Liveblogging World War II: September 6, 1942
Private Payrolls: Bush and Obama

Republican Politicians' Indiscipline and Economists' Discipline

Paul Krugman:

Discipline and Indiscipline: [T]he story from Tampa [was]n’t the policy ideas, which are just what we already knew; it’s the personal indiscipline…. Chris Christie had his big moment, his chance to set himself up as the heir apparent. Instead, he gave a demonstration of his monstrous self-absorption, going two-thirds of the way through his speech before so much as mentioning the name of his party’s presidential nominee. And Paul Ryan’s speech was just lazy. Rolling out the Janesville thing again, despite having been called on it already? Doing the Medicare cuts thing when everyone in the media was already on the case for his prior advocacy of the same cuts? Doing Bowles-Simpson when, again, everyone in the media knows that he played a large role in undercutting the panel (for which, by the way, we should thank him)? I mean, good policy aside, where was the craftsmanship?

Put it this way, if you’re going to be deceptive, you should at least put in the effort to avoid offering targets that even the most diffident, balance-loving reporters will have a hard time hitting missing.

So as I said, indiscipline has ruled the last two days.

But meanwhile, on a front closer to home for me, the awesome discipline of Republican-leaning economists — their willingness to say anything, do any amount of damage to their professional reputations, for the cause, even when they have no personal hope of being rewarded with high office — remains in place. I wonder what the incentives are; is it just social pressure?

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