Well, of course I can't correct every mistake Paul Krugman makes -- I do have a job -- but his latest effort to politicize Hurricane Sandy is particularly cheap, even in Krugman's own debased currency.
Krugman's argument is that if Sandy had arrived under a Romney administration, the victims would have been left without any government assistance. And by "government," Krugman means the federal government because, of course, only the federal government can respond to emergencies. Got that? Vote for Obama, or you'll be homeless, cold, and hungry when Mother Nature strikes again. Amazing how "hope and change" has become fear and loathing.
After discussing evil Republican attempts to devolve disaster relief to the states, Krugman concludes, "If Mr. Romney had been president these past four years the federal response to disasters of all kinds would have been far weaker than it was." And to prove the virtue of federal intervention, Krugman evokes "the scene in flooded Hoboken, with the National Guard moving in the day after the storm struck to deliver food and water and rescue stranded residents."
Pssst, Professor Krugman: the National Guard is a unit of state, not federal government. Indeed, it is the successor to the state militias. Krugman might have taken a moment to consult the Pentagon's own website discussing post-Sandy relief: "The National Guard takes its missions from the governor, and they’re supporting the first responders," reports the DoD.
Governor Christie called up the New Jersey Guard; Governor Cuomo, the New York Guard. It appears that FEMA played a role in getting other states to contribute guardsmen to the relief effort, but it is preposterous to think that such cooperation would not have occurred without Uncle Sam.
The Constitution empowers the president to summon the state militias "to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions." But none of those conditions apply at present and (to my knowledge) President Obama has not asserted the power to call up the National Guard for post-Sandy relief. But when there are cheap political points to be scored, Krugman is not one to be distracted by the Constitution -- or the facts.