Jonah Goldberg is an amazingly stupid man. With most conservatives, you never really know if they’re drinking the Kool-Aid or just serving. The "Lying v. Incompetent" argument has been going on for some time, and even conservatives often forget which side they're on. But there are some conservatives who clearly belong on one side or the other.
NY Times' recent op/ed hire Bill Kristol is an example of a conservative who only serves the Kool-Aid. He’s a smart man who says dumb things because there are no smart things conservatives can say anymore. He's just doing the best he can with the crappy material he has to work with and the fact that he isn't continuously laughed at by everyone is a testament to his genius. He might not be right about anything, but he sounds right to people who don't know what they're talking about; and that's an unfortunately large group of people.
And two of those people are David Brooks and Jonah Goldberg, who are serious Kool-Aid drinkers but somehow imagine that they’re servers. And that's primarily because they're not really conservatives and don't understand how the conservative mind thinks; and therefore can only crib notes from real conservatives, without really understanding what they're saying or why. They're like parrots who imagine they're having a conversation, simply because intelligent people keep laughing every time they talk.
And the few times they actually try to create source material, they come off sounding either liberal or entirely incoherent. The only thing conservative about them is their rhetoric; which is why it rarely makes any sense. Besides, with Jonah anyway, all they really care about is the mud he throws. As I've mentioned before, the strongest principle of all conservatives is their loathing of liberals and/or Democrats. Jonah could be a gay communist for all they care; as long as he's insulting libs, he's in the club. Just ask Andy Sullivan, who became "liberal" the moment he wrote "Bush Sux" on his blog.
Liberal Republican in Hiding
And the problem for Jonah is one I’ve mentioned earlier: Jonah Goldberg is a liberal Republican in a world in which Republicans are not allowed to be liberal. And I say that because Jonah believes that the government should fix problems that it can fix, but that it's done a poor job at fixing things. But for real conservatives, there are only three things our government should ever do: Help rich people, help religious people, and hurt brown people. And that's it. If one of those three things aren't happening, the government shouldn't be doing it. It's not that they think the government sucks at solving problems; it's that they think it shouldn't solve problem.s And they oppose successful government programs more than crappy ones.
Goldberg, in contrast, believes in a limited government that solves problems that it's able to solve effectively. And if you could show him that the government did something effectively, he'd think it was a good idea. But there's already a word for people who believe that, and that word is Liberal. The difference is that Jonah's a liberal who only accepts data from conservative sources, and that data tells him that government doesn't work. But all the same, he'd like it if government did work, and that's just not what conservatives think.
But not only does Goldberg not know this, he has completely shifted the ideological spectrum in order to make him look conservative. As I've shown before, he defines liberals as people who believe "government can have a role in any problem" and have "a well-deserved reputation for bringing a hammer to every problem." See, he defines liberals as being just like him, but more absurd; and is oblivious to the fact that conservatives aren't like him at all. It's not just that they only use a hammer when it's necessary; they don't think the government should have a hammer.
And the funniest part of all: He's so liberal that he considers the true conservative position to be a fake strawman designed to make conservatives look dumb. He still doesn't realize that conservatives did that all on their own. And the only reason why he associates with them is that he just likes being a Republican. For him, conservatism is just a social scene; not an ideology. Many people are that way about religion too, I've found. They're not looking for the answers. They just need a friend.
Throwing Around Fascism
And that's how we can read things like this, from his visit on The Daily Show:
Most touchy moment for Jonah came when Stewart asked him if one of the things he was against was people throwing around the charge "fascism" far too easily. Jonah said yes, then Stewart picked up a copy of the book and simply pointed to the title, "Liberal Fascism" -- adding, so why are you doing this?
But in the context of Jonah being a closet-liberal, it makes perfect sense. Because the problem with his recent book is that he's not a fascist conservative, but it disturbs him that conservatives are so frequrently tagged with the fascist label. So he decided to write a book which countered that impression by associating liberals with fascists. But an honest conservative really only objects to the fascist label because it's as accurate as it is damning.
But he doesn't really mean that liberals are fascist. He's just trying to create a parallel argument which shows that it's just as easy to attack liberals as fascists as it is to attack conservatives. It's not really an argument, as much as it is a diversion. Like the guilty person in a murder-mystery who fingers an innocent person; he doesn't care if he's guilty, he just wants to put the spotlight on someone who isn't him.
And that's why Jonah Goldberg is still insisting that he disapproves of the fascist label being thrown around as easily as it is, while promoting a book which did exactly that. Because the real point of the book is to stop liberals from calling conservatives fascist. That's it. That's the real intent (well that, plus Jonah just wanted some greenbacks for a book idea he successfully pitched, but couldn't really write).
Lumberjack as Tree
And that's all because he imagines that he's a conservative. It's as if a black man who looked white got accepted into the KKK and imagined that the Klan isn't racist because he's a Klan member who likes black people and thinks the anti-Klan people were unfairly smearing the Klan with the racist label. And in Jonah's case, they accepted him as a conservative because he was anti-Clinton and a loyal Republican; and so he imagines that he must be one of them and that they think the way he does. And that's why he's so entirely confused and why his arguments never make a lick of sense.
And that includes this new book, which would have disgraced any man of integrity; while a man like Goldberg will just use it to further his victim complex. His argument is like a man walking through a forest and declaring that a lumberjack is a tree because he's wearing green and brown; and using that to defend clearcutting by saying that environmentalists are anti-tree because they won't let trees chop down other trees. But some attributes are more important than others, and finding attributes which link liberals to Hitler won't stop liberals from noticing that conservatives are fascists.
As usual, Jonah's entire premise is muddled, because he's a liberal living in a conservative world. And so he comes off yet again looking like a complete dumbass, simply because he's entirely confused and doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.