Paul Krugman isn’t backing down from his calumny. Despite being censured by name from respectable corners of the establishment media, he is moving the calumny from his blog to the New York Times op-ed page. His piece is short on supporting facts, and the main one he has is false. Here’s what Krugman said:
Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.
John Hinderaker dismantles this:
What was the context? For that matter, what was the rest of the sentence? Here is a rule of thumb: any time a liberal quotes a fragment of a sentence, or, as in this case, a three-word phrase, a red flag should go up. When liberals quote sentence fragments, they are usually misleading when they aren’t out-and-out fabricated.
My guess is that Krugman has no idea when Michele referred to being “armed and dangerous,” or why, or what the rest of the sentence was. Krugman’s biggest problem isn’t that he is stupid. His biggest problem is that he is lazy. He is incapable of doing even the most rudimentary research, which is why his columns rarely contain many facts, and when they do, his “facts” are often wrong.
As it happens, I–unlike Krugman–know all about Michele’s “armed and dangerous” quote, because she said it in an interview with Brian Ward and me, on our radio show. It was on March 21, 2009. The subject was the Obama administration’s cap and trade proposal. Michele organized a couple of informational meetings in her district with an expert on global warming and cap and trade, and she came on our show to promote those meetings. She wanted her constituents to be armed with information on cap and trade so that they would understand how unnecessary, and how damaging to our economy, the Obama administration’s proposal was. That would make them dangerous to the administration’s left-wing plans.
Armed with facts, and dangerous to the left’s agenda. That’s what she was saying. To pretend that she was advocating violence is a damnable lie.
But that’s not all. Let’s look at the other side of the ledger. Is it so hard to imagine that a Democratic member of Congress could say something similar without being ostracized? I give you Paul Kanjorski (D-PA):
“That Scott down there that’s running for governor of Florida,” Mr. Kanjorski said. “Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him.”
Was Kanjorski ostracized for his remarks? Perhaps he was ostracized by the voters; in November he was defeated in his bid for a 14th term in Congress. But he certainly was not ostracized by the elite: Kanjorski had an op-ed in the New York Times on the very same page (one day later) as Krugman’s column. In the wake of this very incident, Kanjorski was writing about political civility, if you can imagine.
UPDATE: There’s also Rahm Emanuel (D-IL):
At a dinner to celebrate Bill Clinton’s first presidential victory – Mr Emanuel was his chief fundraiser – he began to reel off the names of those who had ‘crossed’ him. He grabbed a steak knife and began plunging it into the table shouting “Dead! Dead! Dead!” after each name.
“When he was done the table looked like a lunar landscape,” a witness relates. “It was like something out of The Godfather. But that’s Rahm for you.”
Rahm was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, White House Chief of Staff, and is now about to be anointed mayor of Chicago.