WSJ Defends Billionaire's Holocaust Comparison

Backlash just proves Tom Perkins' point: editorial

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 30, 2014 12:51 PM CST

(Newser) – When billionaire Tom Perkins compared the plight of the 1% today to the plight of the Jews during the Holocaust, pretty much everyone seemed to disagree with him. But now the Wall Street Journal (home to Perkins' letter to the editor) jumps to Perkins' defense with an editorial claiming that all this backlash just proves Perkins' point, perhaps even more successfully than he did. "While claiming to be outraged at the Nazi reference, the critics seem more incensed that Mr. Perkins dared to question the politics of economic class warfare," and took issue with things like how many Rolexes Perkins owns, the editorial reads. "The liberals aren't encouraging violence, but they are promoting personal vilification and the abuse of government power to punish political opponents." As for the Holocaust comparison itself? "Unfortunate, albeit provocative."

But at New York, Jonathan Chait guffaws at the editorial. Chait translates the Journal's message: "Liberals are mocking wildly rich people who compare their plight to the victims of the Holocaust, and even if this mockery does not currently rise to the level of persecution of the Holocaust itself, really the spirit of the thing is about the same." He goes on to dismantle the Journal's points, all of which only serve to display the "deranged persecution complex" many of the wealthiest Americans possess. "The Journal editorial defines persecution of the 1% as the existence of public disagreement. Liberals are mocking Perkins, therefore Perkins is basically right. For Perkins to be wrong—for the rich to enjoy the level of deference the Journal deems appropriate—a billionaire could compare his plight to the victims of the Holocaust and nobody would make fun of him at all." Click for his full column, or the Journal editorial.

  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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