“The Town Hall Mob.” That’s the title of Paul Krugman’s opinion piece in the New York Times today – and it’s a doozy. In his article, Krugman opines that the citizens protesting against health care “reform” represent “something new and ugly.”
Then, in some sort of convoluted logic bordering on paranoia, Krugman asserts that the Town Hall protesters are really racists – and are probably “birthers” as well.
That is, the driving force behind the town hall mobs is probably the same cultural and racial anxiety that’s behind the “birther” movement, which denies Mr. Obama’s citizenship. Senator Dick Durbin has suggested that the birthers and the health care protesters are one and the same; we don’t know how many of the protesters are birthers, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s a substantial fraction.
It’s instructive to read the comments – many unusually critical of the article and its attack on free speech. (Usually the comments are fawning – “Oh, Dr. Krugman, wise Nobel Prize winner. Your analysis is brilliant in showing that those who don’t believe in Obama are nothing but right-wing reactionary nuts who are driven by racism and greed and profits and all the bad things in the world. Please, please continue to expose them for what they are through your brilliant articles that shine with brilliance.”)