One could make a living fact-checking Paul Krugman. It’s hard to say whether he is extremely forgetful, or just a terrible liar. Krugman, anticipating a Biden inauguration in January, laments what awaits him as he emerges from his basement and pretends to run the country.
“When Joe Biden is inaugurated, he will immediately be confronted with an unprecedented challenge,” Krugman writes. “He’ll be the first modern U.S. president trying to govern in the face of an opposition that refuses to accept his legitimacy. And no, Democrats, by and large, were not claiming Donald Trump was illegitimate, just that he was incompetent and dangerous.”
Pardon me while I laugh for twenty minutes.
Has Krugman been living under a rock for the past four years? Was he deaf to the constant harping by the media that President Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election? Was his head buried in the sand when Rep. Adam Schiff claimed to have personally seen evidence of collusion? Was Krugman not aware that there was a special counsel investigation that went on for two years? Is Krugman so divorced from reality that he was not aware of all the attempts to impeach Trump that were based on the allegation that he colluded with Russia to steal the election?
Heck, seventy Democrats refused to attend his inauguration in part because of “foreign interference in his election” — in other words, they didn’t accept the legitimacy of his victory.
Krugman may not be the smartest guy, but did he really forget that he actually questioned the legitimacy of the 2016 election before it happened? “Whatever happens, however, let’s be clear: this was, in fact, a rigged election,” he exclaimed the day before Trump was elected, before reciting a laundry list of left-wing conspiracy theories about how U.S. elections are rigged, including voter suppression, Russian interference, WikiLeaks, James Comey, the media, the Hillary email scandal—pretty much everything but little green men from Mars.
This summer, Krugman preemptively declared that should Trump win reelection, it would not have been legitimate. “At this point, it will be almost impossible for Trump to win reelection legitimately. It’s quite possible, however, that he will try to steal the election.”
Where we are now: at this point, it will be almost impossible for Trump to win reelection legitimately. It's quite possible, however, that he will try to steal the election. And if you don't think that can happen, you're not paying attention 1/
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) July 17, 2020
A hilarious correction has since been added to Krugman’s article:
Correction: Dec. 1, 2020
An earlier version of this column referred imprecisely to Democratic attitudes toward Donald Trump. Some questioned his legitimacy, not all accepted it.
“Some questioned his legitimacy, not all accepted it.” Very cute.
But even moving past 2016, did Krugman actually forget the aftermath of the 2000 election, which so strongly divided our country, leaving so many claiming that Bush “stole” the election from Al Gore and that Bush was “selected, not elected” by the Supreme Court? Many Democrats still believe Bush “stole” the 2000 election… and the 2004 election as well. Though challenges to the 2004 election didn’t go anywhere, mainstream liberals like Gore Vidal and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. attempted to make the case that Bush legitimately lost in 2004. Krugman also questioned the legitimacy of both elections. “There was at least as much electoral malfeasance in 2004 as there was in 2000, even if it didn’t change the outcome,” he wrote in August 2005, which immediately promoted a book called Steal This Vote by Andrew Gumbel of The Independent. Krugman called the book “a very judicious work” and said Gumbel “documents the simple truth: ‘Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election.'”
In short, every Republican winner of the presidency over the last 20 years has had the legitimacy of his presidency questioned by the Democrats and the media. But, Krugman, trying to make a point about how awful Trump supporters are for not accepting Biden’s victory as legitimate when there’s a substantial amount of evidence of voter fraud yet to be properly investigated, ended up with egg on his face instead.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis