Economy & Budget

The Year of Krugman Thuggishness

 In 2008, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. At that time, it wasn’t hard to imagine the Swedes were rewarding Krugman for eight years of blasting George W. Bush. In other words, the Nobel Prize truly matched its namesake: Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. Krugman regularly throws rhetorical dynamite at anything that stands in the way of his radical worldview.

Krugman outdid himself for outrage in 2011. Every year, the Media Research Center collects a panel of willing conservative journalists and talk show hosts and puts them on a sickening roller coaster ride through the worst media bilge of the last twelve months to arrive at the Best Notable Quotables of the Year.

Paul Krugman sat in the sulfurous center with three other “bests.”        

First, Krugman took the Quote of the Year for his controversial dynamite throwing on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. On his blog “The Conscience of a Liberal,” he accused someone else of ruining the unifying force of the attacks.        

“What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes,

George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neo-cons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.”       

The atrocity was “hijacked” — note the distinct flavor of terrorism in that term — by the neocons. “The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.”       

What made this commentary perfect in its spoiled-brattiness was the last sentence: “I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.” It’s obvious he was a world-class divider on a day of unity and a coward.      

One of the vilest aspects of Obamacare was the inclusion of “death panels” to recommend when medical treatments should be denied because extending Grandma’s remaining life wasn’t cost-efficient. But that never stopped a liberal from posturing. Krugman won the Grim Reaper Award for Saying Conservatives Want You to Die for his remarks against the Paul Ryan Medicare proposal on CNN.        

“To be a little melodramatic, the voucher would kill people, no question,” said Krugman, as CNNs Gloria Borger said, Ryan “infuriated liberals.” Then came more Krugman. “The cuts in Medicare that he’s proposing, the replacement of Medicare by a voucher system, would in the end, mean that tens of millions of older Americans would not be able to afford essential health care. So that counts as cruelty to me.”       

Krugman also won the Tea Party Terrorists Award for another blast of toxicity, this one less than two hours after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot (and several others murdered) by a young madman. Krugman didn’t need to wait for the evidence. He knew the culprits. He blamed conservatives.        

“We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before.” This was a reference to her district being “targeted” in a Sarah Palin list of Democrats to defeat. “Her father says that ‘the whole Tea Party’ was her enemy. And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous ‘crosshairs’ list. Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary. Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing. …Violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOPs leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.”   

Where were Krugman and his fellow Democratic opponents of “toxic talk” to take a stand against left-wing radio host Mike Malloy, who asked for Bush to be assassinated by Navy SEALs after they killed Osama bin Laden? “So when does SEAL Unit 6, or whatever it’s called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden.” That won the Damn Those Conservatives Award.      

Conservatives are assumed to be deeply racist by the tolerant left. The Ku Klux Con Job Award was won by MSNBCs Lawrence O’Donnell for shocking liberal ex-Gov. Jennifer Granholm with the notion that the phrase “Obama and his union bosses” in an ad was racist: “Does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can’t be the real boss?” Granholm confessed she hadn’t thought about that. It takes a Paul Krugman level of “imagination” to smear conservatives with this kind of mud.

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