Monday, August 13, 2007

Rhetoric Reality Check

If, contrary to experience, you opened up Paul Krugman's New York Times column (excerpted here by Mark Thoma) expecting economic insights, you will be quite disappointed once again. His thesis today is summed up in the statement:

Arguably, the current state of the Republican Party is such that only extreme narcissists have a chance of getting nominated.

I suppose a lot of things are "arguable," like whether Governor Mike Huckabee, who is both one of the least narcissistic people walking the Earth and the runner-up in this weekend's Iowa Straw Poll of Republican candidates, has a chance of getting nominated. But this is just Krugman being Krugman. What caught my eye was the next statement:
To be a serious presidential contender, after all, you have to be a fairly smart guy — and nobody has accused either Mr. Romney or Mr. Giuliani of being stupid.

Really? What Presidential primary contest is he watching? Here's what Google has to say on the matter:

Much of the political commentary surrounding the election will, in some way or another, be the political fringes on the right and the left calling some candidates stupid; that is, when the rhetoric does not rise to the level of calling them "extreme narcissists" in major media outlets.


Patrick R. Sullivan said...

As narcissists go, you can't get much more extreme than Bill Clinton.

Anonymous said...

Is Paul getting Shrill all over again. Let's take the Brad DeLong query - is it Stupidity or Mendacity - and apply it to those free lunch fallacies from Mitt and Rudy. Are they just being stupid? Paul assumes otherwise, which means he has accused them of dishonesty.