Sunday, April 28, 2013

Krugman: Bush, The Great Degrader


But I think there was something even bigger, in some ways, than his policy failures: Bush brought an unprecedented level of systematic dishonesty to American political life, and we may never recover.
 My suspicion has long been that it was Reagan who made bullshitting and spinmeistering so central to the presidency...though Bush '43 did degrade the institution by pushing lying, selling, spinning, and bullshitting to a new level. I've typed that sort of thing over and over. So, anyway, I basically agree. with Professor K, FWIW.

Among the many things that anger me about all of this is that the hard core of Bush apologists and reconstructors know that all they have to do is keep repeating their lies. Thirty years from now relatively few people will have clear memories of how disastrous Bush's presidency really was. And those who try to find out what it was like just by reading historical accounts will encounter a swamp of 'ness? Whatever.

And this is one reason why I have authorized my friends to beat me with a 2x4 if I ever vote Republican again: the party still hasn't admitted that Bush was a bad president, and it never will. Or it'll only "admit" it in a self-serving way: e.g. on the grounds that he was insufficiently conservative. Since being a Republican means never having to say you were wrong, they simply attribute every failure to bad "communication," to a failure to get their inherently excellent "message" across to people--who would surely embrace it with great ardor could they only understand it...

If the GOP would admit that the Bush administration was a godawful disaster, we could at least conclude that they'd be likely to avoid foisting another such administration on us in the future. But, given that they remain committed to the conclusion that the Bush administration was just dandy, there's no reason for us to think that they'd not give us another, equally bad or worse, in the future. If that's what counts as an acceptable presidency to the GOP, then they cannot be trusted to get anywhere near the office.

Of course one salient question here is: are the Dems any better? I think the answer is 'yes.' First, partisan Democrats on the SCOTUS haven't stolen the presidency with sophistical arguments of that's something...  The Dems haven't given us anyone as awful as Bush/Cheney... And their innate self-doubt and tendency to flagellate themselves over their errors helps tone down their dogmatism a bit. So, yeah. The Democrats, as usual, win by sucking less than their opposition. Such is the way of human politics...


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1:15 PM  

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