@NYTimeskrugman is no longer just a bot

by on February 9, 2016 at 8:20 pm in Political Science, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink

Paul Krugman is in fact tweeting there.  His first “real tweet” is:

Prediction: By the fall, moderate Republican pundits will declare that given the Democrat’s flaws, Trump is the better choice.

1 y81 February 9, 2016 at 8:35 pm

Since the Democrat will be Sanders, those Republicans will be right.

My prediction is that by fall, with Sanders as the Democratic nominee, Cowen and Krugman will be saying that Hugo Chavez wasn’t so bad and that socialism in the United States would be better very workable.

2 BC February 10, 2016 at 1:23 am

My conditional prediction is that, if Sanders somehow does win the Democratic nomination, Krugman will start writing columns about how Sanders’s economic policies actually do make sense and that all economists that disagree are just right-wing hacks blinded by ideology and partisan loyalty. Instead of comparing 1990s Krugman with present-day Krugman, we will be able to compare primary-Krugman with general election Krugman.

3 Willitts February 10, 2016 at 8:37 am

I think you are right. Krugman can’t help being a political hack.

4 patrick k February 10, 2016 at 9:01 am

Krugs long ago admitted he was a Socialist. I imagine Sanders gives him a tingling leg.

5 Jonathan Larsen February 11, 2016 at 12:27 pm

This is a giant straw man. Krugman has always essentially agreed with Sanders policies on the merits (he supports single payer, for example, but thinks it could never pass and therefore it is more useful taking a incremental approach), and has never denied otherwise, he just thinks Bernie is much less electable and his policies as they are much more idealistic than realistic. And despite the scaremongering “hugo chavez” socialist label another commenter made above (hugo chavez’s populist fascist politics had much more in common with Trump than Bernie), Sanders and Hilary are fundamentally pretty close politically, at least on domestic issues, so of course Krugman would support Sanders if he were the nominee even if he prefers Hilary and thinks she would do a better job.

6 JC February 10, 2016 at 2:55 am

I don’t any worthy candidate in either camp… just hoping someone valuable steps in as an independent. Michael Bloomberg could be that someone.

7 Mark February 10, 2016 at 8:23 am

Look at how the New York soda tax was designed and try again.

8 TMC February 10, 2016 at 9:45 am

So a socialist or a fascist. Great choices.

Anyone in the Republican camp should be better than clinton, Sanders or Bloomberg. And I don’t like any of them.

9 anon February 10, 2016 at 10:12 am

Bloomberg, Sanders, Trump would be an easy choice for me (Bloomberg), but Sanders, Trump makes me pick the relatively sane (Sanders), a non ideal election.

Dudes. Trump is again saying he never said things he is on video saying (McCain). You can’t seriously want that level of crazy.

10 Dan Weber February 10, 2016 at 10:58 am

A politician denying saying things they did say is “business-as-usual,” not “crazy.”

11 josh February 10, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Seriously, we want a sane president who will continue our sane policies of permanent war and provocation of countries with nuclear weapons.

12 Art Deco February 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Scott Sumner has already declared for Sanders, running posts comparing Trump to Napoleon and chuffering about inter-war fascism. That should give you an idea of what ‘libertarianism’ actually amounts to among academics.

13 Chip February 9, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Socialist Sanders, criminal and criminally incompetent Clinton, buffoon Trump.

Yeah, the least worst option is probably Trump.

Krugman thinks this is an indictment of the GOP, but for goddsakes what happened to the Democrat Party.

14 Chip February 9, 2016 at 8:57 pm

And more generally how did the political class – in the age of information – become so disconnected from the people they’re supposed to represent.

Unless more information made people realise how unrepresentative their politicians really are.

15 derek February 9, 2016 at 10:17 pm

Easy information sharing makes silos almost inevitable. You can easily find a group of people of like mind no matter how odd or rare; 15 or 20 people makes a very nice echo chamber. Even worse it makes it trivial to exclude opinion or information that you don’t want to hear. Heck your taxi driver may say things you never hear elsewhere, but not Uber, they don’t dare affect their scoring with opinion.

16 tjamesjones February 10, 2016 at 5:30 am

that’s a great summary @derek

17 Urso February 10, 2016 at 10:00 am

Good comment.

18 BDK February 9, 2016 at 11:24 pm

Unpopular to say, but in the original conception of our republican government, politicians were expected to represent their constituents, but were not necessarily expected to be representative of those constituents. Whether, as a normative matter, its better that we are governed by people who look and think like us is better than being governed by “the enlightened,” its not surprising that as the political mechanics have tended towards the former, the type of people elected has changed.

I’m honestly not sure where I come out on this as a philosophical matter, but as a practical matter, I am pretty sure that if we honored the spirit of the electoral college, we would not be looking into the abyss that is Trump.

19 Ricardo February 10, 2016 at 12:32 am

Even today, most members of Congress are much wealthier and better educated than their constituents. In the age of Super PACs and social media, political parties have much less control over the nomination process than they used to. The Republican establishment may not like Ted Cruz but the billionaire Wilks brothers don’t care and have contributed $15 million to his campaign anyway.

20 Stuart February 9, 2016 at 10:39 pm

Do you think that the governments of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland are awful and that America either cannot or should never try to learn from their experiences?

I’d genuinely like to know. Also, since you think so lowly of the three candidates you named – who is your ideal presidential candidate?

21 Harun February 9, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Those countries are great. But you guys never want to copy the lighter regulatory regime, the school choice, or the privatized retirement accounts.

You just want to copy the tax rate and the spending.

22 UncleMartyPants February 10, 2016 at 12:17 am

I agree that we should not adopt the nordic political/economic systems, but do they really have a lighter regulatory regime? And if yes, what problems has that caused in those countries?

23 Yup February 10, 2016 at 12:45 am

Yup, lighter regulatory regime. Also all Nordics of which I am aware have less progressive taxation than does the USA – heavy on the VATs and import taxes, broader impact of income taxes, lower corp taxes… And some have zero death tax.

But hey they’re the socialists and we the free marketers eh?

24 kimock February 10, 2016 at 1:23 am

Taxes may be a bit less progressive but social welfare benefits are much greater in the northern European countries, and generally lacks the social stigmas seen in the US.

25 Nope February 10, 2016 at 3:29 am

The ignorance of the common commenter is remarkable.

1. Nordic taxes aren’t a bit less progressive. They are massively less progressive.

2. Pensions, healthcare, education, welfare = 63% of US gov’t spending. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/piechart_2016_US_total

But hey, believe what ya want.

26 Ricardo February 10, 2016 at 12:44 am

I don’t have any problem with privatized retirement accounts at all. As a matter of fact, we already have that in the U.S. — they are called IRAs and 401(k)s. The point is if you want to allow people to divert money that would go to the payroll tax, you need some way of paying for the benefits of retirees and the disabled for the next 60 years without blowing up the debt. One way forward is to not allow diversions from payroll tax but instead have mandatory contributions to retirement accounts on top of FICA taxes — something that pushes the U.S. closer to high-tax Europe. So those high taxes aren’t some irrelevant distraction but are rather a core component of a system where countries are able to experiment with certain pro-market policies without dismantling their social safety nets.

27 JWatts February 10, 2016 at 11:59 am

“something that pushes the U.S. closer to high-tax Europe. ”

Technically this might be true or at least it’s debatable. However, I think most conservatives would be far more accepting of mandatory, personal retirement accounts. They wouldn’t be viewed as higher taxes. It’s pretty similar to one of GW Bush’s early proposals, actually. But I suspect the Left would be against it, decrying the poor being forced to spend their money on it. The Left would want the Federal government to pay for the poor’s contribution, and that money would need to come from raising taxes on the rich. Which would put us right back to square 1.

28 Ricardo February 10, 2016 at 9:24 pm

“However, I think most conservatives would be far more accepting of mandatory, personal retirement accounts.”

Right, just like they were so accepting of an individual mandate to purchase private health insurance, of the sort that had been advocated by Newt Gingrich as recently as 2008. The notion that there is a large pool of thoughtful conservatives out there who are willing to leave the ideological reservation in order to push centrist, technocratic policy reforms is really not supported at all by events of the past 8 years.

29 JWatts February 11, 2016 at 11:28 am

Ricardo, I disagree with your analysis. Sure, conservatives objected to the mandate with regards to Obamacare. But that bill was strewn with things they didn’t like, passed with little to no input from them, over their vehement objects with no Republican votes.

As you yourself posted, Newt Gingrich advocated mandates earlier. A mandate for something you agreed with is far more palatable than something you fought hard against.

30 Stuart February 10, 2016 at 10:34 am

I’m unclear who “you guys” are that you refer to. But in case you were responding to me (since I raised the Nordic countries) – no, I don’t want to “copy” anything from those countries. Every country is a unique snowflake. But can we learn from their experiences, approaching that task with humility and skepticism, and apply those lessons to U.S. policy? I think so.

As for the tax rate and spending – I’m actually most interested in Sweden’s success in reducing traffic deaths – mainly from engineering, I believe. Road engineering lessons from Sweden’s experience seem easier to pick up and apply here than other policies.

31 asdf February 10, 2016 at 12:17 am

Let’s see how well those governments function when they are full of NAMs instead of Nordics. Early results from Sweden say not good.

32 Kronrod February 10, 2016 at 12:30 am

The USA operates at a different scale. Policies that require a basic level of social cohesion to be accepted might work for 10 million people but not work for 300 million people. Would you be comfortable with Brussels collecting all the Swedich, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, and Icelandish taxes and managing their welfare programs? My guess is that the outcome would be much worse. So if the US wants to become more socialist, they should start doing so at the state level. That’s less risky and more flexible.

33 Chip February 10, 2016 at 7:42 am

True. The Nordics have high levels of social trust because they’re small and mostly ethnically homogenous. Sweden is starting to experience what happens when that breaks down.

The rich have high levels of social trust among themselves and don’t understand why that doesn’t extrapolate to everyday communities. But Mark Zuckerberg will never sit next to a teenager with a broken ankle in ER for six hours while nurses scrambled to process dozens of Bangladeshis with only two translators. This happened to me in a London hospital some years ago. One frustrated nurse told me they often called ambulances for a cold.

Social trust evaporates very quickly in these situations. As does the willingness to redistribute income.

Though Vancouver has managed to maintain a relatively high level of social trust despite significant immigration. Perhaps because immigrants hAve tended to assimilate quickly, first from Europe and then East Asia.

34 Nathan W February 10, 2016 at 10:00 pm

The Canadian example could be relevant for this line of thinking.

Social programs are basically all operated at the province/state and local level, and some extra federal funding ensures roughly decent quality across the board.

35 y81 February 10, 2016 at 6:39 am

What I learn from the Nordic countries is that maybe my life would be better if I lived in small, ethnically and culturally homogeneous country surrounded by other rich countries. Bonus points if the government has $2000 per citizen in annual oil income. But that isn’t where I live. What do you learn from Venezuela?

36 Andrew M February 10, 2016 at 11:07 am

Works for Alaska though.

37 a Fred February 11, 2016 at 6:16 am

Worked for Alaska for a few decades. Now we’re scrambling to deal with sub $30 oil. It’s not pretty.

38 Ammon Bundy February 10, 2016 at 10:16 am

Remember, homogeneous white cultures are the best, but their cultural choices are the worst.

39 BC February 10, 2016 at 12:57 am

“Krugman thinks this is an indictment of the GOP, but for goddsakes what happened to the Democrat Party.”

He seems to show no awareness that there is a completely parallel statement that, by the fall, Democratic pundits will declare that given the Republican’s flaws, Clinton or Sanders is the better choice. The difference is that, right now, there are still many Republicans trying to stop Trump from getting the nomination. In contrast, there is zero opposition to Clinton/Sanders, although there are some quiet murmurs about Biden being a “Plan B”. When the email allegations first surfaced, there was insufficient movement on the part of Democrats to find a viable (non-socialist) alternative to Clinton, insufficient to convince a Biden, Cuomo, or other heavyweight (Are there any other Democratic heavyweights??) to enter the race. What kind of “establishment” is incapable of producing more than one candidate when the first one is discovered to be deeply flawed? Doesn’t “establishment” mean an institution that is larger than any particular individual?

40 Cassiodorus February 10, 2016 at 10:44 am

The only people who care about the email “scandal” are people who were going to vote for the Republican in the first place.

41 Dan Weber February 10, 2016 at 11:57 am

Maybe you are a kid. Believe it or not, there are Democrats who voted for Bill Clinton in the 1990s. They lost face standing up for the Clintons. When there is a scandal — even an entirely manufactured one — the Clintons need better than to say “only a Republican would believe this.” Because they’ve heard that line before, believed it, and got burnt when it turned out that there was physical evidence countering the claim.

Not every Democrat is “just as long as my team wins, we’re good.” There are lots of people, in both parties, who see elections as a sports content and any win is better than any loss. But there are lots of people, in both parties, who don’t buy into that, and despite having party identity don’t think that having one of their guys win is everything.

42 Jamie_NYC February 10, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Thank you.

43 Nathan W February 10, 2016 at 10:03 pm

There is nothing much to disbelieve about the email “scandal”. It happened, but it’s not much of a scandal.

44 JWatts February 11, 2016 at 11:30 am

“There is nothing much to disbelieve about the email “scandal”. It happened, but it’s not much of a scandal. ”

There are multiple potential felonies involved in the issue directly involving state classified secrets. If you don’t consider that much of a scandal, then it’s hard to see how Watergate was a scandal.

45 lemmy caution February 12, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Watergate was a scandal because Nixon was breaking laws to spy on his political opponents.

The email thing isn’t really a big deal.


Here is Bill Clinton’s approval ratings. He left office with with a 65% approval rating. Not sure that leaves a lot of space for hung out to dry dems pissed at all his scandals.


46 Cassiodorus February 10, 2016 at 10:40 am

I doubt the party is very concerned about recommendations from someone who can’t even write the name of the party properly.

47 msgkings February 9, 2016 at 8:47 pm

Neither Sanders nor Trump will be nominated. Kinda wish they were though, then Bloomberg can run and we have a choice among 3 old white loudmouth New York guys.

48 JWatts February 9, 2016 at 9:24 pm

“Neither Sanders nor Trump will be nominated.”

That’s an odd statement to make at this point. Since, both of them just won tonight’s primary. I’ll wager you $10 that at least one of them wins the nomination.

49 Dzhaughn February 9, 2016 at 9:36 pm

This is New Hampshire. New. Hampshire.

50 Chip February 9, 2016 at 9:47 pm

Live Free or Die

Since they voted for Sanders might be time to drop the Free from that.

51 MKB February 9, 2016 at 9:59 pm

+1 – of course. Daily news is nearly noise.

52 anon February 9, 2016 at 11:31 pm

Trump plays well to the white working class. There’s more of those people in other states than in New Hampshire.

53 msgkings February 9, 2016 at 11:27 pm

I’ll take that bet. Not sure how to collect, but let’s just go for bragging rights. We’re both going to be around in July I’m sure.

54 msgkings February 9, 2016 at 11:30 pm

And by the way I hope I’m wrong on both, I sincerely want to see Trump v Sanders v (probably) Bloomberg.

55 anon February 9, 2016 at 11:32 pm

I would too. That would be the all time lulziest Presidential campaign in US history.

56 msgkings February 9, 2016 at 11:40 pm

@anon: Agreed on the lulz, but I also would rather vote for Bloomberg than anyone else running.

57 Chip February 10, 2016 at 7:49 am

Bloomberg has more contempt for the average citizen than most. Rich individuals convinced of their rightness are exactly the wrong people for a society that should be rapidly decentralizing decision-making in a time of so much information and wealth.

I have almost nothing in common with Cruz but he’s perhaps the only one who plans to rein in the government and unshackle America’s cultural propensity for making stuff and taking risks.

58 LNM February 9, 2016 at 11:36 pm

Here’s the wisdom of a prediction market: https://electionbettingodds.com/

If my quick number crunch is right, the bet is pretty much even odds. There’s not much point in betting on a coin flip.

59 msgkings February 9, 2016 at 11:42 pm

No point? Bragging rights!

60 JWatts February 9, 2016 at 11:55 pm

Yep, it’s pretty much even odds.

61 MyName February 10, 2016 at 12:48 am

And neither of them won Iowa. All the NH win has done is make sure the primary race lasts another 3-4 weeks. Trump will start losing again once they hit the South. Sanders probably as well, though maybe split the states and drag it out even longer.

62 anon February 9, 2016 at 8:59 pm

Oh, good. Amateur partisan politics. I was hoping to get some more of that on Twitter. Let me guess, Krugman decided he needed to get on twitter now, because THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Did Krugman ever study Ricardo back when he was doing economics?

63 NPW February 9, 2016 at 9:02 pm

Bernie will try to follow the path of madness; Clinton will continue with her path of kleptocracy; Trump will maintain his business approach and let the professionals do their thing while he runs his mouth.

So, yes,Trump is the least objectionable of the options.

64 notanonymous February 9, 2016 at 9:06 pm

This has already been seen over at Instapundit.

65 Dan in Euroland February 9, 2016 at 9:14 pm

Trump certainly acts like a buffoon, but I see little evidence that he actually is. Plus he isn’t going to prostrate himself before a foreign King. (That was a far more critical error in Obamunist geopolitics that people realize.)

In the Cowenian Framework of Putinian Power (http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/03/modeling-vladimir-putin.html) Trump is a mixture of 3 and 4. He clearly understands the underlying political structure of the US (immigration matters) and his ability to pull in heretofor non-voters, hence #3. Plus he cut his teeth in NYC real estate development where political power is everything, hence #4.

66 BDK February 9, 2016 at 10:59 pm

The fact that Trump acts like a buffoon makes him a buffoon.

Trump cannot be placed on the “Putin Power spectrum. Trump’s only belief is that any publicity is good publicity and that any means justify those vulgar ends. It’s clear that he enjoyed reading works about the rise of the national socialists, and has come to the conclusion that filling a political void will advance his personal fame. He is insecure because, as anyone from the city knows, “cutting your teeth in NYC real estate” is not a path to social acceptance here (assuming he’s done even that, as opposed to building a brand for the lowest common denominator across every market, from monochromatic neckties to wall sconces). Because he’s never fit in here in the city where his slumlord father build and then left him a fortune, he’s broadened his social horizons.

The man is a living joke. America’s greatest living comedian. Only his routine has become less and less funny. I haven’t heard a better veiled threat than “New Hampshire, you started it; remember, you started it,” since Angelo Mozilo told Bank of America it would “reap what he sowed.”

67 TMC February 10, 2016 at 10:07 am

Not that you are wrong, but still better than Clinton or Sanders.

68 Jamie_NYC February 10, 2016 at 3:25 pm

“The man is a living joke.” BDK, my limited experience tells me that cognitive dissonance hurts, and it hurts a lot. They way I see thing going for you is the following progression: “his campaign will implode” -> “he won’t get any votes” -> “he won’t win any primaries” -> “he won’t be a nominee” -> “he won’t win the election” -> “GAAA! The whole world has gone insane!!!” -> “it hurts, it hurts…” That’s why this whole process is to entertaining to me: the opportunity to see so many bubbles burst, so many “bien pensants” undergoing mental convulsions, it’s pure comedy.

69 celestus February 9, 2016 at 9:24 pm

I’ll bite. By the fall, the entire media establishment (including Mr. Krugman) will be declaring that the Republican nominee “makes Trump look sane”

70 JJ February 9, 2016 at 9:30 pm

I think there’s a chance that Clinton makes the play for the center. If she wants, she can get at least a bunch of moderate Republicans on board. But whether she wants to depends on how she fights Bernie and how she positions herself in the general. More to the point, I’m a moderate Republican who’s dying for someone, anyone, to welcome me into their tent. It’s sad all alone in the cold, without a partisan banner to fly.

71 Stuart February 9, 2016 at 10:43 pm

Al Gore seemed to make a strong play for the center, I don’t think it helped him, but there’s no way of knowing what might have been I guess.

Would you be excited about a Bloomberg candidacy? I think he’d get in the race if it were Trump-Sanders.

72 Dude February 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm

I don’t remember Gore making a “strong play for the center.” I remember being pissed off that he ignored the previous 8 years and campaigned on a more populist lefty message.

73 Stuart February 10, 2016 at 10:24 am

His choice of running mate, who would go on to endorse McCain in 2008, seems to indicate a play for the center rather than striking a ‘populist lefty’ message.

74 Art Deco February 10, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Per William Schneider, the survey research he’d reviewed indicated that your Vice Presidential candidate will likely net you 2% of the ballots in his home state if he does not turn out to be a tar baby like Thomas Eagleton or Geraldine Ferraro. Albert Gore did not need Joseph Lieberman for that. You’ve had candidates who seemed to want to co-opt a rival (Ronald Reagan in 1980, John Kerry in 2004) or build bridges to people he did not know well (Jimmy Carter in 1976). The only attempt at ticket balancing in the last 50 odd years would be Michael Dukakis’ selection of Oil-patch Bentsen in 1988 (he still lost Texas), unless you count Robert Dole’s selection of Jack Kemp in 1996, which I’m sure locked up the huge constituency of those who attended CPAC in 1985 and those who worked for Robert Bartley.

75 Alain February 9, 2016 at 10:53 pm

If you really are a moderate republican then Rubio is your guy.

I’m guessing you’re not or you would know that.

76 msgkings February 9, 2016 at 11:37 pm

Rubio’s pretty conservative actually, he’s only moderate compared to Cruz. The moderates are Kasich and Bush and Christie. Kasich did well tonight, he may be in for longer but honestly he’s a perfect vice-president for a ticket with Rubio (FL and OH)

77 Chip February 10, 2016 at 7:52 am

Rubio is at great risk of revealing himself as a pure politician at a time when Americans hate politicians.

78 Cereal Crepist February 9, 2016 at 9:34 pm

Is this not the mainstream position among moderate Republicans now? Especially if the Democrat nominee is Sanders?

79 Jeff R. February 9, 2016 at 10:16 pm

I don’t know, but +1 for that username.

80 AD February 10, 2016 at 7:13 am

Yeah, this is not much of a prediction

81 Dzhaughn February 9, 2016 at 9:41 pm

So Krugman bets (1) Trump wins the nomination, (2) at least two unspecified “moderate Republican” pundits will prefer him. (1) is unlikely, but (2) is a non-bet.

My wager is that Krugman will, this summer, fail to acknowledge that he predicted (1) and it did not occur.

82 Angry analyst February 9, 2016 at 10:29 pm

I actually had a conversation with a liberal friend the other day. He pointed out that as long as Donald Trump isn’t actually a fascist, he may execute somewhat moderate and liberal policies (read: those moderate republicans and democrats like). I agree it seems unlikely that Trump really executes his agenda as currently constructed/delivered in speeches.

Perhaps Trump deserves a Straussian reading? Tyrone’s post of some time ago seems relevant.

83 Harun February 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Trump will build a wall. That is easy and concrete.

He will also cut a ton of deals that are moderate/establishment stuff.

I don’t think voters on the right will actually like his presidency.

84 Hazel Meade February 9, 2016 at 11:32 pm

He’ll blow a ton of money on infrastructure projects, is what he will do. it will be a replay of the Obama stimulus only with more pork and more corruption.

85 msgkings February 9, 2016 at 11:38 pm

Congress writes the checks. He can’t do anything without them. A wall he can do, executive order.

86 carlolspln February 9, 2016 at 11:55 pm



As well, I can assure you that the airports in Indonesia [as an example] are much more modern, with superior amenities, than all but a few in the USA.

87 Dan Weber February 10, 2016 at 12:04 pm

There is a good chance that Trump could actually be a very good President.

But there is also a chance (not quite as big, but still there) that he could be a very bad President. The worst-case for him is way worse than the worst-case for Clinton or Sanders or Cruz or Rubio.

And, really, the entire American political system is built to try and stop the very bad outcomes, at the expense of losing very good outcomes. Voting for him is, for me, too big a risk.

88 Hazel Meade February 9, 2016 at 11:30 pm

Intellectuals circa 1933: “There’s no way that Hitler fellow is going to do any of that crazy shit he wrote about in his book. Pfft. Ridiculous. He’s just playing to the common man’s delusions. Once he gets into power he’ll be forced to become more moderate. “

89 Angry analyst February 9, 2016 at 11:37 pm

This issue is why I personally remain deeply uncomfortable with trump. The counter argument is somewhat persuasive however…

90 asdf February 10, 2016 at 12:15 am

Yeah, Trump is exactly like a hobo turned street thug that tried to violently overthrow the government. I mean, they clearly have exactly the same personality.

91 Brian Donohue February 10, 2016 at 9:43 am

Are you comparing The Art of The Deal to Mein Kampf?

92 Urso February 10, 2016 at 10:06 am

Literally everyone I don’t like is Hitler. If not worse.

93 Art Deco February 10, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Hazel, get a grip. He’s a real estate developer / hotel & casino operator / TV producer who is nearly 70 years old. He’s never been involved in any kind of exotic political activity or expounded anything decidedly peculiar or fanatical.

94 msgkings February 10, 2016 at 5:52 pm

I agree people are getting way too worked up about Trump, he’s a clown not a monster. Almost nothing he says he’s going to do has any chance of actually happening (like most on the campaign trail). But Art, if the exact same guy was running as a Dem (and Trump could easily have done so, but then he wouldn’t be able to bash the current president which is a big part of his schtick) you would be ripping him all day long. The things you rip Dems for apply to him x10.

This is what I mean, blind partisanship on both sides is boring and weak-minded.

95 Ricardo February 9, 2016 at 11:41 pm

“Fascist” is a vague and not particularly relevant term in the context of 21st century American politics. As has been pointed out, though, Trump follows in a long tradition of populists who have eschewed ideological straight-jackets. His predecessors are people like Father Coughlin, Huey Long, George Wallace and William Randolph Hearst.

96 msgkings February 9, 2016 at 11:43 pm

Berlusconi is the best fit.

97 Art Deco February 10, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Fr. Coughlin was a screwball promoter of financial and monetary nostrums, Huey Long was a machine boss whose demagogy was a mess about asset seizures, George Wallace a cynical promoter of segregation, and Wm. Randolph Hearst as a working politician was another promoter of monetary nostrums. I’m not seeing the analogy.

98 Sam Haysom February 9, 2016 at 10:30 pm

According to the latest PWC Audit the Vote I am the median voter and I’m voting for Trump so this seems plausible.

99 Hood February 9, 2016 at 11:37 pm

It’s already started: David Henderson had a blog post recently defending Trump’s policy to ban all Muslims from entering the country.

100 Bob from Ohio February 10, 2016 at 10:52 am

David Henderson said that , well I will be darned.

Who is David Henderson?

101 Art Deco February 10, 2016 at 12:40 pm

SInce Henderson is an OPEN BORDERS promoter, that is a surprise.

102 RPLong February 10, 2016 at 1:45 pm

That’s not what David Henderson said.

103 Krugmonitor February 9, 2016 at 11:48 pm

Still a bot.

104 extramsg February 10, 2016 at 12:04 am

Damn you. Beat me to it.

105 bjk February 10, 2016 at 12:24 am

How hard would it be for an intern at NYT to write Krug’s columns? I can predict pretty accurately what he’s going to say on any topic. First, more spending. Second, he was right that there needed to be more spending. Third, all of his critics are craven or stupid or evil.

106 RPLong February 10, 2016 at 1:45 pm


107 Steko February 10, 2016 at 12:40 am

After watching Rubio unravel this weekend I’ve got 100 MR commenter bucks on Cruz.

I see a few main arguments against Cruz:

I. Electability

While his hard line positions would be a major obstacle in the general election, they are an asset in the primaries. As far as head to head vs Clinton, only Rubio currently does better than Cruz and not by much.

II. Cruz “isn’t well liked by his peers”.

Also true but the reality is (1) he is beating most/all of the “well liked” candidates, (2) he presumably won all his other elections up to this point with the same handicap, (3) he would face a not all that well liked Hillary in the general and (4) ask Presidents Bob Dole and Joe Biden how far being ‘well liked by your peers on Capital Hill’ gets you.

OTOH the arguments for Cruz:

A. Money. Both Carson (22 mil) and Cruz (20m) raised about as much money as Rubio (14m) and Jeb (7m) combined in the last quarter and Cruz led everyone (except Trump) in cash on hand. Iowa/NH could only have accelerated that result. Trump doesn’t suck up the donors, Carson’s donors money will mostly go to Cruz and the “establishment” money that went all in on Jeb early seems quite a bit more hesitant today.

B. Quality of campaign. Second only to Trump in enthusiasm, Cruz’s operation is a traditional professional style campaign that’s clearly out-executing the competition (NH) and willing to get their hands dirty to win (IA). So not only does he have the most money, he’s getting the most bang for the buck.

C. Favorable pack dynamics. While the “establishment candidates” seem very committed to their circular firing squad, on the more conservative side you basically have Cruz, Ben Carson, whose book tour is running on fumes and is already talking about Vice President, and Trump who shoots himself in the foot half the time he attacks Cruz. Meanwhile as long as Trump is the front-runner he gets that share of negative coverage and any decline by Trump is likely to be realized as a gain by Cruz not just in future polling but in delegates already earned.

108 Roy LC February 10, 2016 at 1:52 am

That is the soundest analysis I have heard so far, mostly because it is basically the same as my own.

The only thing i would add is that Trump will do less well in greater south than expected, but far better in the West and Mountain West. Luckily nobody cares what anyone out there thinks.

109 JWatts February 10, 2016 at 3:53 pm

I tend to agree. However, I think Cruz winning is highly dependent upon how the ‘pack’ collapses and him doing well enough to pick up the majority of supporters from departing candidates. Kasich getting 2nd in NH was a pretty big blow to Cruz. After Iowa, there was a lot of talk of a three way race between Trump, Cruz and Rubio. Now, that narrative has been disrupted.

110 Justin Kelly February 10, 2016 at 1:16 am

I’ve noticed a shift in Trump. The last debate he actually made a specific policy stance and said he would bring businesses back by reducing corporate tax. Then during a campaign even I saw a clip of him explaining to college students why college was expensive, and and blamed student loans ( similar to how a recent federal reserve report did).

111 HL February 10, 2016 at 1:37 am

Some of you guys are in for a real surprise if you’re still doubting Trump.

112 Lee A. Arnold February 10, 2016 at 5:29 am

I predicted 6 months ago that the GOP nominee will be Kasich, and I’m sticking with it.

113 Moreno Klaus February 10, 2016 at 6:39 am

President Kasich hmmm lool

114 JWatts February 10, 2016 at 3:55 pm

If it’s Kasich versus Sanders, I’d expect Kasich to win easily. I’m much more doubtful he’ll win the primary. He doesn’t debate well on a crowded stage.

115 Dan Weber February 10, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Well, one of them got the endorsement of the New York Times!

116 JWatts February 11, 2016 at 11:40 am

That comment made me curious, so I looked it up. The New York Times has endorsed the Democrat nominee every election all the way back to 1956, when they endorsed Eisenhower. That would include Walter Mondale in 1984, the worst party nominee in modern times (probably ever). Walter Mondale got a total of 13 electoral votes.

No matter how bad the Democratic nominee, The New York Times will endorse them. They are a Party paper.

117 Dan Weber February 11, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Maybe my joke missed, but NYT endorsed Kasich in the Republican primary.

118 Art Deco February 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm

You’ll lose if you’ve wagered anything.

119 Lee A. Arnold February 10, 2016 at 6:53 pm

You’re all guided by your preferences, not thinking logically about how the emotions work.

120 Art Deco February 10, 2016 at 9:16 pm

Betwixt and between consulting my preferences, I can also ascertain how often a certain sequence of events has occurred in the last 40-odd years and consult the work of pollsters too. Unless you’re expecting Messrs. Trump and Cruz to get run over by a truck, you’re placing your money on a 20-to-1 shot.

121 Lee A. Arnold February 11, 2016 at 4:17 am

I think almost all people would have said that Trump’s success in the GOP (so far) was a 20-to-1 shot, but I saw it coming years ago. Next test of my Kasich prediction are the performances at this Saturday’s debate.

122 Urso February 10, 2016 at 9:59 am

Republicans more likely to support a Republican over a Democrat. You can quote me on that. Now where’s my Nobel prize?

123 Bob from Ohio February 10, 2016 at 11:00 am

Trump is a better choice than Sanders or Clinton, I think most “moderate Republican pundits” [whoever they are] would say that today. I think “Republican pundits” of all types might say that.

Does not make him a “good” choice, either for the country or the party.

124 Lee A. Arnold February 10, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Pretty clear from public comments that Lindsey Graham and many others think Hillary will destroy either Trump or Cruz. They also appear to be concerned that Trump’s slandering of Muslims worsens the US image and makes it harder for US soldiers to find “friendlies” in Muslim lands — and perhaps harder to expect US Muslims to come forward with intel about domestic terror. Therefore it’s not entirely clear that some Republicans would vote for Trump, if they care about US soldiers or US foreign policy, like Graham. Indeed Trump ceilinged at about 35% of the GOP primary electorate and then began to lose ground. Only about 50% of Repubs in NH think they could accept him as nominee.

125 Art Deco February 10, 2016 at 9:18 pm

Lindsey Graham and many others think Hillary will destroy either Trump or Cruz.

If Miss Lindsey fancies that, he’s not consulting any survey research. No one’s destroying anyone this year (bar the modest run of weeks it will take Trump and Cruz to put John Kasich away).

126 Lee A. Arnold February 11, 2016 at 7:40 am

Graham knows all three of them, and that plus being a consummate politician is probably all he needs to know.

But I am surprised you would insult Graham. He is one of the smartest GOP supporters of the US military remaining in the Senate, since the idiotic Tea Party drummed the rest of them out. I don’t agree with him on lots of other policy, but I’m glad he’s in there for that.

127 Lee A. Arnold February 11, 2016 at 4:20 am

I imagine that most seasoned politicians don’t worry much about survey research until a little later in the campaign.

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