Monday, March 14, 2016

Today In Both Sides Don't Do It: Paul Krugman



Things in the tenured faculty lounge at the New York Times are getting tense.

At one end of the lunchroom table sits David Brooks and his youthful ward Ross Douthat, still trying to conjure a Reasonable Conservative orthodoxy out of old packets of Splenda, some sweet and (very, very) sour sauce left over from one of Maureen Dowd's drunken wingdings, and the ritual incantation of "Both Sides. Both. Sides. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders..." which has been going on for months now.

At the other end of the table, Dr. Krugman is having a merry old time making siege weapons out of sporks and lunch-lady hair nets, firing payloads of mashed potatoes and corn at his colleagues rickety bullshit --
I still sometimes see people suggesting an equivalence between Mr. Trump and Bernie Sanders. But while both men are challenging a party establishment, those establishments aren’t the same. The Democratic Party is, as some political scientists put it, a “coalition of social groups,” ranging from Planned Parenthood to teachers’ unions, rather than an ideological monolith; there’s nothing comparable to the array of institutions that enforces purity on the other side.
-- and generally making is really, really difficult for them to masturbate in peace:
But how does a party in thrall to a basically unpopular ideology — or at any rate an ideology voters would dislike if they knew more about it — win elections? Obfuscation helps. But demagogy and appeals to tribalism help more. Racial dog whistles and suggestions that Democrats are un-American if not active traitors aren’t things that happen now and then, they’re an integral part of Republican political strategy.

During the Obama years Republican leaders cranked the volume on that strategy up to 11 (although it was pretty bad during the Clinton years too.) Establishment Republicans generally avoided saying in so many words that the president was a Kenyan Islamic atheist socialist friend of terrorists — although as the quote from Mr. Rubio shows, they came pretty close — but they tacitly encouraged those who did, and accepted their endorsements. And now they’re paying the price.

For the underlying assumption behind the establishment strategy was that voters could be fooled again and again: persuaded to vote Republican out of rage against Those People, then ignored after the election while the party pursued its true, plutocrat-friendly priorities. Now comes Mr. Trump, turning the dog whistles into fully audible shouting, and telling the base that it can have the bait without the switch. And the establishment is being destroyed by the monster it created...
Very tense indeed.

5 comments:

Robt said...

Cannot say it enough,

Trump's GOP opponents screaming how bad Trump is. How he is and has been one of those Un American people they hate more than Muslim Terrorists. The "evil Liberal".

But if Trump is our nominee, I will vote for him. For a GOP candidate elected no matter how horrible he may be. How destructive to the country he may be, as the rest of the GOP has told you he is and would be.

Ready for it-----?

Yes, I would vote for him if he became the GOP nominee".

They would vote for Jim Crow (reincarnated) if he became their nominee I suspect.
So we are back on the love of country vs political party comes first.
As they have applied ruthlessly and unethically at the present U.S. President. I am sure they have no recollection of the GW Bush era, "With us or against us" ideological toxicity unleashed at the American people.

It is clear that they are far down the river of believing they are the superiior race that only they the GOP can rule (unlike Govern).

Ed Cooper said...

The good Doctor Krugman nails it go the wall once again. If it were not quite so scary, I would beLMAO as McConnell and ilk choke on their own vomit.

Barry Mauer said...

It seems like you didn't read the whole Krugman column, like the part where he heaps a giant steaming pile of both-siderist sludge at us.

"Indeed, what the Sanders movement, with its demands for purity and contempt for compromise and half-measures, most nearly resembles is not the Trump insurgency but the ideologues who took over the G.O.P., becoming the establishment Mr. Trump is challenging. And yes, we’re starting to see hints from that movement of the ugliness that has long been standard operating procedure on the right: bitter personal attacks on anyone who questions the campaign’s premises, an increasing amount of demagogy from the campaign itself. Compare the Sanders and Clinton Twitter feeds to see what I mean."

Krugman is being excoriated for his claim that Sanders is a demagogue.


Benjamin Feddersen said...

The Sanders side IS an open attempt at an ideological takeover of the Democratic party, and in my personal opinion it's a takeover that should have happened twenty fucking years ago. Dems have been playing kumbayah while Republicans have been sharpening their knives.

Jimbo said...

The GOP has always been much better financed than the Democrats because, um, rich people. They also have a vast array of "think tanks" that conjure up ideological, fact free drivel some of which, like the Peterson Institute, are expressly designed to make him and his heirs even richer at the expense of the 99%. They started this in the 1970s as the long game and it has been effective when combined with the Southern Strategy. The Southern Strategy, in turn, was also about turning white racists anywhere (Reagan Democrats) using populist memes and became hugely successful. The Democrats responded by being totally defensive (the DLC) and Clintonian over-compromising. The GOPBase are savages and there cannot be Obama-like attempts at "compromise" because that means the GOP gets everything and the Demcrats are allowed to choose the font on which the bill be printed.