I know I'm late coming to this, but here it is anyway: Jonah Goldberg is a twit. Evidence? This piece in my hometown LATimes (sigh):
IT'S IRONIC. At precisely the moment so many people think that the Republican Party and the conservative movement went off the rails, the people who hate the right the most want to copy it.
That's the upshot of an alternately brilliant and tendentious cover story in the latest New Republic, in which Jonathan Chait argues that the so-called netroots "are the most significant mass movement in U.S. politics since the rise of the Christian right." Chait persuasively argues that the netroots — Democratic activist blogs and other online communities — are transforming the Democratic Party by championing a new emphasis on partisan fervor and political unity.
OK, so? But then Jonah says this:
To this end, Chait writes that a major netroots hero is none other than Grover Norquist, the oddly colorful — or colorfully odd — right-wing activist and president of Americans for Tax Reform who has served as one of the most effective (and profitable) organizers of right-of-center interest groups. Chait quotes from prominent netroots figure Matt Stoller's blog: "To the extent that I have a political hero, it's probably Grover Norquist, not Ralph Nader."
So Stoller admires Norquist, the deeply dishonest and despicable Anti-Tax crusader?
Well, not really. Here's the complete quote:
To the extent that I have a political hero, it's probably Grover Norquist, not Ralph Nader, and a lot of the new progressive organizers I know model themselves and what they are doing after the right-wing's collaborative model rather than the left-wing single issue mindset.
So Matt admires Grover's single-minded organizational skills, and says nothing about his repellant ideology. Cute, Jonah. It's a really bad analogy, and Matt should be slapped, but it's not exactly what you are trying to present.
Here's more deep analysis from Goldberg:
The conservative movement was a response to generations of growing statism at home and abroad. From the Progressive era to the Great Society, government seemed to be expanding in tandem with the threat of communism. The conservative project was first and foremost an intellectual one because, as Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Sowell has written, it takes an ideology to beat an ideology.
Huh? The conservative movement was an orchestrated effort by conservative zealots such as Richard Viguerie:
"Pioneered political use of computerized direct mail. That technology was the Internet of its day: it enabled conservatives to get around liberals' dominance of the mass media; it allowed thousands of conservative candidates, organizations and causes to get their messages to grassroots Americans."
This was no grassroots movement, rather it was an ideological effort to appeal to the grassroots.
The conservative infrastructure that arouses so much envy among liberals today was an afterthought. It was created because the far more valuable real estate — universities, foundations, newspapers and TV networks — were held by liberals. Conservatives used their institutions to have serious arguments about what conservatives should believe.No, they created their institutions to tell conservatives what they should believe. The population of the '70s was distrustful of conservatives (Nixon), and creeped out by the Jesus Freak movement, especially here in Southern California. But Jonah, who was born in '69, has no real idea of American politics of the time.
The issue is that for the first time in many years, the Left has almost solidified in opposition to the Right, as represented by GWBush and virtually the entire Republican Party. And they are adapting their tactics along the line of the concerted effort the Right has made for 30 years now to spin the message.
Sorry, Jonah, we have adopted the tactics of the Right, Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. Well, not really.