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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

GOP Revisionist History Falls Flat

Timothy Noah’s Slate article “Decoding David Brooks,” sheds some fresh light on the New York Times columnist’s most recent screed attempting to rescue Reagan’s legacy from the taint of racism (See also J.P. Green’s post on the topic here and The Atlantic.com‘s discussion lead by Matthew Yglesias here). Noah says that Brooks’ column was really a bank shot at fellow New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who has often noted Reagan’s endorsement of “states’ rights” at his 1980 campaign launch in Philadelphia, MS. Apparently there is some sort of unwritten code that Times columnists can’t attack each other by name.
Big mistake for Brooks, whose regular shtick is more in the vein of wry/snarky op-eds about American culture and class. In his ‘Conscience of a Liberal’ blog, Krugman fillets and shreds Brooks’ implied message that Reagan was innocent of racial antagonism, and Krugman does it all without mentioning Brooks’ name. Yglesias comments on the whole Brooks-Krugman dust-up and his readers join the fray here.

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