Krugman’s blog, 10/16/15

There was one post yesterday, “On Thoughtful Conservatives:”

Corey Robin has an annotated response to David Brooks’s lament about how conservatives have lost their way. It is, after all, rather odd to talk about the virtues of conservatism-that-was without giving a single example of someone who embodied those supposed virtues. Who’s the poster child for the intellectually humble, incrementalist, humane creed that Brooks says we’ve lost?

Corey Robin says that there never was such a person — and buttresses his case with many quotations from conservative icons across the past couple of generations.

In a somewhat related observation, Paul Ryan is still posing as thethoughtful conservative of centrist dreams. So it’s worth saying, yet again, that Ryan is not a policy wonk. Leave aside left versus right: Where, in any of his budgets, is there any sign of intellectual curiosity or even minimal technical competence? Where is there any sign that he revels in policy details, as opposed to rattling off some jargon that impresses non-policy types but leaves actual budget experts rolling their eyes?

Look, Hillary Clinton is an actual policy wonk (which may or may not mean she’d be a good president.) When she talks about shadow banking or family leave policies, you can see her trying not to get too much into the weeds, bringing up all the analysis she really, truly has taken on board. Where are her counterparts on the other side? There aren’t any. Wonkery — the real thing, not the simulation — has a well-known liberal bias.

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