Sunday, September 06, 2015



A Heckuva Job

Beyond that, Katrina was special in political terms because it revealed such a huge gap between image and reality. Ever since 9/11, former President George W. Bush had been posing as a strong, effective leader keeping America safe. He wasn’t. But as long as he was talking tough about terrorists, it was hard for the public to see what a lousy job he was doing. It took a domestic disaster, which made his administration’s cronyism and incompetence obvious to anyone with a TV set, to burst his bubble.

What we should have learned from Katrina, in other words, was that political poseurs with nothing much to offer besides bluster can nonetheless fool many people into believing that they’re strong leaders. And that’s a lesson we’re learning all over again as the 2016 presidential race unfolds.

More here.

Krugman, in this column, riffs on how Hurricane Katrina revealed President Bush to be nothing but a fraud, not the tough guy he had masqueraded as since 9/11, but rather a poser: according to the Nobel Prize winning economist, the entire GOP presidential field this year is exactly the same as W, just a bunch of big huge phonies.

I totally agree with the Princeton professor about this, as I usually do, of course. But it would have been nice to have him, as they say, bring it on home. Krugman goes on to explain why some of these guys are, in fact, nothing but a big joke. But what he doesn't explain is sort of left as subtext. That is, why can't the GOP in the current era offer up some actual competent leadership?

It's so obvious that maybe that's the reason he leaves it unsaid: conservatism, as a twenty first century American political philosophy, has gotten so far away from reality, has gotten so deluded and crazy, that anybody truly subscribing to such "philosophy" must necessarily and automatically disqualify oneself from any sort of serious leadership position.

I mean, when your central most political proposition is that "government is the problem," then you can't possibly go to Washington to make government better. The ONLY thing you can do is go to Washington and make government WORSE. In other words, if you hate government, then you want to destroy government. That's not leadership; that's national suicide.

Which, I guess, makes Republicans the party of national suicide. They're a death cult.