Paul Krugman, Jimmy Hoffa, Barack Obama: Paragons of Cultural Decline?

Much ink has been spilled over the last few weeks about Junior (“Take Them Out”) Hoffa’s death threat to those of the Republican persuasion. That it comes as a surprise to anyone that a union goon should talk like a union goon is as baffling to as it is unsurprising that President Obama, with his eloquent silence, condones Hoffa’s lethal orders to the rank-and-file. We live in a time in which man’s political nature, red in tooth and claw, reveals just how debased our culture has become.

Paying their union dues.

But Jimmy told me to, and Barry said it was OK.

In the sub-basement of our decline resides the New York Times‘s Paul Krugman, who has chosen the tenth anniversary of September 11 to add his voice to the many who have spoken out in memory and reflection of that terrible day:

The Years of Shame
Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?
Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.
What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. Te [sic] atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.
A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?
The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.
I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.

Paul Krugman speaks out.

Where I come from, week-long NPR special reports on a single topic, week-long programming on myriad broadcast and cable channels, and 21 (i.e., every single one) of the Huffington Post’s “Featured Blog Posts” hardly add up to a “subdued” recognition of September 11. Perhaps, however, in the dark reaches of societal decay where Krugman hangs his hat, news of these commemorations has yet to penetrate.

When Mayor Giuliani raced to Ground Zero and gave New Yorkers a glimmer of hope that their city would not be torn asunder, I sincerely doubt he was thinking about cash. When George Bush assured the recovery workers that he—and the world—heard them he was not working the crowd at a political fundraiser.

Whatever poison has tainted the memory of September 11 leaks from the pustules bubbling up from the caldera Krugman calls home. Safely ensconced in his cesspool, Krugman spews his bile, insulting his readers by claiming they “know” he speaks the truth—then with the courage of one who hides in the cover in darkness takes his final shot: “I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.”

And this is where we live today. In a country that tolerates a president who thinks it’s OK to make death threats to US citizens. In a country that gives a platform to a writer who tells one lie after another then taunts readers for their lack of recourse.

Makes you proud to be an American, doesn’t it?

Entrance to Krugman's condo.

Home, sweet home

8 thoughts on “Paul Krugman, Jimmy Hoffa, Barack Obama: Paragons of Cultural Decline?

  1. Miss:

    Be not of faint heart. In the great, unwashed hinterland of this country, which extends from about 50 miles west of NYC to 30 miles east of Sacramento, the overwhelming majority of Americans would express the same sentiment about Mr. Krugman “who the hell is this asshole?” Yes, this is the same place that grows about 85-90% of our food, provides an inordinate number of men and women to our armed forces and makes most of the stuff we use everyday (that doesn’t come from China or Indonesia). So Paulie girl can be as ashamed as he wants. Out here here nobody knows him, nobody cares what he writes and nobody will care when he coughs out his last wretched breath. We will, however, probably be happy happy to keep shipping the fruits of our labor to all his dedicated readers. Ironic, eh what?

  2. Hoffa’s comments, though clearly uncivil, were also clearly metaphorical, considering Tea Party policies to be aggression towards workers that justifies firmly trying trying to defeat Tea Party candidates and policies.

    • Andrew, Thank you for writing! I disagree that Hoffa’s comments were “clearly metaphorical.” What they were, were clearly inappropriate at best and meant to incite at worst. Given, too, the Teamsters’ long history of violence as a “bargaining” tactic, there is a record that supports the literal meaning of Hoffa’s remarks. It is appalling that a sitting president of the US sharing a platform with this goon did not immediately repudiate his comments.

      If you can point to acts–or words–of aggression the TP’ers have made public about union members I would be pleased to react to them. I am not a TP’er and carry no brief for them. But I have yet to read of any of them, even metaphorically, threatening to “take out” their opponents. Vote them out–by all means. And more power to them!

  3. Hoffa feels the policies they’ve implemented or supported constitute a war on workers, a hyperbolic but not literal accusation. Just prior to saying the prize was taking them out, he said, “everybody here’s got to vote,” indicating he wanted them electorally defeated.

    Bachmann said she wanted people “armed and dangerous” in opposition to a cap-and-trade proposal but the comment was also metaphorical for strong activism rather than violence.
    More troubling was Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle, who claimed that if Congress doesn’t change, others would use violence, some are looking forward to it, and with that in mind, “the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out,” very ambiguous about in what way and legitimizing violent tactics.

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