Paul Krugman today came up with an old, time-tested, tired tactic to go after President Obama: accuse the President of hippie punching. Now I am not quite sure if Paul Krugman is upset because he thinks the President thinks he's a hippie, or because he thinks he's being punched, but of course, Krugman's quick piece is about the poutrage generated yesterday by an Obama staffer sending what seems the article from TPV on the debt ceiling that seems to have become a proverbial pain in the behind of the Professional Left.
Nonetheless, here is what I found rather interesting from Krugman's post:
I would say this: on one side you have the GOP, which responds to completely crazed Tea Party demands by doing all it can to assure the hard right that it’s on its side. On the other, you have the Democratic establishment or at least part thereof, which responds to complaints from its own base that it’s going too easy on the crazies by lashing out at the base, with a bit of bearded-professor bashing on the side.Other than the provable fact that the self-described bearded-professor and the screeching Left being nowhere close to "the base," I was delighted to see Prof. Krugman prove my point about him being a political rookie by openly admitting that he is jealous of the Tea Party. Besides, why shouldn't you want to respond to complaints that you're going too easy on the Right ideologue crazies by worshiping at the feet of the Left ideologues instead?
I have been saying it for a long time that one of the biggest problems of the Professional Left is that they are jealous of the influence of the Tea Party in the Republican Party, and they want that same kind of influence in the Democratic Party. That's why they have been threatening and claiming destructive power to tear things down and deny re-election to Democrats (just as Tea Partiers threaten to tear things down and pursue primary challenges for noncrazy Republicans) rather than thinking about constructive power and building things up. We have known this for a long time. Still, it's good to see the Professional Left's patron saint admit to it.
You see, the Republicans are doing everything they can to acquiesce to the Tea Party nutjobs, who, in Krugman's opinion, constitute their base, so the President must also give into the screeching of the loud, whiny Left version of the Tea Party. And I'm not making this comparison, Krugman is! I hate to break it to all the whiners on the Professional Left, but Paul Krugman just called you folks the Tea Party of the Left. In an endearing kind of way, of course, but he called you that nonetheless. The basic notion here, in pretty much so many words, is that Krugman, and to the extent he is speaking for them, the Professional Left is jealous of the Tea Party's influence in the Republican party and mad that President Obama won't give them the same influence within the Democratic Party and his presidency. Aww.
I mean, and why not? Why shouldn't the President acquiesce to our version of the "tear everything down if we can't get everything we want" faction the same way Boehner says "How high" when the Teabaggers say "Jump!"? What could possibly go wrong with that type of a mindset? I mean, it's not like it's exactly that kind of mindset - that a political party must listen to (and only to) the loudest, most ideologically strident of its factions - that brought us to the brink of disaster ever before. It's not like it's exactly that kind of a mindset that almost made the United States go into default. Oh, no. Nothing can go wrong with that!
And by the way, I'm a little tired of Krugman and Greg Sargent and the Huffington Post all using the Obama campaign and the White House as a proxy for a beef they have with something that I wrote. It's all nice and good to couch your disdain under the wraps of the messenger (outrage that an Obama staffer sent it along), but surely, the outrage is not because of who sent it but the content of what was sent. Well, I wrote that content.
While it's flattering to see the strong words I used get the most whining response from the Professional Left, not one of them - not Krugman, not Sargent, and certainly not Huffington Post - has addressed the substance of my argument: that the debt ceiling deal was a substantial win for the President, that it took away from the Tea Party their hostage, and that it created more pressure on the Republicans to make a reasonable deal than on the Democrats. One more time: not one person has bothered to address that. I am going to assume it is because on substance, that is irrefutable, and so the only way for them to attack is to complain about personal offense.
You know what, Professional Left? For people who constantly want a fight, why are you so afraid to actually fight when you got one? For people who are constantly denigrating the President of the United States, suddenly you have a thin skin when someone uses a harsh word on you? Grow up. Get over your jealousy of the Tea Party, and take the challenge, if you dare.