Krugman on Dean

February 15, 2005

New York Times very liberal columnist Paul Krugman argues in this piece that Howard Dean is actually a moderate, but one who will stand up and fight for his position. Since the presidential campaign I’ve found it quite fascinating that the most liberal of liberals, in praising Howard Dean, always deny he’s a liberal. Now let me ask you: does it make any sense that liberals would love this guy if he weren’t liberal?

Before you liberals out there accuse me of having a nuance void, I understand that liberals might answer this way: “We love Howard Dean, despite his being a moderate, because he is with us in hating George Bush.” My counter-response to that defense is that if it’s true, it’s even more damning of today’s liberals, because it shows that their organizing principle, their primary political motivation is not some affinity for “progressive” principles, but the intoxicating trap of personal hatred. Without a doubt there is some truth to this and Krugman may truly believe Dean is not a liberal. Krugman may even believe that Krugman is not a liberal. And for the record, I’m not a liberal. Nobody wants to be a liberal these days. How sweet the sound. Beyond these brief comments, I’ll discuss in the next post some of Krugman’s arguments, including those intended to support his flawed thesis that Dean is not a liberal.