A little surprising, that.
Background: in the course of trying to boost what has been generally conceded to be a not-particularly-good Second Inaugural speech made by Barack Obama yesterday, Yglesias wrote:
Summing up the ideological brief, Obama even indulged in American liberalism’s favorite ideological tic—the insistence that it’s not an ideology at all, but simply a pragmatic response to changing circumstances.
Which, if you’ve read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism
, actually sounds very familiar. It is, in fact, at the core of the parallel he draws between how modern American liberalism sells itself and how fascist movements have sold themselves:
The unique threat of today’s left-wing political religions is precisely that they claim to be free from dogma. Instead, they profess to be champions of liberty and pragmatism, which in their view are self-evident goods. They eschew “ideological” concerns. Therefore they make it impossible to argue with their most basic ideas and exceedingly difficult to expose the totalitarian temptations residing in their hearts. They have a dogma, but they put it out of bounds.
Continue reading Matthew Yglesias endorses key point of Liberal Fascism.
Not quite what you think: it’s a blog by Jonah Goldberg in support for his new book The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, which will be coming out this Tuesday. I’ll be reviewing this book in more detail tomorrow on RedState (as well as something that I’ll save as a minor not-really-a-surprise for Tuesday), but here’s the gist: it’s good on its merits, and like Jonah’s previous book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning it will likely integrate a whole lot of data that you already knew into a new way of looking at those most unpragmatic ‘pragmatists’ that make up so much of the modern progressive Left. Check it out.
Not having read American Taliban – and not particularly being interested in reading American Taliban, either – I don’t particularly plan to care overmuch about the blipping thing. But after flipping through these self-congratulatory missives on how the book sucks just as badly as they think that Liberal Fascism did, I have to say: Kevin Drum, Matthew Yglesias, and the rest of them seem rather blatantly upset that Markos Moulitsas can get books published and they can’t. Couple that with an existing desire to malign Jonah Goldberg’s (quite good) book – and if you wonder whether Jonah got under the Left’s skin with his insights, read their complaints and wonder no further – and you end up with this kind of petulant whining.
I’d be sympathetic, except that it’s Moulitsas, which means that this is totally deserved from a karmic perspective.
PS: My colleague Dan McLaughlin wrote a very good article on this subject here.
UPDATE: I see that Jonah’s noticed this backward recognition, too.
…to write about the fairly predictable way that his comments about liberalism and the paranoid style were brushed off. Actually, I do know why. He wanted to write this last paragraph:
The point is that when liberals and leftists spout conspiracy theories and paranoid delusions — as they have for generations now — it’s written off by the liberal establishment as either an isolated incident, or an understandable exaggeration or, simply, the truth and therefore not a conspiracy theory. And: It Is Annoying.
Which It Is: and I recognize full well that it’s necessary and proper to keep pointing out that the major difference between their nuts and our nuts is that our nuts spout off their conspiracy theories on the Internet and local media outlets, not Congressional committees*. None the less, it’s a particularly thankless task, even if it is necessary. It’s not even the hostile responses that grate (those are, in fact, kind of fun to witness)…
PS: At some point, I guess I should read Liberal Fascism: I hate depleting the personal budget for a partisan political book, but enough people pro-and-con have read and referenced it that at some point I’ll have to take the hit. I’d get it from the library, except that the local one lacks a copy…
*Yeah. Waters was probably talking about the Jews, there. Hey, don’t look at me: it’s not my fault. When my party chose its legislative leaders unwisely we just picked people who bellied up to the trough right next to the Democrats. Besides, at least we kept gas prices down and the Dow up.
Crossposted to RedState.