Cockburn has enjoyed giving teasing liberal opinion leaders for their limitless ability to engage in political projection. But even his patience is wearing thin after the latest atrocity inflicted upon the New York Times opinion page by economist and professional irritant Paul Krugman.
Krugman’s latest column, published Monday evening, asks how the coming Biden administration will ever possibly cope with the unprecedented idea of having an opposing party with political disagreements.
‘When Joe Biden is inaugurated, he will immediately be confronted with an unprecedented challenge… he’ll be the first modern US president trying to govern in the face of an opposition that refuses to accept his legitimacy. And no, Democrats never said Donald Trump was illegitimate, just that he was incompetent and dangerous.’
Now, admittedly, Krugman is a Princeton professor and Cockburn is a pseudonymous blogger who wears a funny hat. But come on, Krugman. Joe Biden is the first modern president to be called illegitimate? You may have once said that it would have no greater economic impact than the fax machine, but surely even you know that Google exists? Cockburn is irredeemably lazy and it took him not even a minute to find your own statements from 2016:
‘So this was a tainted election. It was not, as far as we can tell, stolen in the sense that votes were counted wrong, and the result won’t be overturned. But the result was nonetheless illegitimate in important ways; the victor was rejected by the public, and won the Electoral College only thanks to foreign intervention and grotesquely inappropriate, partisan behavior on the part of domestic law enforcement… nothing that happened on Election Day or is happening now is normal. Democratic norms have been and continue to be violated, and anyone who refuses to acknowledge this reality is, in effect, complicit in the degradation of our republic. This president will have a lot of legal authority, which must be respected. But beyond that, nothing: he doesn’t deserve deference, he doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.’
Doesn’t Paul Krugman have any pride? He could at least have double-checked his own columns from a year ago just to make sure he didn’t write anything obviously dumb. If he was too busy, he could just pay some impoverished grad student to do it with the money from his knock-off Nobel Prize.
But with the Christmas season approaching, Cockburn is of a charitable mind. Maybe Krugman is humbly excluding himself from his sweeping claim that Democrats universally accepted Trump’s legitimacy. So Cockburn crawled back to Google for another five minutes and…no. In fact, Democrats complaining of Trump’s illegitimacy has been as constant as a metronome the past four years.
- Before the inauguration, Rep. John Lewis told NBC ‘I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president’
- In 2018, Salon ran the blunt headline ‘Trump’s presidency is illegitimate’
- A month later, war hawk and original thought non-haver Max Boot wrote in the Washington Post that ‘Trump is an illegitimate president whose election is tainted by fraud’
- In 2019, Hillary Clinton told CBS News that Donald Trump was an ‘illegitimate president’ who ‘knows’ he stole the 2016 election
- Jimmy Carter also labeled Trump illegitimate, claiming he was installed by those ever-wily Russians