Paul Krugman: Ted Cruz’s 'dumbed down' comments show how little he understands war’s 'technical' realities

Paul Krugman: Ted Cruz’s 'dumbed down' comments show how little he understands war’s 'technical' realities

On May 20, 2021, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas retweeted a TikTok video that mocked the U.S. military as effete and “woke” while praising the Russian military for its machismo — writing, “Holy crap. Perhaps a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea.” Liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, with Russian troops continuing their invasion of Ukraine, looks back on Cruz’s tweet in a Twitter thread posted on March 6. And he slams Cruz’s tweet as a glaring example of how “dumbed down” the American right has become and how little Cruz understands the challenges the military deals with in combat.


Cruz’s critics went after him with a vengeance for that May 20, 2021 tweet, including Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois — a combat veteran who lost both of her legs in the Iraq War in 2004:

Krugman, in his March 6 thread, writes that he has been “thinking about the notorious Ted Cruz ad contrasting tough Russian soldiers with the ‘woke, emasculated’ US military.”

“It's a perfect symbol of the dumbing down that has completely taken over the US right,” Krugman tweets. “I mean, it doesn't take deep study of military affairs to understand that modern wars aren't won by swaggering guys with big biceps. Yes, courage and toughness are essential. But they aren't enough without technical competence and deep attention to prosaic things like logistics — which those muscular, shaven-headed Russians Cruz admires seem to lack.”


Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Since then, there have been thousands of fatalities — including members of the Russia military that Cruz praised in order to score cheap political points with the MAGA crowd.

Krugman notes, “All indications now are that the Russian drive on Kyiv has stalled thanks to lousy vehicle maintenance, lack of trucks, inability to repair damaged roads and bridges, etc. These are things having your soldiers work out in the gym can't fix…. And the kind of expertise that make a nation strong means drawing on all the talent our society has to offer. If that be wokeness, make the most of it.”

Here are some responses to Krugman’s March 6 thread:


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