Monday, March 17, 2014

Dr. Krugman Goes Full Driftglass

Gotta love it when that happens:
That Old-Time Whistle
MARCH 16, 2014
Paul Krugman

There are many negative things you can say about Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee and the G.O.P.’s de facto intellectual leader. But you have to admit that he’s a very articulate guy, an expert at sounding as if he knows what he’s talking about.

So it’s comical, in a way, to see Mr. Ryan trying to explain away some recent remarks in which he attributed persistent poverty to a “culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working.” He was, he says, simply being “inarticulate.” How could anyone suggest that it was a racial dog-whistle? Why, he even cited the work of serious scholars — people like Charles Murray, most famous for arguing that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Oh, wait.

Just to be clear, there’s no evidence that Mr. Ryan is personally a racist, and his dog-whistle may not even have been deliberate. But it doesn’t matter. He said what he said because that’s the kind of thing conservatives say to each other all the time. And why do they say such things? Because American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People.

Indeed, race is the Rosetta Stone that makes sense of many otherwise incomprehensible aspects of U.S. politics.
Of course, stating this obvious and tediously well-documented fact still makes Conservatives nuts.

Even Really, Truly, True Conservatives like Andrew Sullivan:
One of the worst traits of some left-liberals is their easy resort to calling those who disagree with them bigots or racists or worse. There are some sites on the web that seem almost entirely devoted to patrolling the discourse for any sign of sin. This one’s a homophobe; this one’s a racist; so-and-so said this and that could be – shock! – prejudiced. It can sometimes be a way to avoid engaging arguments rather than tackling them. And so, on cue, Paul Ryan is taking heat for these remarks:
We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.
He noted that “Charles Murray or Bob Putnam over at Harvard – those guys have written books on this.” Cue liberal freakout. Josh Marshall focuses on the citation of Murray...
One of the worst traits of some British gay Conservative eugenics apologists is that they get very touchy when you point out that the policies and origin myths of the Party of Homophobes and Bigots -- a party which they spent much of their life defending and advancing -- are, in fact, homophobic and bigoted.


gratuitous said...

Didn't Mr. Sullivan, during his tenure at even-the-liberal-New-Republic, approvingly publish Mr. Murray's racist rantings (or someone who wrote approvingly of Mr. Murray's racist rantings - I forget which)? Andy's just indulging a little post hoc butt covering with his tiresome "You know who the *real* racists are, don't you?"

Yeah Mr. Sullivan; we do know who the real racists are, no matter how much they'd like to cover it with a patina of book writing, whatever that's supposed to be worth.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I too remember Sully citing some racist bell curve nonsense.
Was it from the same guy?

Horace Boothroyd III said...

"an expert at sounding as if he knows what he’s talking about

As an aside, does anyone know whether Ryan is - in fact - an expert in anything substantive?

Anonymous said...

No no no,

You see, pointing out that the "urban", "inner city", "gangster", "at risk youth" and other assorted poors is not racist.

Calling out sophisticated white people calling more bronzen-hued-skin tone inherently inferior, *that* is racist!

Think of the poor (not literally! heavens!) white people of privilege, won't you?