On ad hominem attacks and Paul Krugman’s op-ed on Europe’s many disasters

Some commentators seemed to be eliciting ad hominem attacks on Paul Krugman from me. I don’t do that. 




While there have been times when I have fundamentally disagreed with him on issues of substance, those are ideological disagreements that have zero personal component to them. I don’t know Professor Krugman, nor does he know me. I don’t have an opinion as to his political allegiances, nor do I have a right to criticize him for his choices. He is entitled to his opinions as I am entitled to mine. I will not criticize him for liking a candidate I dislike. It is his right as a fellow citizen of these United States.

I will continue to comment on the policy issues as he brings them up and call him on not mentioning burning issues as those arise. When I disagree with Professor Krugman, I will continue to make my arguments as best I know how and as politely as I know how.

For the record, I am of the opinion that, had it not been for Professor Krugman’s advocacy during the first two years of the Great Recession, the stimulus approved by Congress would have been far more meager and the outcome we still suffer today, far worse. Whose voice was loudest when there was still a chance an infrastructure bill might pass in Congress? Paul Krugman’s voice was.

Am I unhappy that Professor Krugman has stopped writing on certain topics? You bet. Am I disappointed with his tepid critique of the TPP? Absolutely. That doesn’t make him a traitor or anything else. Painting him in that kind of light only does one thing: make one look like those we criticize on the complete other side of the spectrum. I will not do that.

When it comes to doing the job of a public intellectual, few have done as much as Paul Krugman. Is there room for critique? Sure! I’ve been writing a piece on the place of public intellectuals, not just him, in the era of Obama and the right wing rebellion. It’s a long piece and I would rather submit it to a publication that has far more reach than my blog. If I fail to find it a home, I will post it here.