NY Times’ Paul Krugman Pokes Bernie Bros’ Hive With Stick In ‘Feel the Math’

Posted on Tue 05/31/2016 by

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claywaterspicture-5-1426558377By Clay Waters ~

New York Times Paul Krugman once again poked a stick into the Bernie Bros hive with his latest column, “Feel the Math.”

Bernie’s fellow socialists do not approve of Krugman’s constant attacks on Hillary’s opponent for the Democratic Party nomination, as shown in this fun read from last month on a socialist website, attacking Krugman as “an intellectual bagman for Wall Street and its favored candidate,” Hillary Clinton:

paul_krugman_4_1New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman has penned another in a series of unprincipled and dishonest attacks on Bernie Sanders on behalf of the Democratic Party establishment and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

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Krugman’s blog on the Times is produced under the overall headline, “Conscience of a Liberal.” As it turns out, this conscience does not amount to much. As an intellectual bagman for Wall Street and its favored candidate, he now has a new job to perform –attacking Sanders from the right.

On Monday Krugman again turned his snooty gaze to his left, and Sanders’ supporters don’t seem to appreciate his tone any more than his Republican targets do, judging by the pushback in the comments sections on nytimes.com and Facebook.

….So far, election commentary has been even worse than I imagined it would be. It’s not just the focus on the horse race at the expense of substance; much of the horse-race coverage has been bang-your-head-on-the-desk awful, too. I know this isn’t scientific, but based on conversations I’ve had recently, many people — smart people, who read newspapers and try to keep track of events — have been given a fundamentally wrong impression of the current state of play.

And when I say a “wrong impression,” I don’t mean that I disagree with other people’s takes. I mean that people aren’t being properly informed about the basic arithmetic of the situation.

It didn’t take long for Krugman’s trademark arrogance to peek through.

Now, I’m not a political scientist or polling expert, nor do I even try to play one on TV. But I am fairly numerate, and I assiduously follow real experts like The Times’s Nate Cohn. And they’ve taught me some basic rules that I keep seeing violated.

Krugman denigrated the chances of both Donald Trump on the Republican side and Sanders, who is still contesting the Democratic nomination despite the best efforts by the media and the New York Times in particular to shove him out.

….Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee; she locked it up over a month ago with her big Mid-Atlantic wins, leaving Bernie Sanders no way to overtake her without gigantic, implausible landslides — winning two-thirds of the vote! — in states with large nonwhite populations, which have supported Mrs. Clinton by huge margins throughout the campaign.

Krugman is pretty confident Hillary will pick up California, even though his own newspaper sounded a bit shaky after the latest poll, summed up by the headline (“California Looking Less Like a Sure Thing for Hillary Clinton.”)

Second, polls can be really helpful at assessing the state of a race, but only if you fight the temptation to cherry-pick, to only cite polls telling the story you want to hear. Recent hyperventilating over the California primary is a classic example. Most polls show Mrs. Clinton with a solid lead, but one recent poll shows a very close race. So, has her lead “evaporated,” as some reports suggest? Probably not: Another poll, taken at the very same time, showed an 18-point lead.

Krugman went out on a limb to predict a winner in the California primary June 7:

….the current state of the race should not be a source of dispute or confusion. Barring the equivalent of a meteor strike, Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee; despite the reluctance of Sanders supporters to concede that reality, she’s currently ahead of Donald Trump. That’s what the math says, and anyone who says it doesn’t is misleading you.

Last week Krugman penned “The Truth About the Sanders Movement” for his nytimes.com blog. He answering the question in the headline with a backhanded compliment for Sanders’ supporters that probably outraged them all the more.

In short, it’s complicated — not all bad, by any means, but not the pure uprising of idealists the more enthusiastic supporters imagine.

The political scientists Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels have an illuminating discussion of Sanders support. The key graf that will probably have Berniebros boiling is this:

Yet commentators who have been ready and willing to attribute Donald Trump’s success to anger, authoritarianism, or racism rather than policy issues have taken little note of the extent to which Mr. Sanders’s support is concentrated not among liberal ideologues but among disaffected white men.

Krugman had his own breakdown of the Bernie Bros, which includes dirty hippies and Hillary haters:

Romantics: This kind of idealism shades over into something that’s less about changing society than about the fun and ego gratification of being part of The Movement. (Those of us who were students in the 60s and early 70s very much recognize the type.)….Quite a few Sanders supporters are mainly Clinton-haters, deep in the grip of Clinton Derangement Syndrome; they know that Hillary is corrupt and evil, because that’s what they hear all the time; they don’t realize that the reason it’s what they hear all the time is that right-wing billionaires have spent more than two decades promoting that message…

Clay Waters was the director of Times Watch a former project of the Media Research Center .

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