Yves here. You have to look really hard to see this as a retraction. Sanders’ name is not mentioned once in the current Krugman op-ed, while Sanders was named in the headline of last week’s op-ed and that op-ed title is featured clearly right below Krugman’s latest column.
But Mann is probably correct, that for Krugman, this part she flags is meant as a retraction, or at least a walkback, which is just further confirmation of how intellectually dishonest he is.
By Beverly Mann. Originally published at Angry Bear*
It doesn’t have to happen. As with so much else, this year’s election is crucial. A Democrat in the White House would enforce the spirit as well as the letter of reform — and would also appoint judges sympathetic to that endeavor. A Republican, any Republican, would make every effort to undermine reform, even if he didn’t manage an explicit repeal.
– Snoopy the Destroyer, Paul Krugman, New York Times, today
I posted here twice in the last few days about the stunningly bungled political commentary about the New York Daily News editorial board interview of Sanders, a transcript of which that paper released last Tuesday. The second of my two posts was titled:
Why did Paul Krugman and the Washington Post editorial board—both of whom know better—misrepresent that it was Sanders rather than the New York Daily News editorial board that was wrong about what Dodd-Frank provides, and about whether it would be Treasury or instead the financial institutions themselves that would determine the method of paring down?
In today’s op-ed Krugman has retracted that allegation against Sanders in his op-ed from last Friday. But what prompted the retraction—and especially the timing of it—is itself important: The federal judge’s opinion in the MetLife case was issued on March 30, the news reports about it were published mostly on March 31, and the New York Times published a critical editorial on it on Apr. 4, the day of the New York Daily News editorial board’s interview of Sanders.
A significant part of the media-criticism frenzy of Sanders for saying that he was unsure about the extent to which Dodd-Frank authorizes the federal government to determine that a financial institution is systemically so important because of its size that it must be pared down concerned questions about that opinion, by that one federal judge, issued less than a week earlier and containing some strange and unexpected—and inaccurate—statements about the relevant part of that statute.
Apparently on the ground that Sanders by then should have read the opinion and discussed it in detail with legal and finance-industry experts, the New York Daily News editorial board and most of the mainstream political analysts and pundits who opted to weigh in on it did so with the verdict that Sanders does not know much about this signature issue of his. Or maybe it was just on the ground that no politician should ever, regardless of the circumstances, say he or she does not know something, does not know enough yet about a new development or about an obscure fact, point or event, or hasn’t thought through something in particular—or maybe everything in particular—and that any politician is, according to the prevalent assembly-line political-journalist guidelines, is toast.
And Hillary Clinton, who at a televised debate two months earlier had said the very opposite of what the New York Daily News editorial board and its journalist parrots were saying about that exchange between the editorial board and Sanders, and emphasized that she had made the same point earlier in the campaign—specifically, about Dodd-Frank, what it authorizes, and how clear those provisions and their breadth are—herself parroted that take. With no indication of irony.
The first of my two posts on that interview and its aftermath was titled:
Clinton admits she failed to do her homework, and therefore misunderstood, when she stated at the February debate that Dodd-Frank already authorizes the Treasury Dept. to force too-big-to-fail banks to pare down and that therefore no further legislation authorizing it is necessary. That’s quite an admission by her, and the New York Daily News editorial board (and the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza) should take note.
This will be my last post on that editorial board interview and the punditry’s reaction to it. Gratefully.
* Mann reproduced more of the Krugman op-ed than she intended to, per an update to her post. I’ve trimmed the extract to reflect her intention.