Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman are undoubtedly on opposite sides of America’s political spectrum. But the conservative commentator and liberal economist came to a rare point of agreement on Sunday: regardless of his comments on race, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s law-breaking stand against the federal government is inexcusable.
Kristol and Krugman appeared on ABC’s “This Week” to discuss Cliven Bundy’s racially insensitive comments published earlier this week. Once seen as a right-wing folk hero for his stand against the Bureau of Land Management’s push to reclaim grazing fees he owed the Feds, Republican politicians dropped Bundy like a hot potato once the remarks surfaced.
But Krugman was disappointed that Bundy’s racist musings distracted from his larger anti-government message. “I think the Cliven Bundy thing actually is awful, because we should be talking about the message, not the man,” he explained. “Which is really a terrible message, which is you have the right to use other people’s property — namely, federal grazing land — for free.”
“Freedom is the right to not pay for the damage you do,” Krugman bemoaned. “It’s really a horrifying thing he was ever made a hero even before these comments came out.”
“I am horrified to agree with Paul Krugman,” Kristol joked. “But The Weekly Standard, ten days ago, said to conservatives, ‘Don’t praise Cliven Bundy, he’s breaking the law, he seems to be inciting people even to use violence against federal law enforcement officials. If you want to change the law, change the law.’”
“So on that, we agree,” Kristol noted. “Which of us will pay more of a price for this, is the question?”
“Dunno,” Krugman replied. “Probably you.”
“Probably me,” Kristol admitted.
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