On 9/11 Day, Paul Krugman provoked a wave of petulant, angry condemnation for pointing out just some of the valid reasons that day is now inextricably linked with the shameful acts done in its name by the U.S. Though I continuously defended Krugman on Twitter, I had no intention of writing about this pseudo-controversy because it was little more than what Digby describes as a standard formulaic "hissy fit" from right-wing warmongers who long ago ceased having the power to stigmatize people for such heresies (the apex of this absurd spectacle occurred when the man widely admired around the world as The Nation's Moral Conscience -- Donald Rumsfeld -- announced that he was cancelling his subscription to The New York Times in protest of Krugman's "repugnant" post).
But then yesterday, I read what is one of the most self-evidently inane posts the Internet has ever produced: this must-be-read-to-be-believed sermon from Mother Jones' Rick Ungar condemning Krugman and demanding that other progressives join with him and the Right in these denunciations. Just for sheer entertainment, I really encourage you to read the whole thing; my favorite part is when Ungar decrees that 9/11 Day is "a day when Americans of all stripes should have been giving thanks to both President Bush and President Obama for doing whatever it is they do that has protected us from a tragic repeat of the events of September 11, 2001." On so many levels, that's just the funniest sentence ever (and we now bow our heads in reverent gratitude toward our Leaders, George Bush and Barack Obama, and solemnly thank them for doing whatever it is they do -- no matter what that might be -- to Keep Us Safe).
But there is a point raised by Ungar's finger-wagging that I do actually think is worth addressing. He writes that while he agrees with the substance of Krugman's criticism, it was his timing that was so offensive, because 9/11 Day "was decidedly not a day that needed to be about politics." This notion -- that 9/11 Day was nothing more than an apolitical grieving ceremony, akin to a private funeral, and Krugman's sin was one of etiquette: it just wasn't the day for politics -- is a common one. But it's completely wrong, and quite destructive to accept.
More at Source.