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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Did I Forget to Check Krugman's Sources?

Oh, you knew I would eventually.

From "The Rove Doctrine", only Dr. Delong: "The Berkeley economist Brad DeLong" is problematic, as already discussed.

Very little partisan labeling on the left or right in this column otherwise.

Now, in his Friday piece, "Plutocracy and Politics", Krugman bases his piece on a new book by Kevin Phillips titled "Wealth and Democracy". Who, you wonder, is Kevin Phillips? Ask the Professor:

"Mr. Phillips, a lifelong Republican". Interesting. By my inspection, this is a rare partisan label. Probably put in there because the whole argument gains credibility if it is coming from a righty. Not that Krugman lacks credibility, of course not, but still.

So, is Kevin Phillips a "lifelong Republican"? I've got google, how hard can this be. Hmmm, evidently "Kevin Phillips" is also a popular footbal player in the U.K. Ooops. But I will find commentary and bios here, and even here. And I will read about his book at Amazon, and observe that people who bought his book also bought:

What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response by Bernard Lewis
Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative by David Brock
Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace by Gore Vidal
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: An Investigative Reporter Exposes the Truth about Globalization, Corporate Cons, and High Finance Fraudsters by Greg Palast

Lots of Democrats eager to buy a Republican book, or a lot of curious Republicans, or open, questing minds everywhere, no wonder I have such a hard time mingling at cocktail parties. And there is a TAP article about George Bush titled "His Fraudulency the Second", and a description of his latest book and personal development by Paul Wilson, and some ambiguous stuff.

So I am left with no doubt that Mr. Phillips is a very bright, thoughtful man who was once a Republican and now seems to be troubled by the nature of both parties. And I suspect that Mr. Phillips might say something like "I am a Republican in the tradition of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, it is the Republicans who have changed". But I know Krugman would not resort to lawyerly tricks, so, in common usage, I wonder:

Is this man a Republican?

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