Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dunk The Dope For A Dime

Libloggers are having a grand ol' time with Jonah Goldberg's tome about liberal fascism. And why not? Based on what I've read, Goldberg has produced a scattershot comic book history of liberal manias, fast food for the faithful, perhaps, but pages that will quickly yellow and flake. No surprise, really. Goldberg's lightweight mind is incapable of heavy lifting, too dull for sharp satirical swipes. Of course his book is a laughable mess. That the guy enjoys a professional writing career in this diseased environment is all one needs to know. If Goldberg can secure supermarket or airport display, then his miserable effort will have been worth it.

The disintegration of what passes for the American mind touches everything, right wing polemic included. As ridiculous as it may seem, Goldberg and his fellow National Reviewers are tinsel imitations of that mag's earlier contributors, James Burnham, Willmoore Kendall, and John Dos Passos among them. You know things are falling apart when one speaks of the "smart" National Review. But when touring NR's present Corner, such comparisons are inevitable. Small wonder that blowhards like Victor Davis Hanson are held in such high esteem there.

Given all that, liberals owe the likes of Goldberg big time. Without him, or Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannity, or the rest of the reactionary clown roster, American libs might have to examine their own political biases and failings, as well as critically assess their political heroes. They may even be forced to deal with -- gasp! -- the corporate/military state, not to mention the global order itself. Ick. Far better to take endless potshots at rightist dopes and dupes, while hoping, praying, that the Dems will deliver some kind of salvation, however imperfect or tainted. Consider it an extension of fantasy football.

The thing is, Goldberg's not wrong in essence, just incredibly stupid, one-sided, and incomplete in his approach. Democrats and liberals do indeed possess authoritarian traits, and have for some time. I don't know if I'd call it "fascism," but when studying the history of liberal politicians and presidents who've violently smashed dissent, jailed or deported those deemed enemies of the state, censored political speech, and committed mass murder overseas, "fascism" isn't all that far from the mark. I cover all this and more in "Savage Mules," to which I must again return. I'm curious to see how funny libloggers will find my book when it appears, assuming they bother reading it at all. Maybe a mule in Mussolini garb on the cover. Whatever moves product.