Paul Krugman Nails the GOP for Being the Party of Con Men - Just Like Trump

Paul Krugman makes an excellent case in Monday's column that Donald Trump's sleaziness is equaled by the party he now leads.


To get to his point, Krugman first dispenses with Trump's pile of frauds and schemes, all of which were fully evident before the GOP primary began, so why did no one bring them up? Trump University, his history of failing to pay contractors, and how he personally profited while running his casinos into the ground. Of course there is also the fact that he is not even as rich as he claims to be, nor as successful since he mostly inherited his wealth.

None of this has been hard to dig up, but Trump's GOP rivals just didn't. "Were they just incompetent, or is there something structural about the modern Republican Party that makes it unable to confront grifters?" Krugman asks, coming down on the side of the latter:

Rick Perlstein, who has documented the rise of modern conservatism in a series of eye-opening books, points out that there has always been a close association between the movement and the operations of snake-oil salesmen — people who use lists of campaign contributors, right-wing websites and so on to sell get-rich-quick schemes and miracle health cures.

Sometimes the political link is direct: dire warnings about the coming depression/hyperinflation, from which you can only protect yourself by buying Ron Paul’s DVDs (the “Ron Paul curriculum”) or gold shares hawked by Glenn Beck. Sometimes it just seems to reflect a judgment on the part of the grifters that people who can be persuaded that President Obama is Muslim can also be persuaded that there are easy money-making opportunities the establishment doesn’t want you to know about.

There’s also a notable pattern of conservative political stars engaging in what is supposed to be activism, but looks a lot like personal enrichment. For example, Sarah Palin’s SarahPAC gives only a few percent of what it raises on candidates, while spending heavily on consultants and Mrs. Palin’s travels.

Then there’s the issue of ideology. If your fundamental premise is that the profit motive is always good and government is the root of all evil, if you treat any suggestion that, say, some bankers misbehaved in the run-up to the financial crisis as proof that the speaker is anti-business if not a full-blown socialist, how can you condemn anyone’s business practices?

Or what about the con that Paul Ryan is currently performing, Krugman asks. Making the repeal of the "so-called 'fiduciary rule' for retirement advisers, a new rule requiring that they serve the interests of their clients, and not receive kickbacks for steering them into bad investments," part of his so called “anti-poverty plan.” 

Let's face it, the party that wants to defend the right of financial advisors to rip off clients is, well, the party of grift.

Trump is a perfect reflection of the party's values, no matter what they say, which is why, Krugman concludes, they were powerless to stop him.

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