As Jonah Goldberg releases his new book The Tyranny of Cliches this week, the latest issue of Commentary magazine offers a plug. Reviewer Jonathan Neumann tells us Goldberg has “done the conservative layman a great favor by laying bare the true purpose of these maddening shibboleths of the left.”

Which shibboleths, you ask? “Violence never solved anything. Diversity is strength. We’re only as free as the least free among us. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”

Vexed by what he calls the “argument-that-isn’t-and-argument,” Goldberg leads his reader chapter by chapter through a series of these manipulative conservation-stoppers. In a chapter on “Social Justice,” he demonstrates how that catchphrase is used as a two-word validation for liberal policy, even though no one ever bothers to elucidate the precise meaning of the term. In his examination of “The Separation of Church and State” — a phrase that has come to refer to the need to cleanse the public square of any religious stain — what offends Goldberg is the two-facedness of those who use it. On the one hand, John Kerry in 2004 deployed the need to separate church and state to justify his personal opposition to abortion and his political support for the “pro-choice” position. On the other, Kerry happily used his faith to explain his motivation for his “fight against poverty” and his “fight for equality and justice.” In this way, the tyranny of clichés allows liberals not simply to escape the “war of ideas,” but, as Goldberg says, to “cheat” — for clichés are designed to discredit, rather than counter, the very basis of the counterargument.

You’ll note a hint of the same theme in this clip from a September 2009 interview Goldberg granted to Carolina Journal Radio/