Just when you thought they couldn't stoop any lower: check out Juan Cole's'insightful' analysis over at Salon.com. Or rather: don't. It's the biggest crock of you-know-what you're likely to read this year:
Is Sarah Palin America's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? The two differ in many key respects, of course, but it is remarkable how similar they are. There are uncanny parallels in their biographies, their domestic politics and the way they present themselves -- even in their rocky relationships with party elders.
"Uncanny parallels." But of course. Both have two arms, two legs and a head. That's about where the similarities end, but that doesn't stop Cole from taking this thought experiment a little further. How about this for insightful political commentary:
An armed citizenry is important to Palin's conception of the republic, and she warned in her farewell address, "You're going to see anti-hunting, anti-Second Amendment circuses from Hollywood ..." She continued, "Stand strong, and remind them patriots will protect our guaranteed, individual right to bear arms ..." By talking about "patriots" "protecting" the individual right to bear arms, Palin skated awfully close to the militia or "patriot" movement on the right-wing American fringe (and not for the first time). Ahmadinejad is not similarly in favor of all citizens having guns, but he comes out of a popular militia, the Basij, which consists of hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizen patriots, armed and pledged to defend the constitution of the Islamic Republic.
Actually Juan, the Basij were used to violently suppress the Iranian people, and their campaign of intimidation could only work because Iranian people do not have the right to bear arms, let alone use them in selfdefence against bands of government-sponsored thugs. But never mind, eh.
His conclusion also has something of the moonbat about it:
Right-wing populism is (...) cavalier in its disregard of elementary facts and arrogant about the self-evident rightness of its religious and political doctrines. It therefore holds dangers both for the country in which it grows up and for the international community. Palin is polling well at the moment against other Republican front-runners such as Mitt Romney, and so, astonishingly, is a plausible future president. At least Iranians only got Ahmadinejad because of rigged elections, and they had the decency to mount massive protests against the result.
Apart from the bit about Palin being a plausible future president (which strikes me as fairly accurate given the current president's tanking poll numbers and the lack of serious competition within her own party), it's all straight out of the Hans Christian Andersen handbook of political analysis.
Juan, here's a little bit of free advice for you: maybe next time you should remember to take your medication first before switching on your computer. Otherwise you just end up embarrassing yourself.
UPDATE by RAM: Legal Insurrection highlights an interest little aside from one of Juan Cole's old interviews:
There's one other piece of Juan Cole history I wish had received more attention. His appearance last March on the The Colbert Report in which Juan Cole argued that people who chant "Death to America" were misunderstood, and that the misunderstanding was our fault (video below, at 3:08):Cole: Even the ones who are chanting Death to America, if you get them to the side, they say well you know "could you get me a visa. I'd really like to visit Disneyland."
Colbert: So you say, they're chanting "Death to America" in the streets, but we're being hasty in our judgment of them.
Cole: Yes were are.
Colbert: It's really our fault here.
So Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marches in the streets chanting Death to America. Juan Cole says we misunderstand him and it's all our fault. Now remind me, what does Sarah Palin have to do with this?
Read the rest and watch the video here.