I don't know about anyone else, but I think poor Paul Krugman should have gotten hazard pay for having to appear on the set with Mary Matalin and Peggy Noonan and being tag teamed by their hackery at the same time. ABC's George Stephanopoulos called it a "great round table" when this debacle was over. I've got news for you George. There are a lot of words you could use for this panel segment, most of which I can't use here because we like to keep the site safe for work, but "great" isn't one of them.
Book-ended around the portion of the segment where Mary Matalin was raging on and calling Paul Krugman a liar, we were also treated to Peggy Noonan attempting to do a rewrite on Mitt Romney's policies after he flip flopped again during the first debate and her pretending he worked well with the other side of the aisle as Governor of Massachusetts. She ran up against both Krugman and ABC's Johnathan Karl calling her out for her nonsense, but when Karl brought up the fact that he set a record for the number of vetoes, she just shrugged it off.
Heaven forbid any reality is allowed to be acknowledged if it gets in the way of their talking points.
Transcript below the fold of Noonan doing her best to get the Etch-a-Sketch out for Mitt Romney and his debate performance.
NOONAN: I think one of the key things about the debate is it's changed -- we will look back on it as an historic moment in this election. It upended things. This is what it upended. Barack Obama was supposed to be the sort of moderate centrist fellow, who looked at Mitt Romney, this extreme, strange fellow. By the time that debate was over, Mitt Romney seemed a completely moderate, centrist figure, who showed up as Mitt Romney the governor, not as Mitt Romney the candidate.
KRUGMAN: Except that everything he used to claim his centrism wasn't true, so this is a question, does that start to take its toll over the next few months.
NOONAN: I just think that is unjust. I mean, to say the very least --
KRUGMAN: When you say my covers pre-existing conditions when it doesn't and when your own campaign has admitted in the past that it doesn't, what do you say? That's amazing.
MATALIN: You have Mitt characterized -- and you have lied about every position and every particular of the Ryan plan on Medicare from the efficiency of Medicare administration to calling it a voucher plan, so you're hardly...
KRUGMAN: It is a voucher plan.
MATALIN: You are hardly credible on calling somebody else a liar. Here's what else...
KRUGMAN: Well, if you're going to make this not about that -- but, no, the fact of the matter, I just think that pre-existing condition thing was a defining moment. It was saying this guy believes not only he can say something that isn't true, but something that his own complain has admitted isn't true.
And he can say it in front of 70 million people. That's amazing.
MATALIN: The other thing this upended was Governor Romney effectively shut down the legions of strawmen that the Obama campaign has erected against him and Mitt Romney, the real Mitt Romney is, what was belied all the stereotypes and demonic mischaracterizations of him, these $300 million of attack ads.
So people got to see, as Ed said, the real Mitt Romney and they liked his positions. They support all those positions. And they like him as a person, which is what he needed to do at the convention and the debate.
NOONAN: And also Mitt Romney also nailed the president on not working well with the other party and made the point that he can work well with the other party as he did in Massachusetts.
KARL: Yeah, he set the record for vetoes in Massachusetts.
NOONAN: If you have an 87 percent Democratic legislature you've got to veto a few things.