UPDATE: Mark Kleiman has a rather odd and over-the-top response to this post, but it's odd and over-the-top enough to make me realize that I mischaracterized Krugman's argument. Upon rereading Krugman's piece, I now recognize that the second half of it shifts from the question of why conservatives don't end up in academia — which seems to be the focus of the first half — to why existing academics don't tend to vote for Republican candidates. The two questions have a connection, of course, but are different in many ways. The first looks at who enters a group over time, and the second looks at why people in a fixed group do particular things. In any event, Kleiman appears to see the argument in the second half of Krugman's piece as "the" argument, and I gather he thinks I am engaging in foul play because I failed to note that argument (which Kleiman agrees is a weak argument). I just missed the switch, however, and therefore missed the distinction between the two arguments. For the record, Krugman seems to be making both arguments, or perhaps a mushy mix of the two, but definitely is making the latter. My apologies for the Orwellian "abusive misrepresentation," er, whatever you call the mischaracterization I offered the first time.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Kleiman has added an update and appears to remain quite upset, but at this point I'm not sure what he is upset about. As best I can tell, he is reading in to my post all sorts of things he has read elsewhere and wants me to be claiming so he can accuse me of all sorts of things he finds incorrect. I don't think I am making any of the claims that he thinks I am making, however, so I think I'll scratch my head and pass this one on to Juan.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Continued off-line discussion with Mark Kleiman has helped me understand the source of his overreaction. Upon re-reading Kurgman's piece a few more times, I can see that my initial characterization was wrong: Krugman's piece does not claim conservatives are "conservatives don't fit in the academic world because they are anti-scholarship creationists who get their truth from 'revelation, not research.'" It's not a very clear column, but on balance I think it is right that Krugman's piece is best read as making a point about the Republican party leadership, not about conservatives in general. My apologies for the misreading.