THE TRIBE IN THE MIRROR: Paul Krugman's ugly motive revealed!


Part 4—One more of our brilliant tribe's bombs:
Republican voters are "bat-shit crazy," full stop.

Jonathan Chait, who has never been wrong, thoughtfully told us that back on March 29.

He didn't say that these voters are wrong, or wrong in his opinion. He didn't content himself with saying that these voters are misinformed—that they've been deliberately misinformed by arrays of corporate elites.

He said Those People are "bat-shit crazy," a type of judgment which feels much better. He wasted no time with qualifiers, with words like some or many. He didn't drop any R-bombs that day, but his headline referred to "Haters."

Chait was indulging himself in one of our great tribal pleasures. Over There, Those People are very dumb. The Others are stupid, in fact.

Life forms like Chait have reasoned this way since our ancestors crawled from the swamp. Generally, a tribe's intellectual leaders—sun gods like Chait—have reasoned this way. After that, they've sent their spear-chuckers to war.

For decades, our tribe has loved the idea that The Others are massively stupid. In fairness, it's easy for Us to get this impression, given the massive intellectual brilliance we constantly see Over Here.

What does Chait see when he surveys our tribe? He sees such brilliance as this:

We think we should judge a 68-year-old candidate on things she thought when she was 15. A selective account of her thoughts as a high school sophomore helps define her "atrocious race record."

Chait also sees brilliance like this:

We geniuses may decide to let Candidate Trump get elected. This sublimely sagacious act will bring on the revolution!

That said, there's more, much more. We also find ourselves diagnosing the anti-Semitism of the running dog Paul Krugman. That chapter in our tribe's unfolding intellectual history tends to go something like this:

As such rodents always do, the anti-Semite is trying to pose as the victim today. Right at the start of this morning's column, Krugman slickly bellows about the way he's been treated:
KRUGMAN (4/8/16): From the beginning, many and probably most liberal policy wonks were skeptical about Bernie Sanders. On many major issues—including the signature issues of his campaign, especially financial reform—he seemed to go for easy slogans over hard thinking. And his political theory of change, his waving away of limits, seemed utterly unrealistic.

Some Sanders supporters responded angrily when these concerns were raised, immediately accusing anyone expressing doubts about their hero of being corrupt if not actually criminal. But intolerance and cultishness from some of a candidate’s supporters are one thing; what about the candidate himself?
Krugman goes on to pretend to discuss his concerns about Candidate Sanders' policy views concerning the big banks."

People, pay no attention to that! It's just the intellectuals again! They're trying to confuse you!

Krugman's analysis of the big banks will produce zero discussion. Our "press corps" doesn't discuss such topics. If we want to be truthful for once, we liberals avoid such talk too.

As Press Corps Barbie once memorably said, math—and discussing the big banks—is hard! "Immediately accusing" deviants like Krugman is the better road. This recalls the time when the running dog Krugman had the A-S bomb dropped on his head.

It was Friday, March 11. In his column, the running dog said that Candidate Sanders had been "demagoguing" the issue of trade.

The D-bomb is a divisive term. We'd be slow to use it ourselves, whether here or anywhere else.

For our money, Krugman may sometimes be a bit tone deaf about such political matters. But out in beautiful Mission Viejo, "first responder" Rima Regas understood what he had done.

With amazing frequency, Regas often posts the first comment to columns in the Times. Typically, she then appends a second comment to her own original comment. Frequently, this second comment links us to something she's written somewhere else.

On this day, the first responder posted a two-part comment. In Part 2, the "visionary from Viejo" explained Paul Krugman's "blind rage."

Regas speaks for herself, no one else. But our own brilliant tribe reasons this way with amazing frequency:
REGAS (3/11/16): What is dismaying are the lengths to which Paul Krugman has gone to disparage Bernie Sanders. Why?

Other than the ultra-Orthodox there are varying degrees of Jewishness from conservative to reform, who look and sound as most Americans in their locales, but are still unmistakably Jewish. After that, we have varying levels of assimilated Jews. There are those who, while they are not observant, like Bernie Sanders, are unmistakably Jewish not only in their outward appearance and manner of speech, but in their culture, values and thinking. Lastly, there are those who made a meticulous conscious effort to shed every shred of their Judaism to achieve a level of parity with what we used to call the WASP. These are your secular high-achievers. Educated at the finest schools, their mannerisms are Waspish, right down to their speech. The inside is as clean of their origin as the outside.

What makes a member of the intelligentsia with a carefully manicured atribal persona tick? A Brooklyn Jew who looks and sounds like a ghetto Jew who made it.

Watching Paul Krugman's blind rage at Bernie Sanders has been baffling. So virulent is the hate that Krugman has been willing to eschew long-held positions just so he can demolish the object of his disdain.

Paul writes about hate-filled Sanders Twitter timelines. Judge for yourselves. Two days' worth, right here:

The ugliness has sourced from here and much of the rest of the mainstream media. Et tu, Brother Krugman, projecting much?
Finally, we had our answer. Krugman's blind rage could be explained:

To Krugman, Candidate Sanders is "a Brooklyn Jew who looks and sounds like a ghetto Jew who made it." By way of contrast, Krugman has "made a meticulous conscious effort to shed every shred of [his] Judaism to achieve a level of parity with what we used to call the WASP."

In short, out came an A-S bomb. Attitudes like Krugman's can't be allowed to stand.

Everything is possible, of course, including this explanation. It's also true that Regas is just one person, just like everyone else.

It's silly to think that Regas speaks for everyone else in our glorious tribe; or for most people in our tribe; or even for many such people, even though a fair number of subsequent commenters said she seemed to have nailed it.

This particular first responder is just one person. She doesn't speak for our whole tribe, or for anyone else at all. She speaks for herself.

We assume that she's a good decent person, although we think she may be inclined to get over her skis at times, perhaps in something resembling the approach Krugman describes today. That said, this general impulse—the impulse to drop bombs on the heads of those whose views we judge to be wrong—is extremely widespread in our self-impressed tribe.

In one way, our instincts don't quite make sense. If Those People are so stupid, why do they have to be racist bigoted xenophobe nativists too? Why can't they just be stupidly wrong? Why do they have to be evil?

Whatever the answer, it's clear that our tribe tends to treasure both stories. They're our most basic tribal narratives. And when we drop our various bombs, we tend to be extremely lazy—or perhaps, just very dumb—about our use of qualifiers, like many, a few or some or "maybe like ten percent."

Instead, we love to tell the world that Trump supporters are racists, full stop! We may include a grudging statement saying we don't mean all Those People. But that's about as far as we'll go in denying ourselves tribal joy.

In our view, our performance when we "reason" this way tends to be very dumb on the merits, equally bad on the politics. But now, we're at the end of the week, and we haven't gotten to the low-IQ work we had in mind at the start of the week, when we said we'd be taking a look at the tribe in the mirror.

That said, our low-IQ work when we drop our bombs is extremely widespread. It can be found wherever our tribe exhibits our admittedly flawless work.

Hillary Clinton was wrong at 15! Letting Trump win will produce the revolution! Krugman says Sanders is wrong on the banks because he hates that kind of Jew! And after that, we reach Dana Milbank's attempt to explain his use of our bombs—to justify the bombs he keeps dropping on Those People's heads.

We're about to tell you the world's biggest secret. Brace yourselves. Here it is:

Over Here, we aren't super sharp! Our analytical skills are extremely weak. Our love for our bombs is quite strong.

Over Here, we aren't real sharp. In that sense, we're not unlike Those People, The Others, the ones found Over There.

That said:

All through the annals of time, the endless tribes who prayed for war have been unable to see such things. The Others have always been evil and dumb. One's own tribe has always been flawless.

This is the way our wars come on. It's also how Ron Paul wins.

Next week: Milbank and an array of bombers help attain Ron Paul's dream

Ron Paul's dream: Ron Paul's dream—let's dissolve into many small republics!—is now visiting war-torn Belgium.

For more information, click here. As we keep dropping our low-IQ bombs, we help bring that dream Over Here.


  1. Bob, like Rima Regas, seems to have nailed it. That said, he doesn't read his comments. In our view he might be bat-shit crazy too. Can we talk? He is seemingly the secret target.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Anti-semitism from assimilated Jews might account for more than just Krugman. It might explain why the Jewish-owned New York Times is so strongly anti-Israel.

    1. Don't be an idiot. Somerby is saying that calling people names, like anti-Semite, instead of addressing their arguments is bad. Your comment says the a-s bomb was aimed at the wrong target.

      Ad hominem attacks should be unconvincing to thinking people. But why is Krugman being called an anti-Semite? Because he is attacking Sanders at the source of his supposed expertise, much as Clinton did a few days ago when she said Sanders hadn't done his homework.

      Sanders opponents are addressing the substance of his policies. He and his supporters are responding by attacking instead of answering the questions and defending their own statements.

      I think it should be troublesome to voters that our two MVPs (before this election) when it comes to financial issues, Krugman and Barney Frank, are both supporting Clinton instead of Sanders. In addition, a list of respected economists have made similar criticisms of Sanders and joined in their support of Clinton's proposals. Even Elizabeth Warren has not endorsed Sanders, despite sharing his goals of reform.

      Instead of calling Krugman a name, voters should be asking why so many economists are rejecting Sanders despite acknowledging the validity of his complaints. Krugman has the courage to tell us why, in print, and look what he gets from the Bernie Bros (and upscale Californians -- Mission Viejo is a wealthy neighborhood).

    2. Bob and many of his readers love to drop the W-bomb (wealth).

      Do they do it with envy? Perhaps. We have no way of knowing. Do they do it sometimes in error? Surely. Never recognizing the hypocrisy? Absolutely.

  4. From a different direction, I loved this from Krugman:

    "... immediately accusing anyone expressing doubts about their hero of being corrupt if not actually criminal".

    That "they've been bought" trope has been a Krugman staple for twenty years and now he objects to others using it? Maybe he has a copyright...

  5. Calling Krugman an anti-Semite is like calling Bill Clinton a racist. It is patently absurd.

    It is a prime example of the conservative practice of attacking a person at their strength. You would think someone Jewish would be exempt from being called anti-Semitic, that someone with a long record of helping African Americans and people in poverty would be exempt from being called racist (white-splaining). Conservatives have no shame about calling heroes cowards, and so on. Now the Sanders people have adopted the same tactic in their attempts to defend their candidate.

    The best way for Sanders to address this is to fill in the details of his proposals, to demonstrate his expertise, to tell voters how he plans to implement his goals. Clinton has done that. She always does it when she issues a policy statement. Bernie needs to do the same. When voters demand specifics, you don't attack the voters -- you provide those specifics. Or you don't win at the polls.

    All over the liberal internet, people are talking about Bernie's meltdown. He needs to get his act together or the smell of desperation in the air is going to bring him down. Attacking a respected figure like Krugman (or Barney Frank or Bill Clinton) isn't going to help his campaign at all.

    1. So desperate he is on a 7 state winning streak!

    2. Dave the Guitar PlayerApril 8, 2016 at 1:59 PM

      If Bernie is going to win, I would prefer he win for the right reasons (his policies). Not because he can demonize his opponents. Winning, as Donald Trump has shown, is not a defense.

    3. I consider Krugman and Frank to be dissemblers and "Bill Clinton" and "respect" should not be used in the same sentence, except in the case of low information voters. Yes, I am a bomb thrower in TDH vernacular. I embrace that epithet at a time of historic wealth inequality, when the neoliberalism of Hillary et al., has led us to the brink of civilizational collapse and the extinction of homo sapiens.

  6. I don't think anti-semitism accounts for Krugman's criticism of Sanders. Nor do I attribute that criticism to the economic foolishness of Sanders' proposals. IMHO Krugman is criticizing Sanders simply because he's supporting Hillary.

    If (Heaven forbid!) Sanders gets the nomination, Krugman will turn 180º and write columns supporting him against any Republican.

    1. David, you continually prove that you are, indeed, not the brightest star in any constellation.

    2. He seems to respond well when you ask him not to be an idiot.

    3. Dave the Guitar PlayerApril 8, 2016 at 2:06 PM

      DinC - Do you truly believe that the Republican version of economic policies would not be worthy of serious criticism, regardless of who wins in November?

    4. Yes, I have problems with Republican plans, too. As Bob has pointed out, Trump's proposed tax cut is ridiculously large. Cruz's idea that a flat tax would simplify tax calculcation so much that the IRS could be abolished makes no sense to me. Whether there are three tax brackets or 10 isn't why income tax is so complicated. The complexity is because of complex accounting rules and all kinds of special legislation and regulation.

    5. The complexity is because we use the tax code to reward or discourage certain behaviors.

      For examples, we have the deduction for home mortgage interest. We have the child tax credit. We have deductions for charitable giving.

      And we also have that wonderful Republican idea -- the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Nixonian plan to "reward work" and get people off welfare.

    6. You have things backwards. Krugman is supporting Hillary because Sanders doesn't make sense and she does.

  7. I've been wondering lately whether some of the "Bernie Bros" are operatives from the Koch, et alia, financed outfits, intent on producing just the sort of controversy you see in comment threads at various "progressive" sites. It reminds me that I saw the same thing in 2008 at sites like Digby's (Hullabaloo), with the "Obamabots" saying scurrilous things, and regurgitating Clinton "scandals."
    This behavior is, as Bob says, "dumb" and bodes ill for the Democrats in November.

  8. Rima Regas is just like Bob Somerby. A vanity blogger with wacky opinions on many scattered topics with no secure professional moorings.

    1. "Over her skis" is a good description, and I do bristle when the comment appendages and links to her own blog appear.

    2. "Over her skis" is a good description, and I do bristle when the comment appendages and links to her own blog appear.

    3. "Over her skis" is the wording of an old scribe who hasn't been on the slopes in a long, long time.

  9. Bob in one breath:

    "This particular first responder is just one person. She doesn't speak for our whole tribe, or for anyone else at all. She speaks for herself."

    Bob in the very next breath:

    "That said, this general impulse—the impulse to drop bombs on the heads of those whose views we judge to be wrong—is extremely widespread in our self-impressed tribe."

    I see. She speaks for herself except when Bob is straining to make a point about "our self-impressed tribe." Then she is typical of the entire tribe.

    1. That said, in our view, let us repeat ourselves.

      This particular first repsonder lists herself as being from Mission Viejo, which one Bob commenter seems to say is the upscale home of wealthy Californians, presumably including the first responder.

      Bob allows this comment to be published even though the first responder is a self professed homeless person whose primary activity, like Bob's, is publishing an online vanity blog and making comments in publications and websites.


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