The Jan. 6 hearings have pulled back the curtain on the 'crazies and cowards' around Trump: Paul Krugman
In his column for the New York Times, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman made his case the Republican Party appears to be nothing less than a confederation of "crazies, cowards and careerists," less interested in governing than they are in kowtowing to Donald Trump.
Reflecting on the January 6 House hearings investigating the storming of the Capitol by supporters of the former president, Krugman said the GOP stands exposed as members of Congress who could provide testimony refuse to do so, and their colleagues turn a blind eye.
According to Krugman what has been revealed thus far "has been riveting and terrifying," he claimed, "realistically there is no longer any doubt that Trump tried to overturn the results of a lawful election, and when all else had failed, encouraged and tried to abet a violent attack on Congress."
Adding that he is not a lawyer and is in no position to specify what laws have been broken, he turned his ire on the GOP leadership and the far-right members of Congress who are aiding and abetting Trump -- just so he can keep his 2024 presidential ambitions alive and they can tag along.
"Dozens of people in or close to the Trump administration must have known what was going on; many of them surely have firsthand knowledge of at least some aspects of the coup attempt. Yet only a handful have come forward with what they know," he wrote, "How can we explain this abdication of duty?"
The columnist suggested there may be a simple answer.
"Even now, full-on MAGA cultists are probably a minority among G.O.P. politicians. For every Lauren Boebert or Marjorie Taylor Greene, there are most likely several Kevin McCarthys — careerists, not crazies, apparatchiks rather than fanatics. Yet the noncrazy wing of the G.O.P., with only a handful of exceptions, has nonetheless done everything it can to prevent any reckoning over the attempted coup," he wrote.
"The Republican Party is a far more monolithic entity, in which politicians compete over who adheres most faithfully to the party’s line. That line used to be defined by economic ideology, but these days it is more about positioning in the culture wars — and personal loyalty to Trump. It takes great moral courage for Republicans to defy the party’s diktats, and those who do are promptly excommunicated," he explained before citing longtime conservatives like Bill Kristol and Max Boot -- as well as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) -- who have bucked the trend and fought back at the former president's attempt to overthrow democratic institutions.
"I don’t think it’s a slur on these people’s courage to note that the neocons were always a distinct group, never fully assimilated by the Republican monolith, with careers that rested in part on reputations outside the party. This arguably leaves them freer than garden-variety Republicans to act in accord with their consciences," he suggested before concluding, "Unfortunately, that still leaves the rest. If the Democrats are a coalition of interest groups, Republicans are now a coalition of crazies and cowards. And it’s hard to say which Republicans present the greater danger."
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