Friday, January 07, 2005

Battling Through the Fog

It's been a long hard week back at work. Between that and the Gonzales nomination hearing, Bush touring for the insurance industry, the continuing tragedies unfolding in Iraq and tsunami-drenched Asia, the death of honor in the House, and the untroubled slumber of the American people and their representatives and media, it's been hard to roust outrage out of depression.

But Paul Krugman is back, and he at least has a knack for making me feel less alone. He cites some of these things in his column today as fodder for a bad novel, and then asks the question of all us dazed and confused:

"How did we find ourselves living in a bad novel? It was not ever thus. Hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels have always been with us, on both sides of the aisle. But 9/11 created an environment some liberals summarize with the acronym Iokiyar: it's O.K. if you're a Republican.
The public became unwilling to believe bad things about those who claim to be defending the nation against terrorism. And the hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels of the right, empowered by the public's credulity, have come out in unprecedented force.

...The principal objection to making Mr. Gonzales attorney general is that doing so will tell the world that America thinks it's acceptable to torture people. But his confirmation will also be a statement about ethics...
As White House counsel, Mr. Gonzales was charged with vetting Mr. Kerik. He must have realized what kind of man he was dealing with - yet he declared Mr. Kerik fit to oversee homeland security.
Did Mr. Gonzales defer to the wishes of a president who wanted Mr. Kerik anyway, or did he decide that his boss wouldn't want to know? (The Nelson Report, a respected newsletter, reports that Mr. Bush has made it clear to his subordinates that he doesn't want to hear bad news about Iraq.)
Either way, when the Senate confirms Mr. Gonzales, it will mean that Iokiyar remains in effect, that the basic rules of ethics don't apply to people aligned with the ruling party. And reality will continue to be worse than any fiction I could write."
Welcome back, Paul.


Rob said...

Oh, how I adore Paul Krugman. He has a knack for distilling the lunacy of modern political speech and thought to it's finest spirit. No-one else that I've heard has been able to so clearly state that the tax-cuts were a crock, that Social Security's 'crisis' is a distraction, or that this administration is basically criminal.

The irony? This ability of his to make clear the essence of what BushCo is also serves to illustrate just how useless the political opposition is in America these days, and just how ignorant and 'self-serving' the decisions of the electorate really are.

Riggsveda said...

Yes. It's hard to maintain even a fighting stance when you start thinking about it--it drains my anger off and leaves a debilitating sadness--and sometimes it's only by being able to tap into someone else's outrage, like Krugman's, that I'm able to get back on the horse and get mad again.