Lots of readers say I was way too easy on Yglesias. Here’s an excerpt from a liberal reader:
…you were far too easy on the “it’s only some of the Jews who are controlling the government” defense. This is an extremely common feature of classic anti-Semitism: the Rothschilds et al are controlling world governments while most Jews suffer; the Holocaust was arranged by rich Jews for profit at the expense of most Jews; etc. Indeed, the anti-Semitic conspiracies that posit Jewish control of governments never make this claim about all Jews. People understand that the dentist down the street does not control the government, but they may think this about some remote group of very rich Jews.
This reader, echoing others, goes on to note that Yglesias’ effort to paint Marty Peretz as a racist is more unfair and slanderous than my own comparison of Yglesias and Clark to Lindbergh. And many people note that Clark’s comments are plainly consistent with historic anti-Semitism and coming from a politician they, at minimum, demonstrate amateurishness, insensitivity and ignorance.
Well, as I said I didn’t want to replay the whole Chait-Yglesias debate, and I’ve said several times (including in our blogging heads match-up) that I think Chait won that argument hands down. I kind of assumed that people understood that the “it’s only some Jews” argument is deeply flawed. In fact, I thought that merely by calling attention to the “some Jews” formula Yglesias, Klein and others would realize how problematic their position is. It seems that I was wrong.