January 23, 2008

The American Conservative's 1/28/08 issue

It's now semi-online. You can subscribe and read the whole thing here.

January 28, 2008 Issue

The Audacity of Huck
By Michael Brendan Dougherty
The Republican establishment wants Christian voters, not Christian leaders.

Untested Savior
By Scott McConnell
Barack Obama fulfills Democratic dreams for a truly transcendent leader—and Republican hopes for an easy target.

Found in Translation
By Philip Giraldi
FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds’s allegations are too explosive for Washington to investigate.

After Bhutto
By Jason Motlagh
Are Pakistan’s democratic hopes buried with Bhutto?

Honor Killing
By Paul Robinson
A nation’s reputation is less sullied by defeat than by not knowing how to lose.

Dead Wrong
By Daniel McCarthy
Warmonger Seeks Comeback

Shotgun Offense
By Jim Pittaway
Sacking Missoula

The Oilman Bowls Alone
By Steve Sailer
"There Will Be Blood"

Goldberg’s Trivial Pursuit
By Austin W. Bramwell
Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning
by Jonah Goldberg

The Long Fuse to the Iraq War
By Philip Weiss
They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons by Jacob Heilbrunn

Living Literally
By Peter Suderman
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs

Forgive Us Our Debts
By Patrick J. Buchanan
Adjustable-Rate Republic

Live Free or Die?
By Daniel Larison
Ron Paul’s New Hampshire Freeze-Out

Voting With My Feet
By James P. Pinkerton
I Heart Huckabee

Fourteen Days: Cravenness Commends Him; Excommunication Bull; Make-Believe Racism

Deep Background: Flight Path to Damascus

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...


What's with dissing Jonah Goldberg?

Here you've got a guy whose written a book-length exposé of the age-old piece of folk wisdom, "Scratch a liberal, get a fascist", and he's being castigated in The American Conservative?

I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Even more interesting, it's Austin Bramwell who's doing the criticism of Goldberg.

May Bramwell take over and transform National Review.

Anonymous said...

Goldberg is Jewish. That tells you all you need to know about how The American Conservative views him.

Garland said...

"May Bramwell take over and transform National Review."

Unfortunately, Bramwell's no longer associated with National Review so it's not going to happen. I don't know the story but he's not a trustee or whatever he was anymore.

As for his review of Goldberg--I've been waiting for the paleos to get on that because to date there's been nothing but predictable from the liberals and too uncritical from his movement conservative friends. I'd like someone like Paul Gotfried to give his take on the history and then as many paleos as possible to decipher whatever it is Jonah's doing with Buchananism in the last chapter. Apparently Buchanan has gone fascist by succumbing to "nostalgia," isolationism, economic populism, and identity politics. Turns out it's not just liberalism that's gone fascist, it's the paleos too.

So I'd like some good conservative responses to all that but Bramwell didn't come through.

Garland said...

Goldberg also is blithely unaware of how odd it is for him to include "spreading democracy" in his brief description of what it is to be a (non-fascist) conservative. He doesn't even make a defense against the question that never occurs to liberals but that's at the front of every paleo's mind: how the hell is it "conservative" to unite the country in a grand crusade to liberalize the Muslim world? If fascism is politics as religion--which Jonah says it is--what's this great new long war that's had them so excited at NR these past years? What's David Frum's An End to Evil? What's Bush? If fascism is politics as religion, the left is right: Bush and the movement cons are fascists.

And the country's leading anti-fascist movement? That's right, the "isolationist" conservatives.

Anonymous said...

I thought Goldberg was Episcopalian? In any case, anyone who frequently uses the term "fascist" when discussing something other than actual fascism (that is, a European political movement in the first half of the 20th century, and closely similar movements), is certain to have a very shallow understanding of history and politics, and is not worth paying attention to.

Anonymous said...

"What's with dissing Jonah Goldberg?"

Simple: Goldberg is a Jew, and not a House Jew of the paleo right like Phil Weiss is. Therefore he must be dealt with harshly.

Anonymous said...

If Goldberg's book is as lazily argued and researched as Bramwell says, I expect Gottfried to blister it, as he's blistered Goldberg in the past.

Too bad Gottfried's Jewish. Anonymous critics can't use anti-semitic smears then.

Anonymous said...

Oh - so Jonah called Buchanan a "Liberal Fascist"?

I guess that would explain it.

PS: whose = who's.

Anonymous said...

What or who is a "movement conservative," as opposed to a conservative?

Garland said...

"What or who is a "movement conservative," as opposed to a conservative?"

The people who run the movement right now. It's like saying neocon without all the baggage.

Anonymous said...

I should disclose that I have not read Goldberg's book, but only the review in TAC. That said, I think it is quite clear that Goldberg is wrong in claiming that the Nazis were somehow like modern liberals in that they were anti-business. The Nazi party that Hitler joined was socialist - of the Karl Luger variety (Luger was the mayor of Vienna during Hitler's youth, and espoused an anti-semitic and populist socialism). The party that Hitler took to power however was not really socialist at all. The Nazi leadership mostly jettisoned the party's socialist aspects as the price of winning the support of the army and the industrialists. The last holdouts for the old view were the SA - which Hitler ruthlessly purged in 1934.

However, I think the review was far too harsh on Goldberg, one of the least noxious of NR's current staff (he at least used to be amusing).

"David Davenport said...

What or who is a "movement conservative," as opposed to a conservative?"

I think a useful distinction between the two can be made. I would call all those enamored of political theory "movement conservatives" - this would include the current staff of NR, and some of NR's staff going back to its foundation, including WFB himself. Those who are conservative by nature, and view conservatism as simply that body of beliefs which they hold based on their empirical experience, I would label simply "conservatives", or actually nowadays, reactionaries.

So for example, Sam Francis was a conservative; George Will is a movement conservative. Coolidge was a conservative, Gingrich is a movement conservative.

It is their belief in over-arching theories which makes leftists insuferable and dangerous. I have come to find it equally so among those who style themselves "conservatives". I have far greater trust in one who has come by his conservative views by observing the world around him, rather than in someone who just read it in books.

Not that reading books is bad - but I'd advise Edmund Burke over most of what's on offer today.

Perhaps (real) conservatives need a new handle, to distinguish themselves from the current crop of numnuts who have hijacked the term.

Neo-reactionaries, perhaps?

Anonymous said...


Bravo. The "movement conservative" is the first cousin of the doctrinaire Marxist. Not because of any ideological overlap, far from it. No it's the reality killing obsession with political theory. Wanting what you know to be good by first hand experience is regarded as a dangerous exercise in anti-intellectualism by this ilk. Add to this tortured readings of paleo greats such as Burke and "movement conservatives" can become a real enemy of folks longing for a return to sanity.

Anonymous said...

What's with dissing Jonah Goldberg?

Goldberg is a neoconservative, plain and simple. He is ambivalent about the election of a new people in America through radical mass immigration. He rejects the concept that race matters in human affairs. He rejects the European heritage national identity embodied and espoused by the Founders. He is open to any reengineering of American cultural and political institutions as long as it doesn't offend his post-modern sensibilities.

In other words, Goldberg is a radical revolutionary. A child of the 1960's cultural revolution who drank the koolaid that says America is an idea. Therefore it's entirely reasonable that he would be "dissed" by the American Conservative.

But, remember, according to the Commissars posting here, opposition to Goldberg's radical politics must be bigotry against Jews.

Anonymous said...

"Not that reading books is bad - but I'd advise Edmund Burke over most of what's on offer today."

You have excellent taste, Martin. I'm reading THE CONSERVATIVE MIND right now. I delighted to discover that the Irish contributed something to mankind that more than compensates for the Kennedys and Bono.

Anonymous said...

"You have excellent taste, Martin. I'm reading THE CONSERVATIVE MIND right now."

Thanks. While I would like to agree with you unreservedly, I must admit to being a bit of a poseur in this regard. I have never read Burke. I have read about Burke (and liked what I've read). He is however on my reading list.

I shouldn't have admitted that, after already having admitted not having read Goldberg's book, but just the review.

I do actually read books, though. Honest.

Big ones. With lots of multi-syllabic words. And no dialogue balloons.

Anonymous said...

Jews never do wrong. Don't listen to mosers like Phillip Weiss. Besides, Jonah Goldberg is not Jewish!!

Anonymous said...

I thought Goldberg was Episcopalian?

Someone hasn't read his Tom Wolfe.