Don't Ask Taibbi to Be Krugman

by: Felix Salmon

Andrew Leonard takes the Tim Fernholz approach to Matt Taibbi:

The co-optation of regulatory reform by Wall Street is an important story, and one that needs to be pressed at every point. It would be nice though, if the left could pursue that story without flaunting the same cavalier attitude toward the complexity of the economic challenges faced by the current administration that we are already so familiar with from the right.

Really, Andrew? I think the left is doing that very well, thank you — and you’re a prime example, as is Tim Fernholz. And then there’s the likes of Dean Baker, Joe Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, I don’t need to go on, you know all the names better than I do.

The existence of a Taibbi screed in Rolling Stone is not going to invalidate or render irrelevant the substantive criticisms of these people, and neither will it change the way in which “the left” is being seen to react to Obama’s economic policies. We have a left-leaning government now, and one which is proud to encourage and participate in economic debates. Taibbi’s not going to change that. We’re happy judging Krugman on his own merits; we shouldn’t seek to judge Taibbi on Krugman’s merits too.