The liberal gulag

The Left should be feeling, at the very least, ashamed. As Andrew Sullivan noted, its crusade for absolute conformity with and submission to some version of virtue as understood by its members calls to mind the worst tendencies of the old Religious Right, even if those tendencies mostly existed in the imagination of Andrew Sullivan. The intellectual stultification on display is remarkable. The Left’s most energetic foot soldiers today are MFA dropouts who are too stupid to tell a genuine Sarah Palin quote from a Tina Fey line and spend their idle afternoons (one gets the feeling there is a surplus of them) sharing Snopes-discredited political memes on Facebook and discussing last night’s Jon Stewart show. The bovine instincts of the stampeding herd that surrounded Miss Timpf would embarrass anybody capable of embarrassment. Being on the wrong side of two First Amendment issues at the same time ought to be cause for some critical examination among our so-called progressives, but their omphaloskepsistic contemplation of the unrivaled virtue they perceive in themselves protects their intellects, such as they are, from the discomfort of contact with noncomformist ideas…

“They think that to be a Fascist you must have some sort of shirt uniform, must drill and goose-step, must have a demonstrative salute, must hate the Jews, and believe in dictatorship,” John T. Flynn wrote many years ago. Mr. Flynn was an America First founder who had a high-profile falling out with the editors of this magazine back in 1955, but he offered some fruitful insights: “Fascism is not the result of dictatorship. . . . Dictatorship is the product of Fascism.” Mr. Flynn probably would not be surprised to see the Left coming around — again — on hating Jews, even if Occupy rituals have replaced the traditional pseudo-Roman salute. Their shirts come in many colors, but their true colors never change: an ugly, ignorant, power-hungry mob utterly committed to crushing dissent by any means it can. Mr. Weinstein and his ilk want to put us in camps, and crass totalitarians of similar stripe may be found everywhere from the executive suites at Mozilla to the halls of power at the IRS. It’s a shameful spectacle, and an unworthy one.