Glenn Reynolds, Dr. Helen and Jonah Goldberg shared (in my opinion) some utterly dubious reasoning and extremist ideas in an interview via Dr. Helen's page with Goldberg regarding his new book, "Liberal Fascism." (Thanks to Katie for linking to the interview at Knoxville Talks. Normally I do not seek out that trio's output, as scattered readings revealed to me there was little of value, for me anyway, to discover in their offerings. Others find great value to such, an idea which stoked my notions of writing about what I encountered.)
The book is on the verge of publication and numerous online writers have already ripped into it. I have not read the book, only a few excerpts, however the above-linked interview pretty much revealed the "thinking" of the author and no, I would not want to read it. It falls into the vast pantheon of revisionist historical wingnuttery which continues to flourish in our current age. And I do not mean this post to be a virulent screed against the trio - more that it is a good example of bad practices in punditry.
In essence, Goldberg takes his particular worldview-goggles and peers backward, cherry-picking the events and language of the past in order to bolster his views that Democrats and Liberal politics virtually destroyed America and only the Rise of the Neo-Conservative has saved us from oblivion.
He also embraces an already well-known bit of fakery on the internet - making use of Godwin's Law, which states that the longer an online discussion continues, there will inevitably occur the invocation of Hitler and Nazis to the topic discussed. Judging from the trio's discussion and several excerpts from his book, he takes that Law as primary to his thesis. He also says title came from writer/social activist H.G. Wells and that Wells was a founding father of the modern American Liberal Democrat.
Wells was certainly a Utopian, though his novels tended more to show the failings of Utopias and the destructive elements of human nature. He was certainly well-regarded in the early days of the 20th century, but Goldberg's elevation of his status is problematic at best.
Goldberg's propositions involve creation of an argument, which may be provocative but are more "academic," meaning
At one point in the trio's conversation, Reynolds compares former president Jimmy Carter's appearance on TV in a sweater urging Americans to turn down their thermostats to an act of Fascism and "at least it wasn't a brown sweater". Oddly tortured turns of metaphor often arise in the trio's discussion. Another is the concept from Goldberg noting that Hitler was a vegetarian and hence all current interest in healthy foods and vegetarianism is somehow related to following ideals of Hitler's National Socialism.
You can listen to the interview (linked above in the 2nd paragraph) for yourself and hear the trio's faux logic. It's a common trait among many popular Neo-Con pundits - Ann Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannity and others: be outlandish, be histrionic, constantly repeat your points so that others must use your language to debate your topic, and claim that elitist Leftist madmen are trying to silence your viewpoint.
For myself, when I notice a particular political argument must always have An Enemy Which Must Be Defeated as it's basis, I find the argument based more on fantasy than reality. It's as if the first action of such a view is to destroy all things not in agreement, a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. And such agents of argument have sadly risen to prominence, praising the self-determined individual while demanding obedience to a particular dogma
Your views may vary.