World’s Worst Columnist?

It’s a tough competition, of course, but it’s hard to imagine that any columnist in America could be more inept than Paul Krugman. I used to enjoy beating up on Krugman, but haven’t read him for a long time–life is short. But today I happened to notice this column, which attacks the Republican Party and the tea party movement.

I’d rebut Krugman’s arguments, only he doesn’t make any. Does he ever? Krugman doesn’t argue, he just vents. This is what we used to call “mailing it in.” If Krugman spent more than 20 minutes writing this column, I’d be shocked.

Krugman describes the Republican Party as “very much a minority party” with only “some limited ability to obstruct the Democrats” that is “embarrassing to watch” because it consists of “crazy people,” while all “real policy debates” are “among Democrats.” Of course, Krugman continues, the GOP “looked as crazy 10 or 15 years ago as it does now.” The tea parties are “the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so”–but such foolishness is “standard practice within the Republican Party.” Republicans, Krugman says, make “bizarre claims” about Democrats which are often “crazy.” Not only that, the Republicans engage in “Stalinist show trials” that enforce “ferocious party discipline.” Krugman says the tea parties, as authentic an outpouring of political sentiment as we have seen in a very long time, are “Astroturf.” (Evidence? You’re kidding, right?) So, to continue, “Republicans are refusing to grow up” so that the Democrats have “no credible opposition,” especially on economic policy where Republicans are “particularly clueless.” As opposed to the Democrats, apparently, who propose to run up more debt in the next five years than the Republic incurred from the Washington through the GW Bush administrations.

So, what facts–what arguments–are presented in support of this invective? None. It’s just hyperventilating. I know it’s only the New York Times, but wasn’t there a time when even that paper expected its columnists to expend at least a little effort? Krugman might as well have written “I am a Democrat” over and over again until it added up to 750 words.

Krugman did dip his toe into the waters of factual controversy at least once, when he wrote this:

Going back to those tea parties, Mr. DeLay, a fierce opponent of the theory of evolution — he famously suggested that the teaching of evolution led to the Columbine school massacre — also foreshadowed the denunciations of evolution that have emerged at some of the parties.

Actually, though, DeLay said no such thing. Krugman was just recycling, as he so often does, lies from the far-left blogosphere. (Hey, those guys work for free. Does Krugman get paid?) Tom Maguire has the details. And, by the way, have you seen any such “denunciations of evolution” at tea parties, which are concerned with government spending, waste and taxes? No, neither have I. What Tom DeLay, who has been gone from the Republican leadership for years, has to do with the public’s well-justified concerns about the administration’s economic policies, is a mystery on which Krugman sheds no light.

In a world of lazy journalists, Paul Krugman takes the prize. The New York Times’ willingness to continue publishing his drivel is one more nail in the company’s coffin.

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