Well, maybe not. If you created the character within a novel that is Paul Krugman - a radical liberal, a failed economist, a former adviser to Enron (whose financial collapse destroyed thousands of lives), a man whose every fiscal forecast has been spectacularly off-base, and yet has won a Nobel prize, enjoys a prized perch in a major daily newspaper, and is adored by the left for his anti-Americanism - the editor would throw the manuscript back at you, and wearily inform you that your villains need to be more realistic in order for people to either relate to them, or feel threatened by them.
And yet, human ugliness always seems to cross the boundaries which we set within our minds as uncross-able. Certainly, one of the words used most frequently after 9/11 was "inconceivable", as we could not fathom the mindset behind a massive attack aimed at killing as many middle-class working stiffs as possible. And certainly, one might use the same word to describe this blog post yesterday issued by Paul Krugman on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks:
The Years of Shame
Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?
Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.
What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.
A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?
The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.
I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.
The horror of these words - by an American, no less, by a New Yorker - stands on their own. But Pejman Yousefzadeh does a nice job nevertheless:
...collective sadness, this ability to feel the sadness of others, and to give expression to our sympathy, our empathy, and our grief makes us humans. And Paul Krugman’s inability to perceive it, his willingness – either due to moral myopia, or to an eager desire to give himself to the cause of repulsive propagandizing – to characterize our “subdued” state to the supposed “shame” that the country allegedly feels for not thinking exactly as Paul Krugman has thought for the past ten years makes him the archetypal brute.
"Brute", in this case, is just the right word for Krugman, and all of his liberal ilk. Defined:
- of or relating to beasts
- characteristic of an animal in quality, action, or instinct: as cruel, savage (brute violence)
- not working by reason
- unrelievedly harsh
In one simple swoop, Krugman transcends the boundaries from "every day villainry" to "comic-book super-evil villianry". Inconceivable, yet, like the painful memorials we saw yesterday, all too real...
UPDATE: Jen Rubin unloads as only she can on Krugman and his enabler, the New York Times:
One cannot begin to imagine what motivates such hatred and contempt for his countrymen, especially on a day when the overriding theme was unity. The president and former presidents spoke without partisanship or rancor. Not Krugman, though. But there is cowardice, too — he deactivated his reader comments on that spasm for “obvious reasons.”
I suppose we should cease to be shocked or appalled....But it does say something about the deification of the Times, practiced by the editor and so many of her ilk. Their paper is a false god — sneering, obtuse and contemptuous — not a font of truth and wisdom.
One thing you can say for Krugman: The jewel of the liberal media is revealed to be an intellectual black hole and a spiritual wasteland. No wonder it is a dying enterprise. Its countrymen have better things to do than be insulted by the likes of Krugman.