Reading is fundamentalist

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 22, 2009

Beck mocks the "Ivy Leaguers" running the economy; Levin writes of the "legions of academics" who "serve as [the statists'] missionaries." Each of the authors assures you that these complicated issues are not actually complicated at all. A few simple and obvious principles are all you need to answer every policy question — and to feel justified in berating those who disagree.

3) They're not wrong — they're lying
But if the answers are so obvious, how is it that so many seemingly intelligent people in positions of authority can be so wrong?

Because it's more insidious than that, these writers say: our liberal leaders are not "wrong" — rather, they are lying.

Democrats don't actually believe that their policies will work, they write — nobody could be that stupid.

Beck repeatedly accuses liberals of lying in Common Sense. "The snakes responsible for this scheme know that it isn't going to work," he writes at one point. The thesis of Coulter's book is that liberal politicians (with their co-conspirators in the media) collude to destroy the reputations of all who stand in their way. (Coulter even insists that George W. Bush's infamous claim that Saddam Hussein was seeking yellowcake uranium from Niger was "indisputably true.")

Democrats use these lies to deceive Americans while concealing their true motivations, write Morris and McGann. The authors repeatedly claim that liberal policies — including the economic-stimulus package, immigration reform, and changing of unionization rules — are driven not by a desire to improve people's lives, but to turn them into government-dependent Democratic voters. Malkin declares that Obama's family, friends, associates, and appointees are corrupt and venal — every one of them.

Several of the authors claim that liberal leaders are pushing climate change concerns not because they fear for the planet, but because they want to increase government control over business and the economy. Levin adds a twist to this theory: liberals despise the automobile, which "provides the individual with a tangible means to exercise his independence through mobility." Clever statists.

4) Wool over their eyes
One last problem remains. These conservatives are big proponents of democracy, the wisdom of the people, and the constitutional process — and yet a solid majority of American voters chose Obama and a Democratic-dominated Congress. So, shouldn't we all accept the results and move forward? After all, it's not as though anyone can steal an American presidential election, right?

But these authors strongly imply that the liberals did pilfer the 2008 presidential contest — or rather, the media did, through its deliberately biased reporting. The public knew not what it did at the ballot box.

Goldberg's entire book is dedicated to this premise. Coulter, too, is out to demonstrate that "the liberal media behemoth" is guilty of deliberately sabotaging the right. All eight books treat the "mainstream media" as a vile tool of the left. Levin explicitly advises against using "the media" as a primary source of information.

Many of these books bemoan the media's treatment of Palin — but none as caustically as Palin herself. Going Rogue never goes long without a new potshot at journalists. During an account of her mayoral tenure, she tells of a woman who thought that one of Palin's children had been caught using drugs, when it was actually the child of another city's mayor. Palin is aghast at the woman for believing and repeating the false rumor. "It would be a few years," she writes, "before I learned that some people make a living and even earn prestigious awards for doing exactly that."

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