In her monumentally stupid book The End of America, feminist author Naomi Wolf predicted that the Bush years would end in a full-blown fascist dictatorship. (I detailed the many errors of fact and logic in Wolf's book here. My favorite claim in The End of America is this one: "The Communist revolutionaries of 1917 were opposed to torture, having suffered it themselves at the hands of czarist forces.") But the interminable Bush years ended as planned—and to Wolf's evident disappointment, without a putsch.
But paranoia is a stubborn thing, and America's most successful anti-fascist is keeping hope alive. In this interview with Alternet, Wolf has kind words for the libertarian participants in the Tea Party movement, accuses President Obama of being like Hitler, and explains how she and Glenn Beck are, in fact, very different. When she says that "Obama has done things like Hitler did," she does it with an academic degree:
Every time I use those analogies, I am doing it with a concrete footnoted historical context. When people like Glenn Beck throw around the word Nazi without taking that kind of care, they are engaging in demagoguery.
For those with elephantine memories, you will remember that this was Ann Coulter's chosen line of defense when critics attacked her idiotic book accusing liberals of treason (or something). I've already pointed out that Wolf's footnotes add up to a great pile of nonsense, but couldn't Beck also claim that, using a narrowly selected group of historians sympathetic to his worldview, he too is providing viewers with verbally footnoted attacks on Obama's policies? Well yes, he could. And it too would be nonsense.
Here is another similarity between the two; a topic about they are both "just asking questions": When asked about the hysterical rumors of "FEMA camps," Wolf tells Alternet that she "can't speak of it yet," as though she isn't entirely convinced the story is untrue. "With the FEMA rumor, I have heard some suggestive first-person accounts that some good reporters should follow up on."
At Ron Paul rally in Washington, D.C., Wolf met "a lot of 'ordinary' people, as in not privileged" and advises her fellow leftists to communicate with limited government plebs "by using language that anyone can understand even if you majored in semiotics at Yale."