New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman has doubled down on denouncing the Republican Party as “bad people,” insisting that there’s nothing wrong with “demonizing” opponents who “actually are demons.”
Krugman refused to budge from his declaration that “Republicans are bad people” during an interview with PBS’ Firing Line on Thursday. When interviewer Margaret Hoover pressed the Nobel Prize-winning economist on the risks inherent in “demonizing” political opponents, he only doubled down, taking his ad hominems into the mythical realm.
Is it demonizing if they already actually are demons?
While Krugman stressed he was referring to “professional Republicans,” and not “someone I might meet over lunch who declares herself a Republican [who] can perfectly well be a perfectly nice person,” he stood firm in his attacks on a party he described as “irredeemable, devoid of principle or shame” in a Times opinion column last month.
Nor were demons the only horror-movie monster Krugman saw in the GOP. He likened debating Republicans to “arguing with zombies,” declaring that “zombie ideas about fiscal policy, about climate change, about a whole range of ideas – healthcare policy – have completely taken over official Republican discourse.”
While he admitted the party’s calcified platform “doesn’t mean that every Republican in America is like that,” he maintained that “to be a serving Republican member of Congress right now” supporting the Trump administration “makes you a bad person.”
Krugman has been wearing his hatred for Republicans on his sleeve for years. Regular readers of his column will recall that he has blamed Republicans for everything from climate change to antisemitism, and has insisted that “good people can’t be good Republicans” since at least 2018.
Eventually, however, even an Ivy League intellectual runs out of names to call one’s enemy, which is perhaps why Krugman called for the party to be “dismantled and replaced with something better” in last month’s ‘Republicans have no shame’ oped.
For someone so passionate about Republicans, Krugman had little interest in who would win the Democratic presidential nomination, telling Hoover it made “almost no difference” who ended up running against Trump. At the same time, he praised candidate Elizabeth Warren, his personal friend, as a “progressive.” Warren was a Republican until two decades ago. Hoover neglected to ask the Princeton economist if he makes the sign of the cross before meeting Warren for lunch.