The War on Krugman

For the unacquainted, Paul Krugman is a New York Times op-ed writer, and award-winning economist. He is also one of the most liberal voices we have in the MSM. His two books, The Great Unraveling, a collection of columns put together by topic and timeframe, and his most recent, The Conscience of a Liberal, are important works that should be read by progressives regardless of where they fall in the candidate wars.

Unfortunately, Krugman has found himself on the wrong side of the Obama campaign. As highlighted in this post from Open Left and more comprehensively in this post at MYDD Krugman has been roundly attacked by the Obama campaign and its supporters, including this hit piece by the campaign. One need only follow the links to see the holes in the Obama Campaign’s logic.

The first linked article, the campaign selectively highlights the praise without showing the flip side of the coin:

The Obama plan is smart and serious, put together by people who know what they’re doing.

From there, they use a later article to question Krugman’s credibility.

“The fundamental weakness of the Obama plan was apparent from the beginning.”

Unfortunately, they selectively sourced the original quote. From Later in the first article:

Now for the bad news. Although Mr. Obama says he has a plan for universal health care, he actually doesn’t — a point Mr. Edwards made in last night’s debate. The Obama plan doesn’t mandate insurance for adults. So some people would take their chances — and then end up receiving treatment at other people’s expense when they ended up in emergency rooms. In that regard it’s actually weaker than the Schwarzenegger plan.

Krugman was referencing his original article from June that the Obama campaign quoted selectively. Fortunately for them, few of their more vitriolic followers actually bothered to follow the links.

The Obama Campaign continues to harp on this, the reality is that Obama’s response is, at best, Rovian-lite. When questioned, attack, attack, attack, damn the consequences. Obama could have just as easily responded in an adult fashion to these critiques, and both Obama and Krugman could have agreed to disagree.

The hallmark of a political campaign based on hope, optimism, and “Post-Partisanship” should be one’s ability to agree to disagree, not attack due to disagreement. Further, if Obama is truly “Post-Partisan” any criticism from someone who is patently partisan should be acknowledged for what it is, partisan criticism and left there to live or die on the merits.

Finally, Krugman is a columnist, not a candidate. Krugman isn’t running for anything, nor has he endorsed anyone. The decision by the Obama Campaign to go after a columnist is a misappropriation of their time and energy. Working to discredit one of the only consistent liberal voices in the MSM is counterproductive to progressives, and ultimately counterproductive to Obama. Take it down a notch Barak, between this and your rabid fan-boys, you’re not winning any friends, you’re pissing a bunch of us off.

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