Michael Ledeen thinks Barack Obama is a fascist. Which sounds kind of silly, but then, well, I guess Ledeen would know from fascism. Ha ha that is funny joke. Or not.

Ledeen’s "argument," such as it is, is that Newsweek is wrong to say that "We’re All Socialists Now," because socialists don’t want to abolish private property, like Obama doesn’t. Instead, Obama just wants to do stuff like limit the amount of money executives of financial firms can take home if they accept federal bailout money, which is exactly the sort of thing Mussolini did, not to mention FDR, who was exactly the same as Mussolini. Huzzah! Ledeen then takes a bow, and all the monkeys applaud and gibber and gleefully defecate.

This is so much poo-flinging. Ledeen says the reason nobody wants to call Obama a "fascist" is that everyone except himself is an idiot and therefore uses the term as an "epithet," when really it’s just the accurate term for anything proposed in the 1930s that wasn’t either laissez-faire capitalism or Bolshevism. But that’s stupid, as is the whole dumb Jonah Goldbergian premise. Mussolini did not invent corporatism; the Catholic Church did. Nobody who is serious about history or indeed anything but poo-flinging would exclude from the definition of "fascism" the casual brutality, mindless nationalism, worship of physical force, and contempt for the rule of law. Fascism should be an epithet, which is why it’s used as such, and why people like Ledeen ball up their tiny fists in adorable rage when it’s applied to them. But if the jackbooties fit, you know?

For years the Monkeys of Wingnuttia howled and howled about how the Bush administration posed no threat, no threat at all to civil liberties, and was not, no most certainly not, engaged in fearmongering in order to put through stuff like the ability to wiretap whoever they liked without anything even remotely like oversight. So it’s more than a little rich now in February, 2009 to start shrieking about Il Duce in the fucking stimulus bill.

See also Roy.