I was going to do a Matt Yglesias imitation and consider the argument (implicit I think) presented by Megan McCardle about whether Paul Krugman is too well, anti-Bush. For us of course this is a silly argument. But Krugman is a New York Times columnist. Should he start his discussions of Bush policies from a more measured point and then argue why Bush is wrong?
It reminded me of Brad DeLong’s longrunning series of “serious” people who became “shrill.” And of course Krugman was the original “Shrill One.” Which THEN reminded me of a post I wrote at Daily Kos where I explained my own evolution on viewing the Bush Administration. I’ll reprint it on the flip.
What with Jim Brady and Ann Althouse and other theoretically not stupid folks wondering what hit them in the Left Blogosphere it got me to thinking — do these people think we just out of the blue got angry and strident about the Bush Administration and Republicans? Have they ever thought about what has happened to our country since November 2000?
Let me start by establishing my centrist and bipartisan credentials – I’ve written it before but it is important to my story, so I repeat it here – I think George H.W. Bush, Bush 41, on the Iraq invasion of Kuwait and Desert Storm, performed as well as any President has in my lifetme. In fact, I do not believe ANY President in our history could have performed as well.
You see, I wholeheartedly supported Desert Storm. I thought it was an absolutely essential action, necessary for the well being and national security of the United States. Yes, like Howard Dean, on Desert Storm, I was more hawkish than Sam Nunn, who opposed Desert Storm.
Apart from the decision, Bush 41’s execution of the war was brilliant – diplomatically, he built a coalition of 34 nations that included 17,000 Syrian troops, 40,000 Egyptian troops, 118,000 Saudi troops, 40,000 UAE troops, 25,000 Omani troops not to mention over a 100,000 troops from our NATO allies; (and in addition, Bush committed over a half million U.S. troops to the operation. When you go to war, you do not half ass it.); economically, he got the Japanese, Saudis and Kuwaitis to foot the bill; militarily, the ground war ended in 4 days with minimal Coalition casualties.
Bush 41 got UN approval. Bush 41 made sure that war was the last resort, as the famous meeting between James Baker and Tariq Aziz a week prior to the commencement of hostilities made manifest to the world.
And finally, Bush knew when to stop. His decision to NOT march to Baghdad was roundly criticized by a whole bunch of folks for ten years. Not by me. Ever. As today events demonstrate, Bush 41’s BEST decision was stopping Desert Storm.
And I said this LONG before the nightmare that George W. Bush might be President was even a possibility.
Is it only blogs that have reacted strongly to this Administration? Consider Paul Krugman. If you only went by Andrew Sullivan, Bill O’Reilly and the Wingnuts, you would think that Paul Krugman arrived on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times after serving a long stint at the Comintern (which reminds me, for those of you who don’t know, I am virulently anti-Communist, anti-Castro, dislike and distrust Chavez, and believed the Soviet Union was an Evil Empire.) But Paul Krugman has always been a highly distinguished economist, at or near the top of his field.
Do these folks wonder what happened to Krugman to make him “The Shrill One”?
Do they wonder at all? Can the last five years of lies, failures, incompetence, illegalities, warmongering, McCarthyism, and just plain stupidity not register at all to these folks?
Do they wonder why we distrust the Media? After watching its performance during the Clinton Administration and now watching it during the worst, most mendacious Administration since Nixon?
When is “shrillness” and “stridency” ever justified to them? What should our reactions be in their minds?
You know, it would have been unfathomable to me ten years ago that the Media and the DC Elite would have been told that the President was deliberately violating the law IN ORDER TO SPY ON AMERICANS and the sum of their reaction would have been “how does it play politically?”
But that is exactly what I expected from today’s Media. And the Adam Nagourneys, Sheryl Gay Stolbergs, the Dana Milbanks and the Jim Vandenheis did not disappoint.
This is what they are – incompetent, clueless, souless, amoral – and unreliable. That they wonder why we rage is not surprising.
Indeed, that they wonder is just another indictment of them.
If Watergate would have happened today, it would have been a a story for about a week, and then forgotten. And those screaming about it would have been called “shrill” and “strident.” But if a blowjob were involved, Sally Quinn would not rest until the President were held to account.
What does this all mean? To me it means this – the reasonable serious position to take with George Bush and any position, initiative, statement, etc. from Bush or his minions is to distrust it, to think it is nefarious, incompetent, stupid or worse. It can be proven otherwise but all doubts are decided against him and his fools.