In case you missed it earlier today Ezra Klein, the uber-liberal Washington Post blogger who has no problem appearing on news networks while claiming to be a health care reporter (integrity!), slammed Rand Paul as an extremist because of his objections to certain provisions of the 1964 civil rights act. What makes Paul and extremist according to Klein? Well here’s what he has to say:
So I take Paul at his word that he’s not a racist. What he is, however, is an ideological extremist. He is so categorically opposed to public regulation of private enterprise that he cannot even bring himself to say that the Woolworth lunch counter should’ve been desegregated. Instead, he falls back on the remedies of the market: “I wouldn’t attend, wouldn’t support, wouldn’t go to,” a private institution that discriminates, he told Rachel Maddow. But he would let them discriminate.
Basically Ezra is claiming that since Rand Paul is ideologically consistent even in uncomfortable situations where many would not be that makes him ideologically extreme. Ok… that’s fine. We can go with that definition if Ezra likes.
Unfortunately for him, if we do go with that definition, that makes Ezra an “ideological extremist”. Take for instance this post from his days at the American Prospect entitled “Nazi Ideas“:
I’m with Jane Galt on this one: Not everything the Nazis touched was bad. Hitler was a vegetarian. Volkswagen is a perfectly good car company. Universal health care is a perfectly good idea. Indeed, the Nazis actually did a pretty good job increasing economic growth and improving standards of living (they were, many think, the first Keynesians, adopting the strategy even before Keynes had come up with it), pushing Germany out of a depression and back into expansion. Unfortunately, they also set out to conquer Europe and exterminate the Jews. People shouldn’t do that.
Here you see Ezra supporting a Nazi style socialized medicine, a Nazi style nationalized automotive industry, and a seemingly a wide variety of other Nazi style economic programs. All of which, I think it’s safe to say, are ideologically consistent with a liberal economic philosophy but which most liberals would not claim support for. Thus, by his own definition, Ezra is “ideologically extreme”. No two ways about it.
So the only thing for Ezra to do in order to retain whatever shred of integrity remains in his name is to either admit he is also an ideological extremist or immediately retract what he wrote about Rand Paul. Which will it be Ezra?