Former economist Paul Krugman, who now makes a living by mailing in Democratic Party talking-points to the op-ed page of the New York Times, made a fool of himself once more in his latest column. He joined the chorus of Democrats trying to advance the ludicrous claim that opposition to Obamacare is “racist.” What opposition to government medicine has to do with race is anyone’s guess, so Krugman and his fellow leftists are forced to make stuff up. This was Krugman’s contribution:
And on the other side, here’s what Newt Gingrich, the Republican former speaker of the House — a man celebrated by many in his party as an intellectual leader — had to say: If Democrats pass health reform, “They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years” by passing civil rights legislation.
This ostensible quote was just about the entire basis for Krugman’s column, so it is doubly embarrassing that he fabricated it. Gingrich, obviously, said no such thing. Thus, the Times was forced to post this red-faced correction to Krugman’s column:
The Paul Krugman column on Monday, about the health care bill, quoted Newt Gingrich as saying that “Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years” by passing civil rights legislation. The quotation originally appeared in The Washington Post, which reported after the column went to press that Mr. Gingrich said it referred to Johnson’s Great Society policies, not to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
If Krugman knew anything about history, he would know that his fabrication made no sense, since Republicans supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act more heavily than Democrats. But Krugman is both too ignorant to be aware of that well-known fact, and too lazy to look it up. To all appearances, he hasn’t spent more than 30 minutes on a column in years. Presumably the Times justifies keeping him on the payroll with the comforting reflection that he isn’t quite as mean-spirited as Frank Rich.