Monday, April 13, 2009

Krugman and the tea parties

Paul Krugman, a Nobel prize winning economist, uses today's column to write about the tea party movement in today's column (which, incidentally, says a lot about how just much this movement is on the left's radar). In the piece Krugman says a lot of things. He talks about right-wing speculation that Obama wasn't born in the U.S. and that he's a secret Muslim. He talks about Rush Limbaugh and accusations that the Clintons were murderers. He even has a weird non-sequiter about Tom DeLay and the theory of evolution.

It's a classic debating tactic -- simply throw a bunch of garbage at your opponent and hope that something sticks.

In the entire column on the tea party movement -- which was founded on outrage over out of control government spending -- the words "stimulus", "deficit" or even "spending" do not occur even a single time. Funny, that.

Krugman also builds a strawman -- stating that Republicans are accusing Obama of socialism simply for tax raising -- and then knocks it down by stating that tax rates under Obama would still be less than during the majority of the Reagan Administration. The genesis for the tea party movement, of course, was Rick Santelli's rant on television in which he expressed outrage over the mortgage bailout plan that would reward greed and punish thrift -- classic socialism. This is unmentioned by Krugman.

In other words, Krugman's column is a string of mischaracterizations, lies by omission and guilt by association. All this from one of the left's intellectual leading lights.

Update: Oh, Krugman also accuses the tea party movement of being "AstroTurf" -- i.e. fake grass roots -- and all but an appendage of the Republican party. Hard to reconcile such rhetoric with this:
Eric Odom, the administrator of TaxDay, is organizing the event in Chicago and helping coordinate the national effort. He expects almost 600 rallies around the country with as many as 10,000 attendees at the events in Atlanta and San Antonio. CNBC and Santelli backed away from the idea, but top-rated Fox News jumped in and has been trumpeting the tea party movement for weeks. And it all happened without any traditional political organization.

Odom says he turned down an offer from Republican National Convention Chairman Michael Steele to speak in Chicago. Steele’s office denies the offer was made, but Odom says it happened and was adamant about why he said no.

“This isn’t about either party,” he said. “This is about Middle America being ready to come together and say to both parties: ‘Enough is enough.’ ”

Krugman, of course, isn't one to let a few facts get in the way of a good screed.

Update: Even more on Krugman's deceptions.

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