"Which is worse? The wolf who cries before eating the lamb or the wolf who does not."— Leo Tolstoy

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Paul Krugman Behaving Badly: The Ogre of 9/11 and the Apologetic Politics of Shame

As thousands of people gathered in New York City to honor relatives, friends and colleagues who died on 9/11 many of the mourners were treated to an early morning blog post by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman who wrote that the anniversary of 9/11 "has become an occasion for shame." 

The blog post is short and ugly, like a stream of tobacco juice spit with full force on a white linen suit. According to Krugman, the events which followed 9/11 were so "deeply shameful" that "even people on the right" must intrinsically understand that "the memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned." Krugman makes the facile rhetorical claim that "the nation" knows the truth of his insights "in its heart." Following Krugman's logic to its natural conclusion, December 7th - the Anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor - is not a day that will live in infamy, but a day of shame forever stained by the explosion of the atomic bomb over Japan.  Memorial day is also a day of shame because it honors a  military whose soldiers participated in an orgy of war crimes including the fire bombing of Dresden  and the genocide of the Native American population of North America.  The sad thing is that Krugman would probably agree with these obviously inane statements.

Particularly galling is Krugman's clucking at the "professional pundits" who he claims "behaved badly" by failing to criticize the Bush Administration polices during what he calls the "years of shame." By "professional pundits" I am assuming he means columnists who lack a Ph.D., tenure and a Nobel Prize in economics. Of course, Krugman is just as guilty of ignoring the fact that the Obusha Administration has not only adopted, but embraced, legitimized and in some cases expanded the very same "war on terror" polices that Kugman laments in his blog post.

Krugman ends his blog post by telling his readers that he has disabled the comments, "for obvious reasons." I don't blame him for disabling the comments. The blog post is a particularly petulant, purile and mean-spirited piece of work. The real reason Krugman disabled the comments is because he knows, "in his heart," that he has done a despicable thing to a great many people.

Compare Krugman's cowardice with the courage of Nicholas Kristoff's first-hand reporting from some of the World's most dangerous conflict zones. I cannot remember a single time that Kristoff had to disable the comments on his blog to protect himself from his readers.

1 comment:

  1. I don't see any vitriol in what he wrote. I agree with him, and I'm not sure what the "despicable thing" you refer to is, or who the people he's done it to are.

    I wouldn't have disabled comments, but it's his blog.