Horowitz defends Americans’ civil liberties against “brazen,” “damaging” attacks
On Friday, David Horowitz, general secretary of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and commissioner ex officio of Minitrue, lashed out at critics of “The Path to 9/11,” ABC-Disney-Rove’s factual docudrama about the factual history of Bill Clinton’s criminal negligence and how it left America unprepared for the attacks on the homeland that occurred five years ago today. In a FrontPage exclusive essay, Secretary Horowitz wrote,
The attacks by former president Bill Clinton, former Clinton Administration officials and Democratic US senators on Cyrus Nowrasteh’s ABC mini-series “The Path to 9/11” are easily the gravest and most brazen and damaging governmental attacks on the civil liberties of ordinary Americans since 9/11.
Secretary Horowitz, widely known and revered for his lifelong work as a civil rights activist, pointed out that criticism of “The Path to 9/11” violates the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Act of 2004, which expressly forbids liberals from taking exception to imaginative re-enactments of their high crimes and misdemeanors. Secretary Horowitz noted that the Swift Boat Act has political roots that go back to the founding of the Republic, when Thomas Jefferson wrote his famous letter to James Madison on the importance of maintaining a free and open society that promotes the work of historical revisionists and fantasists:
There remains little Doubt among the opinions of Men, that the legitimacy of liberal Society rests on its willingness to support the Harangues of deranged and vicious Persons of the far Right, particularly if they be subsidized by media Conglomerates of vast Size.
To which, Secretary Horowitz added, Madison replied,
Nay, Thomas, I know of none who would doubt such a thing. And yet these be but empty Words, if we of liberal Mind do not further seek to ensure that these well-subsidized Harangues of the “Wing-Nuts” be promulgated throughout the breadth of the Nation, by means of every Channel public and private. For no Nation can long endure or prosper, unless it be sure to foster a mature political culture of Lying and Calumny.
Secretary Horowitz then called for the prosecution of far-left blogofascist Max Blumenthal, who, on Friday, wrote:
“The Path to 9/11” is produced and promoted by a well-honed propaganda operation consisting of a network of little-known right-wingers working from within Hollywood to counter its supposedly liberal bias. This is the network within the ABC network. Its godfather is far right activist David Horowitz, who has worked for more than a decade to establish a right-wing presence in Hollywood and to discredit mainstream film and TV production. On this project, he is working with a secretive evangelical religious right group founded by The Path to 9/11’s director David Cunningham that proclaims its goal to “transform Hollywood” in line with its messianic vision. . . .
Horowitz’s PR blitz began with an August 16 interview with [scriptwriter Cyrus] Nowrasteh on his FrontPageMag webzine. In the interview, Nowrasteh foreshadowed the film’s assault on Clinton’s record on fighting terror. “The 9/11 report details the Clinton’s administration’s response—or lack of response—to Al Qaeda and how this emboldened Bin Laden to keep attacking American interests,” Nowrasteh told FrontPageMag’s Jamie Glazov. “There simply was no response. Nothing.”
A week later, ABC hosted LFF co-founder Murty and several other conservative operatives at an advance screening of The Path to 9/11. (While ABC provided 900 DVDs of the film to conservatives, Clinton administration officials and objective reviewers from mainstream outlets were denied them.) Murty returned with a glowing review for FrontPageMag that emphasized the film’s partisan nature. “‘The Path to 9/11’ is one of the best, most intelligent, most pro-American miniseries I’ve ever seen on TV, and conservatives should support it and promote it as vigorously as possible,” Murty wrote. As a result of the special access granted by ABC, Murty’s article was the first published review of The Path to 9/11, preceding those by the New York Times and LA Times by more than a week.
Blumenthal’s illegal essay was published at “The Huffington Post,” a far-left website operating on an unauthorized sector of the Internet. As a result, ABC-Disney-Rove has asked President Bush for authority to shut down all unauthorized and illegal websites and web “logs,” including that of Dave Johnson of Seeing the Forest, who on Friday provided an illegal link to an April 2, 2000 Washington Post article detailing Richard Clarke’s counterterrorism initiatives prior to the millenium:
As the national coordinator for infrastructure protection and counterterrorism, Clarke has presided over a huge increase in counterterrorism budgets over the past five years to meet a wide array of new—and some would argue, still hypothetical—challenges, such as cyber warfare or chemical or biological attacks in New York or Washington. Last month, the administration submitted an $11.1 billion request to Congress to strengthen “domestic preparedness” against a terrorist attack. In the meantime, by contrast, security assistance to the former Soviet Union to tackle proliferation problems has been stuck in the region of $800 million a year.
“In America, there is a morbid fascination with greater-than-life technological threats, which you don’t see in other countries,” says Ehud Sprinzak, a terrorism expert at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “Clarke has an ax to grind. It makes him big. If nobody talked about catastrophic terrorism, what would people like Dick Clarke be doing?”
Such talk irritates national security adviser Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger, Clarke’s direct supervisor, who insists that the threat of large-scale terrorist attacks on U.S. soil is “a reality, not a perception.” “We would be irresponsible if we did not take this seriously,” he says. “I hope that in 10 years’ time, they will say we did too much, not too little.”
Clarke’s warnings about America’s vulnerability to new kinds of terrorist attack have found a receptive ear in Clinton. With little fanfare, the president has begun to articulate a new national security doctrine in which terrorists and other “enemies of the nation-state” are coming to occupy the position once filled by a monolithic communist superpower. In January, he departed from the prepared text of his State of the Union address to predict that terrorists and organized criminals “with increasing access to ever more sophisticated chemical and biological weapons” will pose “the major security threat” to the United States in 10 to 20 years.
Secretary Horowitz pointed out that citation of the Washington Post article on Richard Clarke violates Executive Order 13414, which amended Executive Order 13233 and is usually referred to in official Washington as the “Order for the Disposal of Inconvenient Information about Past Presidents.” “The article itself should never have been available in the Internets archives,” said Horowitz. “The fact that an illegal website, operating on a pirate Internet frequency, can reproduce an article that should have been eliminated from the public record constitutes one of the gravest and most brazen and damaging governmental attacks on the civil liberties of ordinary Americans since 9/11.”
On Sunday, in response to Blumenthal, Secretary Horowitz insisted that he has no connection to the creators of “The Path to 9/11.”
This is just one of many of attempts by the left to create a right-wing caricature they can attack. Apparently the real David Horowitz—a free speech liberal, a supporter of artistic freedom in Hollywood and academic freedom in the university—is too much of a challenge for their feeble minds to handle.
“It just so happens that I’ve spent the last two years telling the truth about how the Left undermined national security before 9/11,” Secretary Horowitz said today upon re-posting his March 2004 essay on the subject. “The fact that I now have independent factual corroboration of my work, from a wholly independent and completely factual source which I’ve never even heard of and has no connection to me whatsoever, is apparently too much of a challenge for liberals’ feeble minds.” Thoughtfully stroking his goatee, Secretary Horowitz added, “Their feeble, feeble minds. Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah! Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah.”
A spokesman for the David Horowitz Freedom Center added that while citation of the April 2000 Washington Post article on Clarke is a felony violation of the Inconvenient Information Disposal Order and the Swift Boat Act, the article itself should have been sent to Minitrue for revision under the Richard Clarke Unperson Order of 2004, which forbids all references to Clarke’s counterterrorism activities prior to 2001.
“The Path to 9/11” concludes this evening on ABC-Disney-Rove. At the conclusion of this factual docudrama, which has no connection to the work of David Horowitz other than agreeing with it in great detail, there will be a two-minute period during which citizens are encouraged to express their feelings about Democrats’ history of incompetence and malfeasance in matters of national security.
"attacks”Posted by Martin on 09/11 at 10:24 AM
I hate these people (yes, I did get the snark alert). On a happier note, on balance, the NYT review of your book was very positive. You are a great teacher while Horowitz is just a pontificator, indeed, to paraphrase, you are an example of what’s manifestly good about the liberal in the liberal arts.Posted by on 09/11 at 10:25 AM
Secretary Horowitz has asked me to inform you that it is also fobidden to point out how much the far Right resembles the Stalinist-era Soviet regime.Posted by Roxanne on 09/11 at 10:54 AM
This is just one of many of attempts by the left to create a right-wing caricature they can attack. Apparently the real David Horowitz—a free speech liberal, a supporter of artistic freedom in Hollywood and academic freedom in the university—is too much of a challenge for their feeble minds to handle.
I have to say that the left’s model of Horowitz seems to explain the phenomenon better than Horowitz’s alternative reality model.
A kid in my neighborhood is learning to play the bassoon. At this point he can really only make one sound on it, but he makes that sound loudly. Not sure why that image popped into my head when reading about the one whose name I’d still like to truncate.Posted by on 09/11 at 10:54 AM
This is a very spunky post.Posted by on 09/11 at 10:55 AM
Ah, yes, BG, but is it likeable?
I jest. Thanks, Barbara, for emphasizing that review’s generous closing flourish. I didn’t manage to convince Professor Wolfe that Horowitz is wrong, but, you know, I’ve failed at things before and I’ll fail at ‘em again. In the meantime, one muddles on.
Roxanne, the Minitrue comment scrubbers will be along shortly to correct your remarks.Posted by on 09/11 at 11:02 AM
Now, I was skeptical about Jefferson as a supporter of the right wing, or having ever written about Wing Nuts, but - time to try on DHo’s very own quotation standards - Jefferson did write “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of “patriots and tyrants”.
Strange, I had always thought he meant two different sorts of people there. Well, live and learn.Posted by on 09/11 at 11:10 AM
Live and learn indeed, me. Jefferson was not the originator of the phrase “Wing Nuts,” by the way. As I pointed out in this very learned post, the term was coined by Franklin, who, in his 1774 reply to Lord North, wrote, “those who defend every last Act of this arrogant King George, no matter how incompetent or intolerable these be, are very like the Wing-Nuts of a Machine of shoddy conceit, that spin so furiously as to fly cleanly off their Handles.”Posted by on 09/11 at 11:28 AM
Well, now I am shocked, truly shocked. Not only do I find by my very own search machine of shoddy conceit that there is no independent confirmation of your Farnklin quote on the interNets, but that you stole the quote - cold - from ConservaPundit, who used it in September of 2004, one entire month before you.
Don’t believe me, google the quote (leaving out the final “s” by mistake, and, of course, without quote marks)!
captcha word: more “light”Posted by on 09/11 at 11:49 AM
You go, Secretary Horowitz. It’s time somebody took on the Left’s illegal interweb operation. And remember to Follow the Money. I’m sure the trail will lead straight to Fidel Castro in his hospital gown.Posted by J— on 09/11 at 11:58 AM
No, ConservaPundit doesn’t count. You have to use all the words in the correct sequence in order to understand Franklin’s complaint and the Jefferson-Madison correspondence on wingnuttery to which it gave rise.
Besides, my hyperlinks to my own blog are independent confirmations of what I say. See Secretary Horowitz’s Manual of Style for Research Papers and Internet Publications, chapter 4, section 7(c).Posted by on 09/11 at 12:02 PM
i thought exaggeration was required for effective satire. michael, have you decided to shrug off the juvenalian-swiftian mantle and become a courician straight-ahead hard-news journo?!Posted by on 09/11 at 12:05 PM
You’ll be happy to know that Michael’s etymology of “wing-nut” was confirmed by the definitive work on the subject, Gustave Fliegermausmensch’s ponderous three volume work, Prolegomena zur Geschichte der Flügelmutterbegriffe (Berlin: Prussian Academy, 1891).
While we’re on the topic, you might be interested to know that while the Académie française insists on the classical “noisette des ailes,” many of the branchés prefer the anglisicme “les wingnuts,” with a silent final “s” of course, as in the following common dialogue: “tu fais quoi ce soir? rien spécial, mais on va se moquer des wingnuts sur Le Blog Bérubé, si tu veux me joindre.”Posted by John Protevi on 09/11 at 12:08 PM
[url="http://www.michaelberube.com/index.php/weblog/comments/if_you_go_carrying_pictures_of_chairman_dave/"]If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Dave
You’ll never break free of the shadows in Plato’s Cave.[/url]Posted by Roxanne on 09/11 at 12:10 PM
Oh, dammit.Posted by Roxanne on 09/11 at 12:10 PM
Dang, now where are those comment scrubbers when you need them? Number 14 is in clear violation of the Respect for Weblog Margins Act of 2005.Posted by Michael on 09/11 at 12:17 PM
“We would be irresponsible if we did not take this seriously,” [Berger] says.
“The Path to 9/11” clearly shows that the Clinton administration did not take the threat seriously. Therefore, by Berger’s own admission, they were irresponsible.Posted by on 09/11 at 12:21 PM
The Mammoth Lie
Arise ye wingnuts from your slumbers
Arise ye needers or nought
For reason in revolt now thunders
and at last ends the age of cant.
Now bring me all of your superstitions
Servile believers arise, arise!
We’ll change forthwith liberal conditions
And spurn the left to win the prize.
Then come believers rally
And the last fight let us face
The Mammoth Lie
Helps us win the race. (repeat).
We “have mores,” elitists and others,
Enrolled above the sons of toil
Let’s claim the earth henceforth from others
Drive the indolent into the soil.
Other flesh we always have fed the raven
We’ve tossed them out as the vultures prey.
But now give wave to spirit craven
The dawn brings an even brighter day.
Our savior from on high delivers
All trust we have in prince and peer
Our own right hand the chains must give ‘er
Chains of hatred, greed and fear.
Yes, we thieves will out with our booty
And to us give a happier lot.
Each at his forge must do his duty
And strike the iron while its hot.
CHORUSPosted by Aaron Barlow on 09/11 at 01:26 PM
Not to be pedantic or anything, but line 2 should read:
Arise ye needers of noughtPosted by Aaron Barlow on 09/11 at 01:29 PM
I am deeply troubled and concerned about this post.
It violates the many and several (as in plural of plurals in that doing something just a few times does not make it so) executive orders that command all such commentary be classified as secret and immediately sent post-haste and forthwith to the National Security Archivist. The entire thread itself is a state secret; it reveals how our most important intelligent network operates. Stop this at once.
you have been notified pursuant to various Federal codes and statutes you can easily find at the bottom of any form you are trying to fill out.
this captcha word “boy” is a bit demeaning don’t ya thank.Posted by on 09/11 at 02:08 PM
easily the gravest and most brazen and damaging governmental attacks on the civil liberties of ordinary Americans since 9/11.
I do think this establishes our hero as the odds-on favorite to win the 2006 Hyper Bowl.
[...and is he implying that 9/11 itself was a “damaging governmental attack on civil liberties? ... hmmmm]
In other news, Minitrue has it’s eye on some potential new talent.
First, Alessandro Stanley (the NYT’s Queen of her very own private Reign of Error) in rare form this go around - penning this gem, while apparently still in shock from an overdose of listening to “Pearl Jam”.
In 2001 President Bush and his newly appointed aides had ample warning, including a briefing paper titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” and they failed to take it seriously enough, but their missteps are not equal. It’s like focusing blame for a school shooting at the beginning of the school year on the student’s new home room teacher; the adults who watched the boy torment classmates and poison small animals knew better.
And the ministry may have its eye on James Frey as well;
James Frey, the author who admitted making up portions of his best-selling memoir, “A Million Little Pieces,” and his publisher, Random House, have agreed in principle on a settlement with readers who filed lawsuits claiming they had been defrauded.
However, sources close to the ministry say there is some concern over how Mr. Frey ended up taking responsibility for his mistakes. So it may just be a pleasant chat with Miniluv is in the cards for Mr. Frey after all - although the Random House connection is a plus.Posted by on 09/11 at 02:11 PM
"the gravest and most brazen and damaging governmental attacks on the civil liberties of ordinary Americans since 9/11.”
Clinton’s still in power? Cool! Maybe he can withdraw our troops from Iraq…Posted by NTodd, CT's Next Senator on 09/11 at 02:48 PM
I assume that number 17 is a joke, or that “B.J.” stands for “Bl*w J*b.”Posted by on 09/11 at 07:15 PM
I assume that number 17 is a joke, or that “B.J.” stands for “Bl*w J*b.”
A joke. Just some laffs from your Fun with Formal Logic folks, I believe.Posted by Michael on 09/11 at 08:27 PM
I read The horror, the horror’s blog entry.
At the bottom he has comments. I thought comments! cool, let’s see what people are writing.
So it turns out they are not really comments but 2 posted emails:
Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 7:11 PM
Subject: Blog Comment
Comment submitted by Michael in regards to blog entry: Liberals` war on
the First Amendent: The Path to 9/11---------------------------------------Fuck you, Horowitz. I hope you die soon.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 7:46 PM
Subject: Blog Comment
Comment submitted by Mark in regards to blog entry: Finally the President
recognizes that a holy war has been declared on us---------------------------------------I consider you the face of evil.
I call that cherry picking, totally the play of a natural scammer.Posted by on 09/11 at 09:42 PM
I agree. In fact, I’m pretty sure that “Mark’s” email read, in full, “I’ve always been a fan of your work, and I admire your evil plan to supplant Zod and vanquish those puny liberals with their feeble, feeble minds. In fact, I hope you won’t think I’m too much of a posing sycophant when I say I consider you the face of evil.”
I’m pleased to see that Horowitz has resumed the practice of publishing his correspondents’ email addresses, though.Posted by Michael on 09/11 at 10:08 PM
I blame the parents. Probably read young David bedtime stories by Vyshinsky. Imagine an innocent, if twisted child, lying in bed, imagining himself braying with derisive laughter as some broke-boned ruined renegade stammered out a confession.Posted by on 09/11 at 10:14 PM
I am not kidding--honest, I’m not--when I say that my Dad, dead these 43 years, really used to get a vicarious kick out of Vyshinsky’s “Shoot the mad dogs!” line at the Moscow Trials--he thought it showed a properly tough-minded attitude. Whether Horowitz’s folks shared this view I can’t say. My point is that even being raised by deep-dyed Stalinists doesn’t necessarily make you unhinged, as H. seems to be. I mean, how do you persuade yourself that a bunch of ex-White House staffers objecting to a TV script that portrays them unflatteringly = a governmental attack on civil liberties? No, the old Reds have a lot to answer for, but not this.Posted by on 09/11 at 11:08 PM
I assume that number 17 is a joke, or that “B.J.” stands for “Bl*w J*b.”
You never know - maybe it’s a joke AND B.J. stands for “Bl*w J*b.”
A little informal logic for ya.Posted by on 09/11 at 11:08 PM
"In that case, I’ll have blueberry.” --Sidney MorgenbesserPosted by on 09/11 at 11:10 PM
Posted by on 09/12 at 01:00 AM
Live and learn indeed, me. Jefferson was not the originator of the phrase “Wing Nuts,” by the way. As I pointed out in this very learned post, the term was coined by Franklin, who, in his 1774 reply to Lord North, wrote, “those who defend every last Act of this arrogant King George, no matter how incompetent or intolerable these be, are very like the Wing-Nuts of a Machine of shoddy conceit, that spin so furiously as to fly cleanly off their Handles.”
True. But the phrase “wingnut” has been used colloquially in PA--and probably other places as well--to denote “crazy people,” for over 100 years.
However, the phrase “Outer Wingnuttia” was coined by a PR expert with an avid interest in linguistics and politics, to describe what we’ll politely refer to as that “certain socioeconomic shift” in the Republican Party. It’s an <I>hommage.<I>Posted by on 09/12 at 05:47 AM
The worst thing that’s happened to America is the dichotomization of the parties. When I speak with Republicans, they think that Hillary is something that has crawled out of hell and needs to be killed, and that everything she says has to be wrong because she’s said it. When I speak with Democrats they believe that Bush is Hitler and everything he does is wrong because he did it.
The idea of I’m Ok, You’re Ok, has become instead, We’re good, and they’re bad.
I suppose Horowitz started this spat with his 101 professors. I’ve only browsed the book, but it would have been pleasant if he had balanced it with 101 dalmations who are less than spotty and who have something decent to offer in the 6000 colleges and universities that dot the country.
It would also be nice if those in the universities could admit that some of the things going on in the universities are probably in need of a clean-up.
But that’s just not how it’s going to be.
The game now is, we’re good, and they’re bad.
If you’re not playing that game, then you’re bad.
It’s a sick game, though. It reminds me of Robespierre screaming about virtue.
It just leads to scapegoating, rather than to a decent country where one can discuss intelligently and constructively. In this game belittling the other side is all there is, while blowing oneself up into a saint.
It’s altogether ooky.Posted by Kirby Olson on 09/12 at 08:52 AM
When I speak with Republicans, they think that Hillary is something that has crawled out of hell and needs to be killed, and that everything she says has to be wrong because she’s said it. When I speak with Democrats they believe that Bush is Hitler and everything he does is wrong because he did it.
Democrat = all talk
Republican = man of actionPosted by on 09/12 at 10:23 AM
"The attacks by former president Bill Clinton, former Clinton Administration officials and Democratic US senators on Cyrus Nowrasteh’s ABC mini-series “The Path to 9/11” are easily the gravest and most brazen and damaging governmental attacks on the civil liberties of ordinary Americans since 9/11.”
Do you think Horowitz was cackling with glee at his skillful deployment of irony as he typed this, or is he so demented that he believes it?Posted by on 09/12 at 10:24 AM
Ah, Kirby Olson!
That’s the easy way out these days, to yell “A pox on both of your houses!”
It is also the image the professional news media wants us to accept, for (ooky or not) it allows for permanent debate (that is, debate without conclusion or compromise)--much in the way the war on terror (on a tactic) is an endless war.
You’ve fallen into a trap, for endless debate is a rightwing victory, not a road to solution or compromise.
A “true believer” like Horowitz (and he was one, even when on the left) isn’t interested in debate and never has been. One might as well try to debate a rattlesnake as it prepares to strike at you. Debate can only happen when both sides are both able and willing to participate.
If you say, “Well, how do you know unless you have tried?” I answer that I have tried, as have others--but your question don’t signify. The Golden Horde is about to descend on your city--and you want to negotiate? Unless you are willing and ready to fight, you only have two choices, surrender or die. That’s all Horowitz and those like him are offering us, so we have no choice but to fight and not negotiate.
You complain about Bush being compared to Hitler? There’s a reason such comparisons are made, and it is that he (like many on the right, and like Hitler) isn’t interested in compromise. At best, he might use it to buy time or to get his own way (pretend to compromise with Congress, and then undercut your own compromise with a signing statement that says you won’t do what the law demands, for example), but he is only playing us.
What you are exhibiting is the worst of midde-of-the-road liberalism, an attitude that leads to rightwing victory as surely as surrender does.Posted by Aaron Barlow on 09/12 at 11:01 AM
Do you think Horowitz was cackling with glee at his skillful deployment of irony as he typed this, or is he so demented that he believes it?
I’m really not sure. Especially with the part about “when you take into account the delay in getting the new administration into place thanks to Al Gore’s reckless calls for a recount in Florida.” It’s not like Horowitz has ever cared much for sincerity, but he doesn’t usually go this far down the Coulter path.Posted by on 09/12 at 12:37 PM
Pierre Tristam has been to the future and found some other new Federal regulations and codes to which we all must adhere. These are three of my favorites (well not favorite because obeying them would certainly not be FUN):
# Sneezing will be kept to a minimum, as will staring at the ceiling or meditating other than in the provided meditation/prayer rooms. Correct meditation and prayer posture will be observed at all time, ensuring minimum interference from the Federal Office of the Grand Inquisitor.
# Asking questions is prohibited.
Excessive hilarity, social, political, economic or corporate humor, or satire and mimicking of government officials and/or security personnel may result in revocation of flying privileges. All jokes must be explained to authorities upon request.Posted by on 09/12 at 02:19 PM
Dear Aaron Barlow;
One postures negociation with those unwilling to negociate because it exposes their tyranny.
Sometimes surrender is the best possible victory.
Fighting fire with fire just makes fire.
If it wasn’t for the middle of the road, cars would drive into each other.
... and so on.Posted by Central Content Publisher on 09/12 at 02:33 PM
Actually, Kirby, I think the Right has appropriated the Hitlerian fallacy. Michael brought up Dee Dee D’Sousaphone’s latest. I added Ponnuru’s latest.
And now: Jonah “Belly of the Wail” Goldberg has opted in with *Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hilary Clinton*. Doubleday’s staff describes the book: “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.”
This is fucking outrageous. Ward Churchill rightly gets the smack down for comparing WTC victims to Eichmann, but Goldberg can get a major book deal by comparing FDR to Mussolini? FDR, who faced democratic elections every four years?
What’s hideous is how Goldberg side-steps the central issue in any fascism—the shut-down of the democratic process. He also forgets that fascism is not just about centralized state power—which is the hallmark of all modern politics—but about the concentration of power in an executive body increasingly free from democratic checks and balances. (We might also grant that any war-time leader will probably increase executive power, but the danger comes when leaders manufacture wars in order to maintain and increase executive privilege.)
And then there’s the individual issues Goldberg identifes as both fascist and liberal. Campus speech codes *are* stupid, but let’s not forget that social conservatives have been censoring our records, blocking porn from Blockbuster, and trying to stop me from burning my flag for over 20 years now. And while no one is forced to attend a college with a speech code, the Right wants to force their own brand of censorship down the entire nation’s throats. And let’s not forget how the Right has supported federal bail-outs of industry when it helps their interests, even if they don’t call it “centralized economic control.” And then there’s the IMF and World Bank, with their neo-con “developmental” policies that have no worries about centralized, outside control of other nations’ economies. Then there’s the idiotic connection between campaign finance reform and Hitler’s squashing of political dissent. Those strict constructionists need to remember that the Founding Fathers would have been amazed to see cash donations from business as “free speech.” And Jonah should remember that one characteristic of Nazism was the inbrication of government with industry, which is today one of the results of allowing unharnessed campaign donations from Big Business. There’s a reason why Harry Truman struck out against the military-industrial complex: it’s a fascist entanglement insofar as neither party is subject to direct democratic controls.
We need to stop allowing the Right to define these debates in terms of “bias” when what’s really at stake is truth. Professors need to be free to teach what they see as true, at the same time that they need to teach how to test the truth of theoretical claims. ABC’s documentary is simply untrue, and that’s its problem, not “political bias.” Jonah Goldberg’s book is also untrue, and any truth-seeking institution should avoid dealing with him.Posted by on 09/12 at 02:36 PM
Jonah Goldberg’s book is also untrue, and any truth-seeking institution should avoid dealing with him.
Entirely right, Luther, but we wouldn’t want to give anyone the impression that Doubleday (or Random House, D’Souza’s publisher) isn’t truth-seeking. Doubleday cares only about maintaining the high quality of our public discourse, which is why they’ve decided to publish Jonah’s book as the inaugural offering from their new imprint, Doublespeak.Posted by Michael on 09/12 at 02:53 PM
“We need to stop allowing the Right to define these debates in terms of “bias” when what’s really at stake is truth.”
Sure we do, but how? We keep saying this, and it keeps not happening. The suppliers of bullshit are immune to persuasion, and the public capacity for bullshit seems inexhaustible. The fools in town are on Their Side, and ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?Posted by on 09/12 at 03:06 PM
OK, now my head just exploded. Luther, I thought you were being satirical in the best of the Berube tradition, but the truth is even worse. You are right, it is fucking outrageous. So Kirby, how do you respond to people like Goldberg, Coulter, and their ilk? When will Ward Churchill and the other left-wing-nuts get their book deals with Doublespeak and Random House? (I looked at the cover on Amazon and the little mustache on the smiley face looks a lot like the state of Connecticut, the front-line of left-wing fascism I guess.)
captcha “plan” as in do we really have one to combat the endless litany of lies from the right?Posted by on 09/12 at 03:30 PM
Rom. Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage!
Tybalt, Mercutio, Kirby Olson expressly hath
Forbid this bandying in the internets.
Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!
Tybalt under Romeo’s arm thrusts Mercutio in, and flies with the other Capulets.
Mer. I am hurt.
A plague o’ both your houses! I am sped.Posted by on 09/12 at 04:08 PM
Central Content Publisher:
Cliches do not an argument make.
One postures negociation with those unwilling to negociate because it exposes their tyranny. I’d say no, it doesn’t. How about telling how, in your opinion, it does?
Sometimes surrender is the best possible victory. Only if you are allowed to survive.
Fighting fire with fire just makes fire. Clearly, you have never fought a forest fire.
If it wasn’t for the middle of the road, cars would drive into each other. They do that now, but that’s not the point. By driving in the middle of the road (it’s about those on the road, not the road itself), all one does is cause accidents.
… and so on. As that great lyricist Paul Haines wrote for Escalator Over the Hill, “and it’s again… “Posted by Aaron Barlow on 09/12 at 04:34 PM
"The main report to the [Tenth Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International] did indeed seek to ‘intensify’ the Comintern line… The identification of Social Democracy with Fascism was completed, and Social Democracy became Social Fascism… For several month’s already the KPD’s [German Communist Party] propaganda had been claiming that ‘reformism is socialism in words and Fascism in deeds.’”
--Fernando Claudìn, The Communist Movement: From Comintern to Cominform (Penguin Books, 1975)
Readers will long memories may also recall William Gropper’s New Masses cover, showing the NRA Blue Eagle morphing into a swastika.
Is it Trotskyism that the neocons are recycling, or is it...?Posted by on 09/12 at 04:41 PM
Luther, the big companies have only one bottom line: profits, but the public universities should have another: public service (service to the ENTIRE public).
REporters and journalists like Horowitz, Coulter, etc., make their money by outrageous claims. I think that there is a qualitative difference between Horowitz and Coulter nevertheless.
Not just in looks.
But Horowitz in his autobiography talked about his change of heart after his woman friend had been murdered within the Black Panthers. I think he’s suffering still from a kind of post-traumatic stress. He’s a bit of a rampaging elephant as a result.
Hannity also seems to be dealing with deep hurts in his past. I can’t read his books at all so I don’t know about his past. He hops around as if he’s an enraged elephant.
But I still think there has to be the ideal of holding out for the idea that all Americans are decent. That’s what I think the American university should be. It’s strange but we don’t have to get into the French business of Robespierre and company where we take the road of virtue and claim that all others should be excluded or guillotined.
I think contrariwise to that, and to the notion, “I am good, you are bad,” it’s just as well to say, “I am bad, you are bad, but let’s try to be a tiny bit decent here and there, just so as to promote the notion of miracles.”
That’s the Lutheran way!
And that’s why our Lutheran Scandinavian democracies work so nicely. No elephant rage there! It’s all elephant fulfillment. Well, unless you look close. In which case you’ll find elephant rage all through those societies: amazing alcohol consumption, suicide rates that are higher than anywhere else, skyhigh divorce rates, rogue elephants all over the place, rampaging, rampaging, rampaging, all lonely and crazy in orphan elephant rage.
Tusk, tusk, tusk.Posted by Kirby Olson on 09/12 at 06:28 PM
do you thumb your nose sir?
i don’t thumb my nose, it’s a Sicilian gesture
we Catholics do that you know
isn’t that why god made our middle finger longer
Beware of Scandanavian poachers hunting those tuskers. And the beat goes on..and the beat goes on… and gets even weirder, just for sport..
From the Waco [TX] Wombat, 9/12/06:
Former Majority Leader Still Weilds “The Hammer”
Mariam Landsburg thought it was all harmless fun, until she got the phone call from the tax appraiser in her town of Skeedlow, Texas (population 650).
“Mariam,” said the appraiser, Cal Rubins, who also happens to be Mrs. Landnburg’s cousin, “did you do something with that TV show?”
“That TV show,” of course, is the new season of “Dancing with the Stars,” featuring celebrity dance partners such as talk show personalities Jerry Springer and Tucker Carlson, and country singer Sara Evans. Viewers vote for their favorite dance couple by toll-free number after each episode.
Turns out Mr. Rubins had received a letter from former Sugar Land Representative Tom DeLay, claiming he suspected that Mrs. Landsdown was planning to cast her vote for Jerry Springer, and calling for a reassessment of the property taxes due on her three-bedroom ranch home, where she lives with her husband Arthur and two dogs.
“It was the dangedest thing thing I’d ever seen,” says Mr. Rubins, shaking his head.
Mr. Rubins is not alone in his puzzlement. Two days later, Geoff Wildman, manager of the local Wal-Mart where Mrs. Landsburg has worked in the bakery for the past seven years, received a phone call from Mr. DeLay demanding that Mrs. Landsburg’s hours be cut back from 32 hours per week to ten hours.
“Why would I do that?” said Mr. Wildman, a recent graduate of Baylor. “I mean, Mrs. Landsburg is one of the best workers we have. And she belongs to my mom’s church group. My mom’d kill me if I cut back her hours.”
Phone calls to Mr. DeLay’s office were returned by a man identifying himself as “Mr. DeLay’s chief of staff.” The caller, who would not identify himself further, expressed regrets that Mr. DeLay “had to play hardball” with Mrs. Landsdown, adding, “But Mr. DeLay always looks out for his friends.”
Over a cup of coffee on her break at Wal-Mart, Mrs. Landsdown expressed surprise that the former congressman, forced to resign because of his connections to convicted influence peddler Jack Abramoff, was worried about her vote on a game show.
“I mean, doesn’t he have something to do?” she asked. “Which one is DeLay, anyway? Is he the one who shot that guy in the face?”Posted by on 09/12 at 07:48 PM
When I speak with Democrats they believe that Bush is Hitler and everything he does is wrong because he did it.
Never spoken to a Democrat who believed that. Many people believe everything Bush does is wrong because of the trail of devastation in his wake. You know, because of the evidence.Posted by on 09/12 at 07:59 PM
Um, err, has Theory Tuesday been moved to Wednesday? Enquiring minds want to know.Posted by Bill Benzon on 09/12 at 09:02 PM
Hold yer horses, hold yer horses. It’s still Tuesday here in Eastern Standard Time, and I’m winding up a 4000-word Williams finale.
Jeeesh, this crowd.Posted by Michael on 09/12 at 10:39 PM
I know! Everything Bush does is in fact, upon mature consideration, completely fucking wrong!
What’s amazing is that I still give that mature consideration everytime. Each and every time the Boy King up and does something, I give it a serious thought (my “sensible liberal” fairy, who is looking bloodier and bloodier these days, what with the chewed liver of a Guantanamo ex-prisoner gushing out of her mouth, perches on my shoulder and makes me). And each and every time, it turns out ("it can be shown")
that he’s made another tremendous error.
I warn you, Mr. Kirby Olson: if Bush doesn’t start doing things right soon, I shall start judging him whilly-nilly, without giving the matter much serious consideration at all! If only to preserve my serious consideration reserves!
MEAT IS HITLER.Posted by on 09/12 at 11:11 PM
Never spoken to a Democrat who believed that. Many people believe everything Bush does is wrong because of the trail of devastation in his wake. You know, because of the evidence.
I know good liberals who initially supported the Iraq war because they believed Bush when he said Hussein had WMD’s. (Now that the truth’s out, and the war’s turned into a debacle, it’d be hard for Bush to convince them that water is wet.)
But I never believed him, because Bush reminds me too much of the fundamentalist Christians of my childhood. To them, their beliefs and practices are everything; anyone else’s truth is not “the truth;” and non-believers must be converted.
Bush, and the political machine that got him where he is, operates the same way.
Captcha: “chief,” as in… (shakes head)Posted by on 09/13 at 12:11 AM
Your Bush is my graduate student experience.
Everyone thinks alike and everyone is right.
I think any time two people agree on anything they should have to sit in the corner.Posted by Kirby Olson on 09/13 at 05:45 PM
"Fallacy: Middle Ground
“Also Known as: Golden Mean Fallacy, Fallacy of Moderation, Kirby Olson Fallacy.
“This fallacy is committed when it is assumed that the middle position between two extremes must be correct simply because it is the middle position. this sort of “reasoning” has the following form:
“Position A and B are two extreme positions.
C is a position that rests in the middle between A and B.
Therefore C is the correct position.”Posted by on 09/13 at 10:38 PM
This is an excellent argument. Thank you, Rea.
I still think that many people take extreme positions to whip themselves up, to feel something.
It isn’t necessarily a rational position to be as emotive as possible.
A middle position must be a position where all sides can meet. I am stupid enough to still hope that’s possible.Posted by kirby olson on 09/14 at 07:16 PM