Fenger Pointing

Becky Fenger | August 5, 2009

Goldberg's golden nuggets

Becky FengerIn the Valley of the Sun, we don't read" beach" books. We read mountain books or San Diego books, the two places we go to escape the summer heat. I heartily suggest that you take Jonah Goldberg's best seller, "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning," with you. It's an eye opener, just as Mark Steyn's "American Alone: The End of the World as We Know It" is. No wonder Goldberg was named the "Worst Person in the World" by liberals four times last year! And Steyn wears the fatwa that's been issued against him like a badge of honor. It isn't easy trying to defend America's greatness anymore.

National Review Senior Editor Jay Nordlinger chatted with Jonah Goldberg recently about statements Goldberg has made that have raised ire. "More people were rounded up and slaughtered under the banner of socialism than Nazism," Goldberg reminds us. Rather than violent tactics, America will experience "cocktail party genocide," he says. After all, Marxists called their fatwas "theories" rather than edicts.

"As practiced in Europe, socialism has an extreme racism component," he said. When he discusses his observations with a liberal, he is often met with this reaction: "The listener would look at me exactly the same way as my basset hound would look at me when I tried to feed it a grape – with total bewilderment!"

"Barack Obama's presidential campaign was almost explicitly a religious one," Jonah notes, "with a deeply spiritualized message." Obama spoke in terms of bringing about a heaven on earth, which aroused the voters. It was feelings, not ideas, that got him elected. But when Obama talks about public/private partnerships, he has in mind carving things up and giving big chunks to the unions. General Motors is a good example.

Nordlinger asked Goldberg if he thought there was such a thing as "American DNA." "Yes," Jonah replied, "we all still want liberty."

Goldberg characterizes Al Gore and Senator John Kerry as human toothaches, compared to George W. Bush, whom many just wanted to have a beer with. "Americans are inherently anti-intellectual," Jonah said, which is why Obama wants to get away from ideology. "What Obama means is that he wants to get away from everything you believe in," Goldberg claims.

The size of Barack Obama's ego is something that draws criticism in certain quarters. "His ego may be like other presidents," Goldberg explains, "but he's much tackier about revealing it." I like that observation. When asked in a campaign interview what is his definition of "sin," Obama responded: "Sin is being out of line with my values."

Obama walks a fine line when he is discussing the Iraq war. He is terrified of using the word "democracy" in a way that would make George W. Bush look good for the actions he took there.

He'd just as soon not discuss Iraq at all.

In a later discussion, the subject was brought up whether presidential candidate Mitt Romney as a member of the Mormon church stands a chance in 2012 against Obama. After Cal Thomas, whose syndicated column is more widely read than any other, answered that Mitt's Mormonism is less important than his health care fiasco in Massachusetts, Goldberg suggested that the political Right needs to be theologically pluralistic and morally unified.

Then Goldberg joked that Romney's hair looks like it was designed by a team of German scientists. If you hit the mute button during one of Romney's TV ads, he could be saying, "What do I have to do to put you in this BMW?" I've heard several people suggest that Romney would click with the public more if he just messed up his hair. Not a bad idea.

One of the funniest phrases I have ever read was Goldberg's description of just how incandescently obvious it is that the mainstream press is in the tank for President Obama. It's as obvious as "cats-don't-make-great-draft-animals," Goldberg wrote. He sure leaves us laughing.