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Barack Obama ('04-'08)

Krugman Jumps the Shark.

“Why, then, is there so much venom out there? I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody.” He’s been teetering on the brink for awhile now. (Not for nothing did TNR deem his last anti-Obama column the “least surprising NYT column ever.”) But NYT columnist Paul Krugman finally, irrevocably jumps the shark with his column this morning, which blames the “cult of personality” around Obama for all the venom in the Democratic race at the moment, and claims Obama is turning the Democratic party into “Nixonland.” Um, yeah.

First off, it doesn’t seem like Krugman gets out around the blogosphere much, since every political board you can find out there is strewn with Clinton supporters saying wildly intemperate things. (I’m sure he’s suffering from a selection bias — given that he’s invariably writing anti-Obama pieces, he probably gets a lot more prObama hate mail.) Second, there’ no mention at all of any of the shadier tactics employed by the Clinton campaign over the course of the past few months, of course (and he cherry-picks rather drastically when it comes to discussion of the race card.) No, the problem for Krugman resides only in Obama cultists and a vast media conspiracy. Right.

When it comes to economics, Krugman is usually a sound thinker, even if I do think he has a tendency to belittle the progressive position on matters of political economy. (The title of his recent book, The Conscience of a Liberal, makes it plain.) But, when he strays off the economics reservation to dabble in history or politics, hoo boy. This column, frankly, is partisan hackery of the first order.

Omsbudsdog Emeritus

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