Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Conflation is not Causation

Let’s just get this out of the way: Jonah Goldberg is a fatuous, disingenuous ass that wouldn’t know decent scholarship if it came up and punched him in the face.  

Crossposted to The Suicidal Cactus Hour

And decent scholars should be doing that for the idiocy that he has poured into his pean to appease those who don’t like the current trend that sections of the GOP are taking, Liberal Fascism.

I pop the pic up early, to just get that out of the way. Whether or not the current NeoCons like it or not, their policies have a certain ring. By using a tool like Goldberg, and conflating ideologies and political systems that were long in opposition to one another, our beamish boy tries to swing a semantical bat to knock Fascism and Communism, and Socialism all into the same vat.  Revisionism is nothing entirely new, and the push to cast Nixon as a Fallen Hero, or Reagan as a fiscal Conservative is just part of the push to try to lionize the past, and ignore the fallout of failed policies, while demonizing opposition who just plain pantsed you in the last election.

Thinking people would, you might assume, take inventory after a loss like the last one.  Losing the House and Senate should have been a wake up call, but instead, it was a signal to turn up the Wing Nut Brigade to higher decibels and damn the torpedoes, it was straight ahead.  And McCain’s campaign foundered on those rocks.  Rather than take that as a sign, that perhaps a change in policy might be in order, the GOP leadership has instead invested in simply revising the past and “changing the tone” again.

By investing in revisionists to recast the past in a new light, and simply excise the parts that might be embarrassing–like supporting Saddam in his fight against Iran, forgetting the USA’s part in toppling the democratically elected government in Iran in the 50s, which set the stage for the rise of Fundamentalist Islamic Statists, or Reagan’s profligate spending–and write a new “narrative.”

For the record, I really hate the new term “narrative” at least in the context of public relations.  It does show how removed folks are from reality in that they figure that they can simply spin a tale out of cherry picked facts, and ignore those that simply are inconvenient.  The revisionists are looking to recast their tired and trite ideas that failed, and poison the waters for those who oppose them.  The push to turn “Progressive” into a conflation with “Liberal Commie Scum” and likewise to push the idea that Commie-Pinko Scum are actually Fascists too, is a trite attempt to turn charges away from themselves–and after support of US PATRIOT and other attacks on personal liberties it’s ironic to try to level the fascist bar against others.

Worse, you have an incestuous circle of folks who pat one another on the back for “exposing” this insidious plot to plant ideas into our youth and culture. Beck exposes the horrible plot to weave Progressive/Liberal/Fascist lies into music.  You have Krauthammer pounding away at his own disingenuous drum, and Kristol and Goldberg hitting their own notes to try turn the ship of state from its disastrous course away from shooting people up across the world, and getting our economy back on track.  And what bothers me about all this, is that it is an attempt to turn the GOP, and the country, away from saner voices.

The conflation to paint Progressives and Moderate voices of the GOP into monsters, and the gross revisionist plays at rewriting history, even only years ago to ignore inconvenient facts, is desperation in the face of failures, and rather than admit that the Neoconservative policies have failed both our security and our economy, they are doubling down on stoopid, and hoping that the American public is dumb enough to fall for it. And that right there shows the lack of respect that these tools have for the American people. That they have to resort to semantic slight of hand, and gross revisionism to work their way out of a corner, as opposed to simply letting the weight of their ideas carry the day, shows that they’re out of gas. Out of ideas. Out of anything looking like intellectual integrity.

When Beck and others who try to paint Progressives as Liberal/Commie/Fascists who come for your liberty and your freedoms, this is who they fear. The following is their real boogeyman, because he represents all that the GOP can be, and should be, and idiots like themselves are too cowardly and intellectually bankrupt to strive for any longer…


  1. Shaun Appleby

    In the past few weeks Bunning, the RNC fundraising PowerPoint fiasco, the Liz Cheney Department of Jihad controversy, the primary challenges to NRSC-groomed candidates from the Mad-Hatter Right…  It all starts to add up.  The Republican primaries are increasingly toxic for moderates which just means their candidates will be less able to pivot to sane general election issues.  They can’t even decide whether to run on repealing health care reform.  And I’m betting they won’t, either.

    As for their more extreme punditry, it is Night on Bald Mountain; all the ghouls and ogres are having their big fling.  Even Glenn Beck is having a crisis of confidence and had an on-air spat with Michelle Maiklin.  When the conspiratorial looney Right can’t find common ground you know that something is happening.  I sense desperation and an awareness that they have painted themselves into a conservative corner complete with dunce cap.  The finger-pointing will be worth waiting for and some of the pre-emptive strikes have already begun.  Pity poor Micheal Steele, for example.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the revisionism sinking in.  History has a marvelous quality of correcting these ‘narratives’ once the motives and aspirations of the propagandists have themselves faded into the past.  Some of the jabbering of these idiots is beginning to seem as bent as Ahmadinejad’s.  

  2. I hear this ‘Fascists’ are ‘socialists’ line all the time, but I think we’ve slowly begun to push back against this stupid and dangerous meme in the UK.

    There’s a horrible historical travesty going on here, which equates Fascism and Communism because they were authoritarian/totalitarian, but omits the bigger picture: Fascism in reaction to communism. Both extremes killed each other with great avidity and bloodlust. But there are clear differences between wanting a dictatorship of the proletariat and a eugenically cleansed ethnic supremacy.

    As for equating soft left social democratic liberals with fascists! Try  telling the social democrats that Hitler prisoned, killed and tortured, that actually they were on the same side.

    This would all be laughable, if it wasn’t part of a larger revisionist movement on the European right, not only to equate Stalin’s crimes with Hitler’s (they were different), but actually turn Nazism into a form of Socialism, and lump all the victims of the second world war as ‘victims of socialism’.

    This is actively going on in Lithuania, where the remaining Jewish survivors of the Holocaust there are ignored or vilified because (in the absence of any alternative) they fought with the Red Army against the Nazis.

    Dovid Katz has written about this, and I highly recommend his work

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