Times Wrap: Krugman Counsels Partisanship, Herbert Finds Obama-mania 'Disturbing'

October 23rd, 2006 9:43 AM

Reading their respective pay-per-view columns this morning, it's a gauge of just how far out Paul Krugman is on the port side of politics that his New York Times colleague Bob Herbert sounds positively moderate by comparison.

In The Obama Bandwagon Herbert expresses salutary - and surprising - caution when it comes to the current outbreak of Obama-mania:

  • "It’s a measure of how starved the country is for a sensible, appealing, intelligent, trustworthy leader that a man who until just a couple of years ago was an obscure state senator in Illinois is now suddenly, in the view of an awful lot of voters, the person we should install in the White House."
  • " In an appearance on “Meet the Press” yesterday, he made it clear that he was considering such a run. With all due respect to Senator Obama, this is disturbing."
  • "He may be capable of being a great president. Someday. But one quick look around at the state of the nation and the world tells us that we need to be more careful than we have been in selecting our leaders."
  • Herbert points with concern to the fact that Obama has a "very slender résumé, very little experience in national politics, hardly any in foreign policy."

In contrast, Krugman is urging Dems to go to war if they win even one house of Congress. The headline, Don’t Make Nice, sets the tone. Krugman urges Dems to "stand up to corporate interests" and do something bold about health care [HillaryCare, Part Deux?]. But his thrust is to counsel Dems to ignore pleas to renounce bitter partisanship. Krugman predictably blames Republicans for the partisan tone, and claims that "we won’t get a return to bipartisanship until or unless the G.O.P. decides that polarization doesn’t work as a political strategy." Translation: we'll worry about bi-partisanship after we destroy the Republicans.

In the meantime, Krugman urges Dems to wield their subpoena power to the max for investigatons "into the origins of the Iraq war and the cronyism and corruption that undermined it."

Sounds as if Krugman has no real need for investigations - he's already come to his conclusions. But by all means, I would urge the Dems' to take up his advice: "Vote For Us - We'll Clog Congress With Investigations for the Next Two Years!"

Finkelstein lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY. Webcasts and podcasts of Mark's award-winning TV show 'Right Angle' are available here. Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net