Krugman’s timing couldn’t have been worse. In today’s column, he praises Wesley Clark for his willingness to “take a hard line against the Bush administration.” What really divides the Democrats, Krugman argues, is not whether they are far-left or moderate–he thinks they’re all moderates, including Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton–but whether they “are willing to question not just the policies but also the honesty and the motives of the people running our country.” Krugman praises Clark and Howard Dean for attacking President Bush’s motives, because Bush is “Machiavellian.”
Unfortunately, the candidate whose motives and honesty deserve to be questioned is Wesley Clark. Krugman apparently wrote his column just before it was revealed that as recently as September 2002, Clark testified under oath that: “There’s no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat… Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He’s had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001… He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn’t have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we….I think the United States should not categorize this action as preemptive….[T]hat doctrine has nothing whatsoever to do with this problem….[T]his is a problem that’s longstanding. It’s been a decade in the making. It needs to be dealt with and the clock is ticking on this.”
Wes Clark’s 180-degree turnaround can only be interpreted as dishonest and opportunistic–that is to say, Machiavellian.
Krugman’s columns have an increasingly dashed-off quality. He can’t possibly spend more than a couple of hours a week writing them. (We devote far more care and attention to our posts than Krugman does to his New York Times columns, and we do this for free!) In the future, Krugman might save himself the few minutes he would otherwise spend writing a 750-word column, and spare his readers the trouble of plowing through another fact-free tirade, by just writing twice a week: “I hate George Bush.”
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