In his first column since Christmas, Paul Krugman reminds liberals that Donald Trump and his brand of extremism may not be the gift that many on the left believe them to be.
"[E]veryone will be aware of the candidate's extremism" if Trump becomes the nominee, "[b]ut there’s still a substantial chance that the outsiders will falter and someone less obviously out there" will end up headlining the Republican ticket. That candidate could be like George W. Bush's brother Jeb or Marco Rubio, and support implementing Bush-style tax cuts of the sort that exacerbated the Great Recession.
Or, like they could be like Ted Cruz, who openly wants to return to the gold standard. "The point is," he continued,
that while the mainstream contenders may have better manners than Mr. Trump or the widely loathed Mr. Cruz, when you get to substance it becomes clear that all of them are frighteningly radical, and that none of them seem to have learned anything from past disasters.
Why does this matter? Right now conventional wisdom, as captured by the bookies and the betting markets, suggests even or better-than-even odds that Mr. Trump or Mr. Cruz will be the nominee, [but]...