Paul Krugman Incites Hatred (and Ignores His Own Rhetoric)
William L. Anderson
William L. Anderson
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Krugman's column today on the Arizona shooting – a very predictable
column, I might add, given Krugman's political views – I am struck
by the fact that we have a mathematical economist who adds 2 + 2
and gets 5. Not only is his theme dishonest, but he also goes about
presenting the information dishonestly.
When he first
heard about what happened, Krugman
said the following on his blog Saturday:
have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that
it was. She’s been the target of violence before. And for those
wondering why a Blue Dog Democrat, the kind Republicans might
be able to work with, might be a target, the answer is that she’s
a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona,
precisely because the Republicans nominated a Tea Party activist.
(Her father says that "the whole Tea Party" was her
enemy.) And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous "crosshairs"
So, he right
away assumes that some Angry White Male Who Belonged To The Tea
Party carried out the shooting. Furthermore, he claims that the
ONLY angry rhetoric directed against her was coming from the right,
yet he apparently ignores (and one wonders if he is doing this on
purpose) the hateful rhetoric that was directed
at her from the Daily Kos, which is a hard-left
Democrat website that adores Paul Krugman.
(The post quickly
was taken down after the shooting, as the Kos wanted to make sure
that Sarah Palin received the blame. I checked the site this morning
and there is no reference to anything the Daily Kos had from its
own side, and it once again is blaming Palin and the Usual Suspects
from the Tea Party, as well as a quote from Krugman. Gabrielle Giffords,
it seems, committed the sin of voting for John Lewis for speaker
instead of Nancy Pelosi. Obviously, according to the Daily Kos,
that alone was worthy of death.)
Since the shooting
occurred, we have found much more information about the shooter,
Lougher. Apparently, the guy was somewhat a person of the Left,
and it is quite doubtful that Sarah Palin influenced him to do anything.
He apparently is someone whose behavior
has been growing increasingly bizarre and disruptive. Furthermore,
it is abundantly clear that he has had nothing to do with the Tea
Party or any of the other protest movements.
All of that
information is known to us, and it was available when Krugman wrote
today's column. Thus, I come down hard on him precisely because
he purposely ignores the facts. Krugman writes:
has, in fact, been a rising tide of threats and vandalism aimed
at elected officials, including both Judge John Roll, who was
killed Saturday, and Representative Gabrielle Giffords. One of
these days, someone was bound to take it to the next level. And
now someone has.
that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled.
But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as
an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.
In other words,
after first having claimed Saturday that the shooter MUST have been
tied to the Tea Party, Krugman now ignores the guy's background
and life circumstances. Why? It does not fit Krugman's narrative.
As one who
does not watch television – and especially the political talk shows
like those on MSNBC with Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and the
ones on the right on Fox News – I have no idea if the rhetoric is
comparable or not between right and left. However, when I read the
following from Krugman, I have to wonder how a Nobel Prize winning
economist can stretch language with a straight face:
a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith
Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery
aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting
government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington
Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.
Now, I really
doubt that either Beck or O'Reilly (neither of whom I respect) have
called for political opponents to be shot and killed. I HAVE seen
(on YouTube) some of the hateful rhetoric that Olbermann has directed
toward Ron Paul. On this
segment, he accuses Paul of treason, which carries the death
penalty. No doubt, if O'Reilly were to accuse someone of treason,
Krugman would claim he was trying to have that person killed.
In other words,
with Krugman it is "heads I win, tails you lose." Anyone who disagrees
with Krugman and his friends and makes that disagreement public
is a traitor and an inciter of hate. Now, this is the same Paul
Krugman who has smeared other economists with hateful rhetoric,
calling them "zombies." (Robert Murphy lays out the Krugman theme
in this insightful article.)
So, in the
end, Krugman jumps into what clearly is a tragic situation and throws
around partisan rhetoric, makes up his own narrative, and ignores
the facts. Had Sarah Palin written that Rep. Giffords was "dead
to me" on her website, would Krugman have pretended she never said
anything like that?
Years ago, I wrote that Krugman
was not an economist, but rather was a political operative.
I have not changed that opinion a whit, and Krugman's column today
proves my point.
It is one thing
for political hacks like Olbermann or Beck or even the people at
the Daily Kos to frame everything that happens in political terms
and ignore pertinent facts. I expect that kind of behavior from
a decorated academic economist does the same – and calls it careful
analysis – I draw the line. I NEVER have seen or heard hateful rhetoric
coming from other Nobel Prize winning economists, ever, and I have
spent hours with many of them. Yet, with Paul Krugman, it seems
that all we get is hate and name-calling and political talking points.
I will let you be the judge of that kind of behavior.
L. Anderson, Ph.D. [send him
mail], teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland,
and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig
von Mises Institute. He
also is a consultant with American Economic Services. Visit
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