Official Sadly, Goldberg! Appreciation Day

I think Jonah has noticed how much we love him around here.

Tom Wolfe on Liberal Fascism [Jonah Goldberg]

Since the buzz is starting, I thought Corner readers might be interested in what Tom Wolfe had to say about the book:

“In the greatest hoax of modern history, Russia’s ruling “socialist workers party,” the Communists, established themselves as the polar opposites of their two socialist clones, the National Socialist German Workers Party (quicknamed “the Nazis”) and Italy’s Marxist-inspired Fascisti, by branding both as “the fascists.” Jonah Goldberg is the first historian to detail the havoc this spin of all spins has played upon Western thought for the past 75 years, very much including the present moment. Love it or loathe it, “Liberal Fascism” is a book of intellectual history you won’t be able to put down—-in either sense of the term.”
—Tom Wolfe, author of Bonfire of the Vanities and I Am Charlotte Simmons

12/18 11:54 AM

But I’m beginning to suspect that he’s not quite sure if our love is real. In fact, I think he’s testing us — playing coy little games to see if this love affair has what it takes to last, or if it’s only a momentary infatuation. How else can you explain things like this?

Frum Pro-Elite, Anti-Populist [Jonah Goldberg]

David Frum has an interesting column on the limits of populism and the upside of elitism. These are two of my favorite themes. And since Huckabee seems to be a champion of the former and a foe of the latter, I thought (in the spirit of bloggy self-promotion) I’d call attention to one of my broadsides against populism and one of my defenses of elitism.

Regardless, I agree with David that populism is a useful and healthy passion when aimed at the liberal elite. But conservatives can get drunk on it when they proclaim that elites are bad simply because they are elites. Conservatives respect authority — the authority of ideas, traditions, morals, religion, customs, reason, law, excellence and so on. One cannot believe in this kind of authority while having a blanket hostility to elitism in any form.

12/18 03:02 PM

Oh, Jonah, you wily scamp! As if the deathless prose of “Vegetarians for Veal: The Carnal History of Herbivores from Siddhartha Gautama to Oscar Mayer” weren’t enough to win our hearts, now you give us this? Who but our own beloved Pantload could make the argument that populism is good when it denigrates fascist liberal elites, but bad when it denigrates conservative real American elites, like him and his friends?

Don’t worry, Jonah. We’re not toying with your affections. Our love is the real thing, baby — as real as that picture of Joe McCarthy and Leon Trotsky playing whist together that I keep in my office. We’ll never quit you.

Now get out of here, you crazy kid!

Heil Hillary!


Comments: 109


Could Tom Wolfe become any more of a joke?


Never has a blurb been mailed in with such detail or care.


“Conservatives believe in obeying authority, unlike those liberals–oh, wait, I just spent 400 pages arguing that it’s the liberals who are authoritarians. Uh, never mind. Or something.”


Wow, I wonder if I could think of an example of a mass political movement which used populist themes passionately directed against a liberal elite while valuing the need for political auhtority? What would one call such a movement?


Conservatives respect authority — the authority of ideas, traditions, morals, religion, customs, reason, law, excellence and so on.

The authority of excellence? What the fuck is that?


“a book of intellectual history” – ??? Are you kidding me?? This is the most bizarrely stupid thing I’ve seen all year. Fascists and Communists were avowedly and quite energetically anti-liberal. They just couldn’t get enough of saying how much they hated everything about liberalism.

Well, come on, you intellectual historians, weigh in. Oh, I forgot, REAL intellectual historians are libruhl fascist college professors, and thus disqualified from having an opinion.


But conservatives can get drunk on it when they proclaim that elites are bad simply because they are elites.

This is one of those moments when you realize that our Special Pantload isn’t, shall we say, self-aware.


I believe Goldberg lied in attributing Tom Wolfe. Looking at The Corner:

Since the buzz is starting, I thought Corner readers might be interested in what Tom Wolfe had to say about the book:

Which links to the Amazon review for the book. No mention of Tom Wolfe that I can see. Perhaps Goldberg made up the review.


Dios mio, I knew Wolfe was done when that pile of litter-box liner “Charlotte Simmons” dropped like bovine business down a coal chute, but this is simply adorable.

It is almost as if Wolfe is rrreaching back into his own past, and making his own work stupider with his actions.



I think Jonah has noticed how much we love him around here.

I suspect Jonah isn’t the type to be susceptible to shame. I don’t think he’s stupid, I think his dishonesty and cynicism are in the stratosphere. Writing a book called Liberal Fascism requires you to be a smug dick at levels not seen since Dennis Miller.

IOW, what we’re doing here isn’t going to affect Jonah. We were never part of his equation, whatever that is. He’s probably reading this stuff and smirking (e.g. smug dick). I suppose we’ll never know who he thought his target audience to be, I suppose it’s either people dumb enough not to see through him or the wingnut-welfare system.


It’s charming how Jonah thinks that quoting an aging dip like Tom Wolfe is going to make every liberal in the world wilt like a hothouse flower and stop criticizing his stupid book.


One of the most amusing aspects of this book-length troll? That the Pantload’s Corner-dribble is now under close scrutiny to see how closely it cleaves to the facade of the book’s thesis. And he knows it. I give it till Super Tuesday before the cognitive dissonance breaks his little brain.

(Tom Wolfe, though? Lucianne must be calling in every literary favor owed her over the past three decades.)


targeting nepotism is good when it is targeted at anyone anywhere ever who is not named jonah goldberg. large groups of villagers with pitchforks and torches coming to find and burn jonah goldberg is objectively pro-fascist, on the other hand. and liberal.

also, clinton.


Gundamhead said,

December 19, 2007 at 2:59

Could Tom Wolfe become any more of a joke?

Sadly, No!


I dunno, I goggled Jonah goldberg tom wolfe, and did not find the actual quote, tho there are references to D’oh!boys reference to it. Calling Tom Wolfe!


Wow you really dont find books with this kind of circular logic, questionable sources, and ‘damn the facts- I know my idea is TRUE’ mindset outside the UFO/Atlantis section of the used bookstore.


What an absolute fraud. Jonah’s political “philosophy” boils down to “I BELIEVE IN DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP RICH PEOPLE WRITING ME CHECKS!”


“I hear Tom Wolfe’s speaking at Lincoln Center…….. Well, of course we’re going to throw poo at him!”

I think there is some truth to the theory that monkeys are smarter than college republicans


Brad R, said,

December 19, 2007 at 3:24

What an absolute fraud. Jonah’s political “philosophy” boils down to “I BELIEVE IN DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP RICH PEOPLE WRITING ME CHECKS!”

Well that is modern rethuglicanism, Brad. Richard Mellon-Scaife, Rupert Murdoch, and fellow tycoons get more and more of the planet, and their serfs from Jonah to Pumpkinhead Russert work for scale.

It’s called freedom.

P.S. For Rupert, more and more.


Wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute–on the dust jacket of his “book” Goldberg says that the modern heirs of America’s “friendly fascism” include Hollywood, yet he accepts praise from someone whose books are made into movies by that same Hollywood. What’s the deal?


Maybe Wolfe could write a book called I Am Jonah Goldberg, and it’ll be about how during his college years he always wanted to hook up but no one ever would.


I believe Goldberg lied in attributing Tom Wolfe.

Sadly, No! (I’ve always wanted to do that.) Wolfe’s slobbering is one of the back cover blurbs, not a review.

I can’t believe it’s published by Doubleday, not one of the wingnut vanity presses like Regnery.

Here’s what Amazon told me when I went to Pantload’s page:

Customers viewing this page may be interested in these Sponsored Links

Secret Behind The Secret “How Fast Can The Secret Work?” The Answer Inside May Shock You!

Millionaire Minds Wanted We Tripled Our Income From Home Using This Simple, Proven System

The Secret Doesn’t Work Learn the Real Secret To The Secret & Start Getting What You Truly Want

So the demographics show that Jonah’s audience consists of credulous sheep waiting to be fleeced.


Oh, and apparently 79% of people who visit the page buy the book! This cannot stand!


I just sent the following letter to the LA Times, which in defiance of all sense and reason actually pays Jonah for his crayon scribbles:

I regret that I have had the great misfortune to read portions of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. Unfortunately, I lack the stomach to finish the entire putrid mess. The book is notable in its absolute lack of any intellectual merit. To call it abysmally sloppy scholarship would be a compliment. The book is not merely fact free, but overtly and aggressively counterfactual in many places. This would go a long way in explaining why a work with any intellectual pretensions is totally unsourced. Even such plebian partisan hacks as Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin at least make some pretense at footnotes, even though these are taken out of context, deliberately distorted, or wholly fraudulent. Goldberg further ignores, distorts, or denies widely accepted conventional usage (both popular and scholarly) of terms such as liberal, leftwing, conservative, and fascist in order to further his patently absurd thesis. This is well illustrated in his assertion that Adolph Hitler (who killed or imprisoned all communists, socialists, labor leaders, etc.) was a man of the left. It also shows in his statement that the American Revolution was somehow “conservative despite that fact that it represents the very definition of liberalism in the eighteenth century, when the term was coined, and whose leaders were largely, even by today’s standards, liberals on most issues. Overall, Goldberg sets new records for mental contortions and illogic that call to question whether the publisher has any objective standards at all for publication. The facts that this work ever saw the light of day and that Mr. Goldberg is still employed are irrefutable proof of the nonexistence of God. If there were indeed a God, he would be panhandling on skid row and dining in a soup kitchen. I call on all local public health officials to immediately quarantine the book should it make an appearance in their communities, lest it produce irreparable brain damage among the more vulnerable portions of the population.


It really is much simpler if you define the terms properly:

Liberal: Someone I don’t like.
Fascist: Also someone I don’t like.

Once you get those two straight it makes perfect sense. Hitler? Liberal. Jane Fonda? Fascist. See?


Aha! So that’s why they call him pantload.


fascism is a right-wing political theory which advocates the union of state and corporate power. Period.

Fascism got a bad name due to WW2 and it has more broadly been used as a pejorative to describe right-leaning authoritarianism at home and aggressive imperialism abroad.

As noted earlier here at S,N!, Jonah redefines ‘fascism’ to mean whatever he wants it to mean when he writes, ‘liberal fascism differs from classical fascism…’

So basically, he’s written an entire book around the concept of using the word ‘fascism’ instead of ‘poopyhead’ or whatever pejorative he wishes to use in order to associate true fascists – Hitler, Mussolini, et al – with anyone and anything on the left which he dislikes.

I could write a similar book entitled, “Conservative pedophiles: The History of The Right From NAMBLA to Larry Craig” and it would be every bit as intellectually honest as Jonah’s waste of tree pulp and ink.


I agree with David that populism is a useful and healthy passion when aimed at the liberal elite.

why do I get the feelings that Jonah would support anything “when aimed at the liberal elite”?

“I agree that wedgies are a useful and healthy passion when aimed at the liberal elite!”


The word fascist came from the Roman fasces, which was a bundle of birch rods, or faggots, tied together with a red ribbon.

Therefore, all fags are fascists.



Ok. Here’s the deal.

I come home, pour a drink, turn on Olbermann and check Sadly, No!

It’s fun, and I can get in the most current thread and become part of the conversation.

But UGH. I do not like this Jonah Goldberg, Sam I Am, I do not like him in a box, I do not like him with a fox, I do not like him here or there, I do not like him anywhere.

I don’t have anything to say. This is just stupid.

Dodd canned retroactive immunity.

Huckabee sent out an evil little bwahaha to christianists.

Turkey is about to turn the kurds against the last dregs of Maliki.

Musharaff got away with sacking all the judges who would use the actual constitution to question his legitimacy.

Putin rigged the game to hold on to power, and somehow he still seems a piker when it comes to totalitarian instincts. GWBush seems to be the world leader.

But thanks, Mr. Goldberg, asshat, ’cause we’re all laughing at your ridiculous ejaculations. And you win again, motherfucker, ’cause nobody’s looking at the real problems.

Well, nobody but my fucking hero, Chris Dodd…



“I agree with David that populism is a useful and healthy passion when aimed at the liberal elite.”

The biggest problem with this statement, as with his “liberal fascism,” is that there is no such beast. While there are liberals within the elite (Kennedy, Bird, Kerry, etc.), the elite itself is emphatically not liberal. Indeed, the modern elite seems notably conservative, particularly as compared to the post WWII era (1945-1965).


Repeating now: (mikey?)

Just one clean shot. Then make sure everyone gets my blog links, since (mikey?) and I will both be famous for our “liberal on liberal” crime.

I’m counting on you, buddy. Pretend I screwed you, Hemlock-style.

(Oh, and I apologize for quoting Hel, who I consider to be Trevanian’s “ultimate” Hemlock. In any case, T’s heroes were kick-fucking-ass.)

edub teh librarian

Wolfe says the Russian revolution was the greatest hoax in modern history, and Jonah is somehow the first historian to uncover this fact.

Perfect! I’ve always wanted to recatalog the Da Vinici Code and move it from “fiction” to “history of religion.”

It’s the Screwy Decimal System!


Tom Wolfe is drinking too much.

Or, as has been pointed out above, Momma Goldberg had something on him.

He’s just not that stupid.


Jonah sez Whole Foods is part of the fascist conspiracy. I suspect that’s because he loves the idea of eating Cheetoes being a patriotic act.

legions of chickenhawk warbloggers living in mom’s basement are sure to take heart from Jonah’s tome.


fascism is a right-wing political theory which advocates the union of state and corporate power. Period.

This thing about fascism just being the “union of state and corporate power” is simply not true.

I know, I know, they often used words about corporatism and incorporation, but they were using the words differently. They were not simply about uniting the state with capitalists.

The whole point of fascism is that the nation was one organism, one creature, and there were natural hierarchies and organs within it — from the latin, corpus, for bodies.

It’s also one reason actual capitalists learned to be quite leery of the fascists possessing absolute power, except when they felt they were the lesser threat than socialist or leftist movements, given that the fascists would have just as much power to take the capitalists’ assets & power away as any leftist government.

Wikipedia, “Corporatism

Under fascism in Italy, business owners, employees, trades-people, professionals, and other economic classes were organized into 22 guilds, or associations, known as “corporations” according to their industries, and these groups were given representation in a legislative body known as the Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni. See Mussolini’s essay discussing the corporatist state, Doctrine of Fascism.

In English, this was the Chamber of Fasces and Corporations.

The following report appeared in Time magazine of 1939.

From Time magazine, “Theorist“, 1939

Five years ago Dictator Mussolini began his economic state building by setting up a system of “corporations” to regiment practically all phases of Italian life. There are 22 separate corporations, the members appointed by Il Duce, and consisting of an equal number of representatives from syndicates of capital and labor, three members designated by the Secretary of the Fascist Party, and a number of technicians.

The corporations are classified in three general sections: 1) Agricultural-Industrial-Commercial Productive Cycle (including cereals, oils, livestock, textiles); 2) Industrial-Commercial Productive Cycle (chemicals, printing, utilities, metallurgy); 3) Service-producing Activities (credit and insurance, banking, professions, the arts, sea and air transport, communication).

All the corporations compose a National Council of Corporations which, acting through its central committee has in the past legislated on questions of labor and production. Its decisions—subject to the Dictator’s veto—become law.

Trust me, no capitalist-controlled “corporation” would be led by 3 state-nominated representatives who outnumbered the capitalists 2-1, including union leaders and fascist political leaders.

Of course, an examination of Mussolini’s thought might prove harmful to Jonah’s masterful piece of scholarshit.

Mussolini, “The Doctrine of Fascism

Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and economic sphere.


But conservatives can get drunk on it when they proclaim that elites are bad simply because they are elites.

Translation: Some animals are more equal than others.


Jonah Goldberg is a nitwit.


John O, I believe Tom Wolfe is the guy who coined “radical chic”–and brought us “mau-mauing” in the same title. But no, he isn’t stupid. He just assumes his readers are.

Hey, what does Jonah have to say about Franco? I’d really love to read that.


Would a publishing deadline also fit Jonah’s description of liberal fascism? Is that why it took so long for him to crank this out?


Tom Wolfe, though? Lucianne must be calling in every literary favor owed her over the past three decades.

Tom, like his acolyte PJ O’Rourke, was always about gettin’ the paycheck. Politicallly, he’s Truman Capote, but with better tailoring. Unfortunately for him, current pay-for-play standards have sunk so low (see: Lucianne Goldberg) that he’s reduced to blurbing bottom feeders like the Doughy Pantload. When Mr. Mau-Mauing the Flack Catchers is reduced to faint praise like “Love it or loathe it, “Liberal Fascism” is a book of intellectual history you won’t be able to put down—-in either sense of the term.”, his greed has become his own worst punishment.

(Anyone else remember the Dorothy Parker quote? “This is not a book to be laid aside lightly — it should be thrown with great force.”)


All I know is I really enjoyed “The Right Stuff” and “Bonfire of the Vanities,” so I just can’t accept that he’s the moron he has to be to offer support, much less an endorsement, for Goldberg’s feces.

If you have a contradiction, check your premises. One of them is false.

So Tom Wolfe actually believes what he wrote, or Momma G., a.k.a., The Virgin Mary, made him say it.

Which is more likely?


Tom Wolfe. Right…the man’s man, in white from head to toe, all 4 inches of him.
Many, many years ago I was in rock band in NY. We happened to be playing a a Peter Lawford party. The white midget was there. A few weeks after that there was an article in Harpers. A sort of review of the party. Putting down many people like Diana Dorrs and other obscure society ants. All of us in the band got a kick out of his description of our group as East Islip Beatles playing guitars that looked like dragonflies.
We all got a kick out of it. We thought it was pretty fucking cool. We had a perverse sense of humor.
My point…? Many years ago I was working in SF in a frame shop. The white imp came in for some framing. I asked if he remembered the article. He suddenly got defensive like a little girl and said “Well, you know I get paid to write that stuff”.
I thought, what a wimpy, groveling little shit he turned out to be. He apologizes for his work.
Here’s something else he can apologize for when someone over 6 inches tall confronts him again.
Fuck him, but fuck Jonah more, ’cause he’s taller.


Jonah Goldberg isn’t worthy of the title “historian”, no matter what Tom Wolfe says. Call a liberal elitist, but to be an historian, you should have: 1) advanced training in the methods of history and the historiography of your chosen speciality, culminating in an extended written work supported by original research, and/or 2) a record of scholarly published works in history subjected to peer review.


Uh, that would be, “…call me a liberal elitist….”


It might have been Vanity, not Harpers. Who the fuck remembers?


I wonder how Jonah reconciles Tom Wolfe’s “review” with the fact Tom Wolfe claims fascism never made it to America’s shore:

I wanted to get the source for the “dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe,” so I tracked it down to Tom Wolfe’s “The Intelligent Coed’s Guide to America,” republished in Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine (1976).

That Volokh Conspiracy fellow…he must be one them “librul fascists” I keep hearing about…


Bruce, that is absolutely my favorite shit about the blogosphere.

Great story, which simultaneously makes me reconsider one Tom Wolfe.

I assume this was a LONG time ago, so that makes his prostitution ever more easy to understand. He’s been at it a long time.

Still, with his dough? What’s up with that?


“Poopy-head” is exactly what I was thinking as well. I guess “Liberals are poopy-heads” isn’t that catchy, even though that’s what the book is really about.

Is there a chapter on Count Chocula? Seems like that would be appropriate.


All I know is I really enjoyed “The Right Stuff” and “Bonfire of the Vanities,” so I just can’t accept that he’s the moron he has to be to offer support, much less an endorsement, for Goldberg’s feces.

Not really. Charlotte Simmons _or_ the woeful and dolorous history of those kids who would not get off my lawn was pretty much trashed by anyone who didn’t want to make the same didactic point Wolfe did.

Imagine how, sitting like Miss Havisham in a moldy white suit around the mice-ridden ruins of his buzz as The Journalist of the Future, it must stir his heart to believe that those barbarians who mocked the greatest novel ever written were, in fact, fascists who only pretended not to be struck to the core by its power because they’re all Hitler and stuff.

Tim (the other one)

“(Anyone else remember the Dorothy Parker quote? “This is not a book to be laid aside lightly — it should be thrown with great force.”)”

Yes, and currently here in Topanga Cyn., the apt Parker phrase would be:

“Get me out of these wet clothes and into a dry Martini “


Julia, I heard that one was a piece of Jonah, so I never bothered to read it. It isn’t like I’m a Wolfe cultist or anything; I haven’t read his work in 10 years at least.

But I don’t think he’s stupid.

OTOH, maybe that white-suit thing gets into your brain, and you start to believe your press. Hard to say.

In either case, it sure is going to be hard for him to live THIS one down.

Just for the record, I have an instinctive and strong mistrust for public figures who adopt a “look.” Particularly a “unique” look. Wolfe might as well be that rapper who wears the giant clock around his neck.

Yo, Mr. Wolfe! That isn’t a good thing.


John O

You are correct sir.


This book is clearly “The Brothers Karamazov” of Wrongness. It’s a work of art. In fact it’s starting to not be funny anymore, it’s starting to freak me out. Did Jonah sell his soul at the Crossroads to Papa Legba in exchange for supernatural duhness?

Stating that the Nazis were Marxists is exactly as accurate as saying that the Nazis were Judaists. They conflated the two from the very, very beginning of their movement (“the Jewish Communist conspiracy.”)

Come to think of it, Karl Marx was Jewish.


John O, I really enjoyed the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, so I’m not immune to his brand of showy prose. I just think he’s possibly let his old crankism and his decline in hotness get to him.

Tim (the other one), I think the relevant Parker quote is “Tonstant weader fwowed up”

Worst. President. Ever.

Nice ones, Tim #2, but even more apropos is a good old Mary McCarthy line about Lillian Hellman:

“Every word she writes is a lie, including “and” and “the”.”


I’m with you, Julia. I’m just a plain ol’ sucker for lovely prose.

I don’t even care what it is about, sadly (n!), and that makes me vulnerable to the better writers out there.

Even if they are complete morons.

Jonah doesn’t qualify on either count, though he’s a better writer than I.

How humiliating. Thank God for S,N!, and all the rest of the brilliance in the blogosphere.


Oh he wrote “The Right Stuff?” In the movie they “mau-mau” the rocket scientists who actually made the world in which we live, while playing the astronauts up as a bunch of anti-intellectual cowboys.

That’s a blossom of stupid right there, really. Unlike the astronauts, the rocket scientists were indispensable. And the astronauts themselves were more nerd than cowboy anyway.


I meant that even though Jonah the Feces is a better writer than I am, it doesn’t make up for the stupidity he publishes.

See? He would never make that kind of mistake. This is why conservatives love him. And his Mommy.


El Cid, I don’t see where where Mussolini’s arrangement of a fascist state precludes a capitalist-led version of the same thing.

What you say is true, that a real capitalist wouldn’t allow the setup Mussolini used (unless forced to, which is kind of a different argument), so if the capitalists went the other way round?

Say they decided to co-opt the State power,oh, I don’t know, by encouraging the creation of a political system that requires, nay demands, huge amounts of money in order to remain within the system; then set up a donation system that favors the large donor while simultaneously providing an avenue for those capitalistic interests to ‘arrange’ for political decisions that further cement the relationship and/or reward the capitalists…. eventually, the dividing line between capitalist power and political power would be pretty darn thin, right? Then, capitalists could start crossing the line. Maybe they could start creating their own, private ‘armies’ – calling them security specialists, of course- and creating large, fenced and guarded enclaves for themselves, to protect themselves.

They could reward politicians who had outlived their usefulness by giving them cushy, well compensated jobs on the corporate side of things, working with the political players they had gotten to know already. A ready made class of go-betweens.

Of course, the Corporate powers could use their other companies in support of the arrangement. Let’s use News as an example; different arms of the news – TV, radio, papers – could dwell on the same, meaningless news for weeks at a time while important things, like maybe a war, was covered meagerly or not at all… Stereotypes and biases could be reinforced to push voting patterns in the desired directions. Meanwhile, wages and benefits could be slowly reduced from the working classes, making it more difficult and stress inducing to make ends meet, so the working joes have less energy and time to even follow the decision makers.

eventually, like pigs who have gotten in the house, you’d no longer be able to tell the Corporate from the Political.

I think we’d still have to call that Fascism, wouldn’t we? even though it takes a different road to get there?

Of course, there’s no way a scenario like THAT one could occur. Not in America.

mikey, I love me some Chris Dodd too. And I AM heartened by the win today. But I am afraid he’s just a speed bump in that process; these savages are playing the Long Game.


I haven’t had any tolerance for Wolfe since I read “From Bauhaus to Our House”. Loads of misinformation, inaccurate descriptions, selective quotations and dodgy intellectualism.

I tried reading Bonfire and had to throw it aside with great force.

elegant prose? I found it affected and overly cloying.

Showy prose or no, I see what he might find to like in Our Doughy Pantload.


you won’t be able to put down—-in either sense of the term.”

I guess Mr. Wolfe does not have S, N bookmarked, then?

I’m going to go with the inimitable Mr. Clemens instead. Once you put this book down, you’ll never be able to pick it up again.


mikey, I love me some Chris Dodd too. And I AM heartened by the win today. But I am afraid he’s just a speed bump in that process; these savages are playing the Long Game.

Yep. We need to really rally to kill this one.

Every single one of us, and even that probably won’t work, to refer to Atrios’ theme of a recent post in which he declares defeatism unworthy of blogging.

You have to fight. Or you’re a traitor.


Fair enough, Billy. I’m no intellectual, though I am blessed with a high IQ and most excellent capacity for understanding the human condition.

Didn’t read “From Bauhaus…” either. See? I’m just a proletarian fucktard.

But a sucker for a good tale.

Anyone here hate Dickens for his politics? Because I don’t care. 🙂


I would never suggest that particular fascists or fascist movements or political schemes with various fascist elements (like the current Bush Jr / Rove / Reagan II crooks) couldn’t play real nicely or even front for capitalists.

I mean, that’s why Bertram Gross some 27 years ago stole Jonah Goldberg’s ideas from the future, but, except making different points entirely and called it “Friendly Fascism.”

Maybe one of the best examples of this was the “sub-fascism” of Augusto Pinochet, who used his U.S.-backed totalitarian authority to re-write Chile’s economy for those idiot “Chicago Boys” Milton Friedmanites, so that they could do their AWESUM miracle of selling of Chile’s natural resources and proclaim themselves Ecomoronic Gene-you-siz.

I’m just saying that historical statements about fascism which reduce it down only to a union of capital and state are not accurate.

Obviously, historically, fascism was a movement primarily of female grade school teachers who got degrees from Ivy League universities in the United States. It centered around telling people what they shouldn’t eat and then being all hypocritical because they’d make fun of Republicans.

Let’s be accurate now. This is not their point, but it is a central point, that is, classically not the point they are not making, but this is central to my point.

Points are technically non-dimensional geometric figures which have no dimensional extensions, so that points have by definition no center or perimeter, but nevertheless I insist that this is central to my point.


the mau-mau thing – it’s become argot for what it means, but I’m really uncomfortable using it, because what it means in the piece is that black activists got wimpy liberal (and don’t forget jewish) dilletantes to support their causes, causes that clearly just aggrandized a bunch of illiterate thugs and not people who’d only been allowed to vote and go to decent schools for a couple of years.

He couldn’t actually put a bone through anyone’s nose, but he did his best.


The fact is, ElCid, that everything I’m trying to say is not EXACTLY relevant or coherent, which is my central thesis, therefore proves my point.

LOL. Great post.


mikey, I love me some Chris Dodd too. And I AM heartened by the win today. But I am afraid he’s just a speed bump in that process; these savages are playing the Long Game.

Yep. I apologize in advance for my limited points of reference, but here’s how it is for me.

When I was holding a piece of a company perimeter in the belly in 1970, and at least one, and maybe more, NVA Regiments were throwing themselves at our line, which, quite honestly, was 80 scared guys in forty holes, some already hurt and some out of the fight out of fear and confusion, and in the light of the 82 illum rounds I could fucking SEE those tan unis and those goddam jungle hats, and I was shooting people and people were trying to shoot me, and as the night got longer and longer and the rain turned to mist and they kept getting closer and finally at three or four we were killing them hand to hand and just trying to hold on one more minute, one more fucking guy, one more tick of the clock and then another, without dying now, oh god, just let me die later, not just now, the shadows swaying crazily and the wire shredded and some of our guns falling silent and the screams and the anger and fear and hate…

That’s how I see Chris Dodd. Maybe because I don’t have the imagination to understand the reality of what he’s doing in DC.

Speed Bump? You’re goddam right he’s a speed bump. I’ve been a speed bump, and sometimes, when there’s nothing left to hope for?

Speed bump’s enough.

You make your stand, you hold the line, you call for support, and if you get overrun, it’s ok. You didn’t quit, and you didn’t run.

Goddam right. Chris Dodd. Speed Bump on the road to amerika, the police state. My hero…



I just invented a new drinking game.

Take a shot every sentence of Jonah’s that DOESN’T contain the word “Fascist”, “Nazi”, or “Liberal”.

Education through repetition, indeed.


Conservatives respect authority — the authority of ideas, traditions, morals, religion, customs, reason, law, excellence and so on money & power. One cannot believe in this kind of authority while having a blanket hostility to elitism in any form.

Fixed, as the kids say.


Well, the “Mau Mau” term, like so many things in the decline of the British and French empires, has obscure, mythological, and hotly debated origins, but it does not seem to have originated with the Kenyan independence rebels themselves:

The Mau Mau Uprising was an insurgency by Kenyan rebels against the British colonial administration that lasted from 1952 to 1960. The core of the resistance was formed by members of the Kikuyu ethnic group, along with smaller numbers of Embu and Meru. The uprising failed militarily, though it may have hastened Kenyan independence. It created a rift between the white settler community in Kenya and the Home Office in London that set the stage for Kenyan independence in 1963. It is sometimes called the Mau Mau Rebellion or the Mau Mau Revolt, or, in official documents, the Kenya Emergency.

The name Mau Mau for the rebel movement was not coined by the movement itself- they called themselves Muingi (“The Movement”), Muigwithania (“The Understanding”), Muma wa Uiguano (“The Oath of Unity”) or simply “The KCA”, after the Kikuyu Central Association that created the impetus for the insurgency. Veterans of the independence movement referred to themselves as the “Land and Freedom Army” in English

And then we move from the merely historical, which is fascist, to the sublime, which is superfascist.

A gang in late 1950s New York City known for their violent attacks named themselves the Mau Maus, apparently after the fearsome reputation of the Kenyan rebels. Evangelist Nicky Cruz was a member of the Mau Maus when he renounced his violent ways and converted to Christianity. The 1970 movie, “The Cross and the Switchblade”, starring Erik Estrada as Nicky Cruz depicts these events.


It must be very strange to be Jonah Goldberg. A man of extraordinary short-sightedness and dimness approaching to a persistent vegetative state, he can’t get it up unless you spank him. He is like a great naked mole or shaved opossum who has his head up his ass all of the time, and who unveils one mile-high stack of shit after another to a reception that, when not eating Cheetos, is wanking off.


I feel a strong need to thank you, mikey. You were fucked by your civilian leadership, and I am sorry I didn’t do more, even though I was 13 when the goddamn thing ended.

I’m sorry you had to go through that. Sincerely. Beware the fucking Man, for he gives not a shit about you.

Have a good holiday, my tubey friend. Anyone who digs Hemlock and Trevanian and maybe even Laphroaig is AOK with me.


Jomo Kenyatta, first president of Kenya, was Kikuyu. His biography is incredibly compelling.


I hope John Lukacs can be dragged out to laugh at the book.


Anne Laurie: Yes, I remember the Dorothy Parker quote. I also remember daily—sometimes hourly—her classic lament: “What fresh hell is this?”

What a disappointment Tom Wolfe has turned out to be. “Radical Chic and Mau-mauing the Flak-Catchers” was very funny. I once thought of “Bonfire of the Vanities” as the defining novel of the 80s. He was an originator of 60s-era “new journalism” and a much-imitated snarkmeister in his day. Once when I was a magazine editor, I wrote to him via his publicist for a quote for a piece I was writing. He wrote back to me very promptly, a two-paged letter in calligraphy-quality longhand on crisp creamy stationery. To see him come to this sad, sad point is really depressing. Deep sigh.


When Goldberg dies, I hope he gets to experience the life story of each individual victim of the Holocaust, one by one, so that he can spend the remainder of eternity knowing what fascism is. That’s all.


Thanks, El Cid. I didn’t know that history.

My dad actually bought me the comic book of The Cross and the Switchblade, but I thankfully regrettably missed the movie, which I’ve heard is one of Pat Boone’s most Pat Boone performances.

Mikey, you got screwed, and I’m sorry, and I hope you’re as much as possible OK.


Why is everyone so glum?

Bruce has returned!

Oh, Bruce, how we missed you!


Billy Pilgrim, Julia–

I liked Electric Kool-Aid a lot. The style fit the subject. And maybe I gave him some grudging points for “From Bauhaus.” But “The Painted Word” was a credo of literalism and a diminution of art’s possibilities. To Wolfe, if you “wait” to “get it” while looking at Rothko, you’re a sap.

Thus speaketh a literal-minded defender of everything that oppresses millions, ankly-fray. Anything not quantifiable objectively (by the institutions in whose shadow Wolfe keeps his suit spotless) is deluded, hippy-dippy, etc.

Fuck that, to coin a phrase. What’s entertaining is to watch “dandies” like Wolfe pretend to sprightliness and sauciness by slapping anyone with nerve or vision and pointing to his “style.” The court jester wears motley and only mocks the king in ways that are validated and safeguarded by the throne. Thanks for nothing, asshole.


Writing a book called Liberal Fascism requires you to be a smug dick at levels not seen since Dennis Miller.

And look where his career has gone since becoming a ‘wry conservative’.


John O said,
Jonah doesn’t qualify on either count, though he’s a better writer than I.

I disagree, Mr O. I seem to recall a guy by the name of Orwell, who wrote an essay or two about the effective use of language, and had a history himself of effective linguifying. He made the point that if someone is using metaphors and similes that cannot be translated into actual mental imagery, then that person is not really doing anything more than flapping their mouthparts to create the impression that rhetoric is coming out. Ask yourself, Does J. Goldberg pass this test?

In particular, imagine that some writer were to claim that the intellectual descendants of the French Revolution “would have to be seen as the fruit of this poisoned tree”.
You see what he did there… the legal concept of “Fruit of the poisoned tree” (where the point is that if a tree has been poisoned, it can’t bear fruit) has been mixed up with that biblical business of knowing a corrupt tree by its corrupt fruit. Two semi-digested clichés have been regurgitated together.

Does he write good?


Jonah’s book is a nice fresh, Bhopal PCB-laden breeze straight from 1980 when the Reaganites called Nelson Mandela a terrorist who deserved to be executed and laughed at Vietnam War veterans freezing to death under highways while simultaneously making up urban myths about liberals “spitting on them.” It is Lee Atwater and Mike Deaver incarnate, back for another swing, singing the discordant necrophiliac choir invisible. Don’t miss it.


…80 scared guys in 40 holes…

mikey, what a beautiful description of the Senate!!

enough Speed Bumps, and you can break an axle…. Slow down tha Motherfucking Machine, someone can throw a pipe into the gearbox…

Mr. Wonderful- After ‘Bauhaus’ I felt like Wolfe was just going out of his way to piss on anything that aspired to integrity or truth; for him, self-conscious detached irony was the Real Deal, and anyone who didn’t adopt the jaded pose was a simple rube. I read ‘Electric Kool-Aid after Bauhaus, and didn’t see how ANYONE could lump him in with HST as ‘New Journalism’.


Periodically, since I’ve been blogging, I’ve posted links to Politics and the English Language, Orwell’s masterwork on how our discourse is distorted.

Seems like as good a time as any.


Smut Clyde, I don’t disagree with your point.

But it doesn’t change the fact that Johah the Feces is a better writer than I am.

So he sucks, and I suck worse, which trust me is a plague upon my own damn house, life, and soul.

He’s a professional, after all. For the L.A. Times. So he HAS to able to turn a phrase, no?




So good to see you!

We missed you terribly!


So he HAS to able to turn a phrase, no?


Trilateral Chairman

John O:
Still, with his dough? What’s up with that?

I don’t know, but I have a few hypotheses.

First, if I’ve learned anything about the rich in the last X decades, many of which were spent in the surreal world of snobby private schools, it’s that the rich never, EVER have enough money. I could expound on this at length–but come to think of it, Wolfe already did in Bonfire of the Vanities. For all we know, he blew all his profits on laundry bills for those white suits he affects.

Second–and again from Wolfe–there’s the old Favor Bank. Either Wolfe owed Lucianne or Doubleday (but probably not Jonah), or Lucianne and Jonah (but probably not Doubleday; they’re not that dumb) now owe Wolfe. Given the poor reception of his last few novelish thingies, he can use all the credit he can get.

Third, many older people suffer from a form of beneficient dementia that leads them to distribute praise and property to anyone who happens by. It usually happens to seniors of some level of accomplishment; they start believing that the Young Kid Deserves A Shot and What Harm Could It Do and so I’m Going to Give You the Help that I Never Had. I actually think that this accounts for the otherwise inexplicable careers of Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, and Kathryn Jean Lopez; Buckley was well into his dotage by the time he turned over the reins. (Outside the political realm, if you read fantasy you have probably noticed that Anne McCaffrey is willing to slather effusive praise on some unbearably atrocious works.)

So take your pick. All I know is that I have left standing orders: If I ever start reliably exhibiting any of these behaviors, I am to be shot through the forehead at close range.


TC, those are all reasonable hypotheses.

I get it.

But it doesn’t excuse it. Don’t these people ever look at themselves in the mirror?

What are you if not your integrity?


one of my defenses of elitism.

Elitism : Jonah Goldberg :: Rugged virility : Jonah Goldberg


I could frighten Jonah the Feces with nothing more than my voice and words. Without threat of physical violence, or even threat, period. The man is obviously a coward in the first degree.

He’s probably sue. Because that’s the conservative thing to do.


Yes, and currently here in Topanga Cyn.,

Uh, Tim(the other one) – where exactly in the canyon are you? I’m in the P.O. Tract.

It’s both a good feeling and a little odd feeling to know there’s another Sadly Nosian here in the Canyon.


Not only that, Tim – you posted the Lorenzo St. Dubois video for me. You’re beginning to intrigue me………


Ooooh, this has all the earmarks of a quick, cheap, third-rate romance with all the fixins.

Including the busted car windows, the wrecked garage door and the restraining order.

What narcotics, lonliness and institutionalized fear has brought together on this day, let no man put asunder.

Just fucking sayin, dood…..



Top tags on Amazon about this book:
propaganda (29)
editor promised cake (17)
conservative (14)
must read (14)
politics (14)
liberals bashing books not yet published (13)
wingnut welfare (13)
censored by liberals (10)
censored by the left (9)
the truth (9)
finally the truth (8)


I really didn’t believe Wolfe could become any more fraudulent. Now I know.


I think I’m a different Bruce. But WTF.


I mean, I don’t even think there’s any excuse for someone Dana Perino’s age not to know what the Cuban Missile Crisis was. There’s beyond no excuse for someone Tom Wolfe’s age not to know what fascism is; it’s like, the excuse is some kinda black hole anti-matter or something.


MzNicky, even Truman Capote was an interesting writer at one time. I started reading Wolfe in my dad’s copies of Esquire magazine, and always thought he was best at short-form journalism. Gradually, during Wolfe’s Rolling Stone years, you could watch the verve leaking out of his prose as it became obvious that Gilded Age II was going to be every bit as obnoxious as the original model and even less fun to write about. THE RIGHT STUFF seemed like an attempt to circumvent the leaden meanness of “Morning in America” by circling back to a less acrimonious political era; BONFIRE started as ‘an attempt to emulate Dickens’, i.e., to avoid social repercussions through fictionalization. By the time Wolfe had become the House Literateur for Tina Brown’s Vanity Fair, he’d obviously accepted the fact that his ongoing employment would rely upon shameless flattery of the worst elements of the American kleptocracy, from Michael Millken to the Doughy Pantload. I believe he’s made more money in the last 20 years than in the previous 20, but he sure doesn’t seem to have been having as much fun.

However, if you would like to read some beautifully worded and Mencken-level-snarky takedowns of the Modern Robber Barons, please do yourself the favor of browsing some of Lewis H. Lapham’s essays. Lapham has all the wit & Olympian detachment that Wolfe has signally failed to achieve, and he’s been mocking The MSM Villagers (whom he refers to as “the eternal courtiers at the modern Versailles”) since Bobo Brookes was pretending to be a DFH and Dean Broder’s senility seemed premature.


“Conservatives respect authority — the authority of ideas, traditions, morals, religion, customs, reason, law, excellence and so on.”

“The authority of excellence? What the fuck is that?”

Keanu Reeves could explain it to you. Maybe with George Carlin’s help.


Clearly I’ve been out of the loop. When did Tom Wolfe become a retard?


Anne Laurie: I used to read Lewis Lapham’s editor’s page in Harper’s religiously and always marveled at his way with words. I’ll have to dig up some of his more recent writings; thanx for the tip.

Trilateral Chairman

But it doesn’t excuse it. Don’t these people ever look at themselves in the mirror?

What are you if not your integrity?

I have no idea. I can’t seriously imagine playing that game, even if it made me a ton of money. I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I mean, what would I think? “Hey, I’m rich as hell, but a completely dishonest hack?” No way–not as long as I have another option.


So when a leader is liberal, he must be destroyed for representing the evilness of the elite ruling class, but when a leader is a conservative, we must remember to always honor and obey our trusted elite leaders.

Its the same with nepotism. Its evil if the family name is Gore or Clinton, but when its Bush, Kristol, Goldrberg, Kagan, or Poderhertz, then its an example of loving family support.

To sum of Jonah, his world view is simply, “Everything a liberal does is evil, and everything a conservative does is good, even if they do the same exact things.”


Nazis hated Communists and Communists hated Nazis. Both thought liberal democracy was a weak form that could not stand up the dire threat posed by the other. How any of this is a hoax is beyond my comprehension. Maybe I should put a white suit on and all will be made clear.

There is a good book to be wrtten about statism in the 20th century and its implications but this is decidely not that book. The personal is political is not the same as saying that politicians should control your personal life. That is the difference between a comprehensive holistic view of society and politics and oppresive totalitarianism.


Lewis H. Lapham’s essays

I especially liked his book, Money and Class in America. I read it right after I read Paul Fussell’s Class, expecting another funny, silly-but-painfully-true trip down that road. Obviously it isn’t, and it’s well worth the read.

I can say very little about this Goldberg festival of suck. The passages excerpted here have kept me in stunned silence for the past few days.

I didn’t know it was possible to be that stupid and still function in our society. Oh, wait. He doesn’t live in our society! Silly me. He lives in Wingnut Welfareland.


[…] while back, our Jillian noted Doughy Pantload’s conveeeeenient distinction between good and bad […]


[…] the poor goobers out. This dovetails nicely with Jonah’s past praise of elitism in which he wrote that: [P]opulism is a useful and healthy passion when aimed at the liberal elite. But conservatives […]


(comments are closed)