Friday, October 28, 2005


Occasionally Eric Alterman has wondered out loud when Jonah Goldberg would get around to writing a book. Apparently he's getting around to it. The title is:

Liberal Fascism : The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton

And, here's the cover:

hahahah! Hitler mustache on a smiley face!!!! Jonah memories:

September 4, 2003, 9:45 a.m.
The politics of dangerous stupidity.

Nazis murdered millions of unarmed people. They put them in ovens. They made soap out of them. They carted off children in boxcars to die and used some of the kids for medical experiments, including injecting dyes into their eyes to see if they could improve their looks. Lower on the list of charges, the Nazis enslaved millions and launched wars for territorial and egotistical gain (and sent many of the conquered populations to death camps as well). Lower still, they banned books and burned them too. They expropriated homes and businesses, banned religions, etc.

An intelligent person wouldn't normally assume these are the sorts of facts people forget. It's not quite the same thing as saying that the Mork and Mindy was a spin-off from Happy Days, is it?

I could, of course, get more graphic about what the Nazis did, but I don't much like writing about the Holocaust. It's not merely a depressing subject, its enormity is so depressing, so compacted down with evil and barbarity and cruelty that it folds in upon itself like a black hole. The gravitational pull of its tragedy has permanently bent the trajectory of mankind. 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.

In the September 1, 2003, issue of National Review, Byron York chronicles (read the piece here) some of the Bushphobia. He writes,

A staple of Bush-hating is the portrayal of the president as a Nazi. That has, of course, been a prominent part of other attacks against other presidents, but today it seems to be deployed with particular aggressiveness against Bush. There are thousands of references, across the vastness of the Internet, linking Bush to Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Do you want to buy a T-shirt with a swastika replacing the "s" in Bush? No problem. Do you want to collect images of Bush in a German army uniform, with a Hitler mustache Photoshopped onto his face? That's easy. Do you want to find pictures of Dick Cheney and Tom Ridge and Ari Fleischer dressed as Bush's Nazi henchmen? That's easy, too.

As York observes, It's not just the intellectual poltroons of the Internet who feign bravery by loudly saying what is patently stupid so that people a fraction dumber than them might mistake it for boldness and conviction. It's not just the masses of undifferentiated cattle who sport their Hitlerfied George Bush T-shirts and who chant slogans with a verve more truly reminiscent of Nuremberg than anything ever uttered by George Bush.