Remember when Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism was on the NYT Bestsellers list and — while doing his best to blow off his critics — Goldberg could be found everywhere explaining that fascism and Nazism were in fact really left-wing phenomena?

So you have to wonder how Goldberg explains a guy like Tony Zirkle: good conservative Republican running for Congress in Indiana’s 2nd District who decides to show up and talk at the Hitler’s Birthday celebration held by the local chapter of the NSM.

You may recall one of our main questions regarding Goldberg’s text:

How does he account for the continuing presence — from the 1920s up through the present — of definably fascist groups, not just American entities like the Ku Klux Klan, the Christian Identity movement, the Posse Comitatus, the Aryan Nations, the National Alliance, Hammerskin Nation, and White Aryan Resistance (to name just a few), but also European groups like Vlaams Belang and Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front, all of whom are clearly right-wing political entities? Doesn’t this lay waste to his claim that fascism is "a phenomenon of the left"?

Zirkle himself feigned a certain ignorance about the nature of the group he talked to, which indicates he read Jonah’s book:

When asked if he was a Nazi or sympathized with Nazis or white supremacists, Zirkle replied he didn’t know enough about the group to either favor it or oppose it.

This is just a great opportunity for me to witness," he said, referring to his message and his Christian belief.

He also told WIMS radio in Michigan City that he didn’t believe the event he attended included people necessarily of the Nazi mindset, pointing out the name isn’t Nazi, but Nationalist Socialist Workers Party.

No, I guess he didn’t read Jonah, who does make a big thing out of that fact that "Nazi" is just short for "National Socialist."

But it’s obvious he in fact fits right in with his audience:

An account of the gathering on says "Zirkle spoke on his history as a state’s attorney in Indiana, prosecuting Jewish and Zionist criminal gangs involved in trafficking prostitutes and pornography from Russia and the Zionist entity.”

… Zirkle said he feels he was misunderstood. His real mission, he said, is to rid the country of pornography, and that’s what he was saying at the ANSWP gathering. So how did his comment about Jews fit in?

"Most of the male porn stars were Jewish at the beginning," Zirkle explained.

I’m sure Goldberg will explain that this is just another case of a Republican being seduced by liberal propaganda.

David Neiwert

David Neiwert

David Neiwert is the managing editor of Firedoglake. He's a freelance journalist based in Seattle and the author/editor of the blog Orcinus. He also is the author of Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community (Palgrave/St. Martin's Press, June 2005), as well as Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America (Palgrave/St. Martin's, 2004), and In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest (1999, WSU Press). His reportage for on domestic terrorism won the National Press Club Award for Distinguished Online Journalism in 2000.