Thursday, May 08, 2003

It would appear that Luskin has taken his little "I disproved you because I say so" game to NRO, where he basically restates his pseudo-arguments against Mr. Krugman in a new forum. He adds a few new twists, however:

Since we first exposed Krugman's egregious lies about President Bush's tax cuts in his April 22 column, he has now published no fewer than seven increasingly defensive and desperate responses on his personal website...His seven responses have been spread over five postings (one, two, three, four, and five). Since we reported on his first response, his strategy has been to conceal his tax-cut falsehood under an increasingly smelly heap of academic economic jargon, charts, and graphs — all designed to bamboozle the unsophisticated into thinking there's a rationale that explains his lie, and that he had that rationale in mind all along.
"Smelly heap", "bamboozle"...hey, the grizzy prospector is back!

This is almost a direct quotation of what he had written on his blog about the subject. The reaction is the same as well- asserting "he's increasingly desperate etc." doesn't prove Donald's argument. Never has, never will. (he did repeat his old argument, but not the refutations, which says a lot about how well he's engaged Prof. Krugman's able refutations.) Still, What's new here isn't Luskin's arguments, but the forum given them. To be honest, I had been a little worried about having placed Luskin front-and-center in the Movement marching order, and had figured that maybe he was a simple transitory crank used to attack the Movement's enemies. A man hauled out for partisan purposes is a pawn, not a player, and should be acknowledged as such. That NRO gave him this bully pulpit, however, implies their support of his arguments.

He certainly thinks he's a player:

The good news is that Krugman is clearly shaken by the new experience of having somebody dare to challenge his insouciant lying. He's even starting to get personal — referring to me in his latest posting as his "stalker-in-chief." But he's definitely feeling chastised. In his last three columns for the Times he hasn't dared to mention Bush's tax plan.
I'll repeat what I said earlier: "Paul Krugman isn't the vainglorious one here". It's hilarious, by the by, that a supposed economics expert hasn't the faintest clue about specious relationships... it's just possible, maybe, that Krugman might be writing about other subjects because he wants to. Luskin assigns himself too much credit. Whether it's because he's tendentious or just credulous is hard to say.

He also goes on to describe Krugman, accurately, as "America's most dangerous pundit", describes his influence (while totally and conveniently ignoring the political machine the good Professor is up against), and brings out a hilarous laundry list of attacks on Krugman, demonstrating:

-his inability to tell the difference between bug spray and mustard gas;

-his ignorance of the "A.W.O.L. Bush" issue, and related ignorance of the loose-at-best connection between NYTimes columnists and the host paper- he is free to disagree with the conclusions of others at the paper, as Prof. Krugman pointed out in an article on Prof. Krugman's own website;

-his eagerness to push his own (donation driven, mind you) website on someone else's forum and on someone else's dime;

-his inability to look at a photograph (for more on this, check out this Hesiod entry);

-and finally, his astonishing ability to take a column and turn it into a blog entry, as he spends most of the column quoting other people's complaints and comments. I've long been concerned about the column-esque nature of my blog entries, but it takes some chutzpah to do the reverse!

(Edit: apparently, he's been doing that since March, as his first column on Krugman was little more than quotations from Matthew Hoy and Robert Musil. Both are pretty weak sources. Hoy is a staunch Krugman attacker, and one of the very first Krugman stalkers I debunked nearly a full year ago. Heck, at one point I was greatly amused to discover he had mixed up the WTO and WHO! Robert Musil is also about the last person I'd call on to "fact-check" anything, considering his complete inability to understand political theory, political philosophy, the international system and international law is something that I had ended up illustrating in abundant detail.

With opponents like that, who needs allies?

Further Edit: Permalinks remain bloggered. Ugh. The archive page with Hoy would be here, and Musil here and here. I think I know what happened, as well... when I tried to switch the blog archive to "monthly" and republish, it reoriented the permalinks but didn't seem to actually change the number and nature of the archive pages. I'll try switching it back to "weekly"... that might cure the linking problem.

Even Further Edit: it worked. Permalinks should work now, even if that Archive on the left is one imposing beast. I'll take working links over design elegance.)

Free advice to Jonah Goldberg and the NRO crew: if he's a player, take him aside and remind him that he's making NRO look foolish. If he's a pawn, then just take him off the board. It's getting sad.

(One final note: has anybody else checked the NRO Author Archive for Mr. Luskin? The man doesn't just spend a lot of time attacking Krugman, since March 20th, he's done practically nothing else! Of course, considering that he came out as a Gold Bug, a species of crank that occupies an even lower ecological position than supply-siders, maybe he realized that being the Movement's pet anti-Krugman attack dog is a superior position.)

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