavin adds: It's even persuasive to a degree. You start thinking about the idea of detourned militarism and popular movements in America, and it seems there might be a certain insight to it. Until all of a sudden you're like, Hey, wait just one single, solitary cotton-pickin' second here -- because you realize that Jonah is surrounded, personally and professionally, by actual, literal militarists of the non-metaphorical right-wing sort. The dude pals around with war-whooping missile-dicks like John Podhoretz, V.D. Hanson, and Mark Steyn, for Jesus sake. At this point you're forced to sort of stand gaping in awe.]

As for the war on drugs part, I think you make a perfectly fine point, except I would argue that Nixon was not a particularly conservative guy. Measured by today’s standards and today’s issues, Nixon would be in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

He knows there’s no way he can bail Reagan out on this one, so he focuses instead on the high-larious notion that Nixon was a closet liberal who would be perfectly at home toward the left of today’s Democratic party, what with its constant attempts to play up racial division, disenfranchise minorities, prolong foreign wars, and throw protesters into prison.

You’ve talked about Mussolini remaining on the left and remaining a socialist, and in your book you’ve got a lot of quotes from the 1920s about that, but I’m wondering — how does that fit in with what he wrote and said later, especially “The Doctrine of Fascism” in 1932?

I’d need to know specifically what he wrote in “The Doctrine of Fascism.” It’s been about three years since I’ve read it.

RATING: smileysmileysmiley smiley

We’re now getting into a lengthy stretch of the article where Jonah — who after all has written an entire book based on the argument that since Hitler and Mussolini were socialists, modern liberals, as heirs to the ideology of socialism, are likewise followers in the fascist footsteps of Hitler and Mussolini — illustrates quite clearly that he has no idea what Hitler or Mussolini believed. Hence this whoopsy-doodle ‘Gosh, you know, it’s been so long since I read it’ dodge that’s the surest way to spot phonies and poseurs. But it gets better: since Koppelman, who actually does know what he’s talking about, is aware that Mussolini despised socialism and came to power after repudiating socialism, unleashing his fascisti on the streets to attack socialists and communists, and forming a government from which socialists were excluded, is going to make him look like a huge jackass, he needs to get back to the only move he’s got, which is defining things so that they mean what he says they mean instead of meaning what everyone else thinks they mean. Let’s watch!

He says, for example, “Granted that the 19th century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the 20th century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the ‘right ‘, a Fascist century.”

Yeah, I’m perfectly willing to concede there’s a lot of stuff Mussolini says, but you’ve got to remember, by ’32, socialism is starting to essentially mean Bolshevism.

RATING: smileysmileysmiley smiley

Jonah is “perfectly willing to concede there’s a lot of stuff Mussolini says”! Wow, that’s downright magnanimous of him, to admit that Mussolini said a lot of stuff! What a stinging rejoinder to the deployment of a statement that makes him look like a complete fraud! Sure, Mussolini might have said things in his most famous essay that completely contradict Jonah’s claims about his beliefs, but hey, he said a lot of stuff. That is some robust argumentation there, folks.

And if you get too caught up in the labels, rather than the policies, you get yourself into something of a pickle.

RATING: smileysmileysmiley

Jonah probably got so distracted here thinking about pickles, and how much he would like to eat one, that he failed to consider that if you actually do look at Mussolini’s policies, despite his absurd claim later in the interview that “in terms of the policies he implemented and where he came to, once again, at the end of his life, he always clung to the policies that were associated with the left side of the political spectrum”, they were, of course, almost entirely rightist. Aside from his contempt for socialism, his hatred of communists, his marginalization of leftists, his promotion of social intolerance, and his rampant militarism, he was a right-winger in nearly every respect: he passed legislation that favored high industry and wealthy farmers, he privatized state-run services and industries, he liberalized rent laws, he completely shut down unions, he increased police powers, he cracked down on dissent, he favored a corporatist system, he favored production of cash crops, and he made public displays of piety to get religious people on his side. Jonah is completely full of it and he knows it, and this — this is the best he can come up with:

But isn’t it easy to distinguish, since Mussolini repudiated the central doctrine of Marxism?

Well, I mean, I bet you if you gave me an hour I could find places where he once again says nice things about Marxism in 1933 or 1937.

RATING: smileysmileysmiley

Because he said a lot of stuff, you know? (Not to mention all the things that were said about him — when will Jonah respond to the charges that Mussolini bit his weenie and now it doesn’t work?) Jonah can’t actually remember any of the times Mussolini said anything good about Marxism, even though Mussolini’s being a dedicated socialist is an intrinsic part of his whole argument — but hey, what is this, anyway, quiz time? He said some good stuff about Marxism! Jonah is sure he can find it if you just give him an hour! But you can’t see the book he’s getting it from, because it lives in Canada.

But he repudiated historical materialism, dialectical materialism.

Yeah. But I think the problem is you get into one of these sort of overly doctrinal, “let’s go to the text” approaches where words get confused for things.

RATING: smileysmileysmileysmileysmiley

This is totally awesome in its pure, life-hating, anti-intellectual ballsiness. What Jonah is saying here is that you can’t rely on things that Mussolini actually said, because then you will get confused and start to doubt Jonah Goldberg’s interpretation of what Mussolini, in fact, meant. Say what you will about the Pantload, that takes a lot of stones, to make that argument.

Payne also says that a “fundamental characteristic” of fascism was “extreme insistence on what is now termed male chauvinism and the tendency to exaggerate the masculine principle in almost every aspect of activity.” How does that fit in with contemporary liberalism, especially Hillary Clinton, who was at one point in the subtitle of your book?

It’s a great question. I’ve actually thought a lot about that, and I wish I had quoted that thing from Payne, because I say at the end of the book that the classical fascisms of mid-20th century were essentially masculine phenomena. They fit in the Orwellian dystopian vision of the future, where you have the strong father figure…but there’s another dystopian understanding of the future, which we get from [Aldous] Huxley’s “Brave New World.” That was a fundamentally American vision.

RATING: smileysmileysmileysmiley

Points for flitting around like a butterfly on kitchen-sink crank, unable to figure out if what he means by ‘fascism’ is ‘socialism’ or ‘liberalism’ or ‘communism’ or ‘(any) dystopian vision.’ Triple kitty bonus points for referring to Brave New World (written in London, set in London, penned by an author from Surrey) as “fundamentally American.”

[T]he vision of the Huxleyian “Brave New World” future is one where everyone’s happy. No one’s being oppressed, people are walking around chewing hormonal gum, they’re having everything done for them, they’re being nannied almost into nonexistence. That’s the fascism in Hillary Clinton’s vision. It’s not the Orwellian stamping on a human face thing, it’s hugs and kisses and taking care of boo-boos. It is the nanny state. That is a much more benign dystopia than “1984,” but for me at least, it’s still a dystopia. An unwanted hug is still as tyrannical or as oppressive — not as oppressive, but an unwanted hug is still oppressive if you can’t escape from it.

RATING: smileysmileysmiley

Jonah rambles on a bit here, but you gotta love how he says in the second sentence that in Brave New World no one’s being oppressed and in the last sentence that it’s very oppressive. He also gets credit for actually seeming to realize, mid-sentence, that he’s completely full of shit and correcting himself after saying that getting an unwanted hug is just as bad as being shot in the back of the head. Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

How do you feel about the reaction to your book so far, especially from the liberal blogosphere?

I think most of them should be ashamed. I think it’s been fairly idiotic; you look at — Who’s that weirdo, the guy with the “Too Hot for TNR” blog? Spencer Ackerman. That’s absurd, and it’s childish. Type my name into Daily Kos. As hilarious as some people might think it is to call me a “Doughy Pantload,” at some point if that is the crux of your objection to a 500-page book that Tom Wolfe says is the best and most important revisionist history in a very long time, that says a lot more about those people than it does about me.

RATING: smiley

We’re so hurt that Jonah didn’t mention us by name that we’re not even going to point out that we called Jonah a doughy pantload long before he wrote this idiotic book. However, if he doesn’t find that hilarious, we’re sure not going to interrupt his self-aggrandizement to point out that he is also known, in Mussolini’s homeland, as Il Carico Pastoso, as die Dick-Gesicht Wohlfahrt Königin in Hitler’s Germany, and “??????????”, or “foolish political figure who watches too much television”, in Tojo’s Japan.

I would love to see some serious liberals take on the book in a serious way, I really would. I am sure I get things wrong, I know there are counter-arguments to be had, I’ve heard some of them from very sharp conservatives that I admire, but so far the response from the left-wing blogs I just ignore, because it’s childish.

RATING: smileysmiley

Here, Jonah pulls out the argument, much beloved by J. Lileks of Fuddles, MN, that he knows there are legitimate arguments to be had against his views, but he has certainly not heard any of them from liberals. One might suggest that’s because he isn’t listening; one might also suggest that there is only one way to respond to a clown, and that is by laughing. And one might be right. But wait, Jonah’s gonna teach us a thing or two about being serious:

But the cover has the smiley face with the Hitler mustache. Does that undermine that message and lead to some of these reactions?

Well, I’m perfectly glad to concede that people who do judge books by their covers or think it’s more important to read a title rather than read a book will be confused and jump to conclusions. But these are people that I don’t generally respect. The cover was Random House’s invention, and I’m still sort of ambivalent about it, but you make covers to sell books, you make titles to sell books, even though my title comes from a speech by H.G. Wells … The cover, the smiley face with the mustache, is a play on something I explain on basically Page One of the book, and it’s a reference to what George Carlin and Bill Maher call smiley-face fascism. [Gavin adds: Yes indeed. And it certainly does not at all come from Bertram Gross.] And if you can’t get past the cover and the title, then you’re not a serious book reader and you’re not really a serious person.

RATING: smileysmileysmileysmileysmiley

“So, in conclusion: first of all, the cover wasn’t even my idea. Second of all, you are totally judging a book by its cover, and you suck. Thirdly of all, there is absolutely nothing juvenile or provocative or unserious about putting a cartoon of Hitler on the cover of my very important and well-researched book, nor is there anything childish or inflammatory about giving it a title that implies that liberals are fascists and compares Hillary Clinton to Benito Mussolini. And if you can’t see that, you’re the one who’s not serious, not me.”

You know what? We take it back. I guess we kinda do hate Jonah Goldberg.


* Q.v.

115 Comments »

  1. Lesley said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:03

    After all, aren’t his troubles our own?

    NO!

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:14

    Having produced the occasional pantload, we do not strip off our trousers, turn our boxers inside out, and present it to the world as if it were a basket of flowers.

    Is this not how we have a Preznit Bush, with Five Deferments and a Shotgun Blast to the Face serving as his puppet master?

  3. mikey said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:20

    Sorry, Mr. Dude.

    I tried to read the whole fuckin thing.

    But the stupid, y’know?

    I just kept getting dizzy and confused.

    So I’m like, gonna have to go with loadpants here.

    I think he made a fine case.

    A fine case for what, I’ll admit I don’t know, but it’s just so stupid and tedious. If I can be allowed to surrender, I’ll be delighted to agree to any fascist thing…

    mikey

  4. Lesley said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:23

    Jeezus, Leonard, this is excellent.

    Ok, what bugs me is how polite this interviewer was. Why didn’t he have the balls to say to Jonah what you wrote here? Why are people still cordial toward people like George Bush and Jonah Goldberg? Whyyyyyyyyyyy?

    Goldberg should be ashamed of himself. He claims he can’t remember subject matter relevant to his damn book and can’t be bothered with historical text. Why should anyone be bothered with his text?

  5. Stavro said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:25

    when he’d really rather be at home watching Deep Space Nine DVDs.

    Hey, now! Just because the wingnut Pantloads own those DVDs, it does not follow that all who own them are wingnut Pantloads!

    Ok. I’ll continue reading the post now.

  6. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:28

    Oh by the way…while I was editing my lil’ ol’ comment, I accidentally knocked out the part where I said, “Leonard Pierce, you rawk”.

    I means it, too.

  7. Leonard Pierce said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:31

    Lesley — I didn’t excerpt it, but there’s a point in the interview where Jonah basically pleads with Koppelman to stop quoting bits of Mussolini that contradict his book. He says it’s of limited utility, which I think is Pantlodian for “it makes me look like a dick”.

    Hey, now! Just because the wingnut Pantloads own those DVDs, it does not follow that all who own them are wingnut Pantloads!

    Indeed, this is central to my point.

  8. Fozzetti said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:33

    If Liberals using phrases like “War on Poverty” or “War on Cancer” is militaristic, and therefore Fascist, wouldn’t that make people who actually start real wars even more Fascist?

    I’m impressed he admits to being called Doughy Pantload. And not knowing Mussolini invented the word Fascism. And not reading “The Doctrine of Fascism” (for 3 years). You’d think he’d brush up before an interview.

    And telling people on his blog about the Texan book buyer who, even tho there were only *2* LibFac books in the store, decided to come back a few days later to get a discount.

    Mr. Goldberg has no sense of Embarrassment or shame. I expect whoever or whatever is behind this book (I doubt D’ohboy thought it up) looked a long long time before finding someone dumb enough to write such a book.

  9. Galactic Dustbin said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:37

    I have this awful feeling that somehow, someday this talentless smarmy idiot will be the advisor to presidents.

    I am going to start learning Chinese right now.

  10. cd6 said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:39

    How can you do this and leave off the part where he accuses Mussolini of coming up with multiple definitions of facsism that he uses to just label whatever he doesn’t like?

    It’s like an irony explosion?

  11. J— said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:44

    Good stuff, Mister Leonard Pierce, real good stuff.

    Goldberg took this exchange so seriously, he even dressed up for it. This short video is actual footage of his Salon interview.

    One more thing. Goldberg would have us believe the liberal fascism of Hillary Clinton differs from the classical fascism of Adolf Hitler in that Hillary’s oppression comes in the form of hugs and Adolf’s in the form of stamped faces. But the two can go together, yes, they can! I just received the February issue of the liberal fascist magazine Harper’s, and in it I find a hear-warming excerpt from a 1935 letter from a German family to Hitler (pp. 25-26). The family wrote to describe the seven-year-old daughter’s determination to marry and take care of a very special man.

    “My dear little girl,” said Father in earnest, “[Hitler] is not alone. He has all of us, men, women, and children in Germany and far beyond. We all love him. That is worth much more than the love of just one person.”

    “Yes, I know that. That’s true, Daddy. But when I am his wife, then I will set the table for him. He’ll get flowers, and I’ll cuddle and kiss him.”

    Hugs and kisses and cuddles: the totalitarian temptation from some little girl and her infatuation with the führer in Berlin in 1935 to Hillary Clinton and her new-found voice in New Hampshire in 2008.

  12. Kuda Bux said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:45

    Ah, how delightful that he mournfully noted how much he would love to hear a serious argument from a liberal but, alas, none had appeared IN THE MIDDLE OF ONE. I heard more astute give-and-take and saw a better grasp on the reality of one’s hopeless situation in “Dude, Where’s My Car?”

  13. Righteous Bubba said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:48

    But you can’t see the book he’s getting it from, because it lives in Canada.

    Heh. Now to track down his Mary Rosh: there seem to be a variety of Jonah defenders who are unwilling to specify what they think he’s actually correct about.

  14. another jim said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:54

    Mm, good review; but I wouldn’t say Mussolini “liberalized” rent laws…that might be turned into some sort of grand deliberate misunderstanding of where renting landlords come from. You know, vol. 2, “Liberal Feudalism”.

  15. Jim said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:56

    I wish I had quoted that thing from Payne
    “That one thing that you just said, that is, uhhh, because it was really kind of central to my point. I read the whole thing one time, and that thing was really … uh … a good part of it.”

  16. moondancer said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:56

    That was a beating. Jonah seemed to like it as he linked to at his site and told his critters that he thought it went well.
    If that was good for him, then he lives a pitiful life. Koppelman used a scalpel so deftly Doughy didn’t even notice.

    Tribute to the Goldberg principle:

    Though I believe in moderation in most things, there is no such thing as excess when heaping scorn and derision on Jonah Goldberg.

    – -Albert Einstein

  17. Arky - Professional Peace Disturber said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:01

    Excellent breakdown of Johan’s ongoing breakdown, but this one only deserves half a sHmiley:

    not as actual militarism, but as uniting people behind social causes and attempting to instill in people a bipartisan attitude towards problem-solving.

    Things you will never see:

    Organized groups committing acts of violence in the name of the War on cancer, hunger or poverty.

    Things you all too often see:

    Organized groups of Creatures From the Shallow End of the Gene Pool screeching that they’re waging a [holy] war to defend America from teh ghey and mobbing family planning clinics. And I wish the interviewer had asked Gooey Dumpwad who coined the phrase War on Christmas.

    The man is a walking, talking term paper with a big red F emblazoned across the top

  18. Rightwingsnarkle said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:05

    “…when will Jonah respond to the charges that Mussolini bit his weenie and now it doesn’t work?

    Wow. And all this time I thought the ditty went:

    Whistle while you work (weet weet)
    Hitler is a jerk (weet weet)
    Mussolini
    Bit his weenie
    Now it doesn’t squirt

    Of course! ‘jerk…work’ makes much more sense than ‘jerk…squirt.’

    And to think that for all these years…

    Thanks. I learned something today, after all.

  19. RandomObserver said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:07

    Do I get some sort of finders fee for this? Come on now!

    I think the bit about the militarism and the “moral equivalent of war” is my favorite.

    It’s funny how the “War on Poverty” is a war akin to Nazi war, the War on Drugs is also akin to Nazi war and a liberal invention to boot (don’t liberals like to DO drugs?), but ACTUAL WAR ITSELF SOMEHOW DOES NOT COUNT.

    I was thinking about this last night while suffering from acid reflux (good times) and I came up with the following brilliant conclusion explaining why the book is so awful:

    The basic premise of the book is rooted in comparison, but the arguments themselves are not comparative.

    The fact that liberalism is vaguely related to fascism in some ways is not in itself exciting or “secret.” The premise of the book is really that liberals are MORE like fascists than conservatives, but it makes no attempt to justify this through actual comparisons of liberal and conservative thought and policies.

  20. Jim said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:09

    Also, to be perfectly fair, J.Go is not alone in stating that Nixon is “liberal” – though that usually has meant “too liberal for today’s Republican Party.”

  21. inkadu said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:11

    Why, when in reference to Golberg, does smiley-face Hitler morph in my mind into smiley-face Dirty Sanchez???

  22. rageahol said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:13

    tl;dr

  23. Brad said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:22

    OMG that was awesome. Well played, Leonard.

  24. KC45s said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:23

    Absolutely great post, Leonard. I wish I’d written it.

  25. mextremist said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:26

    shorter pantload:

    sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never make much sense when I type them

  26. Snorghagen said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:29

    Well, I mean, I bet you if you gave me an hour I could find places…

    Wow, he doesn’t even have any bullshitting skills. How can he possibly hope to pursue a successful career as a fraud if he doesn’t know how to obfuscate? Didn’t he learn anything in college?

    Even in an age of monumental nosepickers, Jonah is truly a titan.

  27. christian h. said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:31

    Great post! I really think Jonah could use a blind date – with a firing squad. This would only strengthen his argument.

  28. Butch Manly said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:32

    You’d think at this point there wouldn’t be any more high comedy to wring out of the poor rube and his poorly-researched book, but obviously not.

  29. g said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:41

    Wow. this is a helluva post.

    But I’m going to bed now. Nighty nite.

  30. Lesley said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:42

    Btw, if Hitler had received more hugs (and less abuse) in his childhood he might not have become a totalitarian shithead. There’s a lot of good to be said for hugs.

  31. anon said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:45

    Wait a minute. I get it.

    The short version of this post is: Jonah’s on deck for a monthly slot at the New York Times!

  32. Donnie said,

    January 12, 2008 at 8:51

    This post is a thing of beauty Mister Leonard Pierce. Thank you.

    Jonah Goldberg reminds me of a circus seal–honking his little horn, wearing a red nose, who, when thrown fishes, triumphantly brays “Arf arf. Arf arf”.

  33. Ripley said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:02

    I would love to see some serious liberals take on the book in a serious way, I really would. I am sure I get things wrong,

    And yet the book was published anyway. Huh… you’d think a “historian” might try to “get things right” before the manuscript is complete and sent to the publisher. Then again, maybe revisionist historians play by slightly looser rules, like fanfic writers do.

    And, Hell, if it’s good enough for Tom Wolfe, well, who am I to judge?

  34. ahem said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:03

    Y’know, since we’re now aware of Jonah’s M.O. — offer a Humpty-Dumpty definition of a term, and cherry-pick examples to smear his targets with the associations of the term as commonly defined — it offers a model for other authors.

    For instance, one could write a book entitled Wingnut Welfare, noting that conservative authors promote individual merit and the power of the free market, and bemoan those who require state assistance, while being published by vanity presses and other imprints that employ dubious sales techniques to boost sales figures, and receiving paid ‘fellowships’ at non-profit foundations, masthead positions at loss-making magazines and compensation through other billionaire writeoff instruments.

    Oh.

    Actually, to whom do I pitch this book? Because it’s one that deserves to be written.

  35. Michael Harrington said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:04

    Apres Stavro: Hey, now! Just because the wingnut Pantloads own those DVDs, it does not follow that all who own them are wingnut Pantloads!

    Well put.

    Even though Jonah likes to pretend he watches any incarnaton of Star Trek there is literally no way that he’s understood the main thrust of the franchise, which is idealistic, tolerant and progressive.

    Wingnuts like Babylon 5, and most of them can’t stomach DS9 because the place is run by a Negro.

  36. Me said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:05

    I heard more astute give-and-take and saw a better grasp on the reality of one’s hopeless situation in “Dude, Where’s My Car?”

    I’m absolutely at a loss for words. This person is completely out of his depth, and utterly unfit to walk a dog, let alone publish a “book”. For money.

    And he actually linked to this interview on his own website? Because he was proud of it? It’s gotta be a put-on. Got to be. Do you hear? I beg this of the imaginary deity.

  37. CMike said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:15

    Hey, where are the smiley faces for the Goldberg claim that John Edwards, who “is for raising trade barriers,” and the “Davos crowd” are separate manifestations of the same liberal fascism? Goldberg’s rim shot at that point was “I do think there is a lot of nationalism there” among the “trans-national elites.”

  38. ahem said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:15

    Things you will never see:

    Organized groups committing acts of violence in the name of the War on cance

    Oh, I dunno: a surgical team that chops out tumors can be pretty vicious on the bastards.

    Ok, what bugs me is how polite this interviewer was. Why didn’t he have the balls to say to Jonah what you wrote here? Why are people still cordial toward people like George Bush and Jonah Goldberg? Whyyyyyyyyyyy?

    In all fairness, I think a polite disembowelling of D.P.’s argument — one done while he was under no anaesthetic than his own idiocy — works better when dealing with him in person.

    What we can say, at least, is that Jonah will have no problem crossing the picket line to appear on The Daily Show and, most invitingly, The Colbert Report. If he doesn’t, it can be taken as a sign of cowardice, since Ramesh Ponnuru took a shoeing from both. I only hope that the absence of writers contributes to what proceeds.

  39. jeff said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:27

    I’m sure that Mr. Goldberg treats his pets well (like Hitler) and has plenty of friends and relatives for whom he has great affection (like Mussolini); and I am therefore reluctant to say anything “mean” about him. After all, he’s a good boy, and probably a good father.

    The problem is, he villifies in the the most extreme manner almost everybody he disagrees with as “fascists,” while excusing literal fascists.

    I don’t know what to do. I’d like to talk to Wm. F. Buckley, who would, no doubt, apologize endlessly for what he’s allowed the National Review to decompose into…

    Actually, I like what Buckley said to Gore Vidal, when Vidal suggested that Buckley was a crypto fascist:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRjZR8j4-z4

    So, Jonah Goldberg: “Look here, you queer…stop calling me a Nazi or I’ll sock you in the face and you can stay plastered.”

    I don’t know, though. I’m a liberal, so I would not actually hit anyone like Mr. Buckley.

  40. commie atheist said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:36

    So, if the war on drugs is an example of liberal fascism, does that mean Jonah supports the legalization of, say, marijuana? ‘Cause that would redeem him somewhat, for me.

  41. julia said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:36

    The pathetic thing is that he’s not completely wrong about Nixon.

    Nixon was deranged, but he did expand the school lunch program, because his own family was poor enough that he used to take ketchup sandwiches to school, and he thought children shouldn’t have to do that.

    In today’s GOP, that would make him a screaming liberal.

    Unfortunately, the dregs and remnants of the Nixon machine who pretty much drive Republican discourse were in it for the deranged and not for the children not blacking out during gym.

  42. Lesley said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:47

    Koppelman used a scalpel so deftly Doughy didn’t even notice.

    This is the problem. Jonah (and people like him) are too thick to know when their Ann Elk theories are being hacked to pieces. Jonah should have scuttled from that interview red-faced, with his tail between his legs. Instead he declares the interview a success. Hip hip hooray for the moron.

    Koppelman may have been snickering under his breath but I want him to snicker out loud. Surely it’s time someone laughed out loud at Jonah Goldberg all suited up in public. Like Leonard did so brilliantly up there.

    I want it to be obvious to Jonah that he’s a complete fucking idiot.

  43. TRex said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:50

    And, Hell, if it’s good enough for Tom Wolfe, well, who am I to judge?

    I would hardly call “a revisionist history” any kind of compliment. That was probably the best Wolfe could come up with when Lucianne was squeezing the pliers that way. A man can only take so much.

  44. Thers said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:55

    Even though Jonah likes to pretend he watches any incarnaton of Star Trek there is literally no way that he’s understood the main thrust of the franchise, which is idealistic, tolerant and progressive.

    I bet Jonah originally got the “idea” for this book from his rage at people who say Star Trek is “basically liberal.”

    No, seriously, I really bet this. I think it’s probably true.

  45. Andrew said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:59

    Nitpick… Title should read Jonah qui aura un Q.I. de 25 en l’an 2008.

  46. Innocent Bystander said,

    January 12, 2008 at 10:01

    Outstanding critique of Mr. Goldberg’s Opus Dopus.

    You know, it’s a shame that you can’t invite Jonah here for coffee and sammiches and have a chat about this curious reading of history. I know I’d have a lot of questions for him, like-

    >What the hell? I’ve spent 40 years listening to conservatives calling me a commie…did they all get it wrong? Or can one be both a commie and fascist at the same time?

    >I know the central tenant of the book is to transfer the political label from its rightful owner. My question is, how much did the Bush Family pay you for this service?

    >After you wrote the conclusion, “Liberals are Fascists”, how long did it take you to arrange the other 500 pages of words?

    >When is your next book, “Richard Cheney, America’s Mother Theresa” going to be published?

    I know, when I get hammered, I can say some pretty stupid things. Luck for me, they never get committed to paper. This poor Cheetoskyite is going to have this piece of work tattooed to his name for eternity.

  47. kingubu said,

    January 12, 2008 at 10:04

    It appears that Teh Grunty Load will be on C-SPAN 2′s BookTV this weekend. Sadlies, start yer Tivos…

  48. Innocent Bystander said,

    January 12, 2008 at 10:18

    “For instance, one could write a book entitled Wingnut Welfare…..”

    Great idea…..wouldn’t that drive the RW propaganda machine ca-razy. I can hear the howls of bombastic outrage now……but there’d be nary a peep on actually refutation of the facts.

    I doubt many people really understand how manufactured the opinions of the Right really are. In the marketplace of ideas, they’d be out of business without the subsidies from their Sugar Daddies.

  49. ahem said,

    January 12, 2008 at 10:19

    Koppelman may have been snickering under his breath but I want him to snicker out loud. Surely it’s time someone laughed out loud at Jonah Goldberg all suited up in public.

    It’s hard to do. Because Jonah has declared himself the arbiter of what constitutes a fair critique, just as Ann Coulter never heads into territory that might have her exposed as a performing mule.

    The wingnut welfare system has built up defence mechanisms like this over decades; it has developed all manner of rhetorical firewalls that make it very difficult to say ‘your book is a piece of shit’. The McLuhan moment from Annie Hall is never going to happen: Robert Paxton is never going to share a stage with D.P.. Even if America’s leading historian of fascism were to kick his argument to the turf with scholarly precision, Jonah has the oh-so-easy outlet of saying ‘well, that’s liberal academia for you’. And his wingnut-welfare colleagues and idiot readers would nod in agreement.

    Punking him, on the other hand, would be quite delicious. And probably not too hard to do, especially when D.P. is in publicity-whore gangbang mode. It just takes someone artful enough to get Jonah to dig himself neck deep. That person, most likely, is Stephen Colbert.

  50. ahem said,

    January 12, 2008 at 10:26

    It appears that Teh Grunty Load will be on C-SPAN 2’s BookTV this weekend.

    A wingnut welfare case gets to flog his book on C-SPAN? Quel fucking surprise.

    That deserves a chapter in Wingnut Welfare all by itself: the way in which the wingnut welfare system generates its own publicity by ensuring that the C-SPAN cameras always have a backlog of events to fill the schedules, and that publicity tours for the shittiest of books include lots of high-profile TV interviews.

    Now, where was this promotional event filmed? Why, yes: the Heritage Foundation, another billionaire tax-writeoff non-profit fellowship-endowing bullshit factory.

  51. suedehead said,

    January 12, 2008 at 10:47

    Goldberg’s main problem/affliction is that he is an educated rube and had his mother as, well, a mother.
    I’m not sure if “Jonah (Rube) Goldberg” is a pun, irony, social commentary or is just fun to say.

  52. Incontinentia Buttocks said,

    January 12, 2008 at 10:54

    Great post!

    The really outstanding thing about this interview is the multilayered depth of Goldberg’s wrongness. Take, for example, this quote about Mussolini…

    the only reason he got dubbed a fascist and therefore a right-winger is because he supported World War I

    Now, as MLP points out, this is utterly ridiculous because Mussolini created fascism and called himself a fascism (and did so after WWI, for whatever that’s worth).

    But teh Pantload’s statement is also absurd because actual European socialists (you know, the kind who are actually on the left and actually call themselves socialists) overwhelmingly supported World War I. The Labour Party in Britain, the French socialists, the majority faction of the German SPD, and most Russian Socialists (with the notable exception of the Bolsheviks) supported the war. And so did the Italian socialists. (Incidentally, the US was the only country in which most socialists opposed the war, and this cost the Socialist Party of America dearly. The SPA, which had polled better than many of the Western European socialist parties as late as 1912, never recovered.)

    Of course, the liberal and conservative parties in all of these countries also supported World War I. I point this out lest teh Pantload and his followers play Calvinball and switch from arguing that Mussolini was called a fascist because he supported the war to arguing that teh evil left are the real militarists (i.e. fascists) because they supported the war.

    You can’t do history by cherry picking pseudo-facts.

  53. Incontinentia Buttocks said,

    January 12, 2008 at 10:57

    I forgot to add the executive summary:

    Mussolini was, in fact, a pro-war socialist in 1914, but so were most Italian Socialists, so this wouldn’t have gotten him called anything.

    After the war, he abandoned socialism, moved to the far right, and founded fascism.

  54. the_millionaire_lebowski said,

    January 12, 2008 at 11:27

    Awsome post!

    I like how Jonah whines about how no one debates the finer points of his book, while you are (and indeed plenty of others on the internet) blow his arguments out of the water. What does he want to do? Have a panel of the greatest living historians and political thinkers go point by point through this.. “book?” Sorry Jonah, but they’re writing real pieces of literature and doing real research. You put bullshit in your book? And now you’re surprised you get bullshit responses! Ha.

  55. Percyprune said,

    January 12, 2008 at 11:47

    But teh Pantload’s statement is also absurd because actual European socialists (you know, the kind who are actually on the left and actually call themselves socialists) overwhelmingly supported World War I.

    There’s an excellent chapter in Strachan’s ‘On War’, his majestic first volume history of the Great War, where he details the retreat from internationalism by the labour movement just prior to the war. Socialism began to identify with nationalist causes (though to varying degrees in different nations, and sometimes with suspicion). Certainly, socialist dissent from the war was muted and often ignored.

    The labour movements marched with their governments to war, though not always for the same reasons. In some cases they went to war because they saw this as the historically inevitable climax to the struggle between labour and capital. A fight that they believed the proletariat would win.

  56. Percyprune said,

    January 12, 2008 at 11:56

    Strachan’s ‘On War’

    Ack! Error! I meant ‘Hew Stachan’s “First World War: To Arms”‘, published by the Ocford University Press. Don’t know why I got the title wrong, when the spine of the book is just three feet behind my head.

    I am a silly Prune, sometimes!

  57. Lesley said,

    January 12, 2008 at 12:09

    What does he want to do? Have a panel of the greatest living historians and political thinkers go point by point through this.. “book?”

    Now that would be hilarious, a real honest to goodness line by line roasting of the Pantload by scholars. I wish somebody would put him through that mill. It sure would be different from having mommy grade your paper.

  58. schwag of tulsa said,

    January 12, 2008 at 12:12

    Great job, Leonard! This is why I love Sadly No.

    I thought Koppelman did a great job of letting Goldberg cut his own arguments to ribbons.

  59. Bella said,

    January 12, 2008 at 13:13

    Oh, come on now. You’re being mean. It’s not Jonah’s fault the dog ate his copy of The Doctrine of Fascism. And anyway, it’s been three whole years since he read it.

  60. distributorcap said,

    January 12, 2008 at 13:38

    this nut doesnt fall far from its Lucianne tree

  61. El Cid said,

    January 12, 2008 at 14:43

    Just out of curiosity — is Goldbutt (and his fans) assuming that before he came along with his groundbreaking work, all previous people (especially them damn pointy-head academics) thought that different forms of government or society were like absolutely clean little boxes, completely and utterly unlike one another?

    Like, you know, BLF (Before Liberal Fascism), people thought of Fascist societies as having completely different and alien languages and species and technologies, as did Communist and Liberal societies?

    Like, Italy was this place, you know, doing whatever the f*** they did in Italy before it was fascist, and then one weird day there were like these big lightnin’ clouds, and all of a sudden Italy disappeared, all quick-like, boom, there was nobody there, it was all empty, and then, like, bang, POOF, somethin’ appeared, and there was this “fascist” thing sitting inside of Italy, and there was this Mussolini guy.

    And people were like, whoah, look, there’s some fascists!

    That’s how we crazy ordinary people thunk about it for like, you know, a whole lotta years.

    And then Joberg came along and was all, no man, like, they sort of had something to do with each other, and we were all, like, no f***ing way, and he was like, yeah way, and then suddenly we were able to see that the Nazis used words and the U.S. had used words, and that some of them Communists had talked about the chirrens and sometimes the Nazis talked about helping the chirrens and, then, like, Hillary Clinton talked about the chirrens, and then we were all, you know, damn dude, you are sooooooooo f***ing awesome, Jobeak, it’s sort of like we were all talking Babel talk and then you came along with quotes from other people all jumbled together and we were like, shaking and having cold sweats at how powerful this realization was.

  62. Sadly, No! » The Final Insult. said,

    January 12, 2008 at 14:44

    [...] a weed in Hitler's bunker. « Jonah qui aura I.Q. de 25 en l’an 2008* [...]

  63. Notorious P.A.T. said,

    January 12, 2008 at 16:15

    You’d think at this point there wouldn’t be any more high comedy to wring out of the poor rube and his poorly-researched book, but obviously not.

    I second that. He just gets more and more pathetic.

  64. Senator Ted said,

    January 12, 2008 at 16:39

    “Oooohhhh… I wish you could meet my girlfriend, my girlfriend who lives in Canada. She couldn’t be sweeter I wish you could meet her, My girlfriend who lives in Canada!…” Avenue Q

  65. fauxmaxbaer said,

    January 12, 2008 at 16:41

    I’ll just add another kudos for this posting, Mr. Pierce. Also one to Mr. Koppelman for helping to put Jonah’s idiocy on the record.

  66. Hubert Davis said,

    January 12, 2008 at 17:00

    Since when is this site a part of the Fat Pricks in Party Hats chain?

  67. unusuallystupidpoliticians.com » Blog Archive » JONAH GOLDBERG ‘SPLAINS WHY MUSSOLINI WASN’T A FASCIST said,

    January 12, 2008 at 17:04

    [...] h/t Sadly, No! [...]

  68. Jennifer said,

    January 12, 2008 at 17:07

    He said some good stuff about Marxism! Jonah is sure he can find it if you just give him an hour! But you can’t see the book he’s getting it from, because it lives in Canada.

    You know, that’s almost as breathtakingly dishonest as Joseph Smith’s “translating” gold plates, never seen by another human being, given to him by a moron (Moroni) angel… out of a hat.

    Pantload may have approached the event-horizon of ultimate stoopid closely enough that at the very least, a new world religion may be born of it.

  69. fleinn said,

    January 12, 2008 at 17:26

    ..I know it might be a bit hard to give Jonah this much credit – but the “nice fascism” he sort of touches on is a theme in both Brave New World and 1984, you know. So he seems to have picked up something from those books – and then somehow managed to misunderstand everything, poor boy – but still(!): it’s actually a pretty good point that the fascism you don’t see as fascism is what’s dangerous. Unspoken foreign policy goals, leaders setting the agenda without any sort of public policies, ceremonial legislative work, etc – is what fascism looks like on the usual work- days, before the indefinite detentions and the torture, and all that unpleasant stuff.

    So that’s actually kind of half- way right for mr. Goldberg, yeah? Applause for Jonah, people! (Great effort!)

  70. Arky - Professional Peace Disturber said,

    January 12, 2008 at 17:29

    The Church of the Holy Eternally Execrable Transfigured Overlöaden?

  71. dBa said,

    January 12, 2008 at 17:44

    You really went to the text on that one. Is that even fair to Jonah?

    Indeed, maybe I do hate him, but it’s because his words confuse me and stuff, sort of.

    The country and it’s politics is moving beyond the Coulters and Goldbergs, the Freerepublics and the GOEs. They’ve managed to destroy their own ideology once again, they’ve left a huge mess for the democrats and independents to come clean up, again, and that Pantload of revisionist bullshittery is the last thing the GOP needed.

    I may hate Jonah (unlike MLP), but I give him props for pushing the right-wing of the GOP closer to the cliff, indeed, possibly discrediting it completely and stuff, if not pushing it over the edge, sort of.

  72. Realist said,

    January 12, 2008 at 18:24

    If Jonah were any more of a tool, he’d have “Craftsman” tattooed across his forehead.

  73. Otto Man said,

    January 12, 2008 at 18:28

    the only reason he got dubbed a fascist and therefore a right-winger is because he supported World War I.

    And yet he calls Woodrow Wilson the original American liberal fascist too. I seem to remember he had something to do with WWI as well.

  74. DrDick said,

    January 12, 2008 at 18:49

    Anyone who could write almost 500 pages on fascism and is unable to cite anything written in the “The Doctrine of Fascism” is an assclown who deserves to be laughed off the public stage. He has the scholarly credibility of a retarded 8th grader. Unfortunately, like all modern conservatives, he has no sense of shame or embarrassment, only personal entitlement.

  75. Davis said,

    January 12, 2008 at 18:53

    I’m embarrassed for him. After all those years of meticulous research, he can’t think of a single fucking thing in The Doctrine of Fascism?

  76. MzNicky said,

    January 12, 2008 at 19:10

    Having produced the occasional pantload, we do not strip off our trousers, turn our boxers inside out, and present it to the world as if it were a basket of flowers.

    When my children were toddlers they used to do this very thing.

  77. MzNicky said,

    January 12, 2008 at 19:11

    Mr. Leonard Pierce: That’s quite enough, thank you! My ribs will crack if I laugh any harder.

  78. SomeNYGuy said,

    January 12, 2008 at 19:19

    I can’t believe you guys neglected to mention my very favorite part of the interview:

    You know, you have environmental groups giving out kits and instructions about how to have environmentally conscious sex. You don’t have conservative groups talking about what kind of condoms you should use or what positions you can be in. That kind of thing doesn’t really go on.

    It was at that point that my eyeballs popped out of my head, rolled down the hall and under the refrigerator. I’ve been trying to retrieve them with a broom handle ever since.

  79. El Cid said,

    January 12, 2008 at 19:20

    MzNicky said, January 12, 2008 at 19:10

    Having produced the occasional pantload, we do not strip off our trousers, turn our boxers inside out, and present it to the world as if it were a basket of flowers.

    When my children were toddlers they used to do this very thing.

    Did they stop, or did it land them valuable jobs at “think tanks” and major newspapers?

  80. Smiling Mortician said,

    January 12, 2008 at 19:20

    Now that would be hilarious, a real honest to goodness line by line roasting of the Pantload by scholars. I wish somebody would put him through that mill. It sure would be different from having mommy grade your paper.

    Nah. Wouldn’t work. Not only for all the excellent reasons ahem provided at 10:19, but because the Load would thrive on all the attention. I think a live interview with Colbert would be lovely, though: a fake scholar who believes he’s real being eviscerated by a fake wingnut who knows he’s fake but the wingnuts don’t know it? Golden.

  81. MzNicky said,

    January 12, 2008 at 19:23

    Btw, if Hitler had received more hugs (and less abuse) in his childhood he might not have become a totalitarian shithead. There’s a lot of good to be said for hugs.

    Well, Lesley, that’s just the sort of nanny-state thing and stuff one would expect to hear from a kind of liberal fascist such as yourself. I suppose you think kisses on his boo-boos would have been preferable to a boot stamping his face for all eternity, too, basically, and stuff.

  82. imaginary deity said,

    January 12, 2008 at 19:25

    Well, “Me,” that’s what you get for being a liberal fascist atheist.

  83. MzNicky said,

    January 12, 2008 at 19:35

    Thanks for the heads-up, kingubu. Here’s the Pantload schedule for C-Span 2′s Book TV this weekend (EST):
    Saturday at 10:00 PM
    Sunday at 3:30 AM
    Sunday at 10:00 AM
    Monday at 1:00 AM

  84. MzNicky said,

    January 12, 2008 at 19:46

    Did they stop, or did it land them valuable jobs at “think tanks” and major newspapers?

    El Cid: Ha. Hahahaha. No, my kids grew up to find their niches in both the child-care and food-services industries. Professions in which they have no reason to feel ashamed, unlike with RW think tanks and major newspapers.

  85. MzNicky said,

    January 12, 2008 at 19:49

    I too would love to see Doughy eviscerated by Colbert. Problem is, it’d only produce a tepid frisson because, unlike with Jon Stewart’s Tweety smackdown, Pantload’s too thick to know when he’s being eviscerated.

  86. g said,

    January 12, 2008 at 19:56

    ..I know it might be a bit hard to give Jonah this much credit – but the “nice fascism” he sort of touches on is a theme in both Brave New World and 1984, you know.

    Can I just point out, please, that Goldberg citing Brave New World and 1984 as examples of fascism that shares commonalities with Hillary Clinton is ridiculous?

    Brave New World and 1984 are works of FICTION!

    Jonah seems to think that they actually took place, and therefore they add to the body of examples of actual fascism he is comparing liberals to.

    It would be as if I cited Stephen King’s “The Running Man” as an actual example of when America became totalitarian.

  87. Ginger Yellow said,

    January 12, 2008 at 20:06

    I particularly loved the way he called Spackerman, who actually did address the meagre substance of his arguments and demolished them, a “childish” “weirdo”. Doesn’t projection that severe hurt?

  88. g said,

    January 12, 2008 at 20:06

    The basic premise of the book is rooted in comparison, but the arguments themselves are not comparative.

    The fact that liberalism is vaguely related to fascism in some ways is not in itself exciting or “secret.” The premise of the book is really that liberals are MORE like fascists than conservatives [are], but it makes no attempt to justify this through actual comparisons of liberal and conservative thought and policies..

    Random Observer, I think you just hit the nail on the head here.

    Which is why Goldberg can make the ludicrous claim that if fascism included a love of militarism, and liberals use “war” as a metaphor to fight ills such as poverty, therefore liberals are fascists. He just doesn’t have to bother thinking about things like The Aryan Nations party and their dress-up games, or actual right wing fascist regimes like Pinochet’s Chile.

  89. Arky - Professional Peace Disturber said,

    January 12, 2008 at 20:40

    Brave New World and 1984 are works of FICTION!

    So is Liberal Fascism. And your point is?

    /snark.

    One of the many things Johan misses when he talks about BNW (it took me a while to figure out “hormonal pills = Soma = LSD /= Hormonal Pills = What a jack load did he read the book?) is that his pals are the ones who would love a biologically enforced hierarchy with preserves for the irredeemable filthydirtyhippies.

    “Brave New World” future is one where … No one’s being oppressed … they’re having everything done for them …

    Nope, he didn’t read the book.

    I also never understand why people talk about BNW & 1984 as if they’re almost the same book. Of course in JLoadville they’re both Books About the Future Written by British Dudes, and are therefore interchangeable.

  90. Mo's Bike Shop said,

    January 12, 2008 at 21:15

    An unwanted hug is still as tyrannical or as oppressive — not as oppressive, but an unwanted hug is still oppressive if you can’t escape from it.

    ShadenFreudian Slip

  91. Hattie said,

    January 12, 2008 at 21:40

    Oh, god, stop tickling me! This is the funniest stuff I’ve ever read!!!!!!!

    Goldberg is an AAAAAAAAAARSCHLOCH!

  92. tigrismus said,

    January 12, 2008 at 21:48

    The hormonal chewing gum was a Firesign Theater thing… clip. It was in Nick Danger in The Case of The Missing Yolk.

  93. MrWonderful said,

    January 12, 2008 at 22:04

    Pierce: Meets or exceeds your already high standards. You have the gratitude of a grateful nation, or at least a grateful us.

    Random Observer essentially got at what occurred to me: The Pantload takes a simile and argues it as though it were truth. “Liberals are LIKE fascists because they believe in collective solutions to certain problems,” becomes “Liberals are fascists.” “Liberals use the term ‘War on Poverty’ as a metaphor, which means they’re militaristic and bellicose, and therefore fascistic.”

    It’s not only bad scholarship–it’s not good enough to be bad scholarship–it’s faulty logic and absurd on its face. Which is where it falls.

    To the question, “Okay, but then what are actual fascists?” his answer is, “I don’t remember. I read it three years ago.”

  94. The Obnox said,

    January 13, 2008 at 0:42

    I hope this excellent post will be remembered when the next round of blog awards comes around. Bookmarked as Exhibit A under “Jonah Goldberg is a fucking idiot.

  95. Smut Clyde said,

    January 13, 2008 at 2:22

    It’s not the Orwellian stamping on a human face thing
    The lad’s verbal fluency and command of the language is certainly enviable. He wields words like a scalpel, and one day he will learn which end of a scalpel is the end you hold onto.

    Had Orwell read more Internet p0rn, he might have realised that a significant number of people seem to fantasise about black glossy high-heeled boots stamping on their faces, so they might not find his image as nauseating as he intended. Far be it for me to imply that most of these people are right-wing politicians.

  96. Arky - Professional Peace Disturber said,

    January 13, 2008 at 2:43

    With apologies to anyone who is planning to eat this evening:

    If Orwell were alive today that line would read “Picture a doughy lœdedhösen, sitting on a human face, forever.”

  97. MarkC said,

    January 13, 2008 at 3:54

    I’m just at the title and want to say thanks. Incredibly forced obscure reference, and makes me think the world is not going to hell as fast as other signs indicate.

    By the way, if you liked “Jonah” you should see Lukas Moodyson’s Tillsammans, which is sort of a Swedish take on some of the same questions.

  98. billy pilgrim said,

    January 13, 2008 at 4:31

    ….one could write a book entitled Wingnut Welfare…

    OK, dammit, I would pay twice as much for THAT book, preferably written by HTML and Glenn Greenwald, then the cover price of Pantload’s POS.

  99. If You Ignore The Things Mussolini Said, He Talked Like A Liberal | Popehat said,

    January 13, 2008 at 5:25

    [...] consistent ridicule of Goldberg for some time. Recently they offered what I think is the most devestating treatment of Goldberg and his boo? k that I’ve seen, in the form of comments on his own words with Salon magazine. It’s [...]

  100. fleinn said,

    January 13, 2008 at 7:27

    (…)is that his pals are the ones who would love a biologically enforced hierarchy with preserves for the irredeemable filthydirtyhippies.

    Mm. But you know, what’s maddening is that he’s making a – calm down – an actual sound assessment once in a while. I mean, except he’s basing it off something completely ridiculous. Listen (from the salon- interview):

    Rather I think it[fascism] is a religious impulse that resides in all of us — left, right, black, white, tall, short — to seek unity in all things, to believe that we need to all work together to go past any of our disagreements and that the state needs to be, almost simply as a pragmatic matter, the pace-setter, the enforcer of this cult of unity. That is what I believe fascism is.

    And, well, that may sound like exceptionally childish equivocation.. like some hopeless student might try to pass off on a mid- term paper as intelligent speech, to cover up for the fact that he played ww2 war- games all week instead of reading about fascism. Or it may sound like the most insane explanation yet on how any form of political organisation with an agenda is fascism.

    But what he actually is doing is expressing, like he always does, a genuine reflection of the narrative that describes what’s going on in his reality.

    Where leaders always must lead by inherent bestness. Where it doesn’t matter what they say, but how audacious they say it. And where political creed is at once something the masses seem to care about for some reason – but which also is a personal test of faith for the good leaders. I.e., their “ideology” is decided to be good by what sort of success and conviction they have as leaders, depending on what sort of tortured framework they’re currently wrestling with – such as “continuity and order”, or “responsibility&progress”.

    And that’s completely insane, but I’ve been having many run- ins with these fucks lately, and I can tell you for a fact that these people exist on every side of the american political spectrum. And they think exactly like what Goldberg describes, and they’re completely serious.

    And obviously Goldberg knows this – he probably knows the whole lot of these assholes by their first names – and in his world, fascism is some sort of curiously fuzzy ideology that they somehow happen to bash their opponents with, because the small people associate it with bad things. But which they can’t define well, because that’s just something you don’t do – you associate things with fascism, but fascism is not to be defined.

    But instead of just stopping there and whacking the liberal hordes, he inexpertly seeks some sort of intellectual and (I’m sure in his head) honest explanation for a phenomenon he “sees” in the (his) world, such as how fascism actually is a mind- set, or a philosophy tied to a particular type of state- oriented solution – that’s difficult to place politically in one camp or the other. And I don’t know where he’s read that, but there’s an element of truth to that: the far right and the far left can obviously shake hands when it comes to fascism. But the interesting part is how he somehow figures out that it’s not just abusing the powers of a state to enforce a solution that’s the problem. No, it’s using that power in the direction the unwise masses are pulling that’s the crisis. It’s making the project run amok with no fundamental guidance and safe constraints that is “bad”. And his attempt to justify his own views in that way, that describes something essential about the political elite in the US at the moment. And here Jonah is spilling the beans – on how it intellectually must be done in order to somehow keep the unargued narratives going.

    And you know.. it’s unfortunate that Jonah’s attempt to make everyone laugh themselves silly detracts from what he’s explaining about his reasoning here. Because he really has – all right, easy – something important to tell us.

  101. actor212 said,

    January 13, 2008 at 9:18

    here’s this idea that the further right you go the closer you get to Nazism and fascism, and the further left you go the closer you get to decency and all good things, or at least having the right intentions in your heart.

    Y’know, if he really had this idea in his head when he set out to scribble goop on 500 pages write his tome, he might have gotten a little insight into convergence theory, the thought that the further out to the extremes you go, the more circular political philosophy becomes (right approaches left, left approaches right) and might actually have made a decent bo– Oh, who the fuck am I kidding? It’s Pantload, fercrissakes!

    All we’re doing is artificially inflating his ego for him. The best thing to happen to his world view is to see how quickly his book dies on the vine after SuperDuper Tuesday…

  102. actor212 said,

    January 13, 2008 at 9:25

    However, that said, I wonder if Jonah draws any parallels between Mussolini’s anti-Semitic laws (1938), and the current anti-immigration wave taking place in that liberal fascist bastion, the Bush administration?

    “Marie-Anne Matard-Bonucci has upheld, to the contrary, the idea that anti-Semitism founded its roots in the Fascist movement itself: with the establishment of the Fascist state and Mussolini’s anthropological project of creating a “new (Italian) man,” the needs arose of creating the figure of the “anti-Italian,” symbolized by the Jewish people. “The persecution of the Italian Jews was one of the inner components of the totalitarian logic,” thus wrote Matard-Bonucci “

    Sound familiar, Fudgie?

  103. actor212 said,

    January 13, 2008 at 9:29

    Well, I mean, I bet you if you gave me an hour I could find places where he once again says nice things about Marxism in 1933 or 1937.

    Yes, George W. Bush has stated he’d prefer to be a dictator at least three times, according to BuzzFlash.com:

    * * *

    “You don’t get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier.” Describing what it’s like to be governor of Texas.
    (Governing Magazine 7/98)

    – From Paul Begala’s “Is Our Children Learning?”

    “I told all four that there are going to be some times where we don’t agree with each other, but that’s OK. If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator,” Bush joked.

    – CNN.com, December 18, 2000

    “A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there’s no question about it, ” [Bush] said.

    – Business Week, July 30, 2001

  104. It's my party said,

    January 13, 2008 at 10:14

    The California Literary Review also interviews His Loadiness.

    http://calitreview.com/2008/01/08/liberal-fascism-jonah-goldberg-explains/

    Here’s where he explains why it’s a good idea not to coddle the down-on-their-luck:

    The nastiest forms of fascism seem to arise when people are angry and frightened, such as the Weimar Republic. Isn’t fascism a more likely possibility in rust belt America where people are without health care and unable to support their families, than say a socialist European country?

    “I think you make a fine point. Politically, fascism is indeed a form of populism. It was in Italy and it was in Germany. Huey Long and Father Coughlin were both populists and came fairly close to creating an American brand of fascism (particularly Coughlin). The sort of mass-movement we usually associate with classical fascism usually reaches out to “forgotten men” who feel left-out or run-over by rapid economic and social trends. Richard Hofstadter painted a picture of progressivism as quasi-fascistic and attributed it to “status anxiety” of the middle class. I think we are experiencing a frighteningly populist moment in American politics. The worst practitioner is John Edwards. His “two Americas” rhetoric strikes deeply fascistic chords. Mike Huckabee is another guy who plays this us-versus-them card deftly. Lou Dobbs is another.”

    If we just don’t talk about yucky things like income inequality or lack of health care, it won’t occur to people to join the bad Lib-Fascers.

  105. Smut Clyde said,

    January 13, 2008 at 13:00

    I wonder if Jonah draws any parallels between Mussolini’s anti-Semitic laws (1938), and the current anti-immigration wave

    Since he explains on Page 13 of Teh Book that “The Italian fascists were protectors of the Jews”, the probable answer is Sadly,No.

  106. actor212 said,

    January 13, 2008 at 15:03

    Smut,

    True, he did get upset that 8,000 Jews were deported to Germany and exterminated, but the King expelled Mussolini from his post mostly because of those laws and that statement it made.

  107. windy said,

    January 14, 2008 at 3:28

    “Listen to the rhetoric of Barack Obama, it’s all about unity, unity, unity, that we have to move beyond our particular differences and unite around common things, all of that kind of stuff”
    +
    “The worst practitioner is John Edwards. His “two Americas” rhetoric strikes deeply fascistic chords. Mike Huckabee is another guy who plays this us-versus-them card deftly”
    =huh?

  108. actor212 said,

    January 14, 2008 at 4:48

    Windy,

    The common thread for Jonah is that these three men all talk about how the country is divided and needs to be unified.

    You know, “One nation, under God” sort of stuff…”E Pluribus Unum”…

    Oh damn, the Founders were fascists!

  109. kenga said,

    January 14, 2008 at 19:01

    He wields words like a scalpel, and one day he will learn which end of a scalpel is the end you hold onto.

    Smut, I liked that line so much I wanted to see it again.

  110. cleek said,

    January 14, 2008 at 20:54

    Yeah, I’m perfectly willing to concede there’s a lot of stuff Mussolini says

    which makes him an ideal source for a quote-mining fraud like Goldberg. dig around enough, you’re bound to find something he said to support your thesis – just ignore the rest.

  111. fleinn said,

    January 15, 2008 at 6:55

    …On the other hand – some of us try to, you know, inform people interested in politics – gently – that voting for parties who don’t actually have a platform, while genuinely gutting any attempt at national political dialogue, by reducing everything to “either you’re for the leader, or you’re for complicated shit I don’t care about”, while then raising candidates who promise, without irony, but a lot of blurry rhetoric, that they’re going to change everything – isn’t an incredibly smart idea.

    And nothing happens. In fact, anyone daring to say anything similar to that is instantly written off as a cynical, pretentious elitist fuck. Basically for not believing in that Bush is an honest guy who wants the best for his country and the world. Or for not believing that Hillary, since she’s worked for a charity and has compassion, somewhere, isn’t a competent leader who will solve all of America’s problems (whatever they may be perceived to be).

    Or try to say you don’t doubt Bush, you just doubt his competence in translating his messiah- complex into anything but disaster – and people go “oh yeah, we’ll see about that in fifty years time, won’t we!. And you can’t prejudge the future, so therefore you have to admit a miracle can happen! HAHA, take that, you intellectual bastard!”. Or they go, “well, we actually can’t /prove/ that Bush can’t make water flow uphill just once”. And then some years later. “Well, we can’t prove that water didn’t, in a matter of speaking, eventually flow upwards – so we can’t really say he’s a real fraud!”.

    But then Jonah – an insane, pampered, rightwing political whore of a hedonist – draws the same conclusion about the political parties (…only with utterly false reasoning which, in the majority of countries on the planet, any six- year old will be able to point out… by explaining Jonah shat his pants and tries to explain it away) from the point of view of the US political elite (meaning, he’s one of the guys who goes over their writing before publication to remove every instance of “He” and “We”, where he means to write “I”, and then just mixes it up so it’s unreadable).

    And what happens? He gets more publicity than anyone. And suddenly everyone is against stupid poltical writing by pompous elites with oral diarrhoea. I mean, any minute now, it’s going to be popular to revere the constitution again, isn’t it.

    Well I don’t believe you, do I. I bet you’re just biding your time in order to find the right excuse to go back sucking on Hillary’s teat, and go – “well, we really do just want a more /competent/ piece of elitist shit to run our lives, all right. Honestly, we enjoy voting for bullshit every four years, and we just don’t think we can make a damn difference – and I just don’t care about it either as long as a big- mac costs a dollar, and I can believe in getting seriously rich one day! And so what if a bunch of countries get invaded to please our egos, or to make it seem like our lifestyle is the best in the world? What do I care! It’s democracy! It’s the way of the world, innit (now where’s that remote..)”.

  112. Flag Pin said,

    January 15, 2008 at 10:56

    I’m thinking of writing a book. The first line is going to be either, “Everything is actually made out of triangles” or “As Shakespeare meant to say, ‘A rose is really a daffodil.’”

  113. jonah goldberg daily show | Hot Trends Right Now said,

    January 17, 2008 at 14:19

    [...] results on jonah goldberg daily show Top 5 News & Blog results on jonah goldberg daily show Comment on Jonah qui aura IQ de 25 en l?an 2008* by ahem: What we can say, at least, is that Jonah w… Daily Show: Jonah Goldberg: Jonah Goldberg tells Jon about the growing trend of Liberal Fascism in [...]

  114. links for 2008-01-21 « Dark Corner of the Empty Head said,

    January 21, 2008 at 10:23

    [...] Sadly, No! » Jonah qui aura I.Q. de 25 en l’an 2008* Some people seem to think we hate Jonah Goldberg. Nothing could be farther from the truth. (tags: doughy+pantload Fascism stupidity wingnuts wtf) [...]

  115. NYLibrul said,

    February 10, 2008 at 10:40

    when he talks about BNW (it took me a while to figure out “hormonal pills = Soma = LSD /= Hormonal Pills = What a jack load did he read the book?

    The hormonal chewing gum was a Firesign Theater thing… clip. It was in Nick Danger in The Case of The Missing Yolk.

    The hormonal chewing gum was in BNW. One of the mentions of it is near the end of the book, when the crowds of people show up at The Savage’s country hiding place and start pelting him with things such as “pea-nuts, packets of sex-hormone chewing-gum, pan-glandular petits beurres.” Yes, of course I had to look up the exact words, though I remembered, god knows why, that that was one of the objects thrown in that scene. (Just as an aside, Huxley was a bit hyphen-happy there, wasn’t he?)

    So, how ’bout that? A nugget of corn, er, truth in this particular Doughy BM. Chalk it up to the law of averages…or a smidgen of fiber (though certainly not of the moral kind) in his diet…or something.

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