Jonah Goldberg was syndicated in the Tribune. He might still be, but I gave up reading the Tribune editorial page a while ago. Anyway, back when I read him in the Tribune I was continually struck by how stupid he was. I mean, I know that it's not nice to call people names, but it boggles my mind that this guy makes money as a political thinker. Because, seriously, he's really really really dumb. As evidence of that, I'd like to point you to this incredibly stupid article:
If only the Founding Fathers had included an annual “Tyranny Day” in the Constitution. Every 364 days America could debate and scheme, pitting faction against faction, and on the 365th day the Supreme Soviet of the U.S. could simply “do things that are tough” and shove 10 pounds of policy awesomeness into democracy’s 5-pound bag.
You know what he's talking about? Tom Friedman admires how China banned those damn plastic bags. In other words, give me cheap, shitty plastic bags that will be in landfills when our grandchildren are dead, or give me death!
At first, I thought it was stupid because the American government, in lots of different political environments, bans things all the time. Child labor, for example, or arsenic in drinking water. The government banning things is how they get to be illegal.
But, I am a dirty fucking hippie who hates those bags, so in the interest of fairness, I'll try to delve more closely into Goldberg's arguments.
Tom Friedman (whom I mostly know as the guy who told the Iraqi people to "suck on this" and predicted the successul consummation of the Iraq war would happen in six months... and made that prediction every six months for about five years) put forth a clearly liberal argument. See? Liberal argument? See? It's liberal, so this is definitely also Barack Obama's position and any moment Fuhror Obama will be issuing an edict banning plastic bags because he said that investing in a green economy would create jobs, without a single thought to the people who make all those plastic bags who are probably Chinese. There's no point in looking too closely at the minutia of our legislative process (e.g., how it's Congress who make and pass law, not presidents). Barack Obama, you see, is arrogant because Tom Friedman thinks banning plastic bags would be a good idea which is the same thing as thinking that investing in green economy creates jobs. See?
God. Do you really not get this? Barack Obama is a tyrant because banning plastic bags is tyrannical and they didn't even really do that in China but Tom Friedman wants to do that, which means he's way more tyrannical than the Chinese government and this also means that Barack Obama will do that and then we won't have any plastic bags and Jonah Goldberg totally read somewhere that there was increased bacteria on reusable bags (if you didn't read the article, it's worth noting that I did not make up this compelling argument for the continued use of cheap, shitty plastic bags).
Lookit: Jonah Goldberg is a dumb guy. And he's a guy taken seriously by Washington insiders, I think, because his mother used to write stuff. I'm pretty sure he constructs his arguments in crayon. But, he still makes a healthy living espousing his stupid, stupid arguments.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, only got to be Head Tyrant In Charge because he had the good fortune to be a black guy.