January 18, 2008

In the Monica Lewinsky scandal — 10 years old now — "Everybody lost, with one exception, or possibly two."

Writes Timothy Noah in Slate. I had to stop and think who that one person was and decided it must be Matt Drudge. But he's not even one of the two:
The only unambiguous victor I can identify is Jonah Goldberg... [B]y making himself very available to the braying jackals of cable news, Goldberg was able to parlay a job as TV producer for conservative think-tank bore Ben Wattenberg into a contributing editorship at National Review, a columnist gig at the Los Angeles Times, and a measure of respectability thus far unsullied by his authorship of a best-selling book alleging significant connections between fascism and contemporary liberalism.

Another possible net winner is Hillary Clinton....

94 comments:

Meade said...

How did the Clinton's manage to get the scandal to be named "Monicagate?" Shouldn't it really be known as "Bill Clinton's Sexual Problem With His Penisgate?"

Simon said...

"a measure of respectability thus far unsullied by his authorship of a best-selling book alleging significant connections between fascism and contemporary liberalism."

If the shoe fits...

Bruce Hayden said...

Tarronto yesterday at the WSJ called it the "The Lewinsky Decade" in his Best of the Web. I do think that Drudge made his name there, to the extent that a day or two ago Romney admitted checking his blog several times a day. Drudge's famous post:

BLOCKBUSTER REPORT: 23-YEAR OLD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN, SEX RELATIONSHIP WITH PRESIDENT

**World Exclusive**

**Must Credit the DRUDGE REPORT**

At the last minute, at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening, NEWSWEEK magazine killed a story that was destined to shake official Washington to its foundation: A White House intern carried on a sexual affair with the President of the United States!

The DRUDGE REPORT has learned that reporter Michael Isikoff developed the story of his career, only to have it spiked by top NEWSWEEK suits hours before publication. A young woman, 23, sexually involved with the love of her life, the President of the United States, since she was a 21-year-old intern at the White House. She was a frequent visitor to a small study just off the Oval Office where she claims to have indulged the president's sexual preference. Reports of the relationship spread in White House quarters and she was moved to a job at the Pentagon, where she worked until last month.

Bruce Hayden said...

My own comments about that Drudge entry were:

The rest is history. Bill Clinton was impeached, but not convicted. Monica's name became synonymous with oral sex. Hillary is running for president. The Republicans are in trouble. And Drudge is still one of the most reviled names on the left of the blogosphere, while Republican candidate Mitt Romney admitted checking it out a couple of times a day.

goesh said...

My .02 worth says the word "sordid" applies as much to Hillary as it does to Bill and Monica in the minds of many and no amount of stumping is going to cleanse that perception.

Freder Frederson said...

If the shoe fits...

And if it doesn't, ignore the facts and cram it on.

Oh, btw Simon, I finally took your advice and read "Road to Serfdom". It is interesting that someone who made dire predictions in the middle of WWII that turned out to be 100% wrong (i.e., that social democracy would inevitably lead to dictatorships every bit as horrible as the Nazis or the Soviets) is still so beloved by so many libertarian minded people.

No wonder you can read nonsense like 'Liberal Fascism' and think Goldberg makes sense.

Saul said...

Why Hilary is discussing this on Tyra Banks is beyond me. There are only two possibilities. One, she was the only person in the US that was not aware that Bill would screw anything, anywhere, including a stop sign if he had to; or two, she knew full well of what Bill was up to. I obviously believe she knew what was up and didn't care. To now describe it as her darkest day, and that she had to make a tough decision for herself and her family is utter bs. If it were dark for her, that was simply because Bill got caught again in the public, not because Bill was having an affair with an intern, in addition to his many other affairs.

This is just the beginning of having to relive the Clinton years, if Hilary is elected. Another great reason not to vote for Hilary.

paul a'barge said...

And Timothy Noah is .... who again? Oh yes. Nobody.

Can you hear the pinging whine of sour grapes being pealed?

Roger said...

I think Noah totally misses the boat on the effects of the Lewinski story: Not only Matt Drudge made out like a bandit, but this was the story as broken and covered by Drudge, that led to the rise of the internet and blogs as a news source. And the fact that Newsweek spiked it exposed the MSM as enablers of Presidential pecadillos (going back back to at least FDR's liaison with Lucy Mercer Rutherford, and JFK's numerous affairs. All in all, Monica did a heck of a lot to lay bare (no pun intended) the establishment nature of the MSM, and make American's genuinely better informed by developing a whole new source of information via the internet.

The Drill SGT said...

it wont die. Saw a bumper sticker the other day that went something like:

"Vote for Monica's ex-boyfriend's wife"

Middle Class Guy said...

Questions:
If Hillary Clinton was not running for president, would this so called anniversary be relevant? Why is it so important to rehash? Are we that starved for titillating stories that are ten years old? At what point do we get over it?

Both the Clinton's paid a high enough price both in public and personal humiliation. They pay the price ever time this topic comes up, either deeply personally or in the realm of comedy and public ridicule. Though I do not particularly care for the Clintons, enough is enough. He is no longer President and is not running for anything other than some celebrity status.

Hillary is running for president on her record and experience or lack thereof. This is what should be taken into consideration and be the subject of debate. She is not running on Bill's sexual conquest record.

Roger said...

Middle Class Guy: I agree with your point about President Clinton--his legacy will be a stained blue dress and the television clip where he wags his finger and blatently lies about having sex to the entire American public. I suspect he will be remembered much like Warren Gamalial Harding: a talented politician who presided over a relatively prosperous era, but whose administsration was marred by scandal.

I don't agree that Mrs. Clinton deserves such a pass. I cannot believe any sentient wife with Ms. Clinto's alleged intelligence, could believe Mr. Clinton's lies. She knows his history. In fact, she actively covered for him until the DNA evidence made her lying impossible.

Nope: enough of the Clintons (and the Bushes as well).

Paul Snively said...

...a measure of respectability thus far unsullied by his authorship of a best-selling book documenting significant connections between fascism and contemporary liberalism.

Fixed.

rhhardin said...

It's a decade of entertainment. I don't see how there are only two winners.

August 3 1998, John and Ken relay news that the stain may not be of human origin.

It's been nonstop a great joke ever since.

hdhouse said...

Roger said...
"a lot to lay bare (no pun intended) the establishment nature of the MSM, and make American's genuinely better informed by developing a whole new source of information via the internet."

I see. Blogs are the new source for fact? Really? and everything you read on the net is true? Really?

Bridge for sale.

P. Rich said...

"She is not running on Bill's sexual conquest record."

Don't be too sure about that. It gives her street cred with all the angry women who have had wandering husbands, and she is not above exploiting it. Does anyone really believe she didn't know about Monica from the moment there was first heard the sound of a zipper in the Oval Office?

Blue Moon said...

The thing that just floors me is a bunch of middle age women saying stuff like "Hillary is a great role model for young women" when it is beyond dispute that she trashed the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Hillary! is for women! (Unless they are groped in the Oval Office).

Roger said...

HD: where did I say blogs were totally accurate or a source of fact? Of course they are not--nor did I say that. What I said was this: they are another source of INFORMATION, and like all sources of information, they must be read critically. Clearly, HD, critical reading is not in your set of particular skills. Try again, HD, and next time bring your A game.

Freder Frederson said...

a best-selling book documenting significant connections between fascism and contemporary liberalism.

Yep Goldberg's connections go something like this: Kindergarten is a German word, the Nazis were German, Liberals like pre-Kindergarten programs, therefore liberals are Nazis.

I'm surprised he doesn't take a cue from Cedarford and claim that the interstate highway system is a Nazi/socialist/communist/liberal plot. Of course Cedarford also would blame the Jews.

rhhardin said...

The reason people read Drudge the first thing is that he won't leave out anything interesting, no matter how much crap he adds besides.

Then you're prepared to read the newspaper.

Henry said...

Noah is working backwards from the present, which makes his claims self-evident.

The logic works like this:

3. Jonah Goldberg is a conservative with a best selling book.

2. That's inconceivable!

1. It's Monica Lewinsky's fault.

The unambiguous victors of the fifth year anniversary of the scandal, btw, were Dr. Robert Atkins and Al Franken. Just check the 2003 bestseller list.

Paddy O. said...

Bringing in Jonah Goldberg as a winner is nothing more than sour grapes about someone who is presently in the news. Six months ago Timothy Noah would have brought up whatever conservative columnist was in the news then. It's a stretch and it's a stretch that has envy at its core.

Hillary lost and won. She lost a lot of humanity, I think, but at the same time there's no doubt that so much of the support for the Clinton's has come from the partisan rallying that happened because of it.

Which leads to the absolute, without a doubt, winners of Monica Lewinsky scandal: the founders of moveon.org. Who have not only not moved on but have absolutely found huge power and cash to keep up the fight. Which might also mean George Soros is a winner too. He parlayed the massive backlash against the Republican's use of the scandal into becoming, himself, a major, major player in national politics.

The kind of rage that we see now needed a justification like the Monica scandal in order to be fully unleashed.

Pangloss said...

Middle Class Guy said...
Hillary is running for president on her record and experience or lack thereof. This is what should be taken into consideration and be the subject of debate. She is not running on Bill's sexual conquest record.

I disagree. Hillary Clinton is absolutely running on Bill's record. What other reason would she have to repeat the "two for one" language from 1992?

Hillary Clinton is running as the victim of Bill's history of cheating. That establishes her credentials as a member of an official aggrieved victim class. She is running as an outsider, a victim, a woman, a single-term senator, a change agent of changeology. And she is running on her experience, by which she means she says that Bill Clinton's experience is actually hers, that he was some kind of political sock-puppet that she manipulated to her ends for all his political career.

garage mahal said...

Wingnut gets career from sniffing Bill Clinton's underwear. In other news, it's cold outside.

"Whaa, we're fascists...hey let's just call THEM fascists!"

hdhouse said...

just clarifying roger-dodger..just checking to make sure...but you did link source of information and blogs i believe...but i did get confused as i believe information to be facts. made up stuff is fiction and not information.

Freder Frederson said...

The unambiguous victors of the fifth year anniversary of the scandal, btw, were Dr. Robert Atkins and Al Franken.

"Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" was published in 1996, so Al Franken already had established himself as a enemy of rightwing gasbags before the Lewinsky scandal broke.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

There is just no question that Matt Drudge was the biggest winner, but Noah had to ignore him in order to write the story he wanted to because, unlike Goldberg, Drudge hasn't gone on to anything else (save increased fame and fortune). Who was #2 may be debatable, although I imagine Noah correctly identified the two runners-up.

Middle Class Guy said...

pangloss,
Changeology? I like that.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

MCG: The press likes to celebrate anniversaries like this - it helps sell more newspapers/draws one or two more viewers. Whether or not HRC was running, I think they would be running stories about the Lewinsky affair. (See: Watergate, JFK assassination, Challenger disaster, etc., etc.)

Roger said...

OK HD--in fact what I said the Lewinski thing made the internet (blogs being a subset) a new set of information. I take your point about information, and it appears my take on information is different than yours. I approach information from a military angle. Information from that perspective is raw data; only after it is evaluated as to source and credibility does it become "intelligence."

SteveR said...

Freder, have you read the book?

Pogo said...

Garage, soon all that will remain of Bill Clinton's legacy is "blue dress", and Hillary's candidacy.

How the mighty have fallen.

Middle Class Guy said...

Hillary Clinton may be a lot of things, but she is not stupid. The I am victim hear me roar campaign will not play out, even if it is implied.

She is not so much running on her husbands record, but on his legacy and popularity.

My only point is that this anniversary business is irrelevant, except for the comedic value, unless some tactless reporter with courage actually asks one of the Clintons about it. Oh the firestorm!

Hoosier Daddy said...

I see. Blogs are the new source for fact? Really? and everything you read on the net is true? Really?

Perhaps not but they've done a better job at 'fact checking' than say the NY Times, USA Today, AP, CBS news, or TNR have in recent times.

The greatest benefit of blogging that I have seen is that finally the MSM is being scrutinized in a way they never were before and they simply resent it.

Yep, accountability is a real bitch

garage mahal said...

Garage, soon all that will remain of Bill Clinton's legacy is "blue dress", and Hillary's candidacy.

Me, I think it's gross to be obsessed with Bill Clinton's semen stain. I certainly wouldn't admit to even if I was. Yuck. And you have an odd definition of "fallen".

Out of curiosity, are you fascinated with Giuliani's genitals too? Fred Thompson's? Or just Democrats?

Henry said...

Ah, Freder, I am corrected. Atkins is the only unambiguous victor of the Monica Lewinsky fifth anniversary bash.

Matt said...

Agreed w/ Middle Class Guy--it's really time to let this drop.

Also I think the idea that there's some substantial bloc of cheated-on women out there just looking for another cheated-on woman to elect president is... silly, to say the least. It's like saying people voted for Bush because they related to his having a powerful but distant father or whatever. Maybe it sympathizes and humanizes the candidate a bit, but it's not going to make anyone vote for them.

Likewise, I'm not sure what people expected Hillary to do--she did what we're constantly told women should do (that is, she kept her marriage intact), and now she's damned for it.

Trooper York said...

Drudge Report January 18, 2008
Dateline-Chappaqua, NY
Al Tompkins of the local florist shop Flower Power is getting ready for his busiest time of the year as Valentines Day is just around the corner. This is the time he will make about 40% of his income for the entire year. It has been tough times in the flower business. “I love when Valentine’s Day comes around” said Tompkins, “Valentines and Mothers Day is basically what keeps me open. Other then my biggest customer, former President Clinton.” When we enquire as to why the former President was such a big customer, we got a surprising answer. “Well Bill likes to send flowers on the anniversary of the first time a woman gave him a blow job. So basically he is sending out flowers every day of the year, sometimes two or three times on particularly busy days, New Years Eve, St Patrick Days, Martin Luther King Day, his birthday and of course his anniversary. Strangely enough the only one he doesn’t send fresh flowers to is Monica. Instead he sends her dead roses. Go figure.” Developing……..

Roger said...

Dammit trooper: another monitor ruined! You really are one of the striking comedy writers keeping your skills honed--tell us the truth man.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, have you read the book?

I have read enough excerpts to know the kinds of ridiculous leaps of logic he makes. I certainly don't need to read the whole book to wade through all these ridiculous and tenuous connections between fascism and modern liberalism.

Let's go over this one more time--the connection simply doesn't exist.

Cedarford said...

"In the Monica Lewinsky scandal — 10 years old now — "Everybody lost, with one exception, or possibly two.""

My candidates besides Drudge and Goldberg and Hillary! are:

1. Topped by Dubya.

Without the scandals, Clinton would have been welcomed as a likeable proxy in Gore's campaign that would have likely delivered New Hampshire, Arkansas, Florida, and Tennessee to Gore. And mitigated Gore's wierdness. Result would be a Dubya thrown out of Texas Gov job by 2004-05 for cronyism and imcompetence.
Gore as President, no Kerry Disaster in 2004, no Bush in office from 2004-2008.

2. Nixon.

The most consequential President of the 20th Century, next to FDR, narrowly ahead of LBJ - was partially redeemed by the Clinton scandal.

3. Women.

Mainly be seeing the old NYC Stalinists who dominated feminism falling on their swords to protect Clinton and his "feminist agenda" when if it had been someone else they would have demanded and gotten his head with full MSM support. Women who watched the spectacle wisely decided to leave feminism to the ugly, angry women tucked away in woman's and lesbian's studies departments in university and law schools.

4. Lieberman. For having the religion and the balls to get up and diss Bill to the country. Stop, listen to all the angry denunciations and denials of folks like Hillary and the feminazis and Hollywood. Then get up and make a second speech dissing Bubba AND his defenders all the more.

5. Men in the workplace.

Saved from ahostile climate of fear and lawsuits over "real or perceived harassment" that had grown and swelled since the Thomas and Tower hearings and Packwood resignation. The real casualties of the Lewinsky Affair were the bleeding, hysterical feminists who realized they had wrecked a substantial amount of their already waning credibiity.

Roger said...

SteveR: the answer to your question is "no."

Tim said...

”And if it doesn't, ignore the facts and cram it on.”

“Yep Goldberg's connections go something like this: Kindergarten is a German word, the Nazis were German, Liberals like pre-Kindergarten programs, therefore liberals are Nazis.”

"Whaa, we're fascists...hey let's just call THEM fascists!"


Listen, I fully appreciate you both think non-Liberals are stupid enough to buy this sh*t passing as an argument, but most folks with a barely more than facile understanding of Fascism know and understand that its underlying principles were founded in Socialism (therefore the name “National Socialist German Workers' Party [Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or NSDAP], also called the Nazi Party). Most folks with even the barest understanding of political ideology wouldn’t try to pass Socialism off as a conservative thought.

I also appreciate why Liberals hate the fact Goldberg is exposing the truth about the relationship between fascism and liberalism, but that’s your problem, not ours. Deal with it – it’s your ideological history.

AJ Lynch said...

Two comments:

1-Noah says Everybody Lost..I didn't.

2-I was astounded to learn the piece of crap Slate has been around for ten years! I guess liberals will buy anything.

Freder Frederson said...

but most folks with a barely more than facile understanding of Fascism know and understand that its underlying principles were founded in Socialism (therefore the name “National Socialist German Workers' Party [Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or NSDAP], also called the Nazi Party). Most folks with even the barest understanding of political ideology wouldn’t try to pass Socialism off as a conservative thought.

Gee, then I guess American Socialists fighting in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, alongside the Rebubicans (oh I guess that means they were conservative) against Franco's Nationalists, were just confused.

Hitler and the Nazis used socialist rhetoric early on to gain power. But Naziism was virulently anti-socialist and anti-communist. Businesses, large and small, were not nationalized. In fact, even at the height of the war, Nazi Germany never achieved a centralization of the economy comparable to that of the United States or Great Britain (let alone the Soviet Union). Granted, most of it was due to sheer incompetence and corruption rather than a lack of trying. Independent trade unions, another darling of modern liberals, were eliminated. Extreme nationalism and militarism was glorified (I thought modern liberals hated the state and the military).

Should I go on? Because I can.

Revenant said...

"Liberal Fascism" is a pretty good book, although I think it needed better editing; it tends to ramble a bit in places.

I see Freder's whining about it -- without reading it, of course. Typical.

Roger said...

I havent read Goldberg's book and don't intend to, but unless he has bent the definition of liberalism excessively, I am certainly unpersuaded that liberalism and facism have any sort of relationship. That doesnt pass the face validity test for me. That said, I think the Abraham Lincoln brigade probably had more communists than socialists. See: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=14594 and read down. The Spanish Civil war was one of those defining ideological contests of the 1930s and the only reason it has lost steam as an ideological litmus test is that most of the participants are now dead.

From Inwood said...

TY

I was about to write a brilliant tome & then I discovered your post. Everything else is superfluous.

***************

Cedarford

you mention

the old NYC Stalinists who dominated feminism falling on their swords to protect Clinton and his "feminist agenda" when if it had been someone else they would have demanded and gotten his head with full MSM support.

Q. What was the reaction of the most rabid Clinton apologists to the blue dress?

A To treat dis stain with much distain.

Revenant said...

unless he has bent the definition of liberalism excessively, I am certainly unpersuaded that liberalism and facism have any sort of relationship.

Calling yourself "unpersuaded" by an argument you refuse to even listen to is dishonest.

Revenant said...

I guess American Socialists fighting in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, alongside the Rebubicans (oh I guess that means they were conservative) against Franco's Nationalists, were just confused.

Well a lot of them *were* confused, in that they thought the were fighting for freedom while in reality they were fighting for Stalinism.

But there is nothing "confusing" about communists and fascists being at each other's throats despite their common roots. The reason is simple: fascism (and its cousin, national socialism) answered to the nation (i.e., to a national leader), while the more traditional international socialism answered to Moscow. Naturally this put national socialism and international socialism in conflict, since there can be only one ultimate authority. But the philosophical underpinnings and methods of fascism and socialism were essentially the same.

Roger said...

"Calling yourself "unpersuaded" by an argument you refuse to even listen to is dishonest.

Rev: you are welcome to see it has dishonest. I consider the source of the argument: Jonah Goldberg is a columnist/pundit, and not a serious scholar; if Robert Nozick made the argument, I would buy the book. I disregard the political philosophy of Jonah Goldberg in the same way I disregard the political philosophy of EJ Dionne. I will not spend money for such a book, and as I said above, it fails the face validity test. No matter what brand of liberalism you choose, whether the classical liberalism of John Stuart Mill or the liberalism of the current brand, it is too much of stretch to link it facism in any but the most superficial and tenditious ways. Too much other valuable writings compete for my attention. This isnt one of them, so if that makes me dishonest, so be it.

Too many jims said...

I haven't read his book so I am not going to be quick to judge. Who knows, given National Review's historical support and excuse making for Jim Crow laws and racists, maybe Goldberg meant "fascist" as a compliment.

Freder Frederson said...

But the philosophical underpinnings and methods of fascism and socialism were essentially the same.

Just saying it is so, or even publishing a book with a cute smiley faced Hitler on the cover, doesn't make it so. Fascism, in spite of the socialist rhetoric and Mussolini's dabbling in socialism in his younger years, was a conservative, right-wing, anti-socialist and anti-communist movement. It rejected internationalism in favor of hypernationalism. It courted the industrialists and if anything it was reactionary in that it envisioned a return to an almost feudal society. Hardly the stuff of liberal society where everyone is equal.

And no matter what Goldberg would have you believe, it was the right-wing, not the left, both here and in Europe, that was most enamoured of Nazi Germany before the war.

garage mahal said...

I also appreciate why Liberals hate the fact Goldberg is exposing the truth about the relationship between fascism and liberalism, but that’s your problem, not ours. Deal with it – it’s your ideological history.

What's ironic is the National Review has been fawning over fascist dictators since it's inception in the late 50's. Wasn't it Goldwhale himself just recently giving a nice obit to Pinochet?

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freder Frederson said...

Well a lot of them *were* confused, in that they thought the were fighting for freedom while in reality they were fighting for Stalinism.

I suppose because the U.S. was allied with the Soviet Union in WWII we were also fighting for Stalinism, because that is about as much sense as your comparison makes. The Republicans represented the legitimate government of Spain and consisted of everything from centrists to communists to Basque separtists. The Nationalists and Franco represented the military who had overthrown the elected government in a coup (and we responsible for the majority of the atrocities in the war).

Tim said...

"Should I go on? Because I can."

Actually, you cannot, (although I'd welcome the effort) before coming to the objective, reality-based fact that Mussolini and Hitler, like all the other great mass murderers of the 20th Century, were men of the Left, not the Right.

I understand your profound discomfort; but your discomfort does not and cannot change the historic facts.

Tim said...

"and we responsible for the majority of the atrocities in the war"

Indeed. Your side always is.

Roger said...

Is this thread going to dissolve into an argument about right wingers killing more people than left wingers? Clearly Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot (on a percentage basis) have that prize nailed down.

Trooper York said...

By all means let's concentrate on the blow jobs. Keep your eye on the ball. Or the balls. Or the balls will hit her in the eyes. If she's upside down......whatever.

Freder Frederson said...

Actually, you cannot, (although I'd welcome the effort) before coming to the objective, reality-based fact that Mussolini and Hitler, like all the other great mass murderers of the 20th Century, were men of the Left, not the Right.

Oh really, what about Pinochet, Idi Amin, the Ottomans, the British in the Second Boer War (where the term "concentration camp" was coined), The Japanese in China (or are you claiming that the Japanese Empire was also a left-wing empire), Suharto, the Military Juntas in Guatamala, etc.

You also haven't (other than saying that Nazi had "socialist" in its name) demonstrated what particular policies of the Fascists were "socialist" or left wing. What policies of Hitler, Mussolini, or Franco were "socialist" or are advocated by modern liberals?

Hitler liked to ban books and "decadent" art. That is much more popular with modern conservatives than liberals (Tipper Gore excepted). Hitler believed in a powerful military (again a conservative value). He believed in strong families.

Roger said...

Freder: no one is contending that right wingers havenet dont their share of killing; they just havent done it on the scale of Mao or Stalin. Robert Conquest goes over the figures in great detail. You are certainly free to disregard his figures, and if you have a different set of figures, I would be most interested in seeing them.

hdhouse said...

Roger - that is indeed a good point about raw data and I stand corrected and apologize for thinking otherwise in this instance.

My concern about blogs is that they are "one man bands" without the resources of fact-checkers. They rely largely on the comments of the readers/followers to set things right and to sort out the raw data.

Unfortunately, the "die is cast" to a large extent as soon as someone says it..taking 10 times the energy to undo a statement made and then one has to pray that the errata is read - not normally the case. Your military example is excellent because what you infer is that there are people tasked to sift through the data and sort it out - the good and error. My problem with the Drudges of the world is that they are something like a national enquirer blog - it might be 90% right, 5% hyperbole and 5% just "flying saucers stole my cat" stuff. We never know what is the 5%.

Freder Frederson said...

Roger,

Apparently Tim is, as he contended all the great mass murderers of the 20th century were leftists. Of course Hitler wasn't a leftist (no matter how much Jonah Goldberg or anyone else tries to claim otherwise). Mussolini, for all his other faults, wasn't a mass murderer (he even resisted turning over his Jews to Hitler).

Freder Frederson said...

they just havent done it on the scale of Mao or Stalin.

Both Idi Amin (who took power with the acknowledged aid of British intelligence) and Suharto (who probably had CIA assistance in his coup) both carried out killings on the scale of Mao or Stalin. Of course Hitler, who concentrated his killing--at least 11 million directly murdered and at least another 9 million non-combatants killed by the deprivations of war aside from combat related deaths--into barely four years (most of the Nazi's organized killing took place after the invasion of Russia), outstrips everyone.

Freder Frederson said...

Except of course Pol Pot--he is the only one who even comes close to Hitler.

Roger said...

HD: Full Disclosure: don't put too much stock in intelligence, military or otherwise. Remember WMDs and Iranian nuclear weapons? The process is theoretically sound, but it is ultimately conducted by people who have their own biases (and bosses).

reader_iam said...

The party program (platform) of the NSADP (Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiter Partei), or what we call the Nazi Party..

reader_iam said...

No cheating by stopping somewhere between items 4 and 8. Keep reading.

Trooper York said...

Wow reader, you had that just lying around the house. Any chance you have the full Ilsa the She-wolf of the SS regalia hanging in the closet. Complete with boots and whip. You know for Halloween.

Tim said...

The megamurdering states of the 20th century have been:
the U.S.S.R. (1917-1987), 61,911,000;
Communist China (1949-1987), 35,236,000;
Nazi Germany (1933-1945), 20,946,000;
and Nationalist (or Kuomintang) China (1928-1949), 10,076,000.

These are followed by the "lesser" megamurdering states:
Japan (1936-1945), 5,964,000;
Cambodia (1975-1979), 2,035,000; Turkey (1909-1918), 1,883,000; Vietnam (1945-1987), 1,678,000; North Korea (1948-1987), 1,663,000;
Poland (1945-1948), 1,585,000; Pakistan (1958-1987), 1,503,000; Mexico (1900-1920), 1,417,000; Yugoslavia (1944-1987), 1,072,000; Czarist Russia (1900-1917), 1,066,000.

So I stand corrected - not ALL the mass murderers were men of the Left - but virtually ALL of the mass murderers were men of the Left, esp. when one counts the kill ratios between Left and Right.

reader_iam said...

I wish I were a member of Sage so that I could access the entire text of H.G. Wells' speech ($15 bucks seems a little steep for just 24 hours' worth of viewing):

ournal of Contemporary History, Vol. 35, No. 4, 541-558 (2000)
© 2000 SAGE Publications
H.G. Wells's 'Liberal Fascism'
Philip Coupland

University of Warwick, UK

During the 1930s H.G. Wells's theory of revolutionary praxis centred around a concept of 'liberal fascism' whereby the Wellsian 'liberal' utopia would be achieved by an authoritarian élite. Taking inspiration from the militarized political movements of the 1930s, this marked a development in the Wellsian theory of revolution from the 'open conspiracy' of the 1920s. Although both communist and fascist movements evinced some of the desired qualities of a Wellsian vanguard, it was fascism rather than communism which came closest to Wells's ideal. However, in practice, despite the failure of approaches to parties of the left and centre as possible agents of revolution, Wells rejected the British Union of Fascists. The disparity between Wells's theory and his actions when faced by the reality of fascism echoes the unresolved tension between ends and means at the heart of the concept of 'liberal fascism'.


***

Neither of these links should be construed as my agreeing with Goldberg's thesis. I have not read his book and so I don't know.

Roger said...

Re murdering ideologies/states; channeling my inner epidemiologist here, to make an accurate comparison we would need to calculate deaths as a percentage of population to reduce the numbers to comparable stats.

The deaths during the Mexican revolution I dont think can be attributed to a particular ideology as much as a civil war. And the all time death count may be the Tai Ping rebellion in china during the 1850s and the Tripartite war between paraguay, brazil and argentina were pretty high. Clearly human beings are a murderous bunch.

reader_iam said...

Trooper: Nah. Not my thing. Also, don't have the body to carry off the boots thing.

My background and my current endeavors are such that I have a bit of ability when it comes to research. Also, being stubborn & etc., I tend to like to check things out for myself.

Freder Frederson said...

reader,

And this contradicts what I wrote how? While the platform calls for nationalization of heavy industry, when was it implemented? The other "socialist" aspects of the platform, from universal education and better opportunities for college to better national healthcare are certainly things liberals want, but so what. You can find things in the Republican platform that are similar to what is in the Nazi platform too. (Improved education = NCLB anyone).

reader_iam said...

You can find things in the Republican platform that are similar to what is in the Nazi platform too

Indeed, Freder. That's why I posted a link to the whole thing, and without comment either way.

And I posted it for general information--raw data, for those who prefer that term--purposes. I don't recall putting your name specifically in either comment, or saying that I posted it in contradiction or refutation of your points, or anyone's.

You assume too much, you know that? Bad habit.

Cedarford said...

Well a lot of them *were* confused, in that they thought the were fighting for freedom while in reality they were fighting for Stalinism.

There really was no such thing as Stalinism. The lethal system of state terror was devised by Lenin and the Jewish Bolsheviks. By the time Stalin inherited the state all the mechanisms of terror were in place - Cheka, GRU, NKVD; show trials and Bukharin's notion of justice as a tool of the continuing revolution by punishment of sectors of the masses, not by any regard to guilt or innocence. (handy when Stalin who liked Bukharin as a Jew who supported him at critical times, reluctantly agreed it was best if Bukharin was to be shot).

Engineered famines devised by Trotsky in the Red-White Civil War. The whole Gulag system was in place and collective liquidations. The Jewish Bolsheviks had already begun murdering by ethnicity, by class, by religion. Their 1st targets were the liquidation of Orthodox priests laypersons and the dynamiting of churches while vandalism of a synogogue was deemed counter-revolutionary and punishable by death. The Cossacks were exiled to wastelands as punishment for serving the Czar and his pogroms against Jews. 1/3rd of them died.

Stalin simply inherited the Bolshevik system, and liked what had been started. He picked up their torch.

Trooper York said...

Don't be so modest reader. I bet you would look great in boots. Thigh high with a spiked heel. Maybe laced up the front. With a bustier and a short skirt...and...and ...wait a minute...I'll be right back.

SteveR said...

So no one has read the book but based on what you think of Goldberg, the book cover, National Review, and already think about Socialism, Fascism, etc (and not what Goldberg says) you have decided its a piece of crap. Nothing like a well reasoned opinion.

Revenant said...

Rev: you are welcome to see it has dishonest. I consider the source of the argument

It isn't a matter of how I see it. The word "unpersuaded" means that you've heard the argument and found it unconvincing. You, by your own admission, absolutely refuse to listen to the argument in the first place because you don't like the person making it. The proper term for you to use is not "unpersuaded by", but "deliberately ignorant of".

No matter what brand of liberalism you choose, whether the classical liberalism of John Stuart Mill or the liberalism of the current brand, it is too much of stretch to link it facism in any but the most superficial and tenditious ways.

I choose the liberalism of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who along with the New Dealers openly admired and emulated -- and was admired and emulated by -- Mussolini and the Italian fascists. Liberalism and fascism seem incompatible to you because you are ignorant of the histories of fascism and liberalism and lack any intellectual curiosity about them.

Revenant said...

What's ironic is the National Review has been fawning over fascist dictators since it's inception in the late 50's. Wasn't it Goldwhale himself just recently giving a nice obit to Pinochet?

First of all, Pinochet wasn't a fascist (except in the brain-dead "anything bad = fascist" sense of the word). He was a military dictator.

But even if he was (and other dictators America and NR have supported have been), that would only be "ironic" if you assume that Goldberg was using the word "fascism" in the aforementioned brain-dead "bad=fascist" sense. He wasn't; he was using it in an objective sense.

Had the people sneering at the book actually bothered reading it *before* bashing it, rather than taking a page from the Moral Majority and condemning heretical works sight unseen, they'd have immediately discovered that Goldberg points out the direct connections between fascism and "compassionate conservatism", too. It isn't a "let's bash the Democrats and liberals" book. It is a serious look at two intellectual movements with shared ancestry and numerous common traits -- e.g., the belief that there is no such thing as a problem the government has no business getting involved in, the belief that government has both the right and the duty to ensure that everyone is healthy, educated, employed, and possessed of the proper attitudes and beliefs, the belief in "taking things away from you for the common good", etc, etc.

Roger said...

Rev--you are jumping to a whole lot of conclusions, I think. I happen to LIKE Jonah Goldberg as a pundit and columnist; I just don't happen to regard him as a scholar of political philosophy. YMMV. The difficulty in comparing "liberalism" with anything these days is how it is defined. The modern political usage of liberalism is hardly precise and focuses more on policies than its underlying value system (its philosophy). As you yourself have done, you have specified the policies of FDR and posited them as exemplars of liberalism. And because FDR and other new dealers liked Mussolini and other facists and conversely, you therefore argue his liberalism was fascism--or akin to fascism. Not a very good syllogism IMO.

As for fascism, I suggest it is not a political philosophy at all; rather, it is an ideology. And I also suggest that is an important distinction. As far as my intellectual curiosity and knowledge of political philosopies go, again, that's your opinion, although for the record I was assistant professor of political philosophy at the US Military academy from 1974 to 1977 even if I am now ignorant and lack intellectual curiosity.

Tim said...

The National Socialist Platform, with Socialism:

Pts. 1 – 9; Racial Hate and Bigotry

10. The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all Consequently we demand:

11. Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of rent-slavery.

12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

13. We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, Schieber and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

19. We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.

20. The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbuergerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.

21. The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

23. We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press. In order to enable the provision of a German press, we demand, that: a. All writers and employees of the newspapers appearing in the German language be members of the race: b. Non-German newspapers be required to have the express permission of the State to be published. They may not be printed in the German language: c. Non-Germans are forbidden by law any financial interest in German publications, or any influence on them, and as punishment for violations the closing of such a publication as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-German concerned. Publications which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden. We demand legal prosecution of artistic and literary forms which exert a destructive influence on our national life, and the closure of organizations opposing the above made demands.

24. We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: common utility precedes individual utility.

25. For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general. The forming of state and profession chambers for the execution of the laws made by the Reich within the various states of the confederation. The leaders of the Party promise, if necessary by sacrificing their own lives, to support by the execution of the points set forth above without consideration.

By contemporary Liberal standards, the Nazi's were a fairly progressive bunch.

Revenant said...

As you yourself have done, you have specified the policies of FDR and posited them as exemplars of liberalism. And because FDR and other new dealers liked Mussolini and other facists and conversely, you therefore argue his liberalism was fascism--or akin to fascism. Not a very good syllogism IMO.

The underlying philosophy was (and largely is) the same too, though -- specifically, that what is best for the people, is what is best.

People are used to thinking of fascists as people whose underlying philosophy is, apparently, a sheer love of evil. In reality most fascists thought they were doing what was best for the people. They wanted a healthy, educated, unified nation all working towards a common goal of mutual success and prosperity. The content-free "can't we all just work together" speeches of Barack Obama could be directly transplanted to a 1920s Fascist rally without anyone noticing anything strange had happened.

You're right that the definition of "liberal" is slippery, but Goldberg simply takes the approach that people who CALL themselves liberals -- FDR, Kennedy, Clinton, et al -- qualify as such. The "liberalism" he addresses is the is the "totalitarian" (in the original Mussolini sense of "everything in the state, nothing outside the state") liberalism that can be traced from Woodrow Wilson through FDR to the current crop of Presidential candidates.

As to your claim that Goldberg is not a scholar -- if you mean that he isn't a professional teacher, you're correct. If you mean that he didn't do the research for his book, you're wrong.

garage mahal said...

Revenant
So FDR was a fascist [or squishy fascism like FDR ate a whole wheat bagel once, and don't liberals like bagels?] but Pinochet wasn't. Wouldn't have the time to even start this conversation. But I'll leave you with the father of fascism himself:

"Fascism, which was not afraid to call itself reactionary... does not hesitate to call itself illiberal and anti-liberal."
--Benito Mussolini

Revenant said...

So FDR was a fascist [or squishy fascism like FDR ate a whole wheat bagel once, and don't liberals like bagels?] but Pinochet wasn't.

I did not call FDR a fascist, I simply pointed out that his beliefs and policies were highly compatible with fascism. Pinochet was a nasty dictator. That does not automatically make him a fascist. You can have fascism without dictatorship, and dictatorship without fascism (although it is worth considering that FDR had advisers who encouraged him to become a dictator -- for the sake of the country, of course).

Fascism, which was not afraid to call itself reactionary... does not hesitate to call itself illiberal and anti-liberal

Liberalism referred to the philosophy of individual liberty and laisse-faire economics championed by what we now call "conservatives" and "libertarians" (think Hoover's "every man shall help his brother" approach to the Depression). What we now call "liberalism" was then called "progressivism" or "socialism"; such was the philosophy of men like Woodrow Wilson and FDR. I.e., the idea that what was best for the people as a whole is more important than what is best for people as individuals. This was, and remains, a core tenet of both fascism and liberals/progressives/Democrats.

Consider, if you will, that FDR believed the government had the right to tell you what you could buy, what you could sell, what you could buy or sell it for, where you were allowed to work, and how much you were allowed to make while working there. He believed that the government had the right to imprison you for criticizing the (in his view necessary) policies of the government, to jail people indefinitely on the basis of their race, to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or ethnicity; to carry out eugenics programs aimed at improving society; to determine what could be taught in schools and universities, and to forbid people unwilling to follow the program from teaching.

This is the man for whom you consider it ridiculous to draw parallels to fascism. This is the man who, to this day, self-identified "liberals" will not tolerate criticism of, who they hold up as the savior of the nation and greatest President of the 20th century, and whose programs they continue to fight tooth and nail to protect.

Roger said...

Rev: by scholar I mean someone who has an appropriate degree, studied the original source literature in his or her field in depth, and who writes articles or gives lectures, usually peer reviewed, for publications that are targeted at the academic community. A scholar, in my definition, does not have to teach, but teaching ordinarily adds to scholarship. By that I mean, a good teacher has to keep up with the current literature in his field; if that teacher is presenting the same lecture every semester, they have failed their task, because knowledge continues to change.

The difficulty with fascism, it seems to me, is that its roots are diffuse. I believe modern totalitarian movements including fascism, have their roots in Rousseau and in particular his concept of the general will and the will of all. Rousseau's thought in turn helped precipitate the romantic movement which, in general, was a reaction to the rationalism of the English nominalists of the 17th century including Montesquieu in the 18th century.

The romantic thread is also picked up in the artistic community by people such as Wagner, Verdi, and others. Politically, some of the 20th century including Hitler leadership rediscoved what they felt was a reservoir of wisdom and culture of the "volk" that had been supplanted by the Weberian technocrats. I believe fascism was ultimately a populist ideology that was used politically to displace the ruling elites of the period as well as challenge the rational basis of their authority.

As a final aside, "fascist" is also a term that is ill defined and used these days as a pejorative. Like the modern day usage of liberalism, current usage of fascism lacks a whole lot specificity thereby rendering it less than useful as a generic concept.

Tim said...

"Fascism, which was not afraid to call itself reactionary... does not hesitate to call itself illiberal and anti-liberal."
--Benito Mussolini


The operational European definition of the word "liberal," even at the time of Mussolini, is closer to the definition the Founding Fathers would have understood (e.g. see Chirac and other French elitists' attacks against "liberalism" for a more contemporary example); your ignorance of this basic fact generally disqualifies your opinion on this discussion having much weight.

But since you’ve quoted Mussolini, try this on for size:

“The image of a strong leader taking direct charge of an economy during hard times fascinated observers abroad. Italy was one of the places that Franklin Roosevelt looked to for ideas in 1933. Roosevelt's National Recovery Act (NRA) attempted to cartelize the American economy just as Mussolini had cartelized Italy's. Under the NRA Roosevelt established industry-wide boards with the power to set and enforce prices, wages, and other terms of employment, production, and distribution for all companies in an industry. Through the Agricultural Adjustment Act the government exercised similar control over farmers. Interestingly, Mussolini viewed Roosevelt's New Deal as "boldly... interventionist in the field of economics." Hitler's nazism also shared many features with Italian fascism, including the syndicalist front. Nazism, too, featured complete government control of industry, agriculture, finance, and investment.” (http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Fascism.html)

Additionally:

"The [] people must march forward as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline."

- President Franklin D. Roosevelt

"...moral law, binding together individual and the generations into a tradition and a mission, suppressing the instinct for a life enclosed within the brief round of pleasure in order to restore within duty a higher life free from the limits of time and space."

- Benito Mussolini
(http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/207907/franklin_roosevelt_and_the_fascists.html)

“Mussolini, in turn, was flattered by what he saw as the New Deal’s aping of his own corporate state, in the NRA and other early measures. When Roosevelt “torpedoed” the London Economic Conference of June 1933, Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht smugly told the official Nazi newspaper V√∂lkischer Beobachter that the American leader had adopted the economic philosophy of Hitler and Mussolini. Even Hitler had kind words at first for Roosevelt’s “dynamic” leadership, stating that “I have sympathy with President Roosevelt because he marches straight to his objective over Congress, over lobbies, over stubborn bureaucracies.” (http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:V4PvKSqQpF8J:www.independent.org/publications/article.asp%3Fid%3D1468+Mussolini+thoughts+on+FDR&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=25&gl=us)

Nope. Move on. No fascist roots in contemporary liberalism here.

Revenant said...

Rev: by scholar I mean someone who has an appropriate degree, studied the original source literature in his or her field in depth, and who writes articles or gives lectures, usually peer reviewed, for publications that are targeted at the academic community.

Goldberg has, of course, studied the original source material in depth. Your position is that any argument made by a person who hasn't published peer-reviewed academic literature should be ignored without bothering to listen to it in the first place. Nice one.

The difficulty with fascism, it seems to me, is that its roots are diffuse.

I'm sorry, but could you point to your peer-reviewed publications dealing with the study of fascism? Because -- as you were so good to point out -- if you haven't got any, you aren't worth reading.

Roger said...

Never wrote about fascism, Rev--and never claimed to a scholar of fascism. I only know what secondary sources say about it. I would suggest those secondary sources are a bit more learned than is Mr. Goldberg, but thats my opinion. And in terms of what makes a scholar, I think I mentioned three things, not just peer reviewed publications. On this criteria, BTW, Mr. Goldberg gets a pass because most books, unlike journal articles, are not peer reviewed prior to publication.

We clearly arent going to agree on this, and it is a free country--you think Goldberg is worth reading, and I don't. I told you why I don't. If you dont want to accept my rationale, that's fine with me. I will remain secure in my ignorance, and you can remain secure in your knowledge of fascism and liberalism.

reader_iam said...

I've been following this thread primarily via e-mail (my reader_iam gmail account), and what "context-sensitive" ads do you think are now popping up when I open up the update?

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In contrast, the "ordinary person" thread brings me a couple items related to Obama, a couple related to H. Clinton, and, inexplicably, one having to do with a Chrysler dealer.

Well, I'll stop there except to note that there are no ads at all in connection with the hunting post. Maybe Google is afraid of all the gun-wielding hunters?

Anyway, just thought I'd share.

Trooper York said...

Mitt Romney has six flags on his bus. Not because he like Great Adventure, it's just one flag for each wife. Allegedlly.

Revenant said...

I only know what secondary sources say about it.

You might think you do, but your earlier statement about the fundamental incompatibility of any form of liberalism with fascism proves that you know basically nothing about the subject. That fascism, progressivism and socialism borrowed heavily from each other and shared common roots is neither a new idea nor a particularly controversial one among political scientists. Witness the fact that you were left completely flat-footed and without reply when the fascistic elements of the New Deal were pointed out to you.

And in terms of what makes a scholar, I think I mentioned three things, not just peer reviewed publications.

As I noted in my post, Goldberg meets your criteria of doing extensive research into the source materials and being extensively familiar with them. I've got no idea if his degree is in political science or not.

it is a free country--you think Goldberg is worth reading, and I don't.

The difference between us is that I judge the quality of an argument by listening to it and comparing it to the facts and you judge the quality of an argument by looking at who is making it.

It isn't that I think Goldberg is "worth reading"; I just don't feel comfortable offering an opinion about an argument I can't be bothered to read. Noam Chomsky certainly isn't worth reading, but I slogged through enough of HIS empty-headed nonsense because it is intellectually dishonest to offer opinions about arguments you haven't bothered to read.

Gary Rosen said...

C-fudd thought he was fooling everyone with his praise of Lieberman but I knew it was a front, he immediately goes into ranting "Jewish Bolsheviks" mode. He's got less self-control than a teenager masturbating over the Playboy foldout.