One to two times a week, I force myself to read Paul Krugman's New York Times column. The Princeton and Nobel Prize-winning economist is worth reading for his incredible knowledge on economics—at least when he isn't using his position as an op-ed columnist to promote when his political agenda while demonizing and marginalizing opposing viewpoints instead of sticking to something he knows: economics.
Sort of like in today's column.
But today's a special day, because the Krugster does a belly flop off the high board and into the "WTF?" deep end of the Crazy Pool.
For the ADHD readers in the crowd, Krugman's column can be paraphrased as follows: " Hey, if you're a part of those "mobs", you must be a racist and loon if you oppose the House's health care plan!'
What? Don't believe me? Okay, let's quote the Krugster:
But they’re (the town hall crowds) probably reacting less to what Mr. Obama is doing, or even to what they’ve heard about what he’s doing, than to who he is.....That is, the driving force behind the town hall mobs is probably the same cultural and racial anxiety that’s behind the “birther” movement, which denies Mr. Obama’s citizenship.
Uh-oh, it's back to pre-November 2008: If you oppose Obama, or if Obama doesn't get elected, it's because of racism. Exactly. I didn't vote for Obama because he was black. It had nothing to do with his terrible economic proposals, his inexperience, his dangerously naive foreign policy, his support of entitlement programs, his associations with unrepentant domestic terrorists ("I was only 8 years old at the time...." Yes, but you served on the same board with Bill Ayers for several years), his 20-year association with a truly racist, anti-American who was "spiritual leader" and so on. Nope, none of that. It was all because he was black.
Now I firmly believe that "birthers" are just as nuts as "9/11 Troothers", latching onto the smallest, most insignificant details and attaching a grand conspiracy to the situation*. Is the racism deep-seeded and present in these folks? Oh, I think to some degree, yes, it is. Then again, who knows. Maybe they just dislike Obama so much they're willing to find any way to get him thrown out of office. Who of us can say for sure?
Oh wait, I know! An Ivy League professor, a man of great intelligence, Paul Krugman, knows for sure:
Senator Dick Durbin has suggested that the birthers and the health care protesters are one and the same; we don’t know how many of the protesters are birthers, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s a substantial fraction.
In the words of Penn Gillette, what the fuck?
I'm not even going to address how loony Durbin sounds for his comparison, but Krugman latches on to the looniness and tries to, at first, appear reasonable, then abandons all sense of logic and reason with, "we don’t know how many of the protesters are birthers, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s a substantial fraction."
Again, channeling Penn: What the fuck?
Being an economist and all, shouldn't he know that can't take an unknown (aka: number of "birthers" actually present) and make a unprovable claim like "substaintial fraction?" Well, fuck, you'd think so. Then again, I'm not a few puffs short of a box of Cocoa Puffs crazy, either.
One more time, just so I'm clear: What's 'driving the mobs', or any of us who don't like having a $1.6 trillion plan shoved down our throats, is deep-seeded racism. Noted, Paul. I feel so much better now that's gotten in touch with my inner racist.
*And for the record, I listen to quite a bit of talk radio, both locally and nationally, from David Boze in Seattle to Michael Medved to John Giv to Laura Ingraham, and every single host who's been confronted or had on a "birther" as a guest or caller has told them, "You're nuts. Give it a rest. Obama is a natural legal citizen, you dope." Every single one.