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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

 
The Party Of Krugman

Somebody asked me what my favorite columnist was the other day and I said that I thought most liberal bloggers like Krugman because he writes the way we write --- he doesn't suffer fools and he writes with all the righteous indignation he feels at what he sees. And, I suspect that this is why establishment journos like Daniel Okrent don't like him. He just refuses to play the game by establishment rules.

This post by Brad DeLong exposes the entire silly social aspect of this and gives us a window into why liberals are being marginalized in the mainstream media. We are supposed to be nice. The other side is expected to be tough and uncompromising. Krugman is a fighter and he never gives ground when he thinks he's right. That's unbecoming in a liberal because it means that you have to engage in the facts and have a real argument instead of just hurling insults or bumper stickers as you can when dealing with right wing critics.

Daniel Okrent finds his behavior unseemly and annoying:

For a man who makes his living offering strong opinions, Paul Krugman seems peculiarly reluctant to grant the same privilege to others. And for a man who leads with his chin twice a week, he acts awfully surprised when someone takes a pop at it

[...]

On Prof. Krugman's defense of his unfamiliarity with it, he's effectively saying, "If I didn't know about it, it must not be important." This is a polemicist's dodge; no self-respecting journalist would ever make such an argument.

[...]

Believe me -- I could go on, as could a number of readers more sophisticated about economic matters than I am. (Among these are several who, like me, generally align themselves politically with Prof. Krugman, but feel he does himself and his cause no good when he heeds the roaring approval of his acolytes and dismisses his critics as ideologically motivated.) But I don't want to engage in an extended debate any more than Prof. Krugman says he does. If he replies to this statement, as I imagine he will, I'll let him have what he always insists on keeping for himself: the last word.

I hate to do this to a decent man like my successor, Barney Calame, but I'm hereby turning the Krugman beat over to him.


Oh Boo hoo hoo. God forbid a liberal should accuse one's critics of being ideologically motivated. You would think that the ombudsman of the NY Times would have a slightly bigger bone to pick with the right wing which has been calling them ideologically motivated for 40 fucking years. But then, that would require they acknowledge reality and that is what cannot happen.

Paul Krugman is an in-your-face, unapologetic member of the reality based community. He calls it as he sees it and he doesn't mince words in doing so. As he amply demonstrated in his response to Okrent's shallow criticisms (which, even if true, would hardly back-up his calumnous accusations in his last piece) Krugman does not particularly enjoy being told he is wrong on the facts when he isn't. World class economists may be used to being called to task for their conclusions or their predictions, but saying that he is cooking the numbers for partisan reasons are fighting words. His reputation rests on his intellectual integrity. Of course he is going to fight when challenged by lame conventional wisdom and spoonfed propaganda. If only more liberal pundits had his guts we might not be where we are today.

Paul Krugman is tough and fearless and we need more like him -- people who are not part of the cliquish Sally Quinn social scene (it about made me puke to read that unctuous little screed again) and who do not depend upon the approbation of aging social mavens for their self esteem.

Tell me that the party of Krugman is a bunch of soft cowards who can't fight terrorism or run a disciplined economic agenda. Tell me the party of Krugman doesn't know what it believes in. The party of Krugman believes in reality, that the emperor has no clothes, that up is up and down is down. And it isn't afraid to tell snivelling little babies like Daniel Okrent to stick it where the sun don't shine. The party of Krugman doesn't lay down and take it. It fights.



Update! Somerby takes Okrent, skewers him quickly and then slowly roasts him over a very high flame. It is awesome. Okrent, the Manhattan fop.

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