One of the leitmotifs of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism is the shell game that “progressives” (more on the scare quotes in a few moments) use to transfer bad decisions of progressives and liberals of the past to American history as a whole. FDR’s decision to inter Japanese-Americans during World War II? America’s shame. Eugenics? It was embraced wholeheartedly (and then some) by such early progressives as Margaret Sanger, Woodrow Wilson, H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, and John Maynard Keynes. And was rejected wholesale by the Catholic Church and religious conservatives such as G.K. Chesterton. Despite that, as Jonah notes in Liberal Fascism, quoting Yale historian and professor of surgery Sherwin Nuland, Nuland and other writers at the New Republic and similar left-wing publications are convinced that “Eugenics was a creed that appealed to social conservatives, who were pleased to blame poverty and crime on heredity.”

JFK’s death in 1963, by a lone Capital-C Communist? America’s collective racist shame. In 2004, John Kerry tried to pass the buck on the Vietnam War from LBJ to Nixon. And on and on…

There are multiple reasons for that. The first is the shell game that Jonah describes above. The second is that for many people, the online world didn’t arrive in full until broadband reached their home, which started to happen around 1999 to the early naughts. (If I’m recalling the year correctly, my Northern California neighborhood didn’t get cable modem access until the spring of 1999, and we were pretty early adopters.)  The political Blogosphere didn’t fully arrive until the arrival of Instapundit in August of 2001, and the rapid growth of blogs on both sides of the aisle in the wake of 9/11. (If you’ll recall back then in those pre-MSNBC days, neither side liked the “objective” establishment-liberal tone of the MSM — for the right, that tone was too left-leaning and too reflexively anti-Republican; for the fightin’ left, that tone was too wimpy and bland.)

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