- - Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Steve Moore, one of the oracles of free market economics, is President Donald Trump’s choice for the Federal Reserve Board, and the long knives are out for him. Yet, I am told by conservatives everywhere not to worry. He is a shoo-in.

It all reminds me of July 1, 1987, when President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork for an opening on the U.S. Supreme Court. He had it made in the shade, said my complacent conservative friends. The result was brutal. But we do not have to look back 32 years to see how unruly the left-wing mob can be. Recall the recent fate of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Only his courage and unscotchable determinate saved him. The simple fact is that the conservatives are often slow on the draw against the American left.

Only The Wall Street Journal and the intrepid New York Sun have come out swinging for Mr. Moore. It is time for the conservatives to rally around him. He can probably win with the president on his side. He apparently has the votes. Yet, the coming battle would be a lot less bloody if the conservative movement were to take the field on Mr. Moore’s behalf — and make it clear that from now on they are going to wage war for the president’s nominees.

Defending Mr. Moore on economic grounds ought not to be that difficult. The Trump administration is presiding over an economic boom that Mr. Moore has been calling for for years. With the president’s tax cuts and deregulation — two of Mr. Moore’s favorite panaceas for an anemic economy — we have historically low unemployment, certainly for blacks and for Latinos. Growth is now robust. It has actually outpaced predictions. Most economists predicted 2.5 percent growth for the first quarter. Friday we learned that the economy grew at 3.2 percent.

That is the first time since 2015 that the first quarter GDP topped 3 percent. Most economists were wrong. Mr. Moore and those like him were right on track. As Jeremy J. Siegel said in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, ” somehow, though unemployment is at a 50-year low, inflation is still below the Fed’s 2% target.” He is the rare economist for Mr. Moore.

Ahh, but his critics say Mr. Moore is no economist. He lacks a Ph.D. He is a writer, at times a clever writer, at other times a strenuously serious writer, on economics and politics. Well, I have a long memory. He writes with authority on economics and politics much as Henry Hazlitt wrote on economics and politics for some 60 years, from the early 1920s until the late 1980s. Hazlitt had no Ph.D. either. In fact he had no college degree at all. Hazlitt would have been an excellent choice throughout his long life to stir up the Fed. Now we have a president in place to stir up the Fed. So let us get on with it.

Yet, The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN are opposed to Mr. Moore. Of course, they are also opposed to Mr. Trump. When Mr. Trump came into office they predicted a worldwide recession of great severity.

Allow me to quote one of mainstream media’s economic gurus. A certified economist, a winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, Paul Krugman, Ph.D. On Nov. 9, 2016, he greeted Mr. Trump’s election with this dirge: “Under any circumstances, putting an irresponsible, ignorant man who takes his advice from all the wrong people [Moore!] in charge of the nation with the world’s most important economy would be very bad news.” And he persisted, “What makes it especially bad right now, however, is the fundamentally fragile state much of the world is still in.” Finally he concluded, “So we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight.” Clearly having made hysterical pronunciations such as the above Guru Krugman could not see Friday’s growth rate of 3.2 percent.

So now the long knives cannot share Professor Doktor Krugman’s contempt for the Trump economy. How are they going to defame Steve Moore? They are going to get personal. They are going to Brett Kavanaugh him. As I have said, he is a “clever” writer and has been writing for more than 35 years. Because he is a lively fellow, he has naturally indulged in a little jocosity from time to time. Some 15 years ago women athletes were a target for his wit and also women bartenders. Now, because of the crime of joking about woman leaping in the air and standing behind a bar, he is to be denied a role at the Fed, the assassins boast.

Well, I say to fellow conservatives, leap to Mr. Moore’s defense. And remember the example of Congressgirl Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She, too, was a bartender before the mainstream media made her the Lioness of the House of Representatives. Sen. Joni Ernst and Sen. Lindsey Graham do the decent thing and stand by our man.

• R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is the author most recently of “The Death of Liberalism,” published by Thomas Nelson Inc.

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