Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reagan's Dogwhistle Racist Appeals: A Scorecard of the Recent Debate

1: Paul Krugman brings up the issue in his recent book. (Link to online discussion of the book.) (Update: Krugman also mentioned it, in passing, in a recent column. (via))

2: David Brooks defends Reagan in his column against this revived "slur", without mentioning Krugman by name (following NYT convention).

3: Krugman responds on his NYT blog (again, without mentioning Brooks by name).

4: Bob Herbert devotes his column to the topic, coming in on the side of Krugman and historical truth against whitewashing. (Yet again, no names are mentioned.)

4a: Matt Yglesias points out that this whole "no mentioning names" thing is really bloody ridiculous, and the NYT should just get over itself and let its columnists argue explicitly. Word.

5: Historian Joseph Crespino weighs in on the side of Herbert & Krugman (via). (Not writing for the pretentious NYT, but rather a web site, he mentions Brooks's by name.)

5a: Kevin Drum, one of the liberal whitewashers cited by name (since he isn't a NYT columnist, he's fair game, apparently) by Brooks in his column, calls it for the Krugman side.

5b: So does Matt Ygelsias, correcting his slight (and uncharacteristic) wimpiness in the above-linked post.

[Update: Publius has a worthwhile blog post on this entire debate.]

The question of the day: will David Brooks continue to try to defend the indefensible? Will he keep digging himself deeper in? Or will he drop the topic, and let the NYT's silly anonymity policy allow him to pretend that he hasn't been totally pwned by his colleagues as well as others? -- I'm voting for the latter.

(If anyone has any key links I've left out, please leave 'em in comments!)

...And the debate continues!

6: Lou Cannon, Reagan's biographer, defends him on the op-ed pages of the NYT on the grounds that Reagan "was not a bigot".

6a: Matt Yglesias has disdain for Cannon's arguments.

7: Krugman at last devotes an actual, honest-to-God NYT column to the topic. It's good. Astonishingly, Krugman actually mentions Bob Herbert by name... but in a complementary way, so maybe it's okay. (And David Brooks -- who at this point should start wearing a bag over his head in public -- goes unnamed.)

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