Paul Krugman: Nonsense and Sensibility
Now that Joe Lieberman has joined the Swift-boating of Democrats and sacrificed any integrity he had left in the process, it's even more clear that his own ego driven ambitions come before the interests of the party of which he claims to be a member. At every step, what's best for "Talk Show Joe" has come first. It's time for Joe to go:
Nonsense and Sensibility, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: After Ned Lamont’s victory in Connecticut, I saw a number of commentaries describing Joe Lieberman not just as a “centrist” — a word that has come to mean “someone who makes excuses for the Bush administration” — but as “sensible.” But on what planet would Mr. Lieberman be considered sensible?
Take a look at Thomas Ricks’s “Fiasco,”... The prime villain in that book is Donald Rumsfeld, whose delusional thinking and penchant for power games undermined whatever chances for success the United States might have had. Then read Mr. Lieberman’s May 2004 op-ed article in The Wall Street Journal, “Let Us Have Faith,” in which he urged Mr. Rumsfeld not to resign over the Abu Ghraib scandal, because his removal “would delight foreign and domestic opponents of America’s presence in Iraq.” ...
Mr. Lieberman’s ... has been wrong at every step of the march into the Iraq quagmire — all the while accusing anyone who disagreed with him of endangering national security. Again, on what planet would Mr. Lieberman be considered “sensible”?...
So what’s really behind claims that Mr. Lieberman is sensible — and that those who voted against him aren’t? It’s ... that many Washington insiders suffer from the same character flaw that caused Mr. Lieberman to lose Tuesday’s primary: an inability to admit mistakes.
Imagine yourself as a politician or pundit who was gung-ho about invading Iraq, and who ... remained in denial long after it all went wrong, disparaging critics as defeatists. Now denial is no longer an option; the neocon fantasy has turned into a nightmare of fire and blood. What do you do?
You could admit your error and move on — and some have. But all too many Iraq hawks have chosen, instead, to cover their tracks by trashing the war’s critics.
They say: Pay no attention to the fact that I was wrong and the critics have been completely vindicated by events — I’m “sensible,” while those people are crazy extremists. And besides, criticizing any aspect of the war encourages the terrorists.
That’s what Joe Lieberman said, and it’s what his defenders are saying now.
Now, it takes a really vivid imagination to see Mr. Lieberman’s rejection as the work of extremists. I know that some commentators believe that anyone who thinks the Iraq war was a mistake is a flag-burning hippie who hates America. But if that’s true, about 60 percent of Americans hate America. The reality is that Ned Lamont and those who voted for him are, as The New York Times editorial page put it, “irate moderates,” whose views are in accord with those of most Americans and the vast majority of Democrats. ...
The question now is how deep into the gutter Mr. Lieberman’s ego will drag him.
There’s an overwhelming consensus among national security experts that the war in Iraq has undermined, not strengthened, the fight against terrorism. Yet yesterday Mr. Lieberman, sounding just like Dick Cheney — and acting as a propaganda tool for Republicans trying to Swift-boat the party of which he still claims to be a member — suggested that the changes in Iraq policy that Mr. Lamont wants would be “taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England.”
In other words, not only isn’t Mr. Lieberman sensible, he may be beyond redemption.
Previous (8/7) column: Paul Krugman: Intimations of Recession
Next (8/14) column: Paul Krugman: Hoping for Fear
Posted by Mark Thoma on Friday, August 11, 2006 at 12:15 AM in Economics, Iraq and Afghanistan, Politics |
You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.