I know, it's too easy to go after Jonah Goldberg for all the ridiculousness that is his book Liberal Fascism But this, from his interview with Salon, is just too funny:

Alex Koppelman: You write, "[Liberalism] is definitely totalitarian -- or 'holistic,' if you prefer -- in that liberalism today sees no realm of human life that is beyond political significance, from what you eat to what you smoke to what you say. Sex is political. Food is political. Sports, entertainment, your inner motives and outer appearance, all have political salience for liberal fascists."

Couldn't that just as easily be said of the American right? You've got, certainly, conservatives judging entertainment from political perspectives; I remember discussion on [National Review group blog] the Corner of the 2006 Steelers-Seahawks Super Bowl through a political lens. There were "Freedom Fries" and boycotts of French food and wine. And, I mean, your wife worked for [former Attorney General] John Ashcroft, so you know that on the right, sex can certainly be political.

Jonah Goldberg: I will first stipulate right upfront that I agree with you that there are lots of places on the right where this is so, and I don't like that stuff either ... That said, I don't think that the equation between liberalism and conservatism goes as far as you would like to take it. You know, you have environmental groups giving out kits and instructions about how to have environmentally conscious sex. You don't have conservative groups talking about what kind of condoms you should use or what positions you can be in. That kind of thing doesn't really go on.

It's at times like this that a blogger faces a dilemma. Just what is the proper tone to take? Are the words so self-evidently, head-spinningly absurd that it is sufficient to merely quote them? Or must one gather one's powers of ridicule and thrust forth with all one's might to properly respond to Jonah's contention that the political right in America doesn't really want to get into your bedroom, that the politicization of sex is really just the province of the left?

I must admit, I'm rendered speechless. I would just note for the record that Jonah's column runs in over 60 newspapers.

--Paul Waldman

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