Paul Krugman exposes the GOP's "diabolical" Obamacare lunacy

The New York Times columnist says conservatives' refusal to note reform's success is not just pathetic but "scary"

Published June 27, 2014 2:03PM (EDT)

Paul Krugman                                                                                                                                                                       (Reuters/Anton Golubev)
Paul Krugman (Reuters/Anton Golubev)

In his latest for the New York Times, liberal columnist and star economist Paul Krugman argues that the GOP went "0 for 6" on major predictions of Obamacare's failure, but that they haven't and will not acknowledge the program is working due to rigid ideology and dogmatic anti-government fervor.

Quoting Seneca's famous quote that "to err is human" but "[t]o persist is diabolical," Krugman writes that while it's true that "[e]veryone makes incorrect predictions," the Republicans' ability to be "consistently, grossly wrong" about Obamacare requires "special effort."

The explanation, Krugman says, is one he's offered many times before: "It’s about politics and ideology, not analysis." Republicans, he writes, simply cannot countenance a world in which Obamacare works — it's too opposite from their ideological and (perhaps more importantly) political interests.

After running through one failed prediction after another from GOP politicians and policy experts, Krugman declares that conservatives' "firm conviction that the government can’t do anything useful" and their "dogmatic belief in public-sector incompetence" has "evidently made rational analysis of policy issues impossible."

Yet while Krugman can't help but laugh at the haplessness of the right, he believes there's reason to see it as, at heart, a profoundly unsettling development, one that could hint at even worse Republican thinking to come:

While it has been funny watching the right-wing cling to its delusions about health reform, it’s also scary. After all, these people retain considerable ability to engage in policy mischief, and one of these days they may regain the White House. And you really, really don’t want people who reject facts they don’t like in that position. I mean, they might do unthinkable things, like starting a war for no good reason. Oh, wait.

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

MORE FROM Elias Isquith