Tomasky (and Charlie) on Goldberg

Michael Tomasky reviews the execrable Goldberg (no, I’m not going to link to his trashy book) and, inter alia, notes the classic smear technique that he employs. When it gets right down to it, describing contemporary liberals as Nazis is grotesquely implausible, and Goldberg hastens to disavow any such intention. But since he cannot walk away from his thesis, he has to insist on a lingering connection, some common “underlying impulse”. But as Charlie noted in his rather odd comments ((The oddness is that Charlie is quite perceptive in telling us “what Goldberg is really showing”, but he refuses to criticize Jonah for wrapping up this “unstated lesson” in such a crudely partisan diatribe.)) on the book,

The unstated lesson of Goldberg’s book is that the appeal of authority is a human failing, shared equally by those on the left, and on the right.

So perhaps Goldberg should have simply written a book about the strictly non-partisan human impulse towards authoritarianism. But what kind of subject is that for a red-blooded member of the NRO? Instead, we have this wishy-washy attempt to link liberals (and only liberals) with fascism. Tomasky again:

Isn’t all this at once so broad and so qualified as to be meaningless? (Don’t worry, my ellipses do not cut out anything inconvenient to my argument. See for yourself on page 327.) Hillary Clinton does not seek any of the goals that fascists have traditionally sought, but somehow she is like them. And so on. Whole Foods is obviously a pretty fascistic enterprise, especially its EnviroKidz cereal line, but “none of this is evil, and it is certainly well-meaning”. Also, liberals “are not cartoonish Nazi villains,” and “the danger they pose isn’t existential or Orwellian”. Lurking behind all these futile disclaimers may be Goldberg’s well-founded fear that intelligent or knowledgeable readers might conclude that he is crazy.