Brink Lindsay has a good article inspired by his reading of Paul Krugman's latest book, The Conscience of a Liberal. Brink bemoans Krugman's downward progress from a once "immensely talented economist" to today's partisan hack. He does a masterly job debunking Krugman's "stick-figure morality play" that pits heroic/angelic left-liberals against the demons of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
That would be good enough, but Brink goes on to make a larger point about partisanship generally:
To be a partisan is, by definition, to see the world partially rather than objectively: to identify wholeheartedly with the perspectives of one particular group and, at the extreme, to discount all rival perspectives as symptoms of intellectual or moral corruption. And the perspective Krugman has chosen to identify with is the philosophically incoherent, historically contingent grab bag of intellectual, interest group, and regional perspectives known as postwar American liberalism.Brink doesn't like partisanship much, and it's hard to disagree. It can get pretty tedious cheering for a team with many players that are only marginally less slimy than the opposition.
Brink leaves it at that, but I'll point out that Krugman is an obvious devotee of what Thomas Sowell called the vision of the anointed: the devout belief that
… it is not the innate limitations of human beings, or the inherent limitations of resources, which create unhappiness but the fact that social institutions and social policies are not as wisely crafted as the anointed would have crafted them.In short, Krugman, and folks like Krugman, start out with the premise that the only thing holding us back from the bright and shiny future he can imagine is stupid and evil people on the other side. It's not surprising he's shrill and angry; his vision practically demands it.