I often hear Paul Krugman deserves the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, and I believe it. I know to a moral certainty he knows more about international trade — nay, about all economics, micro- macro- and in-between — than I do. But I’m firmly persuaded Paul Krugman wouldn’t know Richard Nixon if the zombified corpse of the thirty-seventh president up and bit Krugman right in his endowed chair.
Dude, campaign for Clinton all you like, I don’t care — I think academics are citizens, and get to have political positions. Tell me Obama’s health plan isn’t as good as Clinton’s, and I’ll read what you have to say — I gather there’s a real debate there about the effect of mandates, and David Cutler disagrees with you; okay.
But let’s talk about Richard Nixon, who embraced warrantless wiretapping, who prolonged and expanded wars in the name of peace, whose administration aimed specifically to crack the American electorate into bits in the hope of picking up just enough pieces in its paws to slouch toward electoral victory. Richard Nixon, who said, break into the Brookings Institution — no, who said “I want it implemented on a thievery basis [which is a phrase so awesome I giggle and goggle every time I read it]. Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.” Richard Nixon, who told his men to stonewall a criminal investigation, whose men wanted to use “the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.”
So seriously, you’re looking around the political scene today, thinking, who looks a bit like Richard Nixon, and you think — yeah! it’s Barack Obama’s supporters!
Let me tell you, sir, about Richard Nixon, Richard Nixon who thought the Africans — the black ones, he was specific — were just out of the trees, really. Richard Nixon whose worst sin was thinking that everyone was as crazy and vindictive and morality-free as he was.
If you want to find Richard Nixon’s political heirs, there are better places in American public life to look than Obamaland.