The Wall Street Journal editorial board is defending billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins, who drew a parallel in its pages between liberals’ treatment of the “one percent” and Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews.
In an editorial published Wednesday and titled — of all things — “Perkinsnacht,” the Journal argued that liberal backlash against Perkins’ letter to the editor actually proves his point about “liberal intolerance.”
From the editorial:
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. The boys at Bloomberg View—we read them since no one else does—devoted an entire editorial to inequality and Mr. Perkins’s “unhinged Nazi rant.” Others denounced him for defending his former wife Danielle Steel, and even for owning too many Rolex watches.
Maybe the critics are afraid that Mr. Perkins is onto something about the left’s political method. Consider the recent record of liberals in power. They’re the ones obsessed with the Koch brothers and other billionaires contributing to conservative causes, siccing journalists to trash them and federal agencies to shut them down.
The editorial cited New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) recent remark that “extreme conservatives” have no place in the state as proof of such political persecution, then predictably drew New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) into the fold for his avowed crusade against the city’s top earners.
“The liberals aren’t encouraging violence, but they are promoting personal vilification and the abuse of government power to punish political opponents,” the editorial concluded.
Perkins himself said after his letter ran that he made a mistake using the word “Kristallnact” in the comparison, but did not walk back its overall message.
“The Jews are only one percent of the German population,” he told Bloomberg TV. “Most Germans had never met a Jew and yet Hitler was able to demonize a Jew and Kristallnacht was one of the earlier manifestations but there’d been others before it and of course we know about the evil of the holocaust. I guess my point was that when you start to use hatred against a minority, it can get out of control. I think that was my thought.”