Pat Caddell: I can’t help thinking Paul Krugman’s a bit of a sphincter

posted at 6:04 pm on January 14, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via the Daily Caller. He didn’t say “sphincter,” actually, but in honor of the “new tone” and because this is, after all, a family-oriented blog, I decided to clean up his language a bit for the headline. Is “sphincter” okay? Or is that sort of rhetoric beyond the bounds of political politesse for which mellow, even-tempered pundits like Krugman and Frank Rich are known and loved? In case so, I denounce myself preemptively.

In case you missed it, here’s a neat move by Krugs from this morning’s column, which was much mellower than Monday’s rhetorical sphincter-lock:

One side saw health reform, with its subsidized extension of coverage to the uninsured, as fulfilling a moral imperative: wealthy nations, it believed, have an obligation to provide all their citizens with essential care. The other side saw the same reform as a moral outrage, an assault on the right of Americans to spend their money as they choose.

This deep divide in American political morality — for that’s what it amounts to — is a relatively recent development. Commentators who pine for the days of civility and bipartisanship are, whether they realize it or not, pining for the days when the Republican Party accepted the legitimacy of the welfare state, and was even willing to contemplate expanding it. As many analysts have noted, the Obama health reform — whose passage was met with vandalism and death threats against members of Congress — was modeled on Republican plans from the 1990s.

The good old days, when Reagan and Tip O’Neill could slap each other on the back and have a drink after a long day of politics and the entitlements crisis was just a dream that haunted Milton Friedman’s febrile brain. I think Krugman’s onto something here, actually, whether wittingly or not: To some extent — not all, but some — the hand-wringing about violent rhetoric is a way to delegitimize conservative policy prescriptions by delegitmizing the people who espouse them. If Glenn Beck turned into Mr. Rogers and started critiquing ObamaCare via cutesy dialogues with King Friday XIII (which, er, doesn’t seem that implausible), they’d still see him as a heartless fascist who doesn’t care about the poor. It’d just be a bit harder to “prove” it per his new tone. If accusing someone of complicity in mass murder helps save Social Security, hey — politics ain’t beanbag, right? Any weapon to hand, so to speak.


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Comment pages: 1 2

At the anus, there are two sphincters which control the exit of feces from the body (see internal anal sphincter and external anal sphincter). The inner sphincter is involuntary and the outer is voluntary.

Krugman must be the former.

esnap on January 14, 2011 at 10:51 PM

I dislike the use of the anal orifice as a derogatory term. It is a hardworking an necessary part of the anatomy. A hemorrhoid on the other hand…

Slowburn on January 15, 2011 at 1:45 AM

Commentators who pine for the days of civility and bipartisanship are, whether they realize it or not, pining for the days when the Republican Party accepted the legitimacy of the welfare state, and was even willing to contemplate expanding it.

Points to Krugman for honesty. It’s not the tone at all that the left objects to; they object to the existance of alternate ideas in themselves. A year ago, disagreeing with Obama automatically made you a racist. Now that they have sapped the term “racist” of all meaningful impact they need a new slur.

Henceforth, any objection to Obama’s ideas will be labeled “uncivil” or even “violent”

bitsy on January 15, 2011 at 6:54 AM

Pat Caddell is all right.

Caddell once spoke on Sean Hannity’s Show about the importance of American exceptionalism that was brilliant and was a damning criticism of Obama.

Caddell had refused to say who he voted for in 2008. I never heard that he ever said. My hypothesis was that he voted McCain-Palin or that he wished he had.

Phil Byler on January 15, 2011 at 7:37 AM

I never thought I’d say this about a Carterite, but I LOVE Pat Caddell.

Thank God finally someone put Krugman in his place.

WannabeAnglican on January 15, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Ah. Mr. Rogers. Enjoyed the show as an adult, actually. We wonder if the rights to those Neighborhood of Make Believe characters could be had for a reboot.

NoM: Day of Reckoning… The denizens of the Neighborhood of Make Believe lose patience with Lady Elaine Fairchilde after she uses her Boomerang-Toomerang-Zoomerang to destroy Trolley and interrupt the supply of food and storylines from the “real” world. King Friday indecisively activates his secret special forces unit, the League of XIII, comprising striped-jump-suited and weaponized Daniel Striped Tiger, his smart-mouthed rival/love interest Henrietta Pussycat, and the brainy X the Owl. Lady Elaine holds Prince Tuesday and a scantily-clad Lady Aberlin (Megan Fox) hostage. If the team doesn’t save them both will be crushed by monstrous hobby horses at the Museum-Go-Round as part of Fairchilde’s evil plan to throw the Neighborhood’s line of succession into turmoil and seize power for herself.

curved space on January 15, 2011 at 9:26 AM

So, Krugman liked the Rs better when they were compliant and rolled over when the dems ordered it. If this were a wealthy nation, we’d have no poor who could not afford some type of health insurance. His thought process is so full of holes. Hence the reference to a sphincter. Pat is spot on.

Kissmygrits on January 15, 2011 at 9:38 AM

I really believe Pat Caddell is one of a few democrats left that still have a brain.

mmcnamer1 on January 15, 2011 at 10:40 AM

The Demorats of today are not the Dems of yesteryear. You really didn’t worry they were out to destroy our country as they are trying to do today.

Herb on January 15, 2011 at 10:47 AM

No, “sphincter” as a stand alone descriptor is unacceptable.

As pointed out by others above there are numerous operating sphincters in the human anatomy, including one right in your eye . . . the iris sphincter.

Pat Caddell got it right the first time.

I also think, given its quite common usage in the language, Pat was arguably being civil. For example, he could have been rude and qualified his remark by adding an adjective, such as suppurating.

Trochilus on January 15, 2011 at 11:11 AM

I long for the good ol’ days of civility when opposition was considered patriotic! What has happened to that?

roosterman on January 15, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Commentators who pine for the days of civility and bipartisanship are, whether they realize it or not, pining for the days when the Republican Party accepted the legitimacy of the welfare state, and was even willing to contemplate expanding it.

Dead on! The consensus that dominated the American political spectrum in the 40′s and 50′s was destroyed in the 60′s when the Socialist Workers Party took over the Democratic party and the Conservatives and libertarians began to grow to dominate the Republican Party in the 70′s. Since then, the Moderates on both sides have been trying to convince everyone that there really isn’t any reason for all this “bickering” and that we should all just sit back down and let them run the machinery as it is.
The Right and the Left have fundamentally different views of human nature and America itself, while the middle just wants to be in charge. Like a bus driver, they don’t much care where the bus is going, they just want to drive. It’s us passengers who’re fighting over the destination.

Lew on January 15, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Dear Allah,

You should have praised Pat for his PC use of a “gender neutral” insult.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on January 15, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Q. What do you call a Republican who accepts the legitimacy of the welfare state?

A. A Tory.

Kafir on January 15, 2011 at 2:43 PM

I decided to clean up his language a bit for the headline. Is “sphincter” okay?

It’s okay, but “rectum” would be more anatomically accurate.

bgoldman on January 15, 2011 at 8:09 PM

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