I’m not sure who even takes Paul Krugman seriously anymore, but the man has an audience still, and he repeatedly says things that are just too absurd not to poke at. For example, Krugman infamously predicted in 1998 that “by 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.” So, his lack of credibility when it comes to seeing things for what they are goes way back. But his most recent offense is his response to Biden’s vaccine mandate, which Krugman has declared as the defining moment of presidential leadership for Biden.
“Today, Joe Biden became president,” Krugman tweeted. “OK, he already was. But this is huge — a dramatic assertion of his right and duty to protect the American people from harm. I don’t know how it will play politically; I don’t even know how the news media will cover it, whether they’ll de facto take the side of the irresponsible minority. But Biden needed to be bold, and he has surpassed expectations.”
I don't know how it will play politically; I don't even know how the news media will cover it, whether they'll de facto take the side of the irresponsible minority. But Biden needed to be bold, and he has surpassed expectations 2/
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) September 9, 2021
Krugman continued to slobber all over Biden’s mandate on Friday, though he cautioned that despite it being “terrific” public policy, he refused to predict whether it will play out well politically, and then he went on a nonsensical tangent about Obama.
“Biden’s vaccine mandate is terrific public policy; it is, more or less literally, what the doctor ordered. Is it good politics? We don’t know. But one thing worth noting is the contrast with Obama,” he said. “It’s now clear that Republicans effectively sabotaged Obama’s economy, slowing the recovery, by imposing fiscal austerity (using completely false claims that they were worried about debt). And Obama was basically passive, even accepting their premises.”
What Obama presidency did Krugman experience? Because Obama was anything but passive or accepting of anything from Republicans. Obama notoriously bypassed Congress without batting an eye when it came to implementing his agenda.—be it executive actions to “fix” Obamacare, to unilaterally entering the United States into treaties such as the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Agreement. Republicans didn’t sabotage Obama’s economy—though at least it’s nice to see Krugman effectively admit Obama’s economy was terrible—Obama sabotaged it himself with his reckless spending while he had a supermajority in Congress, and with his federal drilling moratorium, which kept prices at the pump near four dollars a gallon for roughly three years, slowing economic recovery to the point where Obama’s recovery was the worst since the Great Depression.
But Krugman wasn’t finished with this gibberish.
“[Republicans] are now sabotaging Biden by undermining the fight against Covid; how self-conscious they are about this is something we can argue, but that’s how it’s working out. And having blocked basic public health measures, they’re all set to blame Biden for Covid’s persistence,” he said.
Funny, didn’t the left blame Trump for COVID persistence last year? Krugman himself argued last September that Trump’s response to COVID was “worse than incompetent.” Yet, here we are. A year and three vaccines later COVID is out of control, according to the left. The United States is over 50 percent vaccinated, yet, Biden, who was supposed to be the adult in the room, ready to bring competence back to the White House, has failed to keep it under control. I know Krugman is just a garden variety left-wing pundit, but how much cognitive dissonance is needed to say that Trump’s response to COVID, during which we had no vaccines, was worse than Biden’s during which we have three? Yes, something like 99 percent of new infections and hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated, but the pool of potentially infected people is much smaller under Biden than it was under Trump. Yet, Krugman is gushing over Biden’s embrace of authoritarianism like it’s a sign of leadership.
“But Biden is fighting back. He’s using executive authority to save lives, and basically daring [Republians] to put themselves on the side of the minority trying to ruin life for the rest of us,” Krugman continued. “Again, he’s doing the right thing regardless of the politics. But he may also have chosen favorable ground for a big political fight.”
Well, if Biden wants a political fight, he’s got one. But if Krugman thinks it’s a winner for him, it’s a safe bet that it’s not.