New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has twice in one week put his brand of classless leftist vulgarity on display after a national tragedy, this time by using the El Paso massacre to accuse Republicans of being terrorists and white supremacists. “Useful Idiots And Trumpist Billionaires,” in Tuesday’s edition used a Trump fundraiser by the owner of Equinox and SoulCycle to claim Trump is trying to raise a "white nationalist regime":
I mean, if you’re a billionaire who also happens to be a racist, supporting Trump makes perfect sense: You know what you’re buying. But if you’re supporting Trump not because of his racism but despite it, because you expect him to keep your taxes low, you’re being, well, an idiot.
Krugman fears a right-wing uprising against the Jews in America:
More to the point, Trumpism is about much more than tax cuts: It’s an attempt to end the rule of law and impose an authoritarian, white nationalist regime. And even billionaires should be terrified about what their lives will be like if that attempt succeeds.
This is especially true if you’re a member of a minority, even if your skin happens to be white. Ross is Jewish -- and anyone Jewish has to be completely ignorant of history not to know that when bigotry runs free, we’re always next in line for persecution.
More sweaty speculation from the agitated Krugman (click “expand”):
In fact, the ingredients for an American pogrom are already in place. The El Paso shooting suspect, like many right-wing terrorists, is a believer in “replacement theory” -- the claim that immigration is part of a vast conspiracy to replace whites with people of color. And who’s behind that conspiracy? You know who: “Jews will not replace us,” declared the torch-carrying marchers in Charlottesville.
Is Trump a replacement theory guy? The replacement theorists think so.
In any case, billionaires who imagine that their wealth will insulate them from the purges and insecurity of an authoritarian regime are deluding themselves....
Oh, and don’t say it can’t happen here. The man who prompts chants of “lock her up,” who has declared the independent media “enemies of the people,” has made it abundantly clear that he’d love to engage in politicized prosecutions of anyone who gets in his way.
But has he sicced the IRS on his political enemies yet?
Last week, Krugman used the El Paso massacre to explicitly accuse the GOP of enabling such terrorism in “Trump, Tax Cuts and Terrorism -- Why do Republicans enable right-wing extremism?” He didn’t wait around (click “expand”):
Why has the Republican Party become a systematic enabler of terrorism?
Don’t pretend to be shocked. Just look at G.O.P. responses to the massacre in El Paso. They have ranged from the ludicrous (blame video games!) to the almost honest (who would have expected Ted Cruz, of all people, to speak out against white supremacy?). But as far as I can tell, not one prominent Republican has even hinted at the obvious link between Donald Trump’s repeated incitements to violence and the upsurge in hate crimes.
....Is the G.O.P. now a party of white nationalists?
No, not exactly. No doubt some members of Congress, and a significant number of Trump administration officials, very much including the tweeter in chief, really are white supremacists. And a much larger fraction -- almost surely bigger than anyone wants to admit -- are racists....
Krugman conceded that maybe “racism isn’t what drives the Republican establishment,” but that “their exploitation of racism has led them inexorably to where they are today: de facto enablers of a wave of white supremacist terrorism.”
It's all about Republicans slashing taxes and making the poor suffer, says Krugman. But that’s unpopular:
So how do Republicans win elections? By appealing to racial animus. This is such an obvious fact of American political life that you have to be willfully blind not to see it.
After a reference to Massachusetts rapist and murderer Willie Horton, who has become a strange, quasi-sympathetic figure in the minds of Democrats looking to tar Republicans as racist, Krugman said there was blood on the hands of Republicans for blocking a partisan crime report on “right-wing extremism” during the Obama administration (click “expand”):
A different, better G.O.P. might have been willing to acknowledge the growing threat and supported a crackdown on violent right-wing extremism, comparable to the F.B.I.’s successful campaign against the modern K.K.K. in the 1960s. A lot of innocent victims would be alive today if Republicans had done so.
But they didn’t, because admitting that right-wing extremism was a threat, or even a phrase law enforcement should be allowed to use, might have threatened the party’s exploitation of racial hostility to achieve its economic goals.
In effect, then, the Republican Party decided that a few massacres were an acceptable price to pay in return for tax cuts....
So as I said at the beginning, the G.O.P. has become a systematic enabler of terrorism. Why? Follow the money.
How much further can Krugman go, after accusing the Republican Party of white supremacy and terrorism? One shudders to think.