After last night’s fiasco, the world has taken note of Howard Dean’s nuttiness. It is time that the same attention be focused on Paul Krugman, with the same result. Today’s Krugman column is one of his most outrageous.
As always, Krugman’s column is a partisan attack on President Bush. But his attacks are getting ever weirder and more paranoid. He says that “[Bush’s] political handlers seem to have decided on a go-for-broke strategy: confuse the middle one last time, energize the base and grab enough power that the consequences don’t matter.” Huh? What is that supposed to mean? Is he anticipating a Republican coup? And someone should clue Mr. Krugman in to the fact that the Republican base is not exactly “energized” by the administration’s Medicare and immigration proposals–a fact that, I guess, has no place in Krugman’s fantasy world.
Notwithstanding his paranoia, Krugman sees hopeful signs in the New York Times poll that we linked to a few days ago: “Judging from the latest CBS/New York Times Poll, these promises of something for nothing aren’t likely to convince many people….Unfavorable views of Mr. Bush as a person have reached record levels for his presidency. It seems fair to say that many Americans, like most of the rest of the world, simply don’t trust him anymore.”
As one of our readers noted, that poll used a sample that was obviously skewed toward the Democrats, and thus shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But take the poll at face value: it says that 38% have a “not favorable” impression of President Bush. While it is correct that this was the highest negative percentage of his presidency–not surprising, given the bad sample–it is exactly two percentage points more than at the time of the November 2000 election. And if we look at the Gallup poll taken less than two weeks earlier, which did not suffer from the Times poll’s sample problem, we find the American public having a favorable opinion of President Bush by a stunning 65% to 35% margin. In contrast, Krugman’s candidate, Howard Dean, was viewed favorably by 28% and unfavorably by 39% in the same poll. So maybe Krugman should have said that many Americans simply don’t trust Howard Dean anymore.
But spinning poll data isn’t the worst of Krugman’s sins. Defamation is: “while [Bush] poses as someone above the fray, he is continuing to solidify his base. The most sinister example was the recess appointment of Charles Pickering Sr., with his segregationist past and questionable record on voting rights, to the federal appeals court
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