Jonah Goldberg on The Tyranny of Cliches, Creating NRO, and the Firing of John Derbyshire

"Liberals are sure they're in the reality-based community and anyone who disagrees with them either has a bad brain, or in some other way rejects empiricism and science, and they are the only ones working with the building blocks of facts and reason," says National Review's Jonah Goldberg, author of the new book, The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas.

"And I call bullshit on that."

Goldberg, who became the editor of National Review Online in 1999, is responsible for creating the tone and format of the highly trafficked website, which built on the magazine's venerable reputation while signaling, as he puts it, "that this is not your father's National Review." Goldberg's new book, which follows his best-selling 2008 Liberal Fascism, argues that liberals should stop claiming their ideas derive solely from science and fact but never ideology--a way of arguing that stifles honest debate. Liberal arguments sometimes take the form of hackneyed cliches meant to sound self-evident but that in reality disguise a political bent, such as "violence never solves anything" or "I may disagree with you but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Goldberg sat down with ReasonTV's Nick Gillespie for a wide-ranging discussion about liberal and conservative discourse, his early vision for National Review Online, and the firing of long-time National Review contributor John Derbyshire for writing a racist article in Taki's Magazine. Goldberg also explains why he plans to vote for Mitt Romney despite his lack of enthusiasm for the presumptive GOP nominee.

Approximately 30 minutes.

Shot and produced by Jim Epstein; additional camera by Meredith Bragg.

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  • John||

    In firing Derbyshire, he fired the magazines best and most inventive writer. NRO now holds the distinction of firing the two best right wing polemicists of our era (Coulter and Derbyshire). Love them or hate them, they could both really write and are always worth reading.

  • WTF||

    I thought Derbyshire's article was deliberately provocative, but what was so horribly racist? It seems like he got in trouble for pointing out a bunch of statistics.

  • John||

    I thought so too. It didn't warrant firing him. It wasn't even in their magazine.

  • WTF||

    Maybe NRO is just too terrified of being labeled as RACIST! by the grievance-mongering left.

  • John||

    Then NRO has no balls. And it is not like the grievance-mongering left doesn't think they are RACIST anyway.

  • WTF||

    Then NRO has no balls.

    Nail on the head. They were likely afraid the Derbyshire thing would allow the left to make the charge stick, and lend a certain amount of credibility to it.

  • ||

    Unlike Coulter, I never read anything by JD that made me think, "Jesus Christ, does he think I'm THAT stupid?"

  • John||

    Coulter is great. She is fantastic at the art of snark and insult. She is just a great polemic writer.

  • ||

    Can't agree with you; I find her clumsy, obvious, and lacking any true wit. Of course, my standards were set by Borges...

  • John||

    I don't think she is clumsy and obvious at all. And she has a tremendous amount of wit. Read Demonic sometimes. She pegs the liberal mob mentality dead on. Does she exaggerate? Sure. But she makes a valid point in a very entertaining way. Liberals wouldn't hate her so much if she were a bad writer. Why do you think they love losers like David Brooks so much?

  • ||

    Because Brooks is ineffective. Why do they hate Derbyshire so much? Because he's on target and it takes more than three brain cells to refute.

  • John||

    Exactly. Same reason they hate Coulter.

  • ||

    When Coulter argues an issue, as opposed to calling people poopyheads, her arguments are either recycled from someone smarter or trivially easy to counter, even when I agree with her. I went from thinking she might be at best a lightweight into knowing for sure that she was an ignoramus when she started writing about science.

  • John||

    I am not seeing it. Give me an example of what you are talking about. What light weight arguments? Again, I encourage you to read Demonic. It is a very clever and well written book.

  • ||

    Here's one that doesn't even rise to the level of lightweight, it's downright ignorant. And no doubt intended to sell well to an ignorant audience.
    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=45893

  • John||

    She is right. The fossil record has always been a huge problem for Darwinian evolution. Now, that doesn't mean that the intelligent design people are right either.

    The article you give is a good example of her bomb throwing. She makes an argument no one likes and throws bombs at a sacred cow. You just hate it because one of your sacred cows gets gored.

  • ||

    OK, John is ignorant of basic paleontology. Check.

  • John||

    No I am not Old Man with Candy. The fossil record is exactly what Coulter describes. They still haven't been able to explain the periods of mass extinction followed by a new explosion of species.

    Now that probably doesn't mean what Coulter says it does. But if you think the fossil record paints this perfect picture confirming evolution, you are sorely mistaken.

  • ||

    You've demonstrated that in fact you are thoroughly ignorant of basic science- paleontology, geology, biology alike. The fossil record is as much a problem for evolution as Michelson-Morley is for relativity.

    Your Coulter-worship now makes more sense. Too bad, I always thought you were smarter than that.

  • John||

    Old Man with Candy,

    Can you do anything but throw out invective? Is evolution science or a religion for you? It seems like the latter. For me it is a theory that best explains the data and doesn't perfectly explain all of the data. Anyone who thinks it does perfectly explain the data or that the gaps in the fossil record are again the Michelson and Moreley's interferameter, just understand both evolution and what science is.

    For you it seems to be more of a religion than a theory. For me it is a theory like any other. A good theory, but a theory.

  • ||

    No John, she is not right. She is nowhere close. She is a scientifically illiterate pair of long legs. She does not write well. She is boring. The primary way she raises my ire is her vast ignorance and the minions who ignorantly listen to her. The Old Man is correct on this one. Just in the ability to create prose alone there is a vast chasm between her and Derbyshire. She writes like a 10th grade student. It's really laughable but understandable that you fawn over her like you do. Blonde hair and boobs often have that effect on me, as well.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I attended an event in Glendale, CA last year featuring a panel of Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Mike Gallagher, and Ann Coulter. She was throwing out one-liners that zinged liberals. The crowd ate it up, and laughed like buffoons. But overall, the one-liners weren't that good. I suspect the crowd was showing approval for her shapely legs, and her ripping set.

  • Bill||

    She's an ignorant, arrogant, horse-faced c$$t. And she's the typical socon type Republican but more ignorant. Did I say she was ignorant yet?

    I may page through Demonic if it's right in front of me sometime John, just to see what you mean.

  • Bill||

    She's an ignorant, arrogant, horse-faced c$$t. And she's the typical socon type Republican but more ignorant. Did I say she was ignorant yet?

    I may page through Demonic if it's right in front of me sometime John, just to see what you mean.

  • MWG||

    Her views on the drug war are typical lightweight conservative arguments.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qaiz8gNw3M

  • Les||

    Yeah, along with not believing in evolution and repeating the WWE-level observation that liberals "hate America," there are these nuggets of "smart" and "witty" "writing."

    “No matter what argument you make against evolution, the response is Well, you know, it's possible to believe in evolution and believe in God. Yes, and it's possible to believe in Spiderman and believe in God, but that doesn't prove Spiderman is true.”

    "Congress could pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave....We should require passports to fly domestically. Passports can be forged, but they can also be checked with the home country in case of any suspicious-looking swarthy males."

    "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

    "I think [women] should be armed but should not vote...women have no capacity to understand how money is earned."

    "I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo."

    HiLARious!

    Coulter is more of a wrestling character than a serious thinker, which is appropriate considering the WWE level of her writing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg7IhR0ccgo

  • John||

    That is why they call them polemics Les. And everything you cite there is funny and done to make a point and not be taken literally.

  • Sam Grove||

    None of them made me even think about smiling. Don't see any funny there.

  • Les||

    Yeah, I couldn't disagree more. Not only isn't it funny, but she has repeatedly insisted that her "We should invade their countries..." line was said seriously.

    If you can find any praise of Coulter by a writer and/or performer who makes a living by being funny, I'll be quite surprised.

  • Les||

    And you're really and truly suggesting that she's not literally arguing against evolution?

  • ||

    Here's a Coulter quote that defines "res ipsa loquitur."

    "Roughly one-third of my 2007 No. 1 New York Times best-seller, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," is an attack on liberals' creation myth, Darwinian evolution. I presented the arguments of all the luminaries in the field, from the retarded Richard Dawkins to the brilliant Francis Crick, and disputed them."

  • WTF||

    Well, she is a lawyer, and people who are lawyers are generally good at being able to take a rediculous argument and make it sound plausible.

  • John||

    Exactly WTF. and that is what makes her a good writer.

  • John||

    Old Man with Candy,

    Most liberals have no clue about what evolution actually is. And even fewer of them understand what science is and does and the limits on science. For them evolution is a religion and a creation story. That was her point. And it is a valid one.

  • Marshall Gill||

    She has proven herself to be an imbecilic partisan. Four years ago she rightly called Mitt a waffling, finger in the wind, RINO. Now that he looks to have the nomination she is declaring the next election Normandy Beach.

    I used to think she was witty and intelligent. Her ignorance in regard to evolution and her absolute kissing of Romney's ass has totally turned me off to her writing.

  • Les||

    Correction: Most people have no clue about what evolution actually is.

    If you can find a quote of Coulter's saying that, based on the scientific evidence, she believes that evolution occurred (but she's only criticizing the way liberals believe in it), then I'll think you're defending her honestly.

    Also suggesting that liberals believe in evolution in the wrong way, while never suggesting that conservative disbelieve it in the wrong way is rather pathetically narrow-minded. Being narrow-minded is the foundation of Coulter's reputation.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    You are aware that now that Derbyshire no longer has his NRO job holding him back, he's explicitly begun advocating in favor of white supremacy?

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/.....dent-right

    Leaving aside the intended malice, I actually think “White Supremacist” is not bad semantically. White supremacy, in the sense of a society in which key decisions are made by white Europeans, is one of the better arrangements History has come up with. There have of course been some blots on the record, but I don’t see how it can be denied that net-net, white Europeans have made a better job of running fair and stable societies than has any other group.
  • John||

    No. But but take away incendiary language and he like the article that got him fired, he is pointing out a hard reality, generally the world, for the last 500 years at least, worked better in places where white Europeans ran things.

  • WarrenT||

    Property rights, stable currencies and understandable legal structures (even though there were blots) are what led to the general success.

  • John||

    Yes. And it was Europeans who thought those up and put them into practice. That was the means.

  • WarrenT||

    Being on the continent of Europe was certainly an advantage but being white had nothing to do with it.

  • John||

    Who said it did. But the fact remains that the group of people known as "White Europeans" put those concepts into effect in ways no one else did. Being Egyptian had nothing do with building the pyramids. But that doesn't make it incorrect to point out that the Egyptians built them.

  • ||

    Hey John. Pull your pants up. Your stupid is showing again.

  • John||

    Hey Esceptico.

    Make a substantive point or go fuck yourself and let the adults talk for a while.

  • ||

    Ok John. How about "correlation does not equal causation." The "whiteness" of a society has as much to do with it's success as the ratio in size of pointy-finger to middle-finger. There are so many other factors that actually are responsible for the success or failure of a society that to point to skin color as a causal link is "stupid," which is much better than being racist, which I don't think you are.

    The statistics pointed out in the article, while true, will give the uneducated morons that comprise the vast citizenry of these united states an ersatz rationale for their bigotry. That is irresponsible.

    That is the substantive point I wanted to make, but lacked the immediate time, hence, my previous post.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Who said it did.

    John Derbyshire

  • Ice Nine||

    That is every bit as dogmatic as anything above it. I would love to see you support both contentions.

  • Ice Nine||

    reply to WarrenT

  • WarrenT||

    Which statement?

  • Ice Nine||

    2:23

  • WarrenT||

    That's from Diamond's Guns Germs and Steel that posited that the geographic origination of Europe allowed for greater communication and easier movements of both people and flora and fauna hence it was an advantage over what Africa provided.

  • WarrenT||

    This over-simplification brought to you by Reason's character limit.

  • WarrenT||

    Was it white Europeans that designed this commenting system?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Why was it an advantage? There are places far more fertile with more natural resources. Places more amenable to human life.

    And while the lighter skin may be irrelevent--it is nonetheless a fact that darker skinned folk never seemed to hit on those things. They still have trouble with them.

    Skin color is pointless, but one cannot refute the fact that those people, from that place, swept over the planet and took what they wanted from everyone they met.

    And they pulled themselves back when they took up the idea of being guilty about their success.

  • JoshSN||

    Azathoth!! It's an advantage sometimes, not others.

    Just like, before the three masted ship, being a lonely little island off the coast of Europe was not such a hot thing.

    That lasted, basically, until the railroad made overland travel comparable to sea travel.

    While it lasted, it was great, and the UK became the largest empire in the history of the world. 150 years since the invention of the railroad, and now it is a little island, with 60 or so million people.

    Just as it was the rivers, first (Iraq=Tigris/Euphrates, India=Indus, China=Yellow, Egypt=Nile) and then things moved, after a brief stint in SW Asia, to the Mediterranean, et cetera, et cetera.

    The Great Africa Rivers? Most all of them are unnavigable within 100 miles of shore. Where it isn't incredibly hot and wet, it seems to be incredibly hot and dry. And there was lots more big, savage animals around (No, when 2 million wildebeest stomp by, they don't necessarily avoid your tent).

  • Sam Grove||

    Which has what to do with skin color or place of origin other than accidents of history?

  • Enough About Palin||

    In the 15th century the most advanced civilizations were found in the Orient, such as Ming Beijing in China and the Ottomans in the Near East. In contrast, Europe suffered from disease, poor sanitation and near-constant war. Yet, before long, Western European society had overtaken the East and it went on to dominate the rest of the world for most of the next five hundred years. In his new book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, the historian Niall Ferguson argues that there were six elements which enabled the West to outperform the East: competition, science, democracy, medicine, consumerism and the work ethic. However, Ferguson warns that the world is changing and we may be living through the end of Western ascendancy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxpO5SKlmPA

  • John||

    Last 500 years. And yes, the West seems to be committing suicide via socialism. But whatever replaces it is probably going to be a lot worse. I don't have a lot of faith in the rest of the world signing up to freedom and property rights.

  • Harvard||

    {work ethic}

    Actually it was Christian Work Ethic. Actually it's been noted that largely Christian America's incline coincided with Europe's decline as that populace shed religion in general and Christianity in particular. Moreover China is convinced that Christianity may be the last ingredient for economic success and has markedly relaxed Christian persecution.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, as long as the Christians affiliate with government-approved "patriotic" religious associations.

  • JoshSN||

    So, when Brittania ruled the waves, it was Christianity that said "Piracy is OK?"

    I'm just checking, because piracy was an important part of British state policy during a crucial part of British history.

    They were also protectionist, until they got to the #1 spot, then demanded everyone go free trade (that's a typical pattern).

    They did end slavery, and they put a lot more effort into that than Americans usually give them credit for (they stopped it everywhere in the world that they could, except America and one other big country they couldn't bully) , but the Bible specifically endorses slavery, so I don't see how the Christian spirit gets them any points there.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Yes, if you ignore all the explicitly racist langues, Derbyshire hasn't written anything explicitly racist. The man is a professional writer, and even if there's a pony of a point buried somewhere under that manure pile, that doesn't excuse it.

  • wareagle||

    instead of the scare words, you could point out where Derbyshire is wrong, starting with which non-white societies created a better quality of life, higher standards of living, and greater freedom for their populations.

  • Sudden||

    I think the argument that white Europeans were the first to reveal the virtues of market mechanisms and liberty are compelling. But once that basic premise became obvious, other parts of the world notably Asia, caught on and have managed to implement at least a proxy of it with varying degrees of success.

    Beyond that, it's well worth noting that the most exceptional example of a successful application of the white European model was also the most ethnically diverse in the U.S.

    Finally, it merits mention that the most egregious transgressions of that model and the ones that have lead to the greatest trampling of liberty and markets alike have also been perpetrated by white Europeans and the results have been so massive as to render whatever inherent advantages history has assigned to living under white European rule somewhat moot in sum.

  • Azathoth!!||

    But once that basic premise became obvious, other parts of the world notably Asia, caught on and have managed to implement at least a proxy of it with varying degrees of success

    So what you're saying is, that even with an example staring them in the face, they can only sorta do it?

  • Chris Mallory||

    "Beyond that, it's well worth noting that the most exceptional example of a successful application of the white European model was also the most ethnically diverse in the U.S."

    And until the 1960s, the U.S. was still over 90% white. Since the floodgates of immigration have been opened we have been less successful.

  • JoshSN||

    This is the sort of self-satisfied imperialistic crap that every society, currently on top, regurgitates.

    Persia could have said it, China could have said it, it just so happens that, today, we can say it.

  • Sudden||

    And yet one of the things you most despise about Goldberg is his turning NRO into a GOP cheerleader.

    For whatever nativist/eugenics tendencies, Mssr Derbyshire was one of the few columnists in the employ of NRO (possibly the only) who dissented from the Bush-era foreign policy. He is refreshing insofar as he carries Steyn's wit and anglophilia but parts ways with Steyn where it concerns the imperial ambition.

    And although I'll gladly admit that this latest bit of writing does feature a substantial stench of white supremacy, I think merely shouting accusations of RACISM!!1!11!! exhibits the typical progressive lack of insight and analysis. His arguments can be rebuked by pointing to Asian societies such as South Korea or Japan and by also relaying the fact that when a white European screws up, they tend to do so on a scale so massive that it nullifies whatever net advantage the societies on a whole have (i.e. Nazi Germany and Russia in all its derivations).

  • John||

    South Korea and Japan are successful only to the extent they have adopted western ideas.

    Name one significant intellectual development in the last 500 years that didn't come from the West?

  • John||

    South Korea and Japan are successful only to the extent they have adopted western ideas.

    Name one significant intellectual development in the last 500 years that didn't come from the West?

  • Sudden||

    By that logic, why should white Europeans get the credit for something that was largely the exclusive intellectual brainchild of Dutch and Scottish thinkers during the Enlightenment?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    And although I'll gladly admit that this latest bit of writing does feature a substantial stench of white supremacy, I think merely shouting accusations of RACISM!!1!11!! exhibits the typical progressive lack of insight and analysis.

    See, I object to the racism in two specific articles (which you somewhat agree with me on), yet your kneejerk response is that all claims of racism are necessarily facilicious, and that my entire political philosophy must be progressive liberalism.

    That's what I mean by Republican hackery; that every issue is reducely purely to Blue Team vs. Red Team completely regardless of the actual content involved.

  • Sudden||

    No, had you uttered "COMMUNIST!!1!1!1!!" I would've offered a comparable critique of the typical conservative tripe. And I didn't mean to state you are a progressive, I know you're a libertarian.

    My central point is that dismissing something as racist is a reductio sort of argument. You reduce it to racism, but don't then demonstrate the internal inconsistencies with it because the assumption is that if it's racist, it merits no response.

    While, one of the reasons I'm a huge proponent of the freedom of racists to speak their mind is because I maintain that even the most well-formulated arguments of a racialist nature can be refuted, and as I've tried to demonstrate, this one is no different. However, simply claiming something to be X does not mean reality =/= x. One still has to prove where it exhibits deficiencies in logic.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    And I should say I was at one time a big fan of Derbyshire. Indeed, back when I did read NRO, he was the main thing that kept me hanging on so long. I own both of his books on math history.

    But the problem is that over the last seven years or so he's become more and more overtly racist. I don't know whether he was always like that and was just better at biting his tongue when he was younger or if he actually is growing more racist as he's aged, but the fact is he's long past the point I feel comfortable continuing to read him.

  • jacob||

    generally the world, for the last 500 years at least, worked better in places where white Europeans ran things.

    You need to read about the Saracenens. The Mainspring of Human Progress is a good starting place.

    Look, it's not inaccurate to say that White Europeans have achieved much. But the collectivist nature of White Supremacy is a turn off to most rational folks and negates whatever intelligent writing shitheads like Derbyshire produce.

  • WarrenT||

    Is Hitler a regular blot or an uberblot?

  • Suki||

    Not as big a blot as Stalin or Mao, so underblot I guess.

  • FlyoverCountry||

    Or an unterblot

  • fish||

    They cut Sobran loose as well.....at least Rich Lowry is still around.

    He's just dreamy!

  • DJF||

    “”’"that this is not your father's National Review."“’

    Yes, I don’t think the old National Review would publish an article favorable to Trotsky

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....n-schwartz

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Goldberg, who became the editor of National Review Online in 1999, is responsible for creating the tone and format of the highly trafficked website, which built on the magazine's venerable reputation while signaling, as he puts it, "that this is not your father's National Review."

    Goldberg is responsible for destroying the National Review, turning it for what was once a place for serious writing about conservative politics into just another Republican hack fest. That is, pretty much the same thing Gillespie's done to Reason.

  • John||

    If you think Gillespie is a Republican hack, you either don't read Reason or you are Democratic hack yourself. That is just pure stupid. Maybe that shit plays on KOS or wherever you are from. But the people on here actually read the magazine.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    He may not be a Republican hack (although anyone who thinks the National Review has improved under Goldberg's reign certainly isn't a Republican-sceptic), but he sure likes hiring them.

  • John||

    Who exactly is a Republican hack? Tim Cavanaugh who voted for Obama? Ron Bailey? Name names and give examples or shut the fuck up because neither I nor anyone else on here is seeing it.

  • ||

    Nick hired David Weigel right?

  • ||

    Hmm, if true that is a decision that is hard to defend.

  • R C Dean||

    Maybe he's a Repub hack because he got rid of a Dem hack (Weigel)?

  • ||

    If you look at Weigel's pre-reason resume all indications would point him to being a Republican hack.

  • ||

    although anyone who thinks the National Review has improved under Goldberg's reign certainly isn't a Republican-sceptic

    I think Nick's praise is confined to the magazine/internet space.

    Goldberg, who became the editor of National Review Online in 1999, is responsible for creating the tone and format of the highly trafficked website, which built on the magazine's venerable reputation while signaling, as he puts it, "that this is not your father's National Review.

    This is magazine nerd-speak for "wow they get a lot a traffic and don't appear to be going broke like everyone else"

  • SIV||

    I lol'd

  • Sudden||

    In my misguided efforts to create a drinkable reference for National Review:

    For a magazine called National Review, they sure don't spend enough time reviewing books and articles written by members of The Nation.

  • jacob||

    Ever read anything that Jonah Goldberg has to say about Ron Paul?

    Fuck Jonah Goldberg and NRO.

  • ||

    Uh, excuse me, vdare.com has informed me that Gillespie is an immigrant-loving leftist fifth columnist and not a Republican hack, thank you very much.

  • R C Dean||

    Its funny watching the more partisan react to Reason's consistent opposition to the Uberstate.

    When their TEAM is in charge, Reason is partisan hackfest because it is attacking their team.

    When the other TEAM is in charge, Reason is a beacon of light against the impending fascism.

  • ||

    When the other TEAM is in charge, Reason is a beacon of light against the impending fascism.

    I wish we had left wingers in the comments who acted like this.

    The ones we get always think we are republican shills.

  • JoshSN||

    I don't think you are Republican shills. I mean, to me, you are a branch of the Republican Party, just like the theocrats and the warmongers.

    You just have a better ideology. Of course, you don't have one ideology, because if anyone ever tries to pin any of you down its "Oh, that's not me, I'm a minarchist," or "But with a privately funded justice system, that wouldn't be a problem," et cetera, ad nauseum.

    Sometimes Reason points to distinctly bad things which are often distinctly from the Democratic Party.

  • Virginian||

    I don't think you are Republican shills. I mean, to me, you are a branch of the Republican Party, just like the theocrats and the warmongers.

    ______

    Yeah, but you've demonstrated a problem with basic facts. This is just the latest example.

  • JoshSN||

    One, for someone who was so thoroughly schooled on the Blues and Greens dating back to 77AD (at least) when you were out there telling me I was thinking of the Byzantine Empire, to criticize me for getting someone's first name wrong is pretty fucking rich.

    Despite what your stanard, online, political test says, Congress is basically one dimensional, and has been except through three periods, Reconstruction, Bimetallism, and Civil Rights, which were regional issues that cut across the standard liberal/conservative divide.

    Libertarians simply stand at the far end of the conservative spectrum.

    You can see this most clearly here, when you scroll all the way to the bottom.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    They aren't attacking Obama, they're promoting Jonah Goldberg. The fact Obama is a lousy president doesn't make Goldberg a good editor, and his crap writing is still crap even if it's attacking the government this week.

  • jacob||

    Great point RC. I've been around here since 2008, so I know exactly what you're talking about.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    YOU'RE JUST A SHILL FOR BIG [TEAM]!!!!11!

  • jacob||

    :(

  • ||

    "I may disagree with you but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

    I have never heard a leftist say this....in fact more often then not it is a leftist saying there should be laws stopping people from saying bad things.

    Anyway this is just anecdotal. I am sure there are some left wingers who support free speech....If not then I have no way of explaining the ACLU. Everyone with the ACLU is not a libertarian.

  • sarcasmic||

    To a liberal free speech means being free to say whatever you want, as long as they agree with you.

    Just like tolerance to a liberal means not tolerating intolerance, with intolerance being defined as anything that offends them.

    Similarly inclusiveness to a liberal means excluding anyone who disagrees with them.

  • JoshSN||

    Oh!

    You are always an ignorant, good-for-nothing. I'm sorry I ever acted as if anything else was the case.

  • Virginian||

    Truth hurts. You mad bro?

  • ||

    "Liberals are sure they're in the reality-based community and anyone who disagrees with them either has a bad brain, or in some other way rejects empiricism and science, and they are the only ones working with the building blocks of facts and reason,"

    I think this argument is Washington DC centric and reflects a siege mentality of Republicans in Washington DC.

    It also is an argument centered on the culture wars republicans tend to gravitate towards. If the left makes that argument then do what Reason does and argue facts.

    The culture war is not based on facts and is about limiting choice. Does the left use "facts" to argue for limiting choice? They sure do. But the republicans want to limit choice as well. So they can't really use facts because the counter rational arguments to limiting choice is expanding choice....So instead they whine about the left being mean.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    So instead they whine about the left being mean.

    Which is interesting to me, b/c I distinctly remember a G Will column - from probably the 80's - that I agreed with completely. It argued basically that, "If you disagree with the left, they'll call you a meany. If you disagree with the right, they'll call you stupid."

    Now it's the reverse. WEIRD!

  • sarcasmic||

    It depends on who is in power.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I see Goldberg on the TEEVEE now and again, and watching him there has led me to believe he's kind of a moron. NRO is typically a Team Red hackfest, which normally I can stomach better than Team Blue hackfests (which I simply can't tolerate any more)....but NRO's so full of suck that it's now virtually unreadable for me.

    Plus, Ann Coulter's TRULY a one-trick, not-funny, bad-writing, hackerrific waste of ink and bytes.

    Sorry, John. I wanted to like her, but she's soooooo....bad. Way worse than Jonah G.

  • jacob||

    Jonah Goldberg has a few good points, but he's disappointingly anti-Ron Paul.

    I've always looked at Coulter's work as this - when she's arguing a point you agree with, she's fucking hysterical and spot on. Check out her essays on Newt Gingrich. But when you disagree with her, you tend to think so much worse of her because she's so acerbic.

  • jacob||

    Jonah Goldberg has a few good points, but he's disappointingly anti-Ron Paul.

    I've always looked at Coulter's work as this - when she's arguing a point you agree with, she's fucking hysterical and spot on. Check out her essays on Newt Gingrich. But when you disagree with her, you tend to think so much worse of her because she's so acerbic.

  • JoshSN||

    It's not so much "moron" as "in the deep end" when he oughtn't be.

    I haven't watched this 30 minute clip, but I've seen Jonah plenty of times on C-SPAN.

  • Registration At Last!||

    Awesome.

    I love it when Reason spills a little chum in the water and all the White-victimology racists come racing to the comment board to anonymously spew their venom.

  • JoshSN||

    Liberal Fascism: I didn't read the book, but the general idea, I'm led to believe, is that liberals are the fascists and the communists, and, therefore, linked to the Nazis and the Soviets, while conservatism gets out clean.

    What a load of fucking rubbish.

    In all significant cases (I'm ignoring countries like Andorra, Lichtenstein, et cetera) it was conservatives who allied themselves with the Nazis. This wasn't some sort of 50/50 split, it was 100% conservatives.

    If that wasn't proof enough, George Herbert Walker Bush, when he was Chair of the RNC, brought a whole bunch of Nazi sympathizers and other European fascists into this country as a way to buttress the Republican Party. They joined the Republican National Heritage Groups Council, which may be such a huge mouthful in order to avoid people talking about it.

  • jdcllns||

    No JoshSN, that's not the point of the book.

  • JoshSN||

    There are lots of known fallacies, but argumentum sans argumentum, I don't think, is one of them.

    Please pardon my unschooled Latin.

  • Virginian||

    The irony of someone who just admitted he didn't read the book speaking about the book calling someone else out for poor logic.

    What's it like being actually, truly, mentally retarded?

  • JoshSN||

    Hey, asshat, check this out:


    Summary of contents

    In the book, Goldberg argues that fascist movements were and are left-wing.

    Exactly what I said.

    So, I have to wonder, did you read the book, or, at least, any reviews of the book?

    Because, from where I stand, since reviews of the book say exactly what I said the book said, I'm not feeling retarded, at all. I'm feeling like you are of average mental capabilities and simply, automatically, assume things I say are wrong. That's the real retardation, here.

  • Suki||

    Look up and read the Fascist Manifesto and state with a straight face that today's left isn't an offshoot of fascism.

  • sweeterjan||

    ldberg's new book, which follows his http://www.lunettesporto.com/l.....c-3_5.html best-selling 2008 Liberal Fascism, argues that liberals should stop claiming their ideas derive solely from science and fact but never ideology--a way

  • joy||

    Liberal arguments sometimes take the form of hackneyed cliches meant to sound self-evident but that in reality disguise a political bent, such as "violence never solves anything" or http://www.petwinkel.com/pet-f1-c-32.html "I may disagree with you but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

  • Diesel Weasel||

    I haven't read this book cover to cover, but it interested me a bit when I saw it at Cosco. Conservatives - NRO's own Russell Kirk, with whom Goldberg has expressed agreement, is the main thinker who comes to mind - have claimed for a long time that their political system involves the denouncing of ideology, and that is something I'll call bullshit on. Not only do conservatives have their own ideological positions - the existence of a "transcendent moral order" which government must reflect, government being a divine institution, the importance of tradition, etc. - but there is nothing necessarily wrong with ideology. Aren't individualism and the importance of natural rights - ideas once rejected by conservatives like Kirk - ideological positions? The quote attributed to Voltaire which Goldberg uses as an example of those "cliches" he s repudiates - "I may disagree with you but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." - sounds pretty positive to me - it accords pretty well with our constitutional right to free speech. Does Goldberg not hold freedom of speech to be important and absolute?

    Conservatives have their own cliches - "the War on Christmas", “America Is a Christian Nation”, and "That's UnAmerican", for example.

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