Daily Archives: March 17, 2014


My admiration for Paul Krugman is well-nigh boundless. Still the noted economist, political commentator and cat-lover


can occasionally fall short of the mark. IMO. For example, consider his recent NYT op-ed on Paul Ryan


It’s pointed, but only up to a point.

There are many negative things you can say about Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee and the G.O.P.’s de facto intellectual leader. But you have to admit that he’s a very articulate guy, an expert at sounding as if he knows what he’s talking about.
So it’s comical, in a way, to see Mr. Ryan trying to explain away some recent remarks in which he attributed persistent poverty to a “culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working.” He was, he says, simply being “inarticulate.” How could anyone suggest that it was a racial dog-whistle? Why, he even cited the work of serious scholars — people like Charles Murray, most famous for arguing that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Oh, wait.
Just to be clear, there’s no evidence that Mr. Ryan is personally a racist, and his dog-whistle may not even have been deliberate. But it doesn’t matter. He said what he said because that’s the kind of thing conservatives say to each other all the time. And why do they say such things? Because American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People.

“there’s no evidence that Mr. Ryan is personally a racist” What does that mean exactly? That he doesn’t appear in this picture?


Brian Buetler in Salon is similarly “shy”

But let’s assume Ryan’s playing it straight, and his defenders, like Slate’s Dave Weigel, are correct when they argue that this is just how Ryan and other conservatives “think about welfare’s effects on social norms.” If that’s true, it’s actually a bigger problem for the right. If Ryan was even a little bit aware of how people would interpret his remarks, or understood the reaction to them when it exploded online, we could just say that some conservatives want to play the Southern Strategy at least one more round, and leave it at that. Close the book on this controversy, without drawing any larger conclusions about the state of conservative self-deception.

Let’s assume that Paul Ryan means precisely what he says. His thinking is clearly derived from Charles Murray


whose “lace curtain racist” screeds were promoted by Patient Less Than Zero


when he ran The New Republic

“Brothers Welcome”? AS IF!

Murray looks so professorial in his pictures. But at heart he’s no different than this dude


And it’s high time Krugman and everyone else said so

As for the economy, cue Cora Hoover Hooper