Krugman adds his voice to the chorus slamming Charles Murray's new book positing that declining morals are responsible for white, working-class problems. Bull:
Mr. Murray and other conservatives often seem to assume that the decline of the traditional family has terrible implications for society as a whole. This is, of course, a longstanding position. Reading Mr. Murray, I found myself thinking about an earlier diatribe, Gertrude Himmelfarb’s 1996 book, “The De-Moralization of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values,” which covered much of the same ground, claimed that our society was unraveling and predicted further unraveling as the Victorian virtues continued to erode.
Yet the truth is that some indicators of social dysfunction have improved dramatically even as traditional families continue to lose ground. ...
Still, something is clearly happening to the traditional working-class family. The question is what. And it is, frankly, amazing how quickly and blithely conservatives dismiss the seemingly obvious answer: A drastic reduction in the work opportunities available to less-educated men.
This is obvious, which means the right has to change the conversation to something else. They do post hoc ergo propter hoc better than anyone in history, so it's almost a children's game for them to shift the blame for people's anger from rich white guys to poor white guys. And if you dig a little deeper, it turns out the things the right blames on the poor aren't actually there.
Shorter Republican: "Barack Obama is to blame for the monster under your child's bed!"
Do they even believe themselves any more? (Side note: this is the question Paul Suderman at reason.com raises about Romney.)