The mighty columnist at the mighty New York Times has penned no less than five columns and blog posts this week taking on Sanders’s proposal for a single-payer health care system and the Vermont senator’s idealistic approach to politics in general. On Sunday, he wrote that Democrats should not “re-litigate their own biggest political success in almost half a century.” The same day, he wrote that the single-payer push is “basically a distraction.” The next day, he accused Sanders of throwing out “easy slogans and punting when the going gets tough.” On Wednesday, he addressed Vermont’s aborted attempt at a single-payer system. And today, he writes that Sanders and his supporters are letting “idealism veer into destructive self-indulgence.”
For certain liberal readers of Krugman, his strong turn against Sanders, just as the Democratic primary race is shaping up to be actually competitive, amounts to something of a betrayal. But Krugman has been pretty consistent in his disdain for this idealistic vein in politics, being one of the few liberal commentators who didn’t take a shine to Barack Obama in 2008.
Or maybe he just really likes Hillary Clinton.