As a general rule, and to keep my blood pressure in check, I avoid reading anything written by Paul Krugman. I find him to be a liberal shill, capable of routinely spewing extreme mendacity and fact twisting, so there is nothing I can learn from this man. But today, March 24, I fell for it, I got sucked in. I admit it; I was intrigued by the headline of his column “His conservative movement never left,” and the big smiling face of a picture of Ronald Reagan in the Star Tribune.
It took only three paragraphs to illicit a response from me. He talks about a book by Jonathan Cohen written in 1993, where he claims our public health care system was suffering from “12 years of Republican neglect.”
Then he says “Changing just a few words in that article makes it read as if it were written in 2007.” Now let’s hold the bus right there! Let’s inject facts to his ridiculous contention, shall we?
In the 12 years Cohen refers to, 1980 to 1992, Reagan was president for the first eight, and Bush the elder the last four. But let’s remember, the Democrats held the House the entire time, and the Senate all but two years. So in 1993, it’s the President’s fault for health care failures, even though he never had a sympathetic Congress to work with. Ok, so Cohen’s book at least has a workable thesis, fast forward to Krugman’s screed. We had eight years of a Democrat President, Bill Clinton, albeit with a Republican Congress for six of those years, who got nothing done on health care either. Even though his wife led the health care “Charge of the Light Brigade,” with similar results, Krugman conveniently fast forwards through that, so he can attack George W. Bush. Who, incidentally, is dealing with a Democrat Congress these days, but Krugman won’t be compelled, nor bothered with pertinent facts like that. It’s the Republicans fault no matter what the situation, that’s Krugman’s myopic world view.
And I know where he’s going with this, conservatives have failed, just look at the legacy. The problem with this is, George W. Bush is not carrying Reagan’s conservative torch, and he never was. He’s trying to make a case that Bush has failed, and thereby that proves Reagan’s legacy has ended in failure too. To make a Minnesota analogy, that’s like saying because Brad Childress has run the Viking’s ship aground, this proves Bud Grant’s tenure was a failure. Rather than continuing even reading another Krugman paragraph, and being forced to confront it with facts and reality, I’d rather watch a re-run of the classy Tubby Smith press conference. That’s just the cure after reading a specious Krugman diatribe.