Ed Driscoll

The Krugman Army

On Friday, James Taranto described Occupy Wall Street as “Krugman’s Army,” and the former Enron advisor certainly has gone all in with the movement:

  • “Some commentators have tried to play down the mob aspect of these scenes, likening the campaign against health reform to the campaign against Social Security privatization back in 2005. But there’s no comparison. I’ve gone through many news reports from 2005, and while anti-privatization activists were sometimes raucous and rude, I can’t find any examples of congressmen shouted down, congressmen hanged in effigy, congressmen surrounded and followed by taunting crowds. And I can’t find any counterpart to the death threats at least one congressman has received. So this is something new and ugly. What’s behind it?”–former Enron adviser Paul Krugman, New York Times, Aug. 7, 2009
  • ” ‘Kill the Cops!’ Shout Reported During ‘Occupy New Orleans’ Protest”–headline, DailyCaller.com, Oct. 7
  • “Occupy Wall Street is starting to look like an important event that might even eventually be seen as a turning point. … Now, it’s true that some of the protesters are oddly dressed or have silly-sounding slogans, which is inevitable given the open character of the events. But so what? I, at least, am a lot more offended by the sight of exquisitely tailored plutocrats, who owe their continued wealth to government guarantees, whining that President Obama has said mean things about them than I am by the sight of ragtag young people denouncing consumerism.”–Krugman, New York Times, Oct. 7, 2011
  • “Almost all the bankers and hedge-fund managers on Wall Street are Jewish. There is a conspiracy in this country in which Jews control the media, finances–if you Google, Google ‘Wall Street Jews.’ Google ‘Jewish billionaires.’ Google ‘Jews in the Federal Reserve Bank.’ The Jews, who represent 2% of the population–it’s similar to Russia, the oligarchs and the plutocrats–a small ethnic minority, they have pooled their money together, amassed their money, to take control of America’s finances. I ask the Russian people to Google ‘Jewish billionaires’ in this country. You’ll find out that half the billionaires in this country are Jewish.”–Occupy Wall Street protester in YouTube video, Oct. 3, 2011
  • “When I said that it was the job of policy intellectuals to fill in the details for the Occupy Wall Street protestors, I didn’t mean ‘don’t worry your pretty little heads about it, we’ll work it out,’ I meant job literally as in responsibility: people like Joe Stiglitz and me have an obligation to work on this, helping to translate what justifiably angry citizens are saying into more fleshed-out proposals.”–Krugman, New York Times website, Oct. 7, 2011

Meanwhile, Noel Sheppard responds at Newsbusters to Krugman’s latest column:

It seems New York Times columnist Paul Krugman thinks the Occupy Wall Street protesters have been better behaved than Tea Party attendees.

Read the following paragraph from Monday’s “Panic of the Plutocrats” and you be the judge:

Consider first how Republican politicians have portrayed the modest-sized if growing demonstrations, which have involved some confrontations with the police — confrontations that seem to have involved a lot of police overreaction — but nothing one could call a riot. And there has in fact been nothing so far to match the behavior of Tea Party crowds in the summer of 2009.

Maybe Krugman has missed images like these:

Click over for multiple shots of Occupy Wall Street types living in homeless-style squalor, being carted off by the police, etc. And as Noel adds, “As most folks are aware, there are worse pictures as Britain’s Daily Mail reported Saturday including a protester defecating on a police car.”

As Taranto quips today, “Remember when Krugman was making up lies about conservatives employing ‘eliminationist rhetoric?’ He now commands an army that is engaged in a campaign of actual elimination.”

But if it’s eliminationist rhetoric you’re looking for, Occupy Wall Street has plenty to spare. At the Tatler, Bryan Preston wonders “Why are the Occupiers in Boston Supporting a Terror Suspect?” And then there’s this photo from the Reuters news service wire, and found by the Weasel Zippers:

A protester carries a picture of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein on a pole during an “Occupy Wall Street” rally in New York’s Washington Square October 8, 2011. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg accused anti-Wall Street protesters on Friday of trying to destroy jobs in the city, even as he said he was sympathetic to some of their complaints.

Let’s take Krugman at his word from back in January: if campaign clip art and bullet-point style wingdings can cause someone already insane to kill, then how do you defend a protest that uses imagery such as the above? And beyond that, Krugman’s embrace of class warfare seems rather paradoxical considering his statement last year that it was World War II that turned the corner on the Depression. In order to gear up the war effort, FDR had to finally make common cause in the early 1940s with the businessmen he had been previously demonizing, Obama-Alinsky style, during the previous decade. And while there were some strikes during WWII in America, they were certainly discouraged, for obvious reasons. Today, with the American economy seeming at times to be in almost as rough a shape now as it was in the 1930s under Roosevelt, the last thing it needs are further hindrances, yet that’s exactly what a Nobel Prize-winning economist is now championing.

But then, as commenter at Hot Air spotlighted by Kathy Shaidle writes:

You know, an actual by-God new low only comes along once in so often. And it’s a truly monumental barrier to break anymore.

So congratulate yourself, Paul Krugman. You’ve rendered even our most hyperbolic adjectives useless, every simile and metaphor unsatisfyingly inapt to express how low–and crazy–you’ve become. You, in fact, have broken English, have shone a stark light on its very real limitations to express extremes of degredation. If we remember your name at all, it will be as the new defining standard: lower than Krugman. Crazy as Krugman. Bar fights will be started with insults based on your name. Wars even.

Again, mazeltov. You’ve outdone yourself.

Allahpundit style exit questions:  If I’m a PR man for an investment firm, why would I continue to advertise in the New York Times, given the paper’s broad editorial support of an astroturfed movement dedicated to my industry’s destruction? Not to mention bringing day-to-day squalor to the neighborhood I work in.

Beyond that, having gone to the mattresses for the Obama campaign in 2008 due to the quality of his pants and his “liberal” stance on social issues, why on earth would Wall Street do so again in 2012?

Related: Ann Althouse on “Krugman’s swipe at Bloomberg’s rhetoric about Occupy Wall Street:”

Paul Krugman has a column about how various “plutocrats” are “panicking” about the Occupy Wall Street movement, and I want to focus on the 4th paragraph:

Michael Bloomberg, New York’s mayor and a financial-industry titan in his own right, was a bit more moderate, but still accused the protesters of trying to “take the jobs away from people working in this city,” a statement that bears no resemblance to the movement’s actual goals.

So the “actual goals” — presumably, something along the lines of a better world for everyone — should divert us from noticing the actual effects people are actually causing? Imagine that as a general principle: We should to back off from criticizing people who have good intentions, even when they adopt means that cause collateral damage, even when those means aren’t likely to get us to the pretty goals they have in mind.

No need to imagine it, when it’s the everyday worldview of the New York Times‘ editorial bullpen.

(Apologies to Gene, Paul, Peter and Ace for the above Photoshop.)