Paul Krugman (AP/Heribert Proepper)

Paul Krugman: The GOP needs Trump to evict them from the halls of power and into "the political wilderness"

Don't mourn Marco Rubio's "epic political failure," he would just have been a younger face on old orthodoxy


Scott Eric Kaufman
March 21, 2016 3:56PM (UTC)

In his Monday New York Times column, Krugman implored readers not to mourn the campaign deaths of "moderate" conservatives like Florida Senator Marco Rubio, if only because a successful Trump nomination has the chance to put to lie, quite publicly, GOP groupthink on the matter of income inequality.

Trump's appeal to the conservative base, after all, is predicated on the feeling among middle-class, working white people that the system is rigged against them -- and, Krugman demonstrated, it most certainly is. "[M]ost of the fluctuation in incomes we see involves people going from, say, $350,000 to $450,000 or vice versa," he wrote, and "[a]verage incomes over multiple years are almost as unequally distributed as incomes in any given year, which means that tax cuts that mainly benefit the rich are indeed targeted at a small group of people, not the public at large."

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This is the same argument Krugman has been making for "almost 25 years," and if Trump manages to up-end the party and win the nomination by refuting it, that benefits everyone -- except the Republican establishment:

Had Mr. Rubio succeeded, he would simply have encouraged his party to believe that all it needs is a cosmetic makeover — a fresher, younger face to sell the same old defunct orthodoxy. Oh, and a last-minute turn to someone like John Kasich would, in its own way, have similar implications.

What we’re getting instead is at least the possibility of a cleansing shock — of a period in the political wilderness that will finally force the Republican establishment to rethink its premises...

Read the rest at the New York Times...


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2016 Gop Primary Donald Trump Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton New York Times Paul Krugman Paul Ryan

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