Dean Esmay is asking for it with two recent posts.

First, he posits that There is no functional difference between fear of the “religious right” and anti-semitism.

Then, as it that isn’t enough to get some discussion flowing, he also asserts that Howard Dean is the Left’s Pat Buchanan.

Update (10:43) The above post is mainly an invitation to go visit Dean and join in on the fun. For the record:

1.) I may or may not agree here, as Dean has intentionally been vague about this, although he’s joined in some in the comments section. The main problem I have is that I don’t know what an anti-Semite is anymore. Even more than the term “racist,” it has been so misused as to be virtually meaningless. Obviously, Hitler was an anti-Semite. Beyond that, what does it mean? Does it simply mean “one who hates Jews”? Or does anyone who disagrees with the Likud party and the most extreme Zionism qualify?

I think the Jews have the same right as any other group to form a nation-state but sometimes oppose the policies of the state of Israel. Likewise, I think Pat Robertson, and certainly the more mainstream Christian conservatives, have the same right as any other group to try to influence the political process, even though I oppose much of their agenda.

2.) I honestly don’t know Howard Dean’s positions well enough to answer this one, as I had frankly never heard of him until he announced he was running for president and thought he was a clown. He’s obviously become a serious candidate but I am still only casually paying attention to him right now. He strikes me as a hyper-leftie on some issues but I have no reason to put him in Buchanan’s camp at this point. I’ve watched Buchanan for 20-odd years and watched him go from a highly intelligent conservative whose views I occasionally differed with to a guy on the lunatic fringe. I’m sure part of this is a reflection of my own ideological movement over that time, but mostly it’s Buchanan has changed. I hesitate to put anyone into that category.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dean Esmay says:

    I thought a troll was someone who specifically says inflammatory things he might not even believe, just to get people cranked up. I can assure you I’m not doing that.

    I am getting people cranked up, but about issues I really want them to think about, and by taking positions I am willing to stand by.

    Just for the record. 😉

  2. James Joyner says:

    Yeah, I know. I was alerting the trolls to go visit you 😉

  3. Norbizness says:

    Judging from the brevity and weirdness of his recent posts, I thought his brain was broken. I therefore made the Dale-Gribblesque calculation that it was unsafe to comment because I assumed that it was some sort of trap.

  4. DANEgerus says:

    Terrorism is easy to define if you don’t have an agenda… ‘targeting civilians to drive a political agenda’… see… it’s easy if you aren’t making excuses for terrorists. The Arab world uses anti-semitism as a tool in the classic fascist model of the demonized minority ‘threat’ to distract from their absurdly oppressive class society. They demonize Jews and Israel interchangeably as a plausable excuse for their own centuries of failure.

    Comments expressing confusion about ‘anti-semitism’ only demonstrate a refusal to accept current realities. You can certainly criticize a democracy like Israel, they have free speech, but it’s silly to say that the rise in anti-Israeli propaganda isn’t anti-semitism when you examine the facts and the sources.

    It’s not just the Islamofascists. The total collapse of the ‘utopia’ of communism has created a vacuum for the self loathing lefties… they’ve responded with denial about the nature of their beloved Stalinist states and their failure and by embracing the new ‘victims’ of capitalism… the Islamics.

  5. Dean Esmay says:

    Glib, I might be at times. But weird? Not sure I get that. But you know, it’s my world, you’re just living in it. 😉

    I’m going to write a response to your message on anti-semitism, James. Because I think you raise some very legitimate and important questions.