This isn’t a state-of-the-nation post; it’s a state-of-the-Krugman post.
The Professor is getting to the point (at last) where he not only sees that office-holding Republicans are driven by “delusions,” but also by a political need to make things worse in America.
In addition, he’s getting to the point (finally) where he sees “Republican-leaning economists” as not just confused, but actual bad actors who “lend their credibility” to the party’s delusions, and by extension, to the party’s bad-faith and nation-destroying political behavior.
That’s quite an admission for a professional academic — to accuse your peers of intellectual dishonesty, not just idiotic (but forgivable) disagreement. Think about that for a sec. Imagine accusing your professional peers of intentionally falsifying their data and their recommendations to serve political masters — in print. The state of the Krugman is pulling no punches.
I’ll have more on the second point in a bit. For now, here’s your Friday Krugman, from the print column (my emphasis, natch):
Yet it seems to me that there is something different about the current state of economic discussion. Political parties have often coalesced around dubious economic ideas — remember the Laffer curve? — but I can’t think of a time when a party’s economic doctrine has been so completely divorced from reality. And I’m also struck by the extent to which Republican-leaning economists — who have to know better — have been willing to lend their credibility to the party’s official delusions.
Partly, no doubt, this reflects the party’s broader slide into its own insular intellectual universe. Large segments of the G.O.P. reject climate science and even the theory of evolution, so why expect evidence to matter for the party’s economic views?
And it also, of course, reflects the political need of the right to make everything bad in America President Obama’s fault. Never mind the fact that the housing bubble, the debt explosion and the financial crisis took place on the watch of a conservative, free-market-praising president; it’s that Democrat in the White House now who gets the blame.
That may be good politics, but as he says, “good politics can be very bad policy.” Of course he’s talking about the self-proclaimed–conscientious, otherwise known as the anything-to-win crowd, so count on them to “double down.”
Sure hope that “newly feisty” Obama sticks around. We need that guy to really come through.