Sunday, June 14, 2009
I picked up the most recent copy of National Review – the one with the strange “Sotomayor as a Buddhist” cover – while I was in D.C. because I wanted to read the piece headlined across the cover: “Jonah Goldberg on His Critics”. Brian Beutler at TPM pointedly observed: “That better be a long article.”
Actually, it’s only two pages long. So, predictably, it’s pretty short on any discussion, as is the list of critics he actually addresses by name or argument. Namely: two – David Oshinsky and Michael Tomasky. And just as predictably, he completely misrepresents their arguments, setting up little strawmen and knocking them down instead.
And as if on cue, we get the point of writing the piece in the headline: “Obama’s Playbook, In Paperback.” (I’ll add the link if and when it ever becomes available online.) Yes, you see, Barack Obama is now the leading exponent of “liberal fascism.” This, of course, is Glenn Beck’s favorite thesis these days too.
Now, I happen to be one of Goldberg’s critics who, unlike his favorite caricature of liberals as having airily dismissed his book by laughing at it and urging people, “don’t read this!”, actually spent a good deal of time addressing Goldberg and his arguments in considerable detail – including a review published by The American Prospect. Certainly, my arguments are serious ones, no matter how little Goldberg chooses to admit it. Moreover, I actually have addressed Goldberg’s thesis in my new book, The Eliminationists. No less an authority than Rick Perlstein, in blurbing the book, writes:
For over a decade, David Neiwert has been America’s canary in the coal mine – our national early-warning system on the spread of corrosive, eliminationist, right-wing hatred in our midst. His latest book is a reality-based antidote to Jonah Goldberg, notable for both its clarity and moral force.Nonetheless, having familiarized myself with how Goldberg operates, I admit I felt only slightly chagrined at not being included on the list. I’m well aware that Goldberg considers me something of an ankle-biter – he gave up completely after I’d debunked his work for a couple of rounds’ worth of online exchange, at which point he declared victory and went home (and at which point I completely unloaded on the pile of crap that is Liberal Fascism). I didn’t expect he’d even mention me – in no small part because he can’t give a good answer to my points – and of course he didn’t.
But then, anyone who’s read Liberal Fascism already knows that intellectual honesty is not Goldberg’s strong suit. Rather the contrary....(Remainder.)