How Paul Krugman found politics: It was the 2000 election campaign that finally radicalized him. He’d begun writing his column the year before, and although his mandate at the outset was economic and business matters, he began paying more attention to the world in general. During the campaign, he perceived the Bush people telling outright lies, and this shocked him. Reagan’s people had at least tried to justify their policies with economic models and rationalizations. Krugman hadn’t believed the models would work, but at least they were there.
After the election, he began to attack Bush’s policies in his column, and, as his outrage escalated, his attacks grew more venomous. Krugman felt that liberals were unwilling to confront or even to acknowledge the anger on the right with some of their own, so he was going to have to do it. “He saw that it had been very, very painful during the nineties to get American fiscal policy in order, and he saw all of that being thrown away callously and with very little thought,” Brad DeLong, a professor of economics at Berkeley, says. “And it turned out to be true that Alan Greenspan was going to meetings at the White House saying we’re going to regret this. Paul was simply six years behind those of us who had worked in the Clinton Administration, who found the collapse of reality-based Republicanism coming much earlier”...
Not me at my most coherent. The point is that those of us who worked for Clinton in 1993-4 had no illusions about the honor of Republican legislators, and understood very well that this was no longer a normal American political party we were dealing with.
Paul stayed Mr. Bipartisanship--one thwack at Republican supply-siders balanced a week later by a thwack at Democratic protectionists or regulatorts--until George W. Bush began to do his thing.