Looking back on the Bush years, Krugman's track record was rather impeccable. But you'll note he didn't appear on the cover of Newsweek back then. And for years Krugman only occasionally appeared on the pundit talk shows.
But now a Democrat is in the Oval Office, Krugman is still hitting the president from the left, and suddenly the Beltway press thinks Krugman's work is fascinating and newsworthy. Trust us, it is. (For years he's been our pick as the country's premier columnist.) We just think everyone would have been better off if the press had paid this much attention to Krugman's work between, say, 2002 and 2006.
The key factor in Newsweek's decision is, as I wrote earlier today, DRAMA! When Krugman opposed President Bush, he was ignored as just another shrill lefty. Now that he's disagreeing with President Obama on a few key areas, it's that familiar establishment media script: The Liberal Are Fighting Themselves Again! Oh Those Silly Liberals.
While I'm thrilled that a very smart liberal is gaining some traction (same goes for Olbermann and Maddow and some others), it'd be nice if this had always been the case.