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October 26, 2005

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As Atrios noted, Eric Alterman has been wondering, literally for years, when this event would occur. The publication date's already been changed, as it is reported here as May 2006 but currently on Amazon as August 2006. [Read More]

Comments

Brendan,

Where's the analysis? I just get "it's a book-length argument that liberals are like Nazis." What the hell is that? Did you read the book? I haven't. By construing the book in this way you imply that Goldberg is trying to say liberals will hunt down Jews and gas them. This is the type of politcal garbage I thought YOU were trying to identify and stop. Now you're a part of it.

You don't believe for one second that Goldberg believes liberals want to kill 12 million people. So why would you imply such? It's hard to view at it in any other light, since you provide no analysis of the book - just the "liberals are like Nazis" crap.

I am ashamed.

Brendan,
This is a radical concept, but I think I'm going to wait until I actually read the before offering an opinion.

The book won't be out until May 2006, so I don't know why Believer is asking whether I've read it. I also don't know why he's getting mad at me for saying "it's a book-length argument that liberals are like Nazis." That's exactly what the summary suggests: " liberals... have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler's National Socialism"; "Goldberg draws striking parallels between historic fascism and contemporary liberal doctrine"; "he boldly illustrates the resemblances between the opinions advanced by Hitler and Mussolini and the current views of the Left." I'm not exactly out on a limb here.

As part of the liberal fascist establishment, I insist that this book be burned.

The truth is that books like this have been written and published for a long time; what's surprising is how mainstream they're becoming. When Ann Coulter is a mainstream conservative face, then you know we've taken a hard right turn...

Fortunately it seems that radical turn is finally taking the train off the tracks. The sleeping 60% that decides every election is slowly being turned against the cronyism, corruption, incompetence, and downright un-democratic methods of the current administration. At least that's my sense, not unmixed with a healthy dose of hope. It's darkest before the dawn, and all that jazz.

Not too mention the simple fact that Goldberg is a right-wing smear monger whose entire career has been built on liberal character assassination.

No one who has ever read his work would be surprised by this latest installment of bile, nor should they be. He has made a number of arguments in past articles and on-air that draw a clear line between Nazis and Liberals.

From the horses mouth, "the use and abuse of Nazi analogies has been a major peeve of mine for quite some time. " — Tyranny, Shmyranny, NRO, June 19, 2002.

Apparantly, it isn't an abuse if the analogy is directed at liberals.

"In short, it's a book-length argument that liberals are like Nazis."

Not quite. It's a book-length argument that liberals share some ideas with Nazis. Jonah Goldberg is not someone I sympathize with, but he at least deserves an accurate description of his work, as smeary as it is.

In short, it's a summary of a book that hasn't been published, that you haven't read, and know nothing about. I'll bet you review movies by their lobby posters, too.

As for your claim of Jonah's hypocrisy, are you denying the fact of the existence of those comparisons and allusions Jonah referenced? Does the fact that he disapproves of what reasonable people would agree are odious and inaccurate comparisons a priori preclude him from being permitted to attemptto comparable historical comparisons concerning the people who made them? Is there some sort of codicil to the First Amendment that provides for "Hitler for me, but not for thee?"

And just as a matter of mild curiosity, do you even know who approved that cover and wrote that copy?

Of course I haven't read the book. That's quite obvious from the post -- no one has. But the author always has at least veto power over promotional copy for a book. If Goldberg wanted to get the text on Amazon changed, he could. And he hasn't. What inferences should we draw from that? In all likelihood, the wording is taken straight out of his book proposal.

As for X.L.'s comment, that's a distinction without a difference.

And you know this, I assume, because you have ironclad control over the promotional copy your publisher puts out on your books. That would be impressive because I've been in publishing for going on thirty years and that's damned rare.

I've emailed Goldberg to ask if he stands behind the copy on Amazon. I'll update the post if I receive a response.

I already did, and he doesn't.

And I notice you're evading the point. What's your authority for the blanket and inaccurate statement that the author always has at least veto power over promotional copy for a book"? Because not only is that untrue, I'll add, based on my direct personal experience, that once the book gets into the hands of marketing, in many cases not even the editor retains that kind of input.

Richard, I stand corrected re: the veto power, although I really would be surprised if Goldberg couldn't get that text changed if he wanted to. See the update above re: his response.

The point remains, you launched this rant against an unfinished manuscript that you had not read, and didn't even bother to try to check it with the subject of your story until you had published it. Are you trying to make the NY Times look good? Where's Harold Raines when we need him?

Since the book hasn't been published, I can't really criticize it. However, I would like to point out that the charge is nothing new. It is the claim that various social welfare programs are somehow "fascist." To quote Herber Hoover: "Among the early Roosevelt fascist measures was the National Industry Recovery Act (NRA) of June 16, 1933 .... These ideas were first suggested by Gerald Swope (of the General Electric Company)....[and] the United States Chamber of Commerce. During the campaign of 1932, Henry I. Harriman, president of that body, urged that I agree to support these proposals, informing me that Mr. Roosevelt had agreed to do so. I tried to show him that this stuff was pure fascism; that it was a remaking of Mussolini's "corporate state" and refused to agree to any of it. He informed me that in view of my attitude, the business world would support Roosevelt with money and influence. That for the most part proved true." Now if Hoover had had his way we might still be in the depression.

Now you can hardly accuse liberals of militarism, chauvanism, or invading countries that aren't any threat to us. Nor can you accuse them of arresting people without trial, holding them for years without a charge, and torturing them. I would recommend that people look up an essay by George Orwell on the use of fascism as an epithet used against anything that one doesn't like.

Heil Hillary!

Mr. Reasonable Himself? Obviously a self-imposed title.
You all wrote all of this before the book was even published? I notice no one has written a word here since. Now that it has been, it's a great example of the old addage that if the facts are against you, smear your accuser. The fact is that Goldberg's book overwhelmingly documents the reality that liberals/progressives don't want to acknowledge. As liberals call Conservatives fascists and nazis, those terms more accurately portray the attitudes and behaviors of their own political ancestors than those of Conservatives. Your attempt at preventive war against Goldberg's book is a bust. I know you're too stubborn but to rarely change your mind about anything, but liberals should read it and learn something, even if it's painful.

This is old business, but you really should read what SMART conservatives...ya know, not embarrasments like Goldberg and the other shmucks at NR (the folks at "American Conservative" are an example) have to say about this silly book. It's a deeply, deeply silly book. Liberals and fascists share some ideas. WHEEE!!!!

Of course, the traits that people usually think of when they say "fascist" are hypernationalism and militarism. Those are sins of the RIGHT in America, which is why they get called fascists. It's certainly a sloppy, libelous thing to call someone, but "turning the tables" in the way Goldberg does by pointing out that fascism got some ideas from socialism and so liberals share ideas with Hitler...like ya know, vegitarianism (that's really in the book)...is equally sloppy and libelous. And funny. But in the "laughing AT him" kind of way.

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