The New York Times’ one-and-only Paul Krugman.

The Media Research Center today released its official list of the “Notable Quotables” of 2011 — and Paul Krugman took the top spot. What garnered him the great honor of “Quote of the Year”? This glittering gem, from Krugman’s NYTimes.com blog on the morning of Sept. 11, 2011:

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

It’s that quote that’s a cause for shame, Mr. Krugman. To suggest that the subsequent actions of the U.S. government could ever alter the meaning of the deadliest unprovoked attack on U.S. soil is, in essence, to suggest we retroactively deserved the treatment we received from hateful terrorists. I’ll have no part of that reinterpretation of the defining event of the last decade, thank you very much.

It took a quote that astoundingly arrogant and demeaning to defeat this wonder from Esquire’s Steven Marche in the August 2011 issue of the magazine (a quote that provoked me at the time, too!):

“Can we just enjoy Obama for a moment? Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement?”

With his claim that Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan would “kill people, no doubt,” Krugman captured another award, as well: “The Grim Reaper Award for Saying Conservatives Want You to Die.”

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd won “The Poison Teapot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble” with this dead-on analysis:

Tea Party budget-slashers….were like cannibals, eating their own party and leaders alive. They were like vampires, draining the country’s reputation, credit rating and compassion. They were like zombies, relentlessly and mindlessly coming back again and again to assault their unnerved victims, Boehner and President Obama. They were like the metallic beasts in Alien flashing mouths of teeth inside other mouths of teeth, bursting out of Boehner’s stomach every time he came to a bouquet of microphones.

The most apt award went to Chris Matthews. The Hardball host snagged the “Refusing to Acknowledge the Obvious Award for Denying Liberal Media Bias” with this matter-of-fact little claim: “Hardball is absolutely non-partisan.”

And the list goes on (worth perusing in its entirety) …