"Sometimes you do wonder if [Republicans] are moles, Manchurian candidates for I don't know who, if their real job is to bring down America."
So said New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on MSNBC's Martin Bashir show Friday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MARTIN BASHIR: What are your thoughts on Speaker Boehner announcing that he wants another fight over the debt ceiling? I mean, is this guy working to further undermine America’s standing given that the last time this happened America was downgraded?
PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: Well there is this question a little bit. Sometimes you do wonder if these guys are moles, Manchurian candidates for I don't know who, if their real job is to bring down America because they're really are doing the best they can.
But no, this is a, look, this is the extremism of the current Republican Party. They've become a Party which is so determined to have its way that they never mind this usual business of the constitution or actually passing legislation.
"Never mind this usual business of the Constitution or actually passing legislation."
Krugman deceptively evades the fact that Democrats that control the Senate haven't proposed a budget since February 2009.
He also ignores that the President's own budget failed in the Senate last week 99 to zero actually not receiving one vote even from members of his own Party.
Much as last year, this entire debt ceiling debacle could be avoided if the President and his Party created a budget that they support.
At that point, they'd have tremendous leverage with the press behind them to possibly force enough Republicans to back it.
But because we're in an election year, they don't want to do that, and Krugman along with the rest of his colleagues rather than holding the White House and Democrats to account for their deplorable abdication of Constitutional responsibility blame it all on Republicans:
KRUGMAN: What they will do is threaten to destroy the economy unless they get what they want. And I think on this round President Obama finally has to say, "No. Look, you’re going to do blackmail, we're going to call your bluff. You’ve gotten an awful lot of money from the business community. You got an awful lot of money from Wall Street. These guys will be hurt even worse than the rest of us if the economy tanks because the U.S. government goes into a gratuitous default. Let's see them yank their chain."
But no, it’s incredible. This is, this economics, economics by hostage taking, and it’s not something that can be allowed to stand.
Hostage taking, indeed.
Sadly like many of the prisoners of war in the classic film "The Manchurian Candidate," Krugman doesn't know who the hostages or the captors are.
Color me very unsurprised.
(H/T Noah Rothman)