Monday, September 08, 2003

Holy Christ, Donald Luskin Has Lost His Mind

No, this is not news. But I at least thought that the NRO editors would have the decency to try to cover it up a little bit. You know, snip a faulty premise here, cut a multi-word personal insult there. Something. This man goes on television, for God's sake.

But no. His increasingly disturbing stalking of Paul Krugman has been thrown into high gear after Krugman's appearance on Russert's show last night.

"Are you surprised that Krugman's publisher, W.W. Norton, has repeatedly refused my requests for a review copy of the book?"
No. If I repeatedly said "Donald Luskin is an idiot" in a prominent liberal publication, and then asked Luskin's publisher for an advance copy of his book so that I might call him an idiot while quoting it, I would expect to be told to go fuck myself.

So Donald, go fuck yourself.
"For the next month or so, it's going to be all Krugman all the time. It's going to be painful to have to listen over and over to all the trademark Krugman talking points we've all come to know and hate so well. [...] In recent weeks I had been feeling pretty depressed with this prospect. [...] But when I saw the interview with Russert on Saturday night, I stopped worrying. And now I'm hoping that his 15 minutes of fame will be his undoing. In situations where he's separated from the prestige and credibility of his New York Timescolumn — and when people can talk back — Krugman will no longer seem the Great and Powerful Oz. He'll stand revealed as nothing more than the man behind the curtain."
Seriously, I've paid less attention to girls I wanted to have sex with than Luskin does to Krugman.
"The nervous, stammering, shifty-eyed, twitching, ill-tailored, gray homunculus slumping across the table from Tim Russert Saturday night..."
Excepting only the lyrics to a handful of White Snake songs, this is the most pathetic thing I have ever read in my life. Even more pathetic than when Luskin started calling Krugman's responses to him "elephant shit" (what, "bullshit" does not properly convey how much you disagree? Fuck it, lets's go whole hog and say "blue whale shit!" Ooh! My post compares what you say to the feces of an animal many times larger than a bull! You can't handle this! You can't handle this!)

I mean, if you're trying to appeal to the "false sense of superiority due to a vast overestimation of one's grasp of rhetorical skills and devices" demographic by going for the unfunny insult string, at least make it interesting. Make me get out a dictionary, Don. This one sentence is the ultimate (though I dare say not the final) proof that anything he writes about Krugman should be taken slightly less seriously than anything Roseanne and Tom Arnold say about each other, and so he could at least be good enough to let me break even in intelligence gained/lost --after having my IQ damaged through exposure to this and similar columns-- by learning some new words.

No lie. I read this column today, and now I can't do math.

Perhaps excessive proofreading of his own columns is the cause of Luskin's repeatedly-demonstrated innumeracy?
"And I'm delighted to report that, as you will see, the Krugman Truth Squad had a key role to play in the wheel-removal process. In fact, I think we may have to make Russert an honorary member of the Squad."
You have to be pretty arrogant when your estimation of yourself is greater than Rush Limbaugh's. Hell, you need to be Napoleon for your estimation of yourself to be greater than Limbaugh's. But Donald manages to pull it off. Congratulations, I guess. The big difference between the two, though, is that while Limbaugh's "talent on loan from God" thing has worn exceedingly thin, he can at least fall back on it being a supposed self-parody.

Luskin is apparently serious when he talks about how Big and Important he is. He has skillfully managed to create an online persona that seems -- to him -- to be witty and cunning and always victorious, a persona that -- to everyone else -- seems rather obviously to be massive overcompensation for being picked last for kickball when he was a child.

Maybe if we all just call him Home Run Luskin for awhile, he'll be able to heal those long-festering psychic wounds, and kindly go the hell away.
"Coming out of the commercial, after doing the obligatory flash of the book jacket for the camera (operators are standing by), Russert opened with,

RUSSERT:The National Review Online has the Krugman Truth Squad.


RUSSERT:They monitor every word you write. And they will pick apart every column, and say 'He no longer is just an economist. He's an ideologue, and he just is trying to twist facts in order to prove a political point.' "
Holy hell, I can hear Luskin's erection. And I'm half a continent away from him.
"Let's really savor this. Coming out of an awesomely long pause — a pause you just never see on television, one that probably had some guys in the CNBC control room really twitching — Krugman said, 'I think that given, given that I'm writing 100 columns a year, uh, the number of things they've actually been able to make stick is pretty small.'
A mind-boggling defense. Actually, it's not a defense at all — it's a confession.He is confessing that he lies — but, he has an excuse: He had to write 100 columns a year! He was too busy to tell the truth. "
Wow. Paul Krugman is a bit introverted and uncomfortable on television. He must be killed immediately.

Luskin's...unique...interpretation of Krugman's statement is not unexpected. Why do I get the impression that Krugman could have read The Iliad for an hour and Luskin would have called it a confession of his abominable sins?

Oh, that's right. Because I am right, and Donald Luskin is approaching terminal velocity in his descent toward batshit crazy.
"Was he also too busy to tell the truth about the number of columns he writes in a year? In the last twelve months he's written 93 columns, not 100."
I do not say this lightly: Jonah Goldberg is too good to be associated with an institution that publishes Luskin on a regular basis.

Think about that.
"In the last six months, the Krugman Truth Squad has uncovered dozens upon dozens of lies, errors, distortions, and misquotations within Krugman's columns, but the Princeton professor has only countered with lame self defenses on his personal website. "
Someone really should get around to letting Donald know that even conservatives are embarrassed by how thoroughly Krugman has shredded Luskin on those occasions when he actually stooped to responding to one of Don's columns. I mean, come on. After the third round of one of those slapdowns, Luskin was reduced to writing an entire column that consisted largely of creative rephrasings of "I am right and you are wrong."
"Krugman got to take his microphone off and pull the little rubbery disposable earphone out of his ear and go back to his hotel room and mutter about how terrible it is to be "stalked, uh, intellectually," and tell himself that his book will probably sell pretty well anyway, despite the conservatively biased media."
I can be accused of many things, but fantasizing about my enemies' preoccupation with me is not one of them.

And Krugman whispers about Luskin late at night alone in his room? Am I the only one who detects erotic undertones here?

Maybe Krugman should just let Luskin fuck him and get it over with.

I close with a comment I left at someone's site a few weeks ago that seems particularly appropriate today:

Luskin becomes more and more unhinged every time I read him - which, admittedly, is not particularly often...just enough to track his downword spiral toward raving madness and adjust my bet with myself over the exact date on which he will accuse Krugman of secretly being John Hinckley. Currently, I'm going with September 17th, 2004, when election mania hits a fevered pitch and poor Donald's psyche cracks like an egg.

I think it is time to adjust my bet once again.

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