Saturday, January 15, 2005

Going down with the partisanship

Speaking of Paul Krugman, a friend pointed out this site evaluating newspaper columnists on a "partisanship index." Krugman comes out the second most partisan of all, just behind Ann Coulter. This doesn't surprise me that much--I find Krugman's NYT columns so relentlessly partisan that I can hardly read them (and I hardly ever do anymore).

It's weird. Before he took on the NYT column, Krugman was a first rate mainstream academic economist who was known for being outspoken in criticizing democrats as well as republicans. He also produced some of the best popular writing about of economics I know of...for example, check out this classic essay on the value of economic models, or this archive of his not-especially-partisan columns for Slate from the late 1990s. I never would have suspected when he took this gig that he would end up the democratic version of Ann Coulter.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's not, not by any stretch of the imagination.

He has been blasted for directing his criticism only toward Repub policies, which holds water, but that does not in any way make him even remotely comparable to that ... thing.

AC is something that has said we should declare a crusade and either kill or convert all muslims. She has said all muslims of any kind should be rounded up and deported. And her description of liberals in the infamous USAToday piece (that was so bad even the paper refused to print it) is just about the most hate filled invective you'd come across since the Klan was still active.

Please. Krugman might be partisan and is hardly faultless, but comparing him to that thing is like comparing churchill to hitler.

4:07 AM  
Blogger ed said...

I've actually managed to almost completely avoid reading or watching Ann Coulter, so as far as I know she may be as bad as you say, and if so I apologize to Krugman. On the other hand, I'm confident that comparing her to Hitler is even sillier than comparing Krugman to her.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be precise, she said this right after 9/11
"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war."

She's pretty harsh. I don't remember her saying we should deport all Muslims, though. I think her feeling is that we shouldn't feel guilty at being primarily suspicious of swarthy Middle Eastern men at the airport.

I read her book Treason and couldn't believe you could say those spectacularly insensitive things, but I was smirking most of the time at how enraged I knew it would make the American Left.

Still she seems to have a point in it about McCarthyism and Whittaker Chambers and the political climate at the time. I found myself feeling a little angry and betrayed that in all endless moralizing against McCarthy I've been raised with, no one ever informed me that the US government was crawling with now-proven Soviet agents. There's the claim that even advisor to Roosevelt Alger Hiss was a spy.


5:17 PM  

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