Kevin D. Williamson: The Brendan Eich Case Brings Out the Nature of Liberal FascismPosted: April 6, 2014
The Liberal Gulag
Kevin D. Williamson writes: The word “liberal” has taken a beating over the last few days: A Mozilla executive was hounded out of his position at the firm he co-founded by left-wing campaigners resolved to punish him for having made a donation to a successful California ballot initiative that defined marriage in traditional terms; Adam Weinstein, whose downwardly mobile credibility has taken him from ABC toGawker, called for literally imprisoning people with the wrong views about global warming, writing, “Those malcontents must be punished and stopped”; Mr. Weinstein himself was simply forwarding a dumbed-down-enough-for-Gawkerversion of the arguments of philosophy professor Lawrence Torcello; Katherine Timpf, a reporter for Campus Reform, faced a human barricade to keep her from asking questions of those attending a feminist leadership conference, whose organizers informed her that the group was “inclusive” and therefore she was “not welcome here”; Charles Murray, one of the most important social scientists of his generation, was denounced as a “known white supremacist” by Texas Democrats for holding heterodox views about education policy; national Democrats spent the week arguing for the anti-free-speech side of a landmark First Amendment case and the anti-religious-freedom side of a case involving the Religious Freedom Restoration Act; Lois Lerner, the Left’s best friend at the IRS, faces contempt charges related to her role in the Democrats’ coopting the IRS as a weapon against their political enemies; Harry Reid, a liberal champion of campaign-finance reform, was caught channeling tens of thousands of dollars to his granddaughter while conspicuously omitting her surname, which is also his surname, from official documents, cloaking the transaction, while one of his California colleagues, a liberal champion of gun control, was indicted on charges of running guns to an organized-crime syndicate.
[Order Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning” from Amazon]
The convocation of clowns on the left screeched with one semi-literate and inchoate voice when my colleague Jonah Goldberg, borrowing the precise words of one of their own, titled a book Liberal Fascism. Most of them didn’t read it, but the ones who did apparently took what was intended as criticism and read it as a blueprint for political action.
Welcome to the Liberal Gulag.
That term may be perverse, but it is not an exaggeration. Mr. Weinstein specifically called for political activists, ranging from commentators to think-tank researchers, to be locked in cages as punishment for their political beliefs. “Those denialists should face jail,” he wrote. “You still can’t” — banality alert! — “yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. You shouldn’t be able to yell ‘balderdash’ at 10,883 scientific journal articles a year.” “Balderdash” — a felony. At the risk of being repetitious, let’s dwell on that for a minute: The Left is calling on people to be prosecuted for speaking their minds regarding their beliefs on an important public-policy question that is, as a political matter, the subject of hot dispute. That is the stuff of Soviet repression.
But then Soviet-style repression has long been a dream of the American Left. Consider the abuses of psychiatry that were the great hallmark of the Soviet way, and then consider that there is a cottage industry today among left-wing psychiatrists arguing that conservative political views represent a form of mental disorder. That psychiatric approach to suppressing dissent has spread quickly through the intellectual sewers of the Left, with writers everywhere from Daily Kosto Salon diagnosing instances of “RWA” — right-wing authoritarian — disorder among their political rivals. Robert Altemeyer, the father of this asinine school of so-called thought, denies that there exists such a thing as a left-wing authoritarian….(read more)
— Kevin D. Williamson is roving correspondent for National Review.
CORRECTION: The original version of this piece contained a factual error: The disclosure of Mr. Eich’s Proposition 8 donation was not part of the IRS leak of NOM’s tax records. NOM organized the Proposition 8 campaign, and its records were indeed leaked by the IRS, but Mr. Eich’s donation was to Proposition 8 itself rather than to NOM, and therefore was not part of the IRS’s recent campaign of lawlessness and political retribution.
- Gay Conservatives Agree: The Gangster-Style Ouster Of Mozilla CEO By Rabid Gay Activists Isn’t A Gay Rights Issue At All (mikesright.wordpress.com)
- Mozilla Dumps CEO Because He Donated $1000 to Proposition 8 (godfatherpolitics.com)
- Brendan Eich: A Warning Shot and Call to Arms (varight.com)
- Lay-Off Eich, Man – From The Washington Examiner: ‘Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Forced To Resign For Supporting Traditional Marriage Laws’ (aleksandreia.com)
- A Successful IRS Hit: How the Mozilla Purge Is a First Amendment Issue (politicaloutcast.com)
- Today’s Most Ominous News Story… [Updated] (powerlineblog.com)
- Brendan Eich Steps Down as Mozilla CEO (tracks.ranea.org)
- Paul Revere’s Daily News Brief – 4.6.2014 (19april1775.wordpress.com)
- Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Also Contributed To Anti-Gay GOP Candidates (towleroad.com)
- Media feeding frenzy (christopherfountain.wordpress.com)