Paul Krugman opens up on Eric Cantor in a scathing column today, accusing the House majority leader of taking victims of Hurricane Irene "hostage" by demanding that federal relief be offset with spending cuts. Cantor used the same kind of tactic in the debt ceiling talks, and Krugman sees it as an example of "the extraordinary nihilism now on display by Mr. Cantor and his colleagues—their willingness to flout all the usual conventions of fair play and, well, decency in order to get what they want," he writes in the New York Times.
Krugman—who even invokes the "decency" question once asked of Joe McCarthy—makes the case that Cantor's hurricane demand is both economically and morally unsound. But he's more concerned with a bigger issue: "What will happen to America now that people like Mr. Cantor are calling the shots for one of its two major political parties?" That prospect, he writes, "should worry anyone who cares about our nation’s future." (Read more Eric Cantor stories.)