It’s Good Friday so let’s dispense with the small talk. …And the winner is Paul Krugman. He turned himself in early this morning with a New York Times column that cleared the air for good as to who is and who isn’t for David Brock. Against: all those whom Krugman loathes. For: all those like Krugman who loathe everyone to the right of Sidney Blumenthal, George McGovern, and the fellow one of our heroes liked to refer to as Nikolai Lenin.
“An appallingly well-financed hard-right is still in the business of smearing anyone who disagrees with its agenda,” the Krugman writes, wiping away new tears as he recalls the ordeal HE went through after it was reported that once upon an innocent time he received major infusions of cash from the devils at an evil corporation called Enron for participation on an advisory board that never advised anyone and at a time when he was a lowly college professor also in no position to influence anyone (some teacher he must be). Today he knows better than anyone that the right will stop at nothing to expose liberal hypocrisy. Anyone who sees him as he is is by definition a hater.
The Krugman also makes a conceptual breakthrough. Up to know his ilk and he would blame the Whitewater unpleasantness experienced by Sts. Willie and Hillary on a “scandal machine … financed by a handful of wealthy fanatics — men like the Rev. Sun Myung Moon…and Richard Mellon Scaife.” How unfortunate that Krugman preferred luxuriating in his Enron-filled bathtub to reading what his own newspaper had to say in breaking and developing the Whitewater story. But that’s old news. The new news is that “KEY FIGURES FROM THE SCAIFE EMPIRE ARE NOW SENIOR OFFICIALS IN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION.” Forget Enron, in other words; we have a new Enron.
It’s only logical. Brock is of no use to the hard left if it simply means refighting old battles. But if he can be a tool in the left’s renewed campaign to do in Bush II in the same way he way it went after Reagan-Bush and Bork-Thomas, then he just might be the most useful idiot ever to jump into its lap and hide under its skirt.
It’s quite a manly collection: Conason, Rich, Lyons, Hertzberg, Krugman, Gitlin, Lauer, Media Whores Online, and the guy who wrote a puff book on Hillary’s Senate campaign. At last check, no woman has gone out of her way to defend Brock. (For once, Ann Coulter might be the object of feminist solidarity.) Nor has Krugman been endorsed or defended by women in his midst, though maybe that’s simply been a constant in his life. He must be some colleague if even Maureen Dowd recently dismissed him in a rather cutting reference.
So there we have the Brock camp, which is filled out by footsoldiers who’ve never quite recovered from the demise of the Village Voice. Since 9/11 many kept an eye on the left primarily to see how eagerly it would join sides with the anti-anti-terrorists. But now it’s as if 9/11 never happened.
As Krugman lets on in his concluding paragraph, his column was necessitated by the sharp liberal dismissal of Brock in Slate by Timothy Noah. Liberals who have no use for Brock are of no use to Krugman. There may be an anti-terrorist war going on, but it’s small potatoes to the real anti-terrorist war Krugman and friends have been waging for decades. So how does it feel, Enemy Central backers? Are you ready to face a military tribunal officiated by Krugman-Brock?