Paul Krugman insists that
it’s hard to find angry Tea Party denunciations of huge Wall Street bailouts, of huge bonuses paid to executives who were saved from disaster by government backing and guarantees. Instead, all the movement’s passion, starting with Rick Santelli’s famous rant on CNBC, has been directed against any hint of financial relief for low-income borrowers.
Yes, well it’s hard to find lots of things if you don’t look for them (or ask your research assistant to do it for you) as Ira Stoll demonstrates. Seriously, if Krugman actually followed the conversation on the right closely — or with good faith — he’d know that denunciations of crony capitalism has been all the rage for years. Krugman doesn’t want to do that because doing so would muck up the only narrative liberals seem to care about these days: proving that the GOP is rraaacciiiiiiiiiiissst. What is particularly liberating for liberals is that such proof doesn’t hinge on, you know, racism. Krugman again:
Just to be clear, there’s no evidence that Mr. Ryan is personally a racist, and his dog-whistle may not even have been deliberate. But it doesn’t matter. He said what he said because that’s the kind of thing conservatives say to each other all the time. And why do they say such things? Because American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People.
Indeed, race is the Rosetta Stone that makes sense of many otherwise incomprehensible aspects of U.S. politics.
Likewise, it doesn’t matter if Krugman has any evidence that the GOP is racist because saying so is just the kind of thing liberals say to each other.
Here’s a tip: If you have no good reason to believe a person is a racist (or if in fact you’re pretty sure said person isn’t a racist) assume that applying the Rosetta Stone of race isn’t the best way to analyze a public policy.