Krugman can be ferocious going after the Right, but he also has a thing for the Left, as I recall from his trade purism of the 90s. Right now, he’s on an anti-Bernie, pro-Hillary jag and pulling no punches.
So the New York Times ran an article about how Sanders’ slow start in campaigning has put him in a hole it’s difficult for him to dig out of. Fair enough. In general, there were two points: he assumed early on that he didn’t have a realistic chance of winning, so he geared his campaign to spreading a message rather than building a constituency; also, he postponed direct criticism of Clinton over things like her Wall Street “will talk for money” shtick. Ultimately, I think the problem haunting Bernie is one the US Left has had for decades, adaptation to powerlessness. It has internalized its defeats in the 1970s and 80s and chosen expressive over practical politics. That’s a longer story for another day, but I think Bernie was as blindsided by his success as anyone else.
But that’s not what Krugman reads. According to him, Sanders is being criticized by the Left for not smearing Clinton soon and aggressively enough. By “smear” Krugman refers to Clinton’s accommodations to the fossil fuel industry, finance, etc. Lefties are deluded into believing Clinton is guilty of these things because they are under the spell of yesteryear’s “vast conspiracies” against the (Bill) Clinton presidency.
Well, what to say? He reads an informative news article through a rather restrictive lens. He is too partisan to recognize that the Clinton machine—the Foundation, the campaign—are accommodative toward big pools of money. My speculation is that PK thinks the Left is a bunch of amateurs who have no business being anywhere near power, and that the citadels of expertise (which includes economists who are affiliated or will affiliate with Clinton) need to be defended against the barbarians. If it isn’t that, something is causing this guy to lose his analytical balance.