I use Paul Krugman’s international economics textbook, and I generally liked some of his criticisms of the Bush adminstration during the first term. But he’s gone, as far as I can tell, completely bonkers.

In his latest column, his theory is that Obama’s supporters are bringing the politics of Richard Nixon into the Democratic primary. His main example is that they made a big deal out of Hilary Clinton’s lionization of LBJ. His other examples are all about media bias against Clinton.

The media may like Obama – hey, he’s likable. But to accuse Obama supporters of Nixon-like tactics is so off base it reaches the level of crazy. So far in this campaign, the only really scary manuvers have come from Bill Clinton — even the Republicans have been running relatively clean. The best he has is that Obama’s supporters harped too much on the LJB comparison. That’s dirty politics?

As an academic or at least a former academic, Krugman has at least some vague duty to try to be analytically coherent. But he has fallen into the habit of creating categories (fine) and then desperately trying to shoehorn available data into them. Trying to fit Obama’s supporters into the categories of Nixonities may be his worst effort yet.

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