Krugman: Voters May be Fleeing the Trump Chaos, but That's No Reason for Clinton to Tack to the Right
Paul Krugman advises Hillary Clinton not to give any ground to conservatives fleeing the chaos Trump has created in their party in Friday’s column. Though Clinton’s big bounce from her convention shouldn’t be prematurely celebrated, it does seem to have sent Trump into what Krugman calls a “derp spiral, in which his ugly nonsense gets even uglier and more nonsensical as his electoral prospects sink.”
While Trump spirals and some prominent Republicans decamp for Clinton, the only reasonable path for Clinton to take in light of this week's polls and events is to stay the course, Krugman writes. That would seem to be obvious, but not to everyone.
But at least some commentators are calling on her to do something very different—to make a right turn, moving the Democratic agenda toward the preferences of those fleeing the sinking Republican ship. The idea, I guess, is to offer to create an American version of a European-style grand coalition of the center-left and the center-right.
I don’t think there’s much prospect that Mrs. Clinton will actually do that. But if by any chance she and those around her are tempted to take this recommendation seriously: Don’t.
Krugman characterizes Clinton’s program as moderately progressive. After all, she is suggesting merely higher taxes on high incomes, some expansions of social programs, stronger financial regulation and taking action on climate change. Hardly revolutionary, and all desperately needed. Backing away from any of these positions is exactly the wrong way to go. No "grand coalition" is worth that.
Krugman also dispenses with the notion that conservatives are the only ones who know how to promote economic growth. After all, “Bill Clinton presided over a bigger boom than Ronald Reagan; the Obama years have seen much more private job creation than the Bush era, even before the crash, with job growth actually accelerating after taxes went up and Obamacare went into effect,” he writes.
Krugman lays the blame for the “Trumpification of the G.O.P.” squarely at the feet of the Republican Party, the very movement conservatives who are now insisting that Clinton tack right. But they are the Dr. Franskenstein to the Trump monster, and they created the radical racial resentment that fuels his rise. Now that their monster is terrorizing the village, they are in no position to make demands.
Why on earth would anyone embrace the failed policies that are now so clearly blowing up in their faces?