Krugman: The Only Thing We Have Is Fear Itself

James Taranto has a little fun with the wackiest economist on Eighth Ave:

"There isn't actually any such thing as Islamofascism," former Enron adviser Paul Krugman assured his readers three years ago today. "It's not an ideology; it's a figment of the neocon imagination." Krugman was disparaging politicians for fretting about terrorism:

In America's darkest hour, Franklin Delano Roosevelt urged the nation not to succumb to "nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror." But that was then.

Today, many of the men who hope to be the next president--including all of the candidates with a significant chance of receiving the Republican nomination--have made unreasoning, unjustified terror the centerpiece of their campaigns.

Krugman has a point. Remember when fear itself hijacked airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center? And CNN.com reports that "at least two U.S. airports were on high alert Friday after investigators found a suspicious package on a plane in the United Kingdom the night before, a law enforcement source with detailed knowledge of the investigation said":

Investigators were examining two UPS planes that landed at Philadelphia International Airport and another at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, said Mike Mongeot, a UPS spokesman.

Authorities are focusing on flights coming from Yemen into the United States, according to the source.

How weird! Even with a left-wing Democrat in the White House, federal authorities are still susceptible to figments of the neocon imagination!

But even poor Paul Krugman has succumbed to terror. From his column today:

Barring a huge upset, Republicans will take control of at least one house of Congress next week. How worried should we be by that prospect? . . .

This is going to be terrible. In fact, future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness. . . .

So if the elections go as expected next week, here's my advice: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Islamic supremacist terrorism? No big whoop. A change in partisan control of the House of representatives? RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!

If Thomas Friedman had his way, Krugman would be able to rest easy. Would that we could be China for a day--the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years.

So what does it say when Krugman is sounding doomsday reports that the GOP winning Congress on Tuesday condemn America "to years of political chaos and economic weakness?"

Let's ask Krugman himself, circa 2000. In his essay “How to Be a Hack,” he sagely warned that it's "still a good idea to tune out supposed experts whose minds are made up in advance.”

I hope I'm not jumping the gun myself when I say that for once, Krugman's advice sounds spot-on. What say you, Paul?