Writing on The New Republic blog The Plank, Jason Zengerle slams Jonah Golberg's new book:
I'd been thinking about doing a parody of conservatives' race to the bottom when it comes to turning out hysterical books on Hillary Clinton, but I see that some prankster has beaten me to it. Check out this brilliant parody. Getting Mussolini and Hillary into the same phrase--genius! And I love how it traces campaign finance reform's roots back to the Third Reich--the milk just shot out of my nose! I just hope Jonah Goldberg doesn't find out about it, lest he sic his lawyers on this comic genius.
But he still doesn't do justice to the astounding book that Jonah Goldberg is apparently writing -- check out the cover:
And here's the summary featured on Amazon:
Since the rise and fall of the Nazis in the midtwentieth century, fascism has been seen as an extreme right-wing phenomenon. Liberals have kept that assumption alive, hurling accusations of fascism at their conservative opponents. LIBERAL FASCISM offers a startling new perspective on the theories and practices that define fascist politics. Replacing conveniently manufactured myths with surprising and enlightening research, Jonah Goldberg shows that the original fascists were really on the Left and that liberals, from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Hillary Clinton, have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler's National Socialism.
Goldberg draws striking parallels between historic fascism and contemporary liberal doctrines. He argues that "political correctness" on campuses and calls for campaign finance reform echo the Nazis' suppression of free speech; and that liberals, like their fascist forebears, dismiss the democratic process when it yields results they dislike, insist on the centralization of economic decision-making, and seek to insert the authority of the state in our private lives--from bans on smoking to gun control. Covering such hot issues as morality, anti-Semitism, science versus religion, health care, and cultural values, he boldly illustrates the resemblances between the opinions advanced by Hitler and Mussolini and the current views of the Left.
Impeccably researched and persuasively argued, LIBERAL FASCISM will elicit howls of indignation from the liberal establishment--and rousing cheers from the Right.
In short, it's a book-length argument that liberals are like Nazis. Apparently Ann Coulter's Treason was too subtle and erudite for the conservative book market. Random House should be ashamed of itself.
Update 10/27: Paul astutely points out in comments that Goldberg has denounced Nazi analogies in the past. Let it rip, old Jonah!
1/5/01: "Nazism and the Holocaust are hardly joking matters. So let me be very careful in how I talk about this.
"If you honestly think John Ashcroft or elected Republicans in general are Nazis, then you are either a moron of ground-shaking proportions or you are so daft that you shouldn't be allowed to play with grown-up scissors."
..."Calling someone a Nazi is as bad as calling them a "nigger" or a "kike" or anything else you can think of. It's not cute. It's not funny. And it's certainly not clever. If you're too stupid to understand that a philosophy that favors a federally structured republic, with numerous restraints on the scope and power of government to interfere with individual rights or the free market, is a lot different from an ethnic-nationalist, atheistic, and socialist program of genocide and international aggression, you should use this rule of thumb: If someone isn't advocating the murder of millions of people in gas chambers and a global Reich for the White Man you shouldn't assume he's a Nazi and you should know it's pretty damn evil to call him one."
6/19/02: "[T]he use and abuse of Nazi analogies has been a major peeve of mine for quite some time
9/4/03: "Suffice it to say that the Nazis weren't simply generically bad, they were uniquely and monumentally evil, not just in their hearts but also in literally billions of intentional, well-planned, and bureaucratized decisions they made every day.
"And yet, in polite and supposedly sophisticated circles in America today it is acceptable to say George Bush is akin to a Nazi and that America is becoming Nazi-like. Indeed, in certain corners of the globe to disagree with this assertion is the more outlandish position than to agree with it."
..."When you say that anything George Bush has done is akin to what Hitler did, you make the Holocaust into nothing more than an example of partisan excess. Tax cuts are not genocide, as so many Democrats have suggested over the years...
"Darn those Republicans" does not equal "Darn those Nazis." The Patriot Act is not the final solution. The handful of men in Guantanamo may not all be guilty of terrorism, but it's more than reasonable to assume they are. And no matter how you try to contort it, Gitmo is not the same thing as Auschwitz or Dachau. There are no children there. You don't get carted off to Cuba and gassed if you criticize the president or if you are one-quarter Muslim. And, inversely, there was no reasonable justification for throwing the Jews and the Gypsies and all the others into the death camps. The Jews weren't terrorists or members of a terrorist organization. To say that the men in Guantanamo -- or any of the Muslims being politely interviewed by appointment -- are akin to the Jews of Germany is to trivialize the experiences of the millions who were slaughtered. Even if you think Muslims are being unfairly inconvenienced, when you say they are the Jews of Nazified America you are in essence saying the worst crime of the Holocaust was to unfairly inconvenience the Jews.
Update 11/1: I emailed Goldberg to ask about the text and he responded that he didn't write it. He didn't necessarily disavow it (he claimed not to have read it), but said he will not comment further until he finishes the book. So I will withhold further comment until the book is complete.