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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Ein Krugman

Eric the Red Menace sends us to this fascinating interview with Paul Krugman. We are sufficiently intrigued by this comparison, near the end, that we will reprint it in its entirety:

LO: In the intro of “The Great Unraveling,” you mention how you came across an old book by Henry Kissinger from 1957 that you believe helps explain what’s happening in American politics today. How so?

PK: What Kissinger told me was not so much what the people running the country are doing, as why it’s so difficult for reasonable, sensible people to face up to what it is in fact dead obvious.

He talked in very generic terms about the difficulty of people who have been accustomed to a status quo, diplomatically, coping with what he called a “revolutionary power.”

The book is about dealing with revolutionary France, the France of Robespierre and Napoleon, but he was clearly intending that people should understand that it related to the failure of diplomacy against Germany in the 30s.

But I think it’s more generic than that. It’s actually the story about how confronted with people with some power, domestic or foreign, that really doesn’t play the rules, most people just can’t admit to themselves that this is really happening.

They keep on imagining that, “Oh, you know, they have limited goals. When they make these radical pronouncements that’s just tactical and we can appease them a little bit by giving them some of what they want. And eventually we’ll all be able to sit down like reasonable men and work it out.”

Then at a certain point you realize, “My God, we’ve given everything away that makes system work. We’ve given away everything we counted on.”

And that’s basically the story of what’s happened with the Right in the United States. And it’s still happening.

You can still see people writing columns and opinion pieces and making pronouncements on TV who try to be bipartisan and say, “Well, there are reasonable arguments on both sides.” And advising Democrats not to get angry – that’s bad in politics. And just missing the fact that – my God, we’re facing a radical uprising against the system we’ve had since Franklin Roosevelt.

Emphasis added.

MORE: So, Bush equals Hitler. A bit of a non-mainstream view? Well, here is Harvey Wasserman, writing about "Bush's 9/11 Reichstag Fire". Bill Molson of the Online Journal (no, I have no idea either), in "Operation Northwoods And The Reichstag Fire", explains that 9/11 may have been a clever plot by the military and government to take over the country. The helpful parallel to the Reichstag fire is included.

The well-traveled but perhaps not well-known author Gregory Greene also takes the time to explain the Hitler analogy. Deep-thought thinker Ted Rall has his deep thoughts. Gore Vidal, in a long explanation of the insidious Bush conspiracy, tells us that "Many commentators of a certain age have noted how Hitlerian our junta sounds as it threatens first one country for harbouring terrorists and then another."

"Commentators of a certain age"? Sorry, I am not checking birthdays - these guys all seem to be old enough to drink legally, and I suspect some of them have been.

We conclude that Paul Krugman is in entertaining company. And his spirits are not dimmed, as the next bit of the interview reassures us:

LO: Do you sense that people are starting to catch on?

PK: If I believe the rumors, Al Franken’s “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” is Number One, and Joe Conason’s “Big Lies” is going to hit the best seller list.

Paul Krugman and Al Franken, intellectual comrades-in-arms. Which one is the comedian?

Franken is number one, and all is well with the world. It must have been a nail-biting summer for opponents of fascism, and the Earnest Prof can thank Harry Potter for saving America, as well as Hogwarts.

UPDATE: Some posters and photos from the far left.

MORE: Wow. Jonah Goldberg delivers a Hall of Fame denunciation of "Bush=Hitler".

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