Interesting blog yesterday by Paul Krugman, a bit edgier than his op-ed columns, sparked by his gloomy conclusion that “the cult of balance, of centrism” is hurting the country more than the cult of right-wing loonies pushing for default on the national debt:
Think about what’s happening right now. We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.
So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship.
The reality, of course, is that we already have a centrist president — actually a moderate conservative president…
You have to ask, what would it take for these news organizations and pundits to actually break with the convention that both sides are equally at fault? This is the clearest, starkest situation one can imagine short of civil war. If this won’t do it, nothing will.
I suspect Krugman, in denouncing faux centrism, was thinking of his colleague Thomas Friedman, a jack-ass of the first order whose latest pipe dream involves a Washington, D.C. “political start-up” called Americans Elect that wants to hold an “internet convention” to select a centrist third-party presidential candidate for 2012.
And how would this third-party force obtain the multimillions of dollars needed to develop an infrastructure that would get out the vote? Friedman doesn’t address this and many other questions, just as he never addressed the devastating downside of globalization in The World Is Flat, his wet dream about our glorious future in a world run by multinational corporations.