A few days ago, it looked as though the GOP had found its purple heart bandaid of 2008: the tire gauge emblazoned with "Barack Obama's energy plan." That is, it looked that way until Barack called them liars and "ignorant," the media actually reported that what Barack suggested at a townhall meeting was consistent with what the AAA and NASCAR recommended to save gas and ultimately John McCain had to admit it as well. We're not in 2004 anymore, although Americans are not entirely immune to cheap GOP tricks. Take the GOP's drill here, drill now" business. The indispensible Paul Krugman is on the warpath about it in his column today:
For the next three months the party plans to keep chanting: "Drill here! Drill now! Drill here! Drill now! Four legs good, two legs bad!" O.K., I added that last part.
And the debate on energy policy has helped me find the words for something I've been thinking about for a while. Republicans, once hailed as the "party of ideas," have become the party of stupid. [...]
What I mean, instead, is that know-nothingism -- the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there's something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise -- has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party's de facto slogan has become: "Real men don't think things through."
George W. Bush was, of course, the poster boy for the triumph of the ignorant, and his current status now serves as a sort of cautionary tale, but it won't stop Republicans from reaching for that lowest common denominator as a path toward victory. Specifically on the issue, that means continuing the charade that "drilling here, drilling now" will mean immediate relief from high gas prices.
In the case of oil, this takes the form of pretending that more drilling would produce fast relief at the gas pump. In fact, earlier this week Republicans in Congress actually claimed credit for the recent fall in oil prices: "The market is responding to the fact that we are here talking," said Representative John Shadegg.
What about the experts at the Department of Energy who say that it would take years before offshore drilling would yield any oil at all, and that even then the effect on prices at the pump would be "insignificant"? Presumably they're just a bunch of wimps, probably Democrats. And the Democrats, as Representative Michele Bachmann assures us, "want Americans to move to the urban core, live in tenements, take light rail to their government jobs."
The problem is, as Krugman points out, on this issue -- if polling is any indication -- the strategy seems to be working. But I agree with Krugman that this whole episode makes a larger point about the two parties. Krugman has always been very vocal about the disingenuousness of those that call for bi-partisanship as the answer to Washington's woes; his main point: that deifying "bi-partisanship" presumes that both parties are created equal in their desire to serve the American people. They're not.
In any case, remember this the next time someone calls for an end to partisanship, for working together to solve the country's problems. It's not going to happen -- not as long as one of America's two great parties believes that when it comes to politics, stupidity is the best policy.
by psychodrew, Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:29:46 PM EDT
Paul Krugman has another masterpiece in the New York Times. I really have to give him credit, because was one of the very few members of the "commentariat" that was able to cover the Democratic primary without demonizing Hillary Clinton and blindly praising Barack Obama.
He also defended Hillary Clinton when the media and Democrats were piling on her over her comments on LBJ's role in the civil rights movement. In Hate Spring Eternal, he reminded us that Democratic candidates had often been treated this way in the past and that Senator Obama could expect similar treatment should he become the party's nominee.
Krugman criticized the McCain plan as "a giveaway to oil companies, disguised as a gift to consumers."
He said this about the Clinton plan:
The Clinton twist is that she proposes paying for the revenue loss with an excess profits tax on oil companies. In one pocket, out the other. So it's pointless, not evil. But it is pointless, and disappointing.
After the fold, the Krugman's comments asking for a retraction of the use of his words in an Obama ad.
by Al Rodgers, Mon May 05, 2008 at 09:19:55 AM EDT
New York Times columnist, Dr. Paul Krugman put together this video, visually explaining how Hillary WINS the nomination.
Though, he's a leading and effective writer, Dr. Krugman said, a video diagram was necessary cuz the Obama's worshipers (a phrase he coined) don't have a clue, and can't grasp the fact that Hillary has a LOCK on the nomination.
NOTE: Dr. Krugman has been a loyal Hillary supporter and perhaps her most influential surrogate. He produced this video before Hillary threw him under the bus, yesterday on ABC, as a dreaded, unpatriotic, and unamerican elitist. I hope Paul doesn't take the smackdown, tooo hard. But after all, Hillary is right. I got a feeling, when Hill becomes president, to protect the proletariat and the Ronald Reagan Democrats, the first thing she will do, is kill all the economists (much like King Henry VI).
I think Dr. Krugman felt he had to oppose the "gas tax" holiday, simply because not a single economist, not even the kooks at libertarian think tanks (AKA dope-smoking-anarchists), supported the plan. In fact, they've all denounced it. In such an environment, it would be like saying the earth is round, when all conventional wisdom says the earth is flat. This issue proves Hillary is as brave and courageous as Copernicus (the first polish sausage vendor at Fenway Park).
Later this month, when gas-tax-relief act passes and goes into effect, Hillary will go down in history, with the likes of Alka-Seltzer.
In fact, that should be her new campaign song: "Plooop, plooop, fizz, fizz, or what a relief she is.."
As a fan of Hillary Clinton's, I have always been a big fan of Paul Krugman. I reckon that his columns are awesome and unbiased. I find his political acumen astounding, and I get all frustrated when he writes abotu economics, which is the a false science of shakedown artists and frauds.
I really wish he'd stick to political analysis though and just stay away from economics, because economists are elitist scum who are WORKING TO DESTROY THE LIVES OF THE COMMON MAN WITH THEIR HIGH FALLUTIN' IDEAS AND SCHEMES.