New York Times' columnist Paul Krugman wrote on Monday that the Republican candidates -- Jeb Bush foremost among them -- are attacking front-runner Donald Trump not on policies about which he's actually incorrect, but ones that deviate "from current Republican economic orthodoxy."
He cited the real estate tycoon's support for raising taxes on the wealthy and universal healthcare, two policies about which the conservatives driving the current instantiation of the Republican party are dead wrong. Apparently, Krugman argued, the GOP base doesn't agree with the establishment's kingmakers on these issues -- they've benefited from the improved economy under the Obama administration, as well as from Obamacare -- and their willingness to support Trump is evidence of just how out of touch those kingmakers are.
Which is not to say that Trump is a good candidate, as Krugman repeatedly noted:
So am I saying that Mr. Trump is better and more serious than he’s given credit for being? Not at all — he is exactly the ignorant blowhard he seems to be. It’s when it comes to his rivals that appearances can be deceiving. Some of them may come across as reasonable and thoughtful, but in reality they are anything but.
Mr. Bush, in particular, may pose as a reasonable, thoughtful type — credulous reporters even describe him as a policy wonk — but his actual economic platform, which relies on the magic of tax cuts to deliver a doubling of America’s growth rate, is pure supply-side voodoo.
And here’s what’s interesting: all indications are that Mr. Bush’s attacks on Mr. Trump are falling flat, because the Republican base doesn’t actually share the Republican establishment’s economic delusions. The thing is, we didn’t really know that until Mr. Trump came along...