Writing at his blog for the New York Times, award-winning economist and celebrated liberal pundit Paul Krugman defends Rick Perlstein against bogus accusations of plagiarism and upends one of the right's most cherished beliefs about Ronald Reagan in the process.
After citing a recent Salon piece on the transparently political attempt to discredit Perlstein because he committed the sin of writing about Ronald Reagan while also being a liberal, Krugman notes that the right is still very much caught up in "Reaganolatry," the mistaken belief that the 40th president was a demigod who could do no wrong.
Zeroing in on his area of expertise, Krugman writes that "the economic myth of Reagan is truly remarkable" in terms of how disconnected it is from reality. "Everyone on the right knows that Reagan presided over job creation on a scale never seen before or since," Krugman snarks, "but it just isn’t so."
He produces the following chart to prove his point:
As stubborn as these facts may be, however, Krugman does not expect they'll result in conservatives reconsidering the Reagan legacy. "Their whole sense of identity," Krugman explains, "is bound up with their faith."