Paul Krugman is very smart. But here’s why you can’t trust him:
But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.
And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.
Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn’t it politics as usual?
Yes, it is — and that’s why it’s unforgivable.
Okay, so this is a perfect mirror of the PATRIOT Act. Existential threat posited by supporters? Check! Bill that does lots of things but might not help? Check. Accusing those who vote against of being traitors? Check. Immediate association of “no” votes with “denial of problem?” Check. We’ve even got more reasonable individuals complaining about casual use of the word “treason” while still accepting that a problem exists.
But the most hilarious part is:
Do you remember the days when Bush administration officials claimed that terrorism posed an “existential threat” to America, a threat in whose face normal rules no longer applied? That was hyperbole — but the existential threat from climate change is all too real.
Krugman even knows what he’s doing! This is the problem, and what makes someone a hack: when you use the exact same slimy tactics as you criticized your opponents for using, that means you aren’t looking at things objectively. Very intelligent, very talented people have become convinced of wrong things simply because they were emotionally invested in it — Krugman may in fact be right in this, but no matter how much evidence he lays out, its clear that he’s emotionally attached to the concept of his opponents being traitors to the planet. If opponents of the PATRIOT Act or Waxman-Markey really are traitors bent on destroying America/Earth then you should lie, cheat and steal (or more accurately, call them traitors, ignore evidence that supports them, and tar their motives with broad strokes) to defeat them. Even if he’s supporting the right side, Krugman’s obviously not looking over the facts and coming to their logical conclusion. Why should he? The other side is a bunch of traitors bent on — in his own words — destroying the world.
For example, I generally opposed the bailout of GM. But if I describe every politician who voted for it as a bunch of evil, no-good communistic traitors who are leading this country to ruin, rather than simply wrong, you would question my objectivity in dealing with the subject. You will think, “hmm, if he thinks the other side is evil, how likely is it that he has calmly and rationally assessed the pros and cons of the situation?” And so it is with Krugman.
Shorter Krugman: “demonizing political opponents as traitors is bad when Bush does it, but good when I do it. Also they’re traitors against the entire planet, which is totally worse than just America.” Where’s Captain Planet when you need him?