Good grief, speaking of "nutty," can Peggy Noonan sound any more sanctimonious? Her level of "concern" and condescension is only surpassed by her phony sincerity and inability to stick to facts.
Thankfully, Paul Krugman was there to counter all that with reality checks and reason.
NOONAN: I think it should be noted that we have a president. I think it should be noted that he should be sitting down and talking with those who would move -- attempt to move forward on spending. I consider it unusual that this president can never make a deal with those folks.
KRUGMAN: But this is not something you negotiate over. You do not negotiate with hostage-takers. That's the White House position. They're right about that. You just don't negotiate on this. You can negotiate on the sequester, you can negotiate on taxes, but not on someone who is threatening to blow up the world economy if he doesn't get his way.
NOONAN: My goodness. That appeared to be the White House attitude on the fiscal cliff just a month or two ago.
KRUGMAN: It's very different.
NOONAN: Why can nothing ever be worked out? We do have a president. We do have legislative leaders. We do what should be noted, have a spending crisis in America. It is not an eccentric thing to worry about the amount of spending that America does. The income, the outcome and the long-term promises.
KRUGMAN: This is really -- this is a doomsday -- this is really saying I will blow up the world unless you give me what I want. And you don't negotiate on that.
NOONAN: Yes, two things I'd like to say, one is that people are buying guns like crazy now. Not because they're nutty, not enough because they're angry, but because I really think they fear their country is falling apart.
It's defensive and it's something that I think we all have to be talking about. There's so much anxiety out in America. And they also fear their government.
Second thing, I guess connected to that, leave gun control and gun reform issues in the Congress of the United States, the president should not be issuing executive orders in this area. It would really be unwise and it will cause great problems, I would think. [...]
STEPHANOPOULOS: It seems that the White House believes that if the president doesn't move quickly, nothing is going to happen.
KRUGMAN: That's right. This is the moment. And he certainly has to be seen to be doing something. And by the way, it is crazy to be out there buying guns right now. People are afraid, you know, the reality of life in America is that it's safer than it has been in decades.
If we walk out of this studio and walk through Manhattan, your chance of getting mugged are less than they have been since, I don't know, 1960. I mean, this is a -- so this is an odd thing, this is a mental state, not about the reality of America.
NOONAN: No, no, no...
KRUGMAN: The big revelation here has been we've realized -- I didn't know, that the NRA is no longer about gun owners. It's actually representing the firearms industry. And that's something we've learned. So...