Sorry, I Guess There Was Actual Substance in the Krugman vs. Scarborough Debate Too

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I’m moderately pissed off at Bob Somerby right now—not really an uncommon occurrence—but he does make a good point about the Krugman vs. Scarborough debate:

If you end up watching the tape, please look for the part, early on, where Scarborough concedes the discussion. He says he too would like to see several hundred billion more dollars in federal spending this year, money which could be used to fund infrastructure projects and to rehire teachers.

If this had been a boxing match, a referee would have stopped the fight, declaring a technical knock-out. At that moment, Scarborough said he agrees with Krugman’s heretical views—the views which get Krugman ridiculed by the Washington Insider Class. A referee should have stopped the fight. He could have awarded this part of the fight to Krugman, then moved to some other topic.

Greg Sargent agrees:

On the substance, [] what the debate really showed is that the sensible middle ground in the debate over our fiscal and economic problems is not hard to locate. It’s the position held — with variations on the margins — by Obama, Krugman, and Scarborough alike….Asked directly by Krugman if he would support an additional $200 billion per year in spending on infrastructure and education, Scarborough said: “Oh, yeah.” Any difference here is overshadowed by agreement: Both think we should invest in the economy in the short term, while simultaneously believing that long term debt is a problem (in their exchange, Scarborough misleadingly implied that Krugman doesn’t believe this).

More infrastructure spending now, tighter controls on healthcare spending in the future. That’s about 90 percent of the argument right there, and most everyone outside of the fever swamps agrees about this. Unfortunately, the fever swamps control our political discourse these days, so instead we get austerity now and nothing much (beyond Obamacare) to rein in healthcare costs in the future.

Plus, of course, lots of sound and fury over the remaining 10 percent. What a waste, in a rich country that still has bridges that need to be built and sinkholes that need to be fixed.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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