What Is Wrong With Paul Krugman?

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THE PLANK FEBRUARY 11, 2008

What Is Wrong With Paul Krugman?

Paul Krugman's shockingly incoherent column today, 'Hate Springs Eternal,' begins by darkly referencing the Nixon years:

The quote comes from “Nixonland,” a soon-to-be-published political
history of the years from 1964 to 1972 written by Rick Perlstein, the
author of “Before the Storm.” As Mr. Perlstein shows, Stevenson warned
in vain: during those years America did indeed become the land of
slander and scare, of the politics of hatred.

And it still is. In fact, these days even the Democratic Party seems to be turning into Nixonland.

Oh dear--that sounds bad.

I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is
coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody.

Since
Krugman has not been showing even fake evenhandedness for months now, I
suppose this disclaimer should count as a step in the right direction.
And what are the examples of "venom," anyway? Oh right, he doesn't have
any, other than the obligatory reference to David Schuster's stupid
comment about Chelsea Clinton. Finally, there's this gem:

But most of all, progressives should realize that Nixonland is not the
country we want to be. Racism, misogyny and character assassination are
all ways of distracting voters from the issues, and people who care
about the issues have a shared interest in making the politics of
hatred unacceptable.

And
the Obama camp is supposedly guilty of these things? What is Krugman
talking about? I'm not sure why so many people were worried about
hiring a professional operative like Bill Kristol as a Times columnist when it's Krugman who is so clearly in the tank.

--Isaac Chotiner

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