Tag Archives: Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg. Need I Say More?

There isn’t anything to quibble with in this excellent (really, as always) post from Conor Friedersdorf, who is guest blogging at Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish this week, and that’s not just because he takes down Jonah Goldberg.  I suppose the one thing that I consistently disagree with in Friedersdorf’s writing is that he’s a conservative — but that’s okay! I would love to have more sane conservative pundits to read and write about.

We should expect — and in fact need — those of opposing view points in the world.  The problem is, the vast majority of conservatives airing their thoughts today are hardly worthy of the term.  Their airheads. They’re not part of a loyal opposition. Like Jonah Goldberg.  Who is so confused that he thinks Bob Shrum is a great liberal pundit.

Bob Shrum has been around the Democratic block. That much is true.   But come on.  The guy is the least successful prime-time Dem in the country! He’s literally helped to run the campaigns of all of the Democratic Party’s greatest losers! I wouldn’t go to Bob Shrum if I needed advice on what to buy for my cat this Christmas.  As Friedersdorf says in rebuttal (not to this point, but to Goldberg’s assertion that the Week publishes “weak” — read not crazy tea partiers/Sarah Palin fans — conservatives next to “strong” liberals, but on point nonetheless):

Perhaps Mr. Goldberg’s post was actually a call for The Week to keep on David Frum, Will Wilkinson, and Daniel Larison, and to pair them with more intellectually honest folks from the left — let them square off against Kevin Drum, Brad Plumber and Kerry Howley. I’d certainly welcome the change, since I am ultimately interested in good journalism and a robust public discourse than short term partisan advantages, but it sure seems like Mr. Goldberg was bemoaning the absence of a right-wing version of Bob Shrum.

Which is precisely the idea that is frequently discussed in the liberal blogosphere.  There are so many great liberal minds out there — Bob Shrum is not one of them.  If there is to be a good political conversation going on in this country, it should be one between the likes of David Frum and Kevin Drum*, not between Bill Kristol and Tom Friedman.

*Wow. Shrum, Frum, and Drum. How weird.


I Was Probably Called Unpatriotic Atleast 100 Times

Jason Linkins reminds us why we are all so shocked that Republicans having been throwing “We want Obama to fail” around so cavalierly:


Courtesy of Sadly, No!

I really don’t object to conservatives saying they’d like Obama’s economic policies to fail.  If Obama succeeds their irrelevancy will have further deepened — and their own economic ideas will be fully repudiated.  I would just appreciate it if they’d try and be less ironic about the whole thing.

Jonah Goldberg is a Douchebag

This guy is too stupid for me to relent.  Consider this to be a running segment.

This one comes to us from way back in August 2008.  When Mr. Goldberg took it upon himself to poke fun at all over those liberals who were hankering for a recession but just weren’t getting one! I recall having the bad luck of reading this op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch whilst eating breakfast.  Let’s just say I had to stop reading lest I lose said breakfast.

Anyway, here’s what Mr. Goldberg had to say about the dire tone the Democratic Convention adopted toward the economic climate:

The US economy — yes, that economy — grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate last quarter. This no doubt caused consternation at the highest levels of the Democratic Party, perhaps forcing some to consider a new convention film at the last minute: “Dude, Where’s My Recession?”

To hear the Democrats at their convention this week, you’d get the sense that a recession is merely a technical term for the worst human misery ever visited upon a once-great people.

I have a great news for Jonah.  He can finally sleep soundly knowing that those Democrats were right.

The recession began TWELVE MONTHS AGO, a full 8 months before he wrote that blathering idiot of a column.  According to the New York Times, while evidence of a recession has been around for months now, we have confirmation today that the recession actually started in December of 2007.

The sad thing is that Goldberg wasn’t the only one crying wolf.  He was one of many Conservatives who were sure that the US wasn’t going through a recession (cough, Phil Gramm, cough).  How nice to have some vindication today.

Jonah Goldberg is a Douchebag

For reason’s unknown, the Columbus Dispatch prints his column.  Today’s was an excellent example of why he is a huge idiot. If I went one on one with Jonah Goldberg, I’d hope he’d bring more than that to the table.

In an effort to call him out, I sent him a very long email.  Reprinted here for your reading pleasure:

Dear Mr. Goldberg —

Every time I read one of your columns, I wonder whether you actually believe what you are writing, of if you only have some space to fill and a deadline to meet.  Because, without fail, you seem to conjure up huge contradictions in the arguments you make, without apparent irony.

Take for example your assertion in today’s (November 11, 2008) column:

The Republican Party is different. It says to voters, if you believe seven, eight or even 10 out of the 10 things we believe, you should be a Republican. Obviously, there are coalitions on the right and ideologues on the left, but I think the generalization remains valid.

If you are arguing that to be a member of a political party requires adhering to a set of beliefs, as it seems you believe liberals lack, what is the use of asserting that to be a Republican you need only adhere to 7 or 8 out of 10 core beliefs? (Perhaps, to back up your assertion, you should have let your readers know just what those 10 tenets of Republicanism are — or are they such a mystery right now that you really, really didn’t know?)  Arguably, then, to be a progressive, one need only adhere to 7 or 8 of the 10 or so principles of the Democratic Party.  Which 7 or 8 shouldn’t matter — if your ideological conceit holds.

Thus, a person who voted for Barack Obama might believe in a progressive tax system, but not believe in a woman’s right to choose.  He or she might not believe in the death penalty, but believe strongly in same-sex marriage.  They would be welcome in Obama’s Democratic Party.

It would follow then, that to have voted for John McCain on November 4th, you would believe in about 3/4 of the 10 tenets of Republicanism.  But that’s doesn’t sound right.  From all of the right-wing commentary this fall, I’d come to believe that unless you adhered strictly to all of those 10 tenets (I’m still waiting for you to enumerate them for your readers) you were an apostate (see the flogging David Frum, Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, Christopher Buckley, et al. received for daring to suppose that Sarah Palin’s conservative base-ism might not be the right strategy for the Party’s greater good).  That you might be an economic conservative with a distate for the Party’s evangelical lean seemed beyond the pale for the likes of your Corner.

The difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party isn’t so much of a fancy linguistic turnaround (“As a matter of practical politics, contemporary liberalism amounts to a coalitional ideology, while conservatism remains an ideological coalition.”).  The Democratic Party spent eight years (perhaps more if you count the co-opting Clinton years) lost in the wilderness, eventually regrouping to unify and win 364 electoral votes and solidifying majorities in Congress, while the GOP spent eight years phoning it in, unpressed to come up with a single compelling reason to continue the Bush experiment.  While Dick Cheney was tearing apart the Constitution in the name of conservativism, your ilk need only have giggled heartily from the offices of the National Review, watching any semblence of your true ideological movement go up in flames.

Forgive me.  I’ve read your columns enough and restrained myself from responding to you, lest I go on to long with the laundry list of reasons why I believe you are completely and utterly wrong.  And so, knowing we have “ideological” differences too great to bridge, I will end there.

I would love to live in a world where intellectual conservativism lives up to the same standard as progressive intellectualism.  But that might be a fancy linguistic turnaround too great for the likes of yourself and your ilk (I’m thinking of William Kristol, in particular) to bear.


Courtney Howard

I know I should probably take Hilzoy’s advice (via Andrew Sullivan) and let it go.  But I just couldn’t this time:

Until last Tuesday, I felt I had to take arguments made at, say, The Corner somewhat seriously. They were, after all, arguments that were likely to be taken seriously by people in charge of our government, and by some voters. Starting now, though, that changes.