Krugman’s critique of the Geithner plan got huge amounts of uncritical play in the media today. He’s getting to be one of those people whose every statement is treated as oracular. Which I tend to take as a dangerous sign.
Krugman is a great economist and a great writer (the latter is in evidence more in his blog and his pre-NYT writings than in his column). He’s also a guy with tons of opinions, some of which are backed up by economic theory and many of which aren’t. He has some “emotional biases,” as do we all. And every so often, he’s going to be dead wrong.
As others have pointed out, it’s not right for the media to be surprised that Krugman — “the left’s economist” is criticizing Obama. It’s not that Krugman doesn’t have worthy opinions and close the right ideas on many of these issues. Just that he’s never been in the tank for Obama. He made a lot of unsubstantiated criticisms (alongside many that were legit — for example on healthcare mandates, which of course Obama now supports) of the guy during the long primary season, so we shouldn’t be shocked to see Krugman’s skepticism on some of these issues.
However — I ask Krugman, Rich, Dowd, any other Democrat who is feeling like a Defeatocrat these days: would you rather see Hillary Clinton in charge of all of this? Or, god forbid, John McCain? There’s a lot of serious and scary issues facing our country; let’s try to work together, rather than gin up our advertising revenue by writing hyperbolic columns.