BECK SEES U.S., IRANIAN PARALLELS…. Fox News’ Glenn Beck participated in an online chat with the Washington Post today, and was asked whether he “really” believes the United States is “facing destruction.” His response was, well, rather Beck-like. (thanks to reader K.T. for the tip.)

“Yeah, I said on Sept. 11 that we should fear no outside force, the only that would destroy America is us, from the inside. I look at what’s happening in Iran, and they are arquing [sic] on who is going to be a better leader in their theocracy. Both candidates were picked buy [sic] the mullahs, neither candidate can do anything without the mullahs telling them it’s okay.

“I think we’re in the same situation here. Bill Mahr [sic] said this weekend that Barack Obama was George Bush Lite. What are we fighting over? What is the difference between these two parties? There are reasons to speak out, but tearing ourselves apart over these scraps of freedom is odd. We’ve stopped melting together. Our strength was that we were a melting pot.”

It’s rather unusual to hear comparisons between the United States’ system of government and Iran, but Beck is a rather unusual person. I’m not sure exactly how this parallel works in his mind — Obama and McCain, for example, were chosen by voters, not mullahs, and offered completely different policy agendas — but I don’t really grasp how Beck arrives at most of his conclusions.

As for that Bill Maher reference, Beck might want to watch it again. Maher’s point wasn’t that Obama and Bush are effectively the same; his point was his frustration that Obama hasn’t been able to make more sweeping, progressive changes more quickly. Indeed, Maher said specifically he wants to see the president have more, not less, success on universal health care, combating global warming, and taking on the banking industry.

In other words, Beck sees Maher as some kind of ally, but he has it backwards. The more Obama does to satisfy Maher’s expectations, the more Obama does to make Beck think he’s a totalitarian fascist bent on destroying the known world.

Beck questioning whether there’s any real difference between the two parties is especially odd, since his own show features daily tantrums about the Democratic agenda, which he routinely compares to the Nazis.

What a strange man.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.