Who Branded Barack 'Fool' and 'Sucker'?

Which prominent pundit has called Barack Obama a "sucker" and a "fool"?

A. Rush Limbaugh
B. Ann Coulter
C. Michelle Malkin
D. Mark Levin
E. Laura Ingraham

Jeopardy theme-music playing . . .

OK, your time is up. And if I know our perspicacious NB readers, many of you detected a trick question when you saw it, and answered "none of the above."

Ding, ding, ding! Correct. The answer is none other than . . Paul Krugman, leftist economics columnist of the New York Times. There was nothing nuanced about Krugman's attack in his column of today. The very headline screams: Played for a Sucker, and Krugman later spells out his Obama-the-sucker theory [emphasis added throughout]:

He is . . . someone who keeps insisting that he can transcend the partisanship of our times — and in this case, that turned him into a sucker.

Krugman closes with this roundhouse punch:

[I]f you try to find common ground where none exists — which is the case for many issues today — you end up being played for a fool. And that’s what has just happened to Mr. Obama.
Yikes. So what's made Krugman so kranky? What was Obama's heresy against liberal dogma? In sum, that he dared to suggest that Social Security might need some fixing. To Krugman, that is an affront to "the New Deal’s crown jewel."

Krugman fears that acknowledging any problems with Social Security is the first step down the slippery slope to privatization. And nothing engenders more "outrage" -- Krugman's term -- among elitist nanny-staters than the prospect of giving people control over their own destinies and wresting any measure of power away from all-knowing government.

So if Obama is too credulous for Krugman's taste, who does he trust to keep to keep government firmly in charge of our fate? Hillary Clinton, apparently. It was Obama's criticism of Hillary's Social Security plan that lies at the heart of the Wrath of Paul.

Remember that the next time Hillary tries to paint herself as a centrist. She's a favored candidate of the columnist with New Deal nostalgia.
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.