The Anti-Jonah Goldberg? He’s at it again today. See if you can make sense of this.
“I could swear that Matt Yglesias used to talk about how Ahmadinejad was ultimately reasonable. Now Ahmadinejad’s a really bad guy because he’s like . . . Sarah Palin.
Ahmadinejad is in most ways a classic right-winger, a demagogic nationalist and cultural conservative. In a manner somewhat reminiscent of a Sarah Palin, however, he clothes this right-wing politics in a language of class resentment, painting his more pragmatic and reformist opponents as decadent elites out of touch with ordinary people. Unlike the populists of the American right, however, he merges this rhetoric with something resembling an actual populist economic agenda. The main element has been the use of oil revenue to expand the state sector of the economy in an attempt to distribute wealth more broadly throughout the country. This approach has gained Ahmadinejad a loyal following among the rural poor and public employees, but Iran’s objective economic performance has been disappointing, even during the great oil boom years.
Daniel Halper responds:
Yes, Yglesias is referring to the same Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who calls for Israel to be wiped off the map, who denies the existence of the Holocaust, who calls Jews (whoops, Zionists) the “true manifestation of Satan,” and so on. But the main distinction between Ahmadinejad from Palin? The former is in favor of redistributing the wealth, which automatically makes him better than Palin in Yglesias’s mind.”
Oy. I gotta give him credit: Jonah knows how to format a blog post better than I do (and if anyone would like to share their insights on formatting issues, I’d be eternally grateful). But I don’t understand why Jonah publishes what is essentially a non sequitur in response to Yglesias’s observation. Granted, he didn’t write it, but he implicity endorses Halper’s misreading. I mean, go read Yglesias’s article yourselves. Saying that Ahmadinejad backs up his populist posturing with a touch of actual economic populism isn’t an endorsement of Ahmadinejad. And it certainly doesn’t “automatically make him better than Palin in Yglesias’s mind.”
Halper is misleading his readers at best, and outright lying at to them worst. Jonah sits back and nods his fat head.
(His head really is kind of fat. I Googled it.)