“It’s Charles M. Blow in front as they round the turn, but HERE COMES KRUGMAN MAKING HIS MOVE ON THE RAIL!!!”
It’s so exciting!
I was going to include this as a note in the warm-up, and then I read all of the comments referring to the Democratic Party’s no longer even disguised embrace of totalitarianism, and decided, Jack Point-style, “Oh, I can’t let this pass!” For Krugman proved with his characteristic gaslighting op-ed this morning, hilariously headlined, “Foreign Terrorists Have Never Been Our Biggest Threat,” that if nothing else, he has chutzpah to spare. Who else would choose this moment, in a 9/11-themed column, to assert that Republicans are an existential threat to democracy? It would be satire, if only so many Times readers didn’t believe it. That fact makes it tragedy.
Let me remind you of Rationalization #64, which has increasingly become the operating philosophy of the Axis of Unethical Conduct as Trump-Derangement became an epidemic .Even I had forgotten that the description of the technique cited Krugman as a prime practitioner:
64. Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is”
Named after John Yoo, the Bush Justice Department lawyer who wrote the infamous memo declaring waterboarding an “enhanced interrogation technique,” and not technically torture, #64 is one of the most effective self-deceptions there is, a handy-dandy way to avoid logic, conscience, accountability and reality.
Examples of this are everywhere. Paul Krugman, the progressive economist and Times columnist, began a column like this:
“Remember all the news reports suggesting, without evidence, that the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising created conflicts of interest?”
The Clinton Foundation’s fundraising created a conflict of interest, by definition. For a non-profit organization, with family connections to either a current Secretary of State or a Presidential candidate, to accept money from any country, company or individual who has or might have interests that the Secretary or potential President can advance is a conflict. It’s indisputable. No further ‘evidence” is needed.
How does Krugman deal with this problem? Simple: he convinces himself that screaming conflicts aren’t what they are without “evidence,” by which he means “proof of a quid pro quo.” But a quid pro quo is bribery, not a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest might lead to bribery, but a conflict is created as soon as there is a tangible reason for an official’s loyalties to be divided.
Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is” turns up everywhere, and has since time began. A mother swears that her serial killer son “is a good boy,” so she doesn’t have to face that fact that he’s not. It is denial, it is lying, but it is lying to convince oneself, because the truth is unbearable, or inconvenient. It is asserting that the obvious is the opposite of what it is, hoping that enough people will be deluded, confused or corrupted to follow a fraudulent argument while convincing yourself as well. The Rationalization includes euphemisms, lawyerisms, and the logic of the con artist. ‘Illegal immigration is just immigration. Oral sex isn’t sex, and so it’s not adultery, either. I didn’t steal the money from the treasury! I was just borrowing it!‘
And waterboarding isn’t torture.
#64 also could be named after Orwell’s “1984,” and called “Big Brother’s Rationalization” in homage to “War is Peace,” etc. But John Yoo deserves it.
So does Paul Krugman. I might name #64 after him yet.
I read this garbage so you don’t have to, so I’ll juts point out a few of the worst #64 examples in Krugman’s latest:
- “That is, we were well along on the road to the Jan. 6 putsch — and toward a G.O.P. that has, in effect, endorsed that putsch and seems all too likely to try one again.”
Calling the January 6 riot an insurrection is dishonest enough; calling it a Republican putsch (“a violent attempt to overthrow a government”) is ridiculous, especially when the description comes from a corner that actually spent four years desperately trying to overthrow an elected President, including two contrived impeachments. No Republicans “endorsed” the riot either before or after it occurred. Even President Trump, who inflamed a bunch of whack jobs by claiming that he had won the election, didn’t advocate anyone storming the Capitol. If Republicans wanted a putsch, it is fair to give them credit for being smart enough to arm their rebel army with more than bear spray and to have a few more than 300 idiots do the job.
- “When the nation is threatened, we normally expect our leaders to call for shared sacrifice. But leading Republicans responded to a terrorist attack by trying to enact … tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.”
Boy, that might be one of the signature significance tells of all time: a left-wing economist calling a a tax cut the equivalent of domestic terrorism! This nonsense is used by Krugman to argue that the GOP exploited 9-11 for political gain, as he shills for the party of Obama, Biden and Obama henchman Rahm Emanuel, who said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
“In 2003 I declared that the Republican Party was dominated by “a movement whose leaders do not accept the legitimacy of our current political system.” But many people didn’t want to hear it. Those of us who tried to point out the abuses in real time were dismissed as “shrill” and “alarmist.” The alarmists have, however, been right every step of the way.”
Come on, you have to laugh at this. After the 2016 election, Democrats and progressives attacked the Electoral College and even tried to get around it. They refused to a accept Trump as a legitimate President. They attempted to twist dead letter Constitutional provisions like the Emoluments Clause to justify impeachment. They advocated packing the Supreme Court. They mounted efforts to gut the Second Amendment, facilitate censorship (by encouraging the government’s dirty work to be performed by corporations and Big Tech) attacked Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion, repeatedly breached the Equal Protection Clause and the Separation of Powers, weaponized Freedom of the Press for partisan propaganda, and advocated weakening of the rule of law, in some cases, like in San Francisco, making some crimes essentially legal because of the “disparate impact” of enforcement. They worked to make it easier for non-citizens to vote, while advocating virtual open borders. Then they allied themselves with a racially-divisive movement that holds that the government of the United States is part of a 200 year conspiracy to advance white supremacy! But Republicans don’t accept the legitimacy of the government..
I can’t do this any more; you can read the garbage if you have the stomach for it. The fact that Krugman is an asshole has already been demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt, and long before he vomited up this. What is more concerning is that the so-called “paper of record” keeps publishing this liar, and that so many Americans who have had their craniums hollowed out by relentless propaganda believe him.