Jonah Goldberg explains in his latest column posted at National Review Online why former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, one of the few Democrats who seem interested in challenging Hillary Clinton for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, is not off to a great start.

Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley is thinking about running for president on the Democratic ticket by appealing to Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren’s populist fans. Warren is a very bright former Harvard law professor. So it is interesting that O’Malley thinks the best way to reach out to her fans is to say remarkably stupid things.

Steve Inskeep, host of NPR’s Morning Edition, recently interviewed O’Malley, asking him to respond to something GOP-presidential-contender Senator Marco Rubio had said.

Inskeep: “[Rubio] argues that an active government actually keeps people frozen at their economic status because if you are well off, if you can afford a lawyer, if you can deal with regulations, you can maneuver through government and stay prosperous. And if you are not so well off, it’s harder to work the system. Is there some truth to that? You were a big-city mayor; you know how government works.”

O’Malley replied: “No, I don’t think there’s any truth to that.”

He did unload some talking points about how the tax code is “Swiss cheese” because of deregulation and Wall Street lobbyists. But as for the idea that regulations can hold poor people down or keep the middle class from advancing, he said that’s plain wrong, adding a familiar bovine-scatological colloquialism for emphasis.

A reasonable or informed person — on the left or the right — could argue that many regulations are good or valuable. But O’Malley’s position is not that of a reasonable or informed person, it is modern-day know-nothingism.