I've never had particularly negative feelings towards Jonah Goldberg, because I've never been able to take him seriously. It seemed to me that the guy would make a good minor Buffy antagonist -- the devil's nepotism hire, 9-to-5ing it without the venom or diabolical intelligence that would give him real talent for his craft, and producing books that state extreme right-wing positions in such naked absurdity that they make the National Review and the conservative movement look ridiculous.
So I'm surprised to see Dave Weigel write that "Goldberg has had, I'd argue, a bigger influence on the rhetoric and thought of the tea parties than any other single writer." Is this right? My impression was that Jonah was more correlation than causation. But Dave is an expert on this stuff.
I think Weigel might just be feeding Goldberg's ego, what with being on a panel with him and all. That kind of fellating is normal in the run-up to such events.
I mean, I don't think it's too exaggerated; the Tea Party borrows a ton of rhetoric from Liberal Fascism, and the book really resonated with a far swath of the American right.
That makes sense, Corvus.
There's certainly a big rhetorical overlap, Jamelle. I guess I don't have any sense of whether these are just independent things (people have been calling each other fascists forever, there's a reason why Godwin's Law exists), or if Goldberg's book really was influential. But I guess there's a bunch of directions those people could've gone in their Obama-hate, and the fact that so many of them went in that particular one can be taken as a sign of Goldberg's influence.
I guess we'll know in November what his legacy will be. If he loses both houses, he'll have trouble passing his agenda...
But November is a long way off.
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