Monday, October 15, 2007

Paul Krugman's a Respected Economist in His Other Life

One would hardly know it from his New York Times commentaries, but Paul Krugman's actually one of the country's great contemporary economists, his current post being at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.

Yet, he's not mainstream. A casual perusal of his essays reveals Krugman's considerable left wing bent, and I'm being nice here (
Krugman's a superstar among radical lefty bloggers). In today's column Krugman spouts off about some "Gore Derangment Syndrome." Here's a nugget:

On the day after Al Gore shared the Nobel Peace Prize, The Wall Street Journal’s editors couldn’t even bring themselves to mention Mr. Gore’s name. Instead, they devoted their editorial to a long list of people they thought deserved the prize more.

And at National Review Online, Iain Murray suggested that the prize should have been shared with “that well-known peace campaigner Osama bin Laden, who implicitly endorsed Gore’s stance.” You see, bin Laden once said something about climate change — therefore, anyone who talks about climate change is a friend of the terrorists.

What is it about Mr. Gore that drives right-wingers insane?

Partly it’s a reaction to what happened in 2000, when the American people chose Mr. Gore but his opponent somehow ended up in the White House. Both the personality cult the right tried to build around President Bush and the often hysterical denigration of Mr. Gore were, I believe, largely motivated by the desire to expunge the stain of illegitimacy from the Bush administration.

And now that Mr. Bush has proved himself utterly the wrong man for the job — to be, in fact, the best president Al Qaeda’s recruiters could have hoped for — the symptoms of Gore derangement syndrome have grown even more extreme.

It's bad enough dredging up all the old nonsense about the "stolen" 2000 election. Gore lost that race fair and square, and the popular vote nationally means nothing if the candidate fails to win a majority in the Electoral College (precisely Gore's problem).

But Krugman's got no time for such details. He's on a roll, riding Al Gore's Nobel bandwagon to rustle up some readers along the far left fringe. It must be nice for op-ed columnists to dish out such left wing trash, as the current climate certainly is weary of all things Republican, and the media has elevated Gore to some kind of heroic savior.

But the facts aren't supporting Krugman - an interesting thing, given his pedigree as a eminently trained academic. Global warming remains a controversy in environmental science, and progress on the ground in Iraq is proving that G.W. Bush is in fact the man-of-the-moment in tamping down the nihilist forces of terror worldwide (see my post today on the increasing defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq).

For more on Krugmania, see my good bloggin' buddy, The Oxford Medievalist.