- The Washington Times - Monday, August 23, 2004


Victor Gold

WND Books, $15.99, 210 pages

Victor Gold is that rarity among conservatives,amanof strongly held opinions who also has a (sometimes warped) sense of humor. He also has the abilities to think clearly, needle deftly and write funnily.

All of these traits, especially the needling deftly, are displayed in “Liberwocky: What Liberals Say and What They Really Mean,” a light piece of political puffery he has written, whose title is a take-off on the “Jabberwocky” verse in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass,” which you may remember is the sequel to “Alice in Wonderland.”

Before going farther I should point out that I have been a friend of Vic Gold for 40 years, going back to when he was a deputy press secretary for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and I was one of a horde of reporters covering that benighted campaign.

In the intervening years, Mr. Gold also has dabbled in public relations and been, among other things, press secretary to former Vice President Spiro Agnew, as well as a friend of and speech writer for George H.W. Bush. In recent years, he has been the national correspondent for Washingtonian magazine.

At heart, though, Mr. Gold is a Reaganite who ranks the late president second only on his all-time list of greats to Bear Bryant, the equally late University of Alabama football coach. Mr. Gold lives and dies with Alabama football, which means that over the last few years he has spent a lot of time dying.

However, conservatives will be glad to know that he has resuscitated himself enough in the off season to sneer and snicker in print at liberals in general and at Hillary Clinton in particular. Mr. Gold has unearthed his own version of Mrs. Clinton’s “secret diary,” which, he would have us believe, includes her conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt and her admission that she once threw a priceless Wedgwood vase at her husband. “Nothing I’m ashamed of other than the fact that I missed the [expletive deleted],” she writes.

“Liberals,” Mr. Gold notes at the beginning, “(once you resist the temptation to take them seriously) can be a load of laughs.” And laugh at them he does, contrasting them, not always favorably, with the characters and conversations in “Through the Looking Glass.”

Much of that book, Mr. Gold explains early on to those of us who haven’t read it since we were very young, though written as a children’s story “is comic allegory aimed at liberal cant.” Humpty Dumpty, for instance, was really a take-off on the liberal British Prime Minister William E. Gladstone.

Mr. Gold uses two quotes to illustrate Humpty Dumpty’s similarity to Bill Clinton. Humpty Dumpty: “When I use a word it means exactly what I choose it to mean — no more, no less.”

Bill Clinton: “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

Since Mr. Gold has dreamed up the words “liberwock” and “liberwocky,” he is free also to define them. “Liberwock” has three definitions. A liberwock is a tunnel-visioned liberal, or a member of an aberrant political movement, or a left-wing ideologue “who stays up nights tormented by the thought that somewhere, somehow a white middle-class American male might be enjoying life.”

Liberwocky is the “special jargon or code peculiar to this movement.”

The author spends the bulk of the book listing and defining the words and phrases of the liberwock jargon. A random example is his definition of “spin.” It is, “That which conservative White House spokesmen do when interpreting the news; not to be confused with ‘interpretive reporting,’ that which Liberal journalists do when spinning the news.”

He also lists six myths with which liberals comfort themselves. These are: The Republican Party is racist; Richard Nixon was an anti-Semite; Bill Clinton could have been elected to a third term; Jimmy Carter is a great elder statesman; the Cuban Missile Crisis ended as an American victory; and Watergate was a Nixonian plot to subvert the Constitution and establish a police state.

Mr. Gold might have added a few more to his list, such as: Ronald Reagan was an amiable dunce; and Mikhail Gorbachevsingle-handedly ended the Cold War.

Political myths, however, are like political truths, as I am sure Mr. Gold would be among the first to admit. They are largely in the eye of the beholder.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats — with the possible exception of those whom the author needles — should take “Liberwocky” too seriously. But, as I mention in an endorsement on the book’s back cover, it should be of help to members of both parties — helping Republicans to know their enemy and Democrats to know themselves.

And in both cases that is not all bad.

Lyn Nofziger, a Washington writer, served as a political adviser to President Ronald Reagan.

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