Let's review the batting order:
- Robert Reich: Clinton's former Labor Secretary comes from the leftward reaches of the Dem party. He's a co-founder of the liberal American Prospect magazine.
- Paul Krugman: Like Reich, a very liberal professor of economics, and a NYT columnist.
- Donna Brazile: Dem activist, Gore 2000 campaign manager.
- George Stephanopoulos: The show host was a senior political adviser to Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and later became Clinton's communications director.
- George Will: conservative columnist and [since we're talking batter order and this is Opening Day after all] baseball aficionado.
View video here.
Highlights included the liberals sharing a laugh, in the context of the mortgage mess, over Reich's analogizing of McCain to Herbert Hoover, and Reich and Krugman each arguing that his preferred candidate [Obama and Clinton, respectively] was more "progressive" than the other.
Though outnumbered, Will landed some good shots, notably including this exchange.
PAUL KRUGMAN [pointing at Will]: I don't blame you [thanks, Paul], but there's a truly reprehensible thing, where [CEO] Angelo Mozilo and Countrywide went out and did this essentially predatory lending to people, giving them complex mortgages they didn't understand, the most complex mortgages to the least sophisticated buyers, and now they're saying "oh! we were forced into doing it because it was affirmative action." This is a really terrible--
GEORGE WILL: What is mysterious, what is mysterious about the phrase "variable rate"?
KRUGMAN: It's, it's --
Check out the priceless screencap of Krugman looking shiftily sideways at Reich, apparently seeking some intellectual support. It was not forthcoming. Reich could do no better than restate as if by rote Krugman's claim, but had no response when Will called him on it.
ROBERT REICH: There was predatory lending.
WILL: Define it.
REICH: The fact of the matter is --
WILL: Define it.
Reich never could.
Good on Will, but shame on ABC for assembling such a shamelessly slanted panel.