BookTV has the video goods on Jonah Goldberg’s speech to the Heritage Foundation last January promoting his (then newly released) book Liberal Fascism. Link to the video here.
The cognitive dissonance is unbelievable in this thing.
JG starts intelligently enough critiquing the views of folks like Naomi Wolf and Jeanne Garafolo, i.e. The Bush is Hitler Crowd. Wolf’s book compares the current US to Nazi Germany circa mid 1930s.
Because we have a Homeland Security Department. So did the Nazis. We had Abu Ghraib, they had Auschwitz. We invaded a country, they invaded a country.
Voila, Wilkomen to what Garafolo (apparently) calls the “43 Reich.”
Now I think Jonah overemphasizes how influential ignorant fools like those two ladies are within the Democratic Party, but they have some influence no doubt. They are left-wing nutters, just as we could base our judgment of the Republican party on I don’t know David Horowitz and wack jobs like that.
Nevertheless, suffice it to say there exists a googleplex amount of reasons to criticize sharply and mercilessly the Bush administration for its arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence and so forth. Check the archives of this blog for loads of examples.
But this is not Nazi Germany. So Jonah here is right. These people are making facile comparisons that seek to use a horrific destructive image to vilify a political opponent. As someone who believes Bushism should be critiqued, these folks are not helping because calling someone a Nazi ends the conversation and turns thinking folks off to any kind of critique. Worse it domesticates and sanitizes the words Nazi and Fascist which is an evil in and of itself (something completely missed by Goldberg).
Ok, so there’s goes Brother Jonah for the first couple minutes on this more or less non-crazy thread. And then after having rationally shown these people hold laughably idiotic views, he proceeds to do what I ask you? He says that the Nazis were a youth green movement that was into organic food and environmentalism. True enough except how is this different than what Naomi Wolf has done?
Apparently however according to Jonah’s logic, Wolf was in fact right–we are living in Nazi Germany in the 1930, only its Obama and the Democrats who are the Ruling Party (WTF???). Heh. Double heh.
It would be hilarious if not for the fact he seriously believes his own mania and nobody calls him on it. Collective cognitive dissonance.
Predictably, Goldbergism is now infecting other staffers of NRO (filed under I s–t you not “Something Lighter”). Here’s Geraghty:
So, the recent news out of the Obama camp is that they’re planning a huge rally with thousands of people in a stadium, want to create a mandatory youth corps for national service, and are thinking about a big dramatic speech in Berlin.
It’s like they’re trying to sell copies of Jonah’s book or something.
Voila, clearly Obama is Hitler. It’s so obvious to me now, how could I have missed this before? Obama is giving a speech in a big stadium, Hitler did. We know Obama eats arugula–Hitler was a vegetarian. Obama must = Hitler.
No facile superficial analogies there. No, not a one.
Have these dudes so internalized these (admittedly unfair/unjust) accusations over the years that they are Nazis/fascists that they really can’t do anything except lob that grenade back at those who chucked it at them first?
Memo to Geraghty: Obama wants to give the speech at the spot where St. Ronald of Reagan told Gorby to “Tear Down this Wall.” Uh…you know like part of the whole homage to Big #40 not the Fuhrer. You dudes have been idolizing Reagan for so long, you’d think you’d be all tickled pink that a lefty liberal like Obama has such positive things to say about the Gipper. But sadly it would appear otherwise.
As I’ve said for a long time, nobody is a Nazi or a Fascist unless they wear a brown or black shirt with a swastika, goose step around, shave their head, believe in the supremacy of the White Aryan race, want to violently overthrow the liberal capitalist order, exterminate Jews, Romas, gays and lesbians, people with mental and physical disabilities, and take over the world. Until then, enough with the Nazi/Fascist name calling on all sides folks. Capice?