Jonah Goldberg has a piece in yesterday’s USA Today defending television loudmouth Glenn Beck from his critics. In the course of his piece, Goldberg takes a swipe at Pat Buchanan for not being a Republican and for writing a revisionist history of the start of World War II, making the same sort of arguments that used to be made in books published by such conservative publishers as Regnery and Devin-Adair.
Since Buchanan is not one of those criticizing Beck, he is completely irrelevant to Goldberg’s piece. But he is not irrelevant to Goldberg’s larger purpose, which is to drive from the scene anyone to the right of National Review. Indeed, Goldberg also praises Beck and Limbaugh for being “more cheerful—and more responsible—warriors than the populist right-wingers of yesteryear.” The clearest evidence that Beck and Limbaugh and indeed the tea parties pose no real threat to the governing elite is Goldberg’s praise for them.
But Goldberg’s piece is not without humor, albeit unintentional. He praises Beck for getting “people to read serious books,” a reference to Goldberg’s own Liberal Fascism, a silly book that has inspired Beck to rant and rave about the “fascist” messages being conveyed by the art and architecture of Rockefeller Plaza. A movement with Goldberg as its leading thinker, and Beck as its most visible mouthpiece, deserves the obscurity to which it is heading.