Paul Krugman admits the obvious

… i.e., that Obama is the nominee. But he still can’t resist sticking the shiv in one more time.

To wit:

Mr. Obama will be the Democratic nominee.

But he still can’t bring himself to say a single positive thing about the only person standing between John McCain and the White House. Instead he gives the nominee a bunch of bad and condescending advice. The Bush years have been good for Krugman; he could continue into a McCain Presidency without breaking stride. A Clinton Presidency might have brought him a senior appointment. But an Obama Administration would make Krugman a marginal figure.

Do you think his unconscious mind has figured this out? Or is there any other explanation for his continuing to do what he can to weaken the nominee of the party he claims to favor?

Update Two readers think this is unfair; they’re probably right. As a long-time admirer of Krugman, I remain appalled by the breathtaking dishonesty of his attacks on Barack Obama, and the result is an anger that no doubt sometimes interferes with my judgment. I hadn’t known that Krugman had disclaimed any interest in a Washington job; that part of my attack was clearly off the mark.

Still, under President Clinton Krugman would have the President’s ear; under President McCain he’d have an excellent target; under Barack Obama he’d be carping from the sidelines. I’m still looking for another explanation for writing a column designed to weaken the man Krugman admits will be the nominee of your party. To be a friendly critic, you must first establish your friendliness.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: