The Goldberg Variations

by Michael Bérubé on December 19, 2007

The landmark publication of Jonah Goldberg’s <a href=””><i>Liberal Fascism: A Sourcebook for Blog Snark</i></a> has set me to wondering: where have I seen this kind of thing before? And then it hit me . . . it’s <a href=”″><i>The End of Racism</i></a> for the post-9/11 world!

It’s making me kinda nostalgic. You see, back in the 90s, before I became pen pals with David Horowitz, my very favorite wingnut and BFF was Dinesh D’Souza. And with good reason: he was a crossover phenomenon, breaking out of his obscurity in the middle of the Regnery list (in 1984, they published his <a href=”″>first book</a>, a praise song for Jerry Falwell) and placing a 10,000-word excerpt from <a href=”″><i>Illiberal Education</i></a> in the March 1991 issue of the <i>Atlantic Monthly</i>. He followed up the monster success of that book with <i>The End of Racism</i>, a 750-page tome I called, in my review of the book, “the D’Souza <i>Ulysses.</i>” (I can’t believe he never used that as a pull quote. Ingrate.) And the reason <i>The End of Racism</i> leaps to mind as a Goldberg variation, even though there is no clear evidence that Cheetos were involved in the composition of D’Souza’s magnum opus, is that both books rely on precisely the same gambit: just as Hitler and McCarthy have lately emerged as men of the left, their influence on contemporary liberalism descried at last, so too, twelve years ago, did D’Souza show that Franz Boas and W. E. B. DuBois were the <i>real</i> racists. Having established that much, he exposed contemporary liberals for what they really are:

<blockquote>Increasingly it appears that it is liberal antiracism that is based on ignorance and fear: ignorance of the true nature of racism, and fear that the racist point of view better explains the world than its liberal counterpart. </blockquote>

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Belgium: time out of the political crisis

by Ingrid Robeyns on December 19, 2007

192 days after the federal elections, the Belgian federal politicians have finally agreed on a government. Yet it is not an ordinary government – rather, an emergency government which will only last for three months. The politicians prefer the term ‘interim government’, but that conceals the fact that the country is still faced with a political crisis. Guy Verhofstadt, who was the prime minister for the last 8 years, has managed to deblock the negotiations crisis and has managed in about two weeks time to form such an interim or emergency government. He will lead the emergency government which will only last for three months and will have two main agenda points. The government’s first task is to deal with some urgent socio-economic and political problems that require the presence of a government will full legal authority (including the authority to decide on the 2008 federal budget). Its second task is to pave the way for the next government which should be formed by the end of March 2008, by starting negotiations about the state reform between the different communities.
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