...happened in about 72 hours, and involved tweeting. It goes something like this:
...happened in about 72 hours, and involved tweeting. It goes something like this:
...though, about the initial reaction to Israel’s decision to try Adolf Eichmann. The response to that decision, as historians like Peter Novick and Deborah Lipstadt have shown, was rife with anti-Semitism. The Wall Street Journal warned darkly of ‘an atmosphere of Old Testament retribution.’ A Unitarian minister, according to Novick, claimed ‘he could see little ethical difference between ‘the Jew-pursuing Nazi and the Nazi-pursuing Jew.’ Those unitarian universalists.
The worst offender, though, was National Review. Combining all the elements of anticommunism, Christian homiletics, and ancient Jew-hatred, William F. Buckley’s magazine castigated the Israelis--really, the Jews, those Shylocks of vengeance and memory--for their inability to let bygones be bygones. In one editorial, the magazine wrote:
I confess I am gobsmacked: I really thought this April Fools' Festival thing would be a trawl through my archives.
But no! Things going on today beat anything I can ressurrect:
...When I published my 'Tragedy of the American Military' article last month, some people said:
No, it's an exaggeration to claim that war is an easy abstraction that people throw around without thinking through the consequences.'
Maybe. But I give you [Josh Muravchik] on the [Fred Hiatt-run] Op-Ed page of our capital city's main newspaper [The Washington Post]....
Trip Gabriel: Huckabee Pursues Unconventional Ways to Fund a Campaign: "In a wood-paneled study lined with books and framed family photos...
the prospective presidential candidate looks into the camera. ‘I’m Mike Huckabee,’ he says with all the folksy charm that propelled a career as a preacher, politician and broadcaster. But this is no campaign ad. It is an Internet infomercial for a dubious diabetes treatment.... Huckabee... tells viewers to ignore ‘Big Pharma’ and instead points them to a ‘weird spice, kitchen-cabinet cure,’ consisting of dietary supplements. ‘Let me tell you, diabetes can be reversed,’ Mr. Huckabee says. ‘I should know because I did it. Today you can, too.’... He has pursued some highly unconventional income streams--not just the diabetes endorsement, but selling ads on email commentaries he sends to thousands of his supporters....
I thought that this was going to be mostly pieces from the archives, but no!
It is perhaps 19 years too late for Mickey Kaus to have a "There's gambling going on here!" Colonel Renault moment with respect to Fox News and its place in the conservative media ecosystem in which he has embedded himself, no?
And, of course, there are all the golden oldies, including:
Kept Simple watches John Podhoretz star in the clown show:
Here is JPod saying that explicit racism is cool as long as you're using it just to get votes. https://t.co/80ACvgXBBH— kept_simple (@kept_simple) March 17, 2015
So this is a measure of Bibi's commitment to Israeli democracy: He just warned his supporters that Arabs are voting in large numbers.— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) March 17, 2015
@JeffreyGoldberg why don't you just tweet "Bibi stinks" every 45 seconds? It's about the same.— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) March 17, 2015
@jpodhoretz Because I'm running on battery and have other things to do. Btw, what do you think about Bibi's warning about Arabs voting?— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) March 17, 2015
@JeffreyGoldberg gee, what a shocker he'd try to scare right wingers to the polls. Whoever heard of such a thing. Get me my smelling salts.— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) March 17, 2015
Over at Equitable Growth: Apropos of my too-hot-for-Equitable-Growth, Time for a Rant!: Why Oh Why Cannot We Have Better Economists?, Paul Krugman inquires asks whether:
have forgotten, or perhaps never noticed, was Levine’s rant against me back in 2009, accusing me of failing to understand the depth and power of modern economic analysis.
I cannot remember reading it. It is a doozy--I will put it way down at the bottom. I will cut off the list of errors and just note the first four things I found wrong with it: READ MOAR
But Steve Blough trolls me this morning over on the Twitter Machine about the truly remarkable ignorance of economics professor David K. Levine:
And so I rise to the bait: READ MOAR
Nighttime Must-Read: Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR): "We have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance. They already control Tehran increasingly they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad and now Sana’a as well..."
Crime... teen drug and alcohol abuse... teen pregnancy... domestic violence... child molestation is way down.... David Brooks is cooking up off-the-cuff sociological theories to explain SOMETHING THAT ISN'T EVEN HAPPENING. And then he is recommending big changes in American culture and society...
Over at Medium: Bull Market: WRITTEN IN RESPONSE TO: [Bedtime for market efficiency](Bedtime for market efficiency)
The last time I saw Richard Thaler speak, he talked about the “Beauty Contest” game. In the “Beauty Contest” game, a bunch of people each pick a number between 0 and 100. The winner is the person whose number is closest to 2/3 of the average. And he talked about the person who, when he proposed to try the game on a group of alumni at a development function, advised him not to: it would be boring because everyone would choose zero.
Monday Smackdown Watch: Perhaps the most urgent question of the day is: nature or nurture. Is the absence of empathy for the human condition on the part of writers for the pre-Gabriel Snyder Old New Republic a result of their nature--that the New Republic of Marty Peretz and those willing to go the extra mile to cater to his bigotries were predisposed to hire such people--or of their nurture--that their discussions while at the Old New Republic trained them to make arguments like this one?
The estimable Patrick Nielsen Hayden, widely-envied by many not least for his office in the Flatiron Building, administers today's Monday Smackdown:
...dressed in my TV-from-the-Princeton-studio uniform: dress shirt, jacket, tie, shorts, and sandals (the camera doesn’t pan below the belly button). With me, Andy Serwer of Fortune and Stephen Moore of the WSJ.
Speaking of Apple, David Graeber demonstrates that he has less idea of what a "laptop" is and when it was invented than your average housecat:
The greater the need to improvise the more democratic the cooperation [within companies] tends to become. Inventors have always understood this, start-up capitalists frequently figure it out, and computer engineers have recently rediscovered the principle.... Apple Computers is a famous example: it was founded by (mostly Republican) computer engineers who broke from IBM in Silicon Valley in the 1980s, forming little democratic circles of twenty to forty people with their laptops in each other’s garages...
As ex-senator and current lobbyist Evan Bayh beats the drum for the U.S. to launch an attack on Iran, Duncan Black reminds me of what may be the best thing Ezra Klein has ever written:
...but got his revenge as well as he could. Now it's more war all the time. It's the greatest grift of all, really. War breaks out, and 'everyone' gets rich.
...'There are better ways to serve my fellow citizens,' Bayh said. 'I love working for the people of Indiana. I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress.
Live from Crows' Coffee: I had always thought that Richard Epstein was just pulling the traditional not-very-ethical lawyer's trick of knowingly and falsely claiming that what he hoped would be law in the future had in fact been law in the past. There is great and weighty precedent for this way of lawyering, after all. Consider Lord Chief Justice William Draper, 1st Baron Wynford (13 December 1767 – 3 March 1845:
We [would] get rid of a great deal of what is considered law in Westminster Hall, if what Lord Coke says without authority is not law...
Now comes Scott Lemieux to say that Richard Epstein has drunk his own koolaid: He really does believe that the Constitution mandated classical-liberal doctrines a century before they were thought up. He really does believe that misquotations of Jon Gruber should govern interpretations of ObamaCare. He really does believe that Chevron was wrongly decided--that the Courts should flip a coin rather than let experts who understand the issue make (and possibly change) administrative decisions:
Over at Medium: Tap... Tap... Tap...
Is this thing on? I guess it is...
So: very, very happy that the other people here think that I am potentially of high-enough quality to have invited me to be here as an editor. That is very flattering indeed--for they are a very, very good group.
I am very happy not just to be invited but to actually be part of this speculation. Obviously, Medium founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone are NET.GODS of quintessential degree, and the Medium team they have assembled is very good. And there is a chance that something like Medium is the future of the public sphere in the internet age, not just to separate the informational wheat from the chaff but to grow the informational wheat and bake it into...
This metaphor has run away with me...
In which Robert Lucas demonstrates that he understands first-year macro less well than many horseflies understand Apple's supply chain:
...I've already said I think what the Fed is now doing is going to be enough to get a reasonably quick recovery committed. But, could we do even better with fiscal stimulus? I just don't see this at all. If the government builds a bridge, and then the Fed prints up some money to pay the bridge builders, that's just a monetary policy.... The only part of the stimulus package that's stimulating is the monetary part....
Live from Crow's Coffee: At least with Teddy White journalism it's the campaign PR people who are willing to suck up to the reporters, the "strategists", who are the stars--not the reporters themselves. At least with Hunter Thompson journalism even though the reporters are the center of attention, they are so as anti-heroes and villains:
In which John Cochrane demonstrates that he understands freshman-level monetary economics less well than a duck understands advanced materials science:
April Fools Day Is Coming Early This Year/Hoisted from Comments/Live from Le Pain Quotidien: We have, checking back through the archives, a very good question from the estimable Kaleberg:
Kaleberg: Comment on "Noted for Your Afternoon Procrastination for January 2, 2015: "So Robert Lucas rejects the idea of chemistry...
He is commenting on:
Robert Lucas: Economics tries to... make predictions about the way... say, 280 million people are going to respond if you change something in the tax structure, something in the inflation rate, or whatever.... Kahnemann and Tversky haven’t even gotten to two people; they can’t even tell us anything interesting about how a couple that’s been married for ten years splits or makes decisions about what city to live in--let alone 250 million. This is like saying that we ought to build it up from knowledge of molecules or--no, that won’t do either, because there are a lot of subatomic particles.... We’re not going to build up useful economics in the sense of things that help us think about the policy issues that we should be thinking about starting from individuals and, somehow, building it up from there. Behavioral economics should be on the reading list.... But to think of it as an alternative to what macroeconomics or public finance people are doing or trying to do... not in my lifetime...
Ah. Crossing my desk today, two intersecting streams. The first is unpacking a stray box and finding in it a copy of NBER Working Paper 12398...
Back in 2004, you see, George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, headed by Greg Mankiw, released its 2004 Economic Report of the President--and immediately found the reporters of Washington enthusiastically throwing a low-tech necktie party, with the Bush CEA as the center of attention. In 2006 Greg and Phil Swagel wrote a good retrospective:
over offshore outsourcing connected with the release of the Economic Report of the President (ERP) in February 2004, examines the differing ways in which economists and non-economists talk about offshore outsourcing, and assesses the empirical evidence on the importance of offshore outsourcing in accounting for the weak labor market from 2001 to 2004...
In their 2004 Economic Report of the President, Greg and company made three points with respect to outsourcing, of which I count two and a half as likely correct:
J. Bradford DeLong on March 10, 2015 at 08:27 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: Inequality, Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Information: Internet, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: Across the Wide Missouri, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (8)
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Live from The Roasterie: We see what Paul Gigot, Rupert Murdoch, and the rest of the Wall Street Journal are doing here:
They are saying to Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts: "You aren't going to let yourself be persuaded by some women, are you?"
It is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes. And John Lewis is one of my heroes.
Now, I have to imagine that when a younger John Lewis woke up that morning fifty years ago and made his way to Brown Chapel, heroics were not on his mind. A day like this was not on his mind. Young folks with bedrolls and backpacks were milling about. Veterans of the movement trained newcomers in the tactics of non-violence; the right way to protect yourself when attacked. A doctor described what tear gas does to the body, while marchers scribbled down instructions for contacting their loved ones. The air was thick with doubt, anticipation, and fear. They comforted themselves with the final verse of the final hymn they sung:
Live from the Roasterie: For those who missed this last fall...
Paul Krugman on Allan H. Meltzer:
...when you look at the pronouncements of seemingly reputable economists. In May 2009, Allan Meltzer, a well-known monetary economist and historian of the Federal Reserve, had an Op-Ed article published in The New York Times warning that a sharp rise in inflation was imminent unless the Fed changed course...
Over at Equitable Growth: For the first time, we have a clue as to what Republican plans are for what to do with respect to health policy in the event of an anti-government Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell. And the Republican plan of Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse is the same as the Democratic plan--override the Supreme Court. The difference is that the Democratic override would be permanent, while Sass is only proposing a temporary override. For now. READ MOAR
I want to label something that I see "cognitive capture", and think about it.
The vir illustris Ron Rosenbaum, however, disagrees. Rosenbaum is writing about David Corn's story that Bill O'Reilly was not in fact in a "war zone" in 1982, and about how O'Reilly is responding by saying: "you can tell that I am a truth-teller because the liberals attack me so much". And he thinks that "cognitive capture" is not a useful concept. We should pretend it does not exist. We should instead just tell the truth day by day as if we were having a reasoned discussion. And we should hope that eventually, with enough truth-telling, the chips will fall where they should:
Some Hoisted from the Archives from Six Years Ago, Most Newer...: Speaking of people who had not done their homework, were spreading lots of wrong information, and who lack the ovaries to have ever marked their beliefs to market or apologize for their purveying misinformation, we have Allan Meltzer starting in February 2009 as the Paul Revere of the coming upward breakout of inflation.
It is a real clown show.
I remember how back in 2007 and 2008 I would say that one reason Barack Obama might be a better candidate than Hillary Rodham Clinton was simply that America was now less racist than it was sexist--that the conservative quarter of the country would not be motivated to throw the filth at Barack Obama that they had and that they would throw at Hillary Rodham Clinton.
I was wrong.
Ezra Klein muses on the racist origins of Obama Derangement Syndrome:
I assure you that I have found some high-quality DeLong smackdowns on the internet, and they are in the pipeline.
Nevertheless, this past week I managed to man-up and read another page of chapter 11 of David Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Mistakes (The backstory).
I am hoping that there will come a day on which the first new kindle screen from Graeber I read does not have egregious errors of fact or analysis on it.
I pray that there may come such a day.
But today is not that day:
There is only one single error on this kindle screen.
But it is rather a big one...
We can no longer say "the structure of the King plaintiffs argument..." for it is not clear that there are any King vs. Burwell plaintiffs, or that if there are any King plaintiffs they agree with any of the arguments that the lawyers from Jones, Day are making on their behalf. This is a huge black eye for Jones, Day, and is certainly making everyone reconsider what they thought they knew about the quality of their work. But I digress...
Scott Lemieux warms up by observing:
- The fact that former Cato interns wanted no part of the troofer lawsuit;
- The title implying that Politico hacked into Cannon’s email, rather than the massively more likely possibility that the email was provided by one of the recipients, or *Cannon complaining about the Cato institute being described as ‘right-leaning.’
Before taking the stage for the main event:
Have I mentioned that no matter what else Jonathan Chait writes, we love him for things like this?
...to more than 11 million, and the conservative response to the law’s demonstrable success at carrying out its goals has been fascinating to behold. Measured by volume, the right-wing backlash has diminished severely, as great roaring waves of furious anger have given way to irregular ripples of discontent. But measured by its content, very little has changed.... To take a typical example, here is Stephen Moore, "chief economist at the Heritage Foundation, making his case", such as it is, that Obamacare has failed to meet its cost targets. Perhaps the most revealing aspect of Moore’s column is the fact that, five years after its passage, the chief economist of the most influential conservative think tank in the United States lacks even a passing familiarity with it....
I would still dearly love to see what this is a reply to.
But I don't think I ever will.
Which is, in itself, very very interesting: it suggests that whatever I imagine Hayek wrote to Thatcher, the reality is worse...
February 17, 1982
Thank you for your letter of 5 February. I was very glad that you able to attend the dinner so thoughtfully organized by Walter Salomon. It was not only a great pleasure for me, it was, as always, instructive and rewarding to hear your views on the great issues of our times.
I was aware of the remarkable success of the Chilean economy in reducing the share of Government expenditure substantially over the decade of the 70s. The progression from Allende's Socialism to the free enterprise capitalist economy of the 1980s is a striking example of economic reform from which we can learn many lessons.
However, I am sure you will agree that, in Britain with our democratic institutions and the need for a high degree of consent, some of the measures adopted in Chile are quite unacceptable. Our reform must be in line with our traditions and our Constitution. At times the process may seem painfully slow. But I am certain we shall achieve our reforms in our own way and in our own time. Then they will endure.
I read the Economist, and I shake my head in confusion:
...and Mr Putin is winning... the Kremlin’s undisputed master... a throttlehold on Ukraine.... His overarching aim is to divide and neuter [the western] alliance.... Only the wilfully blind would think his revanchism has been sated.... To him, Western institutions and values are more threatening than armies. He wants.... supplant them with his own model... [in which] nation-states trump alliances, states are dominated by elites, and those elites can be bought.... The biggest target is NATO’s commitment to mutual self-defence. Discredit that—by, for example, staging a pro-Russian uprising in Estonia or Latvia, which other NATO members decline to help quell--and the alliance crumbles....
Let's take a break from the DeLong Smackdowns even though there are now a number in the queue.
No, I don't have the guts to yet read another page of David Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Mistakes.
But two things did cross my desk last week that offend the shape of reality itself and really do deserve to be smacked down.
The first was from Jack Shafer:
are less interested in interviewing Obama than they are in explaining his policies... insert[ing] infographics and footnotes that help advance White House positions... end[s] up looking and sounding like extended commercials for the Obama-in-2016 campaign. I’ve seen subtler Scientology recruitment films. Explainer journalism... purports to break down complex policy issues into laymen-friendly packages that are issued from the realm of pure reason.... If you’re going to be partisan about your journalism, if you’re going to give the president an easy ride, you’ve got to be clean about it! You can’t pretend... that all you’re doing is making the news ‘vegetables’ more palatable by roasting them to ‘perfection with a drizzle of olive oil and hint of sea salt.’ Klein and Yglesias are like two Roman curia cardinals who want us to believe their exclusive interview with the pope is on the level.... Are there no upsides to interviews with the president, even toadying or hagiographic ones? I suppose durable White House contacts can be made by landing one, but will these contacts be useful in chasing real news? Not likely...
If I have understood what Shafer has to say, it is that:
...in Utah this week, Romney told the crowd that a new-and-improved candidate Romney would focus on climate change, poverty, and education.... In a bizarre Freaky Friday sort of way, Romney appears to have been body-snatched—perhaps by the ghost of Ted Kennedy.... What's next? Supporting gay rights, gun control, and abortion rights? (Or, in his case, going back to supporting gay rights, gun control, and abortion rights.)...
...hosted by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, where he cited reporting by former NPR reporter Julie Rovner that, he claims, supports his understanding of the law. Cannon’s interpretation of Rovner’s reporting, however, did not sit well with the moderator of the debate, former NPR reporter Julie Rovner. After Cannon attempted to use Rovner’s reporting in support of his argument, Rovner, who now reports on health policy for Kaiser Health News, produced a copy of the article Cannon cited and read it aloud to him in order to prove that it does not actually support his claims...
And, rather than apologizing or retracting, Michael Cannon writes:
Note: neither @jrovner, nor @nicholas_bagley, nor @imillhiser, nor @MyConstitution has accepted my challenge...
Maybe @imillhiser or @MyConstitution will lend space to @jrovner, @nicholas_bagley, me to discuss @RepLloydDoggett letter & JR's reporting?
Notice what he did there? He cited Julie Rovner's story as an authority. When she pointed out to him that the story did not say what he had cited it to say, he shifted ground to not citing but challenging her reporting.
I must say, the lies here are just too thick for me...
The mixing of the human genome via intermarriage occurs remarkably fast--we are and are likely to remain one single human race, and should treat one another as such:
Ah. Andrew Sullivan looks forward--a little too eagerly?--to the division of the human race into subspecies along racial lines:
http://www.AndrewSullivan.com - Daily Dish: Humans are still evolving - and at quite a brisk pace, according to new research. Bad news for liberals: at the rate research is going, you will soon have to choose between believing in evolution and denying any subtle, genetic differences between broad racial groups.
Over at Equitable Growth: Can someone point me to something Stuart Butler has written in the past three years that has turned out to be correct?
I mean, it seems to be blinkered, partisan, wrong--and obviously wrong at the time, both in its analysis of the political forces and of the policy substance.
Am I wrong?
Take a look:
At least when the Cravath partners went hunting for named plaintiffs for anti-New Deal cases back in the 1930s, they found plaintiffs like the Schechters who had in fact been injured by New Deal policies.
Jones, Day is going to be spending a long time trying to live this down, I must say...
...defending the Crusades and the Inquisition. This example, on the Crusades, by First Things, is their most liked/shared article on their Facebook page by far. I mean, look, I get it. That’s the environment I grew up in. I read young adult novels about the noble Leper King Baldwin and entertained the nostalgia about the Crusader Dream. And yes, fair enough, the Crusades were envisioned as wars of self-defense to reopen Christianity’s holy sites to pilgrims. That’s true. But also, all historical accounts agree that when the Crusaders took Jerusalem, they massacred almost everyone in the city, Christian, Jew and Muslim. Is that something you want to defend, really?
From my perspective, for a decade now Ezra Klein and his peers have been conducting conducting a master class in how to inform citizens about their government, while the rest of Washington journalism has been reheating leftovers--with the ex-WonkBlog Fred Hiatt-Len Downie-Marty Baron Washington Post leading the way in reheating leftovers and making Marriott's lowest-price institutional kitchens look like the French Laundry.
Julia Ioffe, however, wrote about an Ezra Klein "the 28-year-old prince of D.C. media" who:
Strange. That is not and was not the interesting story. It is not even, especially, true...
130 men and women met at Washington's Willard Hotel to save American liberalism. A few months earlier, in articles in The New Republic and elsewhere, the columnists Joseph and Stewart Alsop had warned that 'the liberal movement is now engaged in sowing the seeds of its own destruction.' Liberals, they argued, 'consistently avoided the great political reality of the present: the Soviet challenge to the West.' Unless that changed, 'In the spasm of terror which will seize this country ... it is the right--the very extreme right--which is most likely to gain victory.'
the story… in the print edition, asked, ‘Can a white male liberal critique the country’s current political-correctness craze (which, by the way, hurts liberals most)? We’re sure you’ll let us know.’ This was my editors’ playful way to provocatively anticipate the firestorm the piece would set off.
I read the phrase ‘playful way to provocatively anticipate the firestorm’ as an unsubtle euphemism for ‘calculated strategy to turn the troll-dial from 10 to 11.’ This was a piece that Chait’s editors (and, one presumes, Chait) knew would get an outraged reaction, and presumably wanted to get an outraged reaction. In other words, it was an exercise in trolling.
I am left with a lot of questions: If Senator Richard Burr does not see a path to passing an ObamaCare replacement this year, why make a splash with a proposal that is not a bill rather than simply scheduling hearings?... And why does Peter Sullivan of The Hill not tell his readers that BHU is a reboot of BCH–if, that is, he has the slightest desire at all to be in the trusted-information-intermediary business?... Why does it please Burr to have The Hill’s readers thinking that this is something that Burr has come up with in the last two months, rather than a line of approach that he has been thinking bout, tweaking, and trying to get right for years?....
I actually think that the motives of Burr et al. are eminently comprehensible... Randy Barnett explained it for us:
With or without bipartisanship, however, Republicans need to have a well-vetted replacement in the pipeline. To make a favorable ruling in King more likely, the legislative wheels must be visibly in motion by the time of oral arguments in March.
If it’s entirely clear that siding with the ACA troofers will throw most of the country’s health care insurance markets into chaos will Congress does nothing, it might give Roberts and Kennedy pause. It might not--I can very much see Roberts writing a hilariously disingenuous conclusion asserting that his troofer holding will modestly allow Congress to clarify its intent--but as Barnett’s concerns indicate, it might.... Congressional Republicans putting on a kabuki make[s] it easier for... Kennedy and Roberts to lie to themselves a la Michael Strain.... Republican legislators showing up at press conferences... after having visited Kinko’s with copies of earlier terrible proposals may be good enough for the swing votes on the court....
As Ed Kilgore pointed out at the time Barnett’s proposals can only be called black comedy gold.... Even for an ACA troofer, declaring that ‘such a bill is very likely to be bipartisan’ is shameless. It’s the lying to yourself/lying to others question again--in Barnett’s case, I’m pretty confident that it’s the latter.
Many, many are saying complimentary things. From Sullivan himself comes a much worth-reading self pat-on-the-back about what he regards as his many, many successes intermixed with a cri de coeur about his mistakes in The Arc Of The Dish 2000-2015. IMHO, he pulls a number of punches in his self-criticism, but "my own traumatized loss of judgment... shameful outbursts... my colossal failure of judgment..." is much further than most people go.
Sullivan asks: "What was your favorite moment of Dishness?".
My answer is that when I think of The Dish, I find I don't have a favorite moment. I think of the incompleteness of Andrew Sullivan's self-criticism. I think of him casting himself as Curly of The Three Stooges in his enthusiastic prosecution of the intellectual War on Paul Krugman that, IIRC, began in 2001 with things like:
November 13, 2001: My revulsion at Paul Krugman’s increasingly hysterical attacks on the good faith of this administration...
May 11, 2001: NOSTRADAMUS AWARD: “Ah, but the details. The Krugmans and the Chaits will shortly have a cow, if not a whole herd of them.”... last week. “The Bush Tax Cut Is A Lie--Part I”--by Paul Krugman, The New Republic, this week. “The Bush Tax Cut Is A Lie--Part II”--by Jonathan Chait, The New Republic, same issue. Honest, I had no idea when I wrote my piece.
And, of course, the promises of and forecasts by the Bush administration of the consequences of passing its tax cut did not come true--and if Andrew Sullivan thought in 2001 that it was aimed at improving the lives of "waitress moms", he was the only one.
But the fact that, in general in the 2000s, Paul Krugman was right did not keep Sullivan from continuing to carry on his long, doomed, twilight struggle against realistic assessments of the economic situation. For example:
JUN 21, 2010: The Smug Condescension Of Paul Krugman: Kinsley takes aim:
Krugman himself looks at CBO projections of deficits declining from 10 percent of GDP now to four percent in 2014 before starting to rise again, and concedes that this is 'not enough.' Then he cavalierly says that all you need to solve the problem is (a) to bring health costs under control, and (b) a five-percent value added tax. Oh, is that all? I have no doubt that if Paul Krugman were economic dictator, we could impose these or other solutions. In the real world (or should I say 'unreal world') of current American politics, either one of these partial solutions is unthinkable without a catastrophic crisis to force our hand.
How hard is that to understand?
Well, Paul Krugman's forecast of what would happen to the deficit was correct. We have--at least for now--health-care costs under control without a catastrophic crisis. Not a value-added tax but a carbon tax is definitely on the agenda for 2021 if not 2017. Tuesday night George W. Bush's first Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Glenn Hubbard, was speaking besides me and pushing for not a value-added but for the enormous broadening of the tax base that comes from a shift to a consumption tax. And this morning Republican Committee Chairs Burr, Hatch, and Upton called for moving an ever-increasing share of the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance into the tax base as well.
Looks to me--just like back in 2001--like Krugman 3, Kinsley and Sullivan 0.
And it is not as though that piece is an outlier. A quick search through the Dish's archives for most recent mentions of Krugman pulls up these recent headlines:
The "Dick Morris Award" is not complimentary. And somehow I think "Krugman and Frum, Together At Last" is intended to be as uncomplimentary as Sullivan's November 2001 rhetorical attribution to Paul of a disordered womb was intended to be.
My bottom line: Dean Wormer and Spiderman did not say: great rhetorical powers and influence used irresponsibly is no way to go through life...
Needless to say, Emporia State University professor Michael Smith's Wichita Eagle column is dead-on correct...
What 1st amendment? KS politicians introduce bill to ban college professors from criticizing politicians in newspaper columns. (more)— Yael T. Abouhalkah (@YaelTAbouhalkah) February 5, 2015
From The Wichita Eagle:
...or will economic growth save the day?
Over at Equitable Growth: I think, yet again, that this New York Times story on the Burr-Hatch-Upton ObamaCare replacement proposal would have been much better if it had been assigned to David Leonhard's The Upshot rather than to the New York Times's national news desk. The indispensable link that should be in Robert Pear's story but isn't is here. And it should have been compared to last year's equivalent
Robert Pear's article:
Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig: The Economist Magazine Is Wrong About Welfare's Impact on Family http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120929/economist-magazine-wrong-about-welfares-impact-family
Rebecca Traister: Maternity Leave Policies in America Hurt Working Moms http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120939/maternity-leave-policies-america-hurt-working-moms
Jeet Heer: The New Republic's Legacy on Race: From Du Bois to the Bell Curve http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120884/new-republics-legacy-race
I am impressed!
Time to subscribe to the New New Republic, people...