Saturday, July 30, 2011

Krugman, Chait, and "Centrist" Idiots

Well, this is a surprise. First, Chait:

The failure to understand the crisis we were entering was widely shared among centrist types...

...The political assumptions here turned out to be badly wrong. The main problem is that the Republican Party does not actually care very much about the deficit. It cares about, in order: Low taxes for high-income earners; reducing social spending, especially for the poor; protecting the defense budget; and low deficits. The Obama administration and many Democrats actually do care about the deficit and are willing to sacrifice their priorities in order to achieve it, a desire that was on full display during the health care reform debate. Republicans care about deficit reduction only to the extent that it can be undertaken without impeding upon other, higher priorities. Primarily "deficit reduction" is a framing device for their opposition to social spending, as opposed to a genuine belief that revenue and outlays ought to bear some relationship to each other.
Yeah, no shit. The rest of us, especially the "left" that your mag loves taking cheap shots at, have been yelling this from the rooftops for the past decade and a half, and definitely since the Crisis.

Willing to admit that the "shrill" set have a point yet?

Meanwhile, here's Krugman:

Jonathan Chait has an excellent piece documenting the way in which what he calls the establishment, and I call Very Serious People, misjudged the way the debt ceiling thing would play out... also showed awesome political naivete. As Chait says, the first thing you need to understand is that modern Republicans don’t care about deficits. They only pretend to care when they believe that deficit hawkery can be used to dismantle social programs; as soon as the conversation turns to taxes, or anything else that would require them and their friends to make even the smallest sacrifice, deficits don’t matter at all.

I can’t help but notice that Chait’s list of chumps is basically the same as the list of people who puffed up Paul Ryan and gave him an award for fiscal responsibility. Enough said.

What’s really awesome here is the blindness. Anyone reading the newspapers with an open mind had a pretty good idea of what would happen in the debt fight; only Washington insiders managed to fool themselves.

But they’re Very Serious.
Yep. Krugman's been calling this one for ages, and he's being borne out. (As is usually the case on these things.)

The best (worst) part is that I suspect that the "centrists" will remember this right up until the moment when the opportunity once again arises to punch a hippy and get some "centrist" cred.

(Well, no. The best part is that Chait wrote a piece last year that showed that there are absolutely no negative electoral consequences to progressive voting.)

1 comment:

  1. krugmam is kind of right. The problem is actually a right wing political system which hides behind the caricatures and false debates put on display by the media establishment. As long as The Center is deemed respectable and responsible the system will be continually pulled to the right due to its overwhelming structural power.