The man has been seriously phoning it in for a long time now. And yet, I can't quit him. It used to be that only David Brooks had the capacity to make me scream inwardly in silent, helpless rage as I tried to formulate a cogent response. I finally got over him. But now PK is making me nuts too.
I keep saying I'm going to give him up, but I am obviously hooked. Today I actually wrote two responses to his highly unoriginal but much-clicked piece lambasting Jeb Bush for being the asshole that he is.
Krugman joined the vast liberal chorus expressing shock, shock I tell you, that Jeb flip-flopped on Iraq and not only that, he hid behind the Sacred Troops to do so! He is the only slimy politician who has ever cravenly hidden behind the troops in the whole history of slime. As a result, there has been an epidemic of columns and blog-posts expressing Jeb-Shock in just the past couple of days alone. You can find the echo chamber here, here, here, and here among the 75,000 Google search results on the Great Jeb Bush Iraq Flip-Flop of 2015.The shock schlock has surpassed even that on the Senate vote giving President Obama carte blanche to fast-track democracy to oblivion. When you have Jebbie to kick around, the global corporate coup takes a back seat, pronto.
Here's today's Krugman sampler:
Yes, how about that awesome growth last year in service sector jobs with the lousiest pay in years and the most extreme wealth inequality ever and the plummeting of Obama's America to near rock-bottom in every measure of social and economic well-being. Tribalism? What tribalism?Given how badly these (Bush-era) predictions turned out — we had the biggest housing bust in history, inflation paranoia has been wrong for six years and counting, and 2014 delivered the best job growth since 1999 — you might think that there would be some room in the G.O.P. for economists who didn’t get everything wrong. But there isn’t. Having been completely wrong about the economy, like having been completely wrong about Iraq, seems to be a required credential.What’s going on here? My best explanation is that we’re witnessing the effects of extreme tribalism.
No matter that all the "wrongs" have been extended and perpetuated in a Democratic administration. The blanket surveillance continues. The wars continue. The government secrecy continues. The political bribery continues. Mass incarceration continues. Coddling of the wealthy continues. The war on whistle-blowers has surged. CIA torturers are not only shielded from prosecution, they're promoted.
As the late great Molly Ivins warned in Bill of Wrongs: "Pay attention, America! Your ass is on the line!"
My first response to Krugman's Democratic Party-absolved "Fraternity of Failure":
Jeb should take a tip from his rival and limit his utterances to scripted videos and Tweets. Hillary Clinton hasn't taken a question from the press in nearly a month and just look at her -- she is sitting pretty and inevitable, while Jeb is the deserving winner in this week's edition of the Scorn Sweepstakes.Due to my un-PC inclusion of the plutocratic Democratic candidate in an anti-Bush screed, I didn't get as many thumbs-up as I usually do from The Tribe, or even remotely as many as the thoughtful commenter who gushed, "Wahoo!! Kicking it, PK!! Good job!! I'll forgive the reduction in blogs of late!! Two of your last three have been two of my favorites."
If nothing else, Neoliberal Death Match will be fodder for a revival of the best-selling "Bushisms" series. His candidacy is a tragicomedy about how the inbred psychopathy and ill-gotten wealth of just one family manages, against all odds, to continue infecting a whole party, a whole country, an entire planet.
So let's take W's advice of "bring it on" and apply it lavishly to Jeb. If the scorn is lathered on early, often and copiously, who knows? He might even decide to drop out to spend more time with his money. After all, he did once tell the Miami News Times his ultimate goal in life: "I want to be very wealthy."
Stranger things have happened. Mistakes can sometimes be unmade, even if you're a Bush.
Then again, pathological stubbornness is also a pesky Bush trait. W's "Is our children learning yet?" apparently doesn't apply to Jeb. The charter school he founded in a poor black Florida neighborhood received a grade of D and was ultimately shut down. But he still thinks he's a successful education reformer, and so do a lot of other enabling and mistaken rich people.
Mistakes were made. And then one day we woke up, and found that we lived under an oligarchy.
(You can tell that Campaign Season has now revved up into high gear. Wahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
But as I depressively scanned other reader comments, I came across this blazing ray of sanity from Paul Cohen of Hartford, CT:
To Commenters and off topic,To which I replied,
I’ve written PRK and asked why he won’t you speak out against our perpetual wars in the Muslim World- all wars of aggression? He cannot say well, I write about issues affecting economic policy.
He wrote an op-ed in 2009 urging an investigation into torture- part of the broader issue of holding those in government accountable to the rule of law- that was purely political and no economic issues mentioned:
Forgive and Forget?
By PAUL KRUGMAN on investigating Torture
January 15, 2009
Krugman is the very visible face and outspoken voice of Liberal politics. I cannot imagine Krugman is in favor of our open-ended, pre-emptive wars of aggression.
Am I the only that feels this way?
No. you are not the only one who feels that way. PK functions as the "left" voice in New York Times Pundit World, meaning contained. for the most part, within the safe confines of the Democratic Party. While he occasionally expresses disappointment with Obama's inadequate stimulus and his pivot to deficit reduction/austerity in the first term, he largely confines his columns to defending Obama (mainly Obamacare) against the vile depredations of the Republicans, or just shooting Republican fish in a barrel. PK's strong anti-war stance during the Bush era is now MIA, despite the fact that Obama is largely continuing Bush's aggressive policies.
Obama's record on civil liberties is even worse than Bush's: more drone strikes, more whistle-blower prosecutions of government employees, accelerated wars and ruthless defense of the surveillance state.
Don't even get me started on PK's recent radio silence (except for one short blog-post) on the TPP, which besides being a scam to protect wealthy investors and corporations from the sovereign regulations of mere countries, is also an act of aggression against China (the euphemized "pivot to Asia.")
I miss Bob Herbert and Frank Rich.(I will get to the Great Obama vs Fox News Poor People Troll-orama soon, I promise.)
In other breaking viral news, Bill and Melinda Gates have announced that "Autopsies Can Save Countless Lives." Wahoo!!!!!!!! But will Obamacare cover your post-mortem out of network? Is death a pre-existing condition? Stay tuned.