Thursday, July 14, 2005
Borking Rove, Rehabilitating Wilson: New York Times hack Paul Krugman weighs in on the Karl Rove non-story today instead of sharing his genius Social Security plan (raise taxes) that he promised long ago.
Krugman's column is short on facts and long on slander.
I first realized that we were living in Karl Rove's America during the 2000 presidential campaign, when George W. Bush began saying things about Social Security privatization and tax cuts that were simply false. At first, I thought the Bush campaign was making a big mistake - that these blatant falsehoods would be condemned by prominent Republican politicians and Republican economists, especially those who had spent years building reputations as advocates of fiscal responsibility. In fact, with hardly any exceptions they lined up to praise Mr. Bush's proposals.
No specifics, but it's interesting that Krugman goes after the Bush tax cuts the day after it's revealed that the economy is picking up and tax revenues are coming in higher than expected.
A less insightful political strategist might have hesitated right after 9/11 before using it to cast the Democrats as weak on national security. After all, there were no facts to support that accusation.
Facts? Krugman wants facts? How about the lack of a response to the attack on the USS Cole? How about the lobbing of a few cruise missiles into Afghanistan in a failed, half-hearted attempt to get Osama bin Laden? How about bombing an aspirin factory in the Sudan? How about the cruise missiles launched in retribution against Saddam Hussein for his failed plot to assassinate Bush Sr. -- timed to kill the night janitors and destroy the buildings, instead of the planners of the attack?
No facts, there are plenty of facts.
Mr. Rove also understands, better than anyone else in American politics, the power of smear tactics. Attacks on someone who contradicts the official line don't have to be true, or even plausible, to undermine that person's effectiveness. All they have to do is get a lot of media play, and they'll create the sense that there must be something wrong with the guy.
And now we know just how far he was willing to go with these smear tactics: as part of the effort to discredit Joseph Wilson IV, Mr. Rove leaked the fact that Mr. Wilson's wife worked for the C.I.A. I don't know whether Mr. Rove can be convicted of a crime, but there's no question that he damaged national security for partisan advantage. If a Democrat had done that, Republicans would call it treason.
Yeah, and the Democrat Party would come to his/her defense and accuse Republicans of "questioning his patriotism."
Krugman, like every other dishonest Democrat shill, ignores facts in his desire to "get" Rove. Rove wasn't trying to "discredit" Wilson, he was trying to explain that Vice President Dick Cheney didn't send Wilson to Niger, as Wilson had claimed to establish his bona fides. Krugman, along with most of the rest of the mainstream media, also ignores the fact that Joseph Wilson was thoroughly discredited by the Senate Intelligence Committee report on pre-war intelligence.
Does Krugman really want to play the which-party-is-worse-at-smear-tactics game? Do the names Bolton, Estrada, Owen, Pryor, Brown, Pickering ring a bell?
But what we're getting, instead, is yet another impressive demonstration that these days, truth is political. One after another, prominent Republicans and conservative pundits have declared their allegiance to the party line. They haven't just gone along with the diversionary tactics, like the irrelevant questions about whether Mr. Rove used Valerie Wilson's name in identifying her (Robert Novak later identified her by her maiden name, Valerie Plame), or the false, easily refuted claim that Mr. Wilson lied about who sent him to Niger.
Easily refuted? Then why don't you refute it? Wilson repeatedly claimed that his wife had nothing to do with him getting sent to Niger, and the Senate report exposed that as a lie. The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was wrong -- you are entitled to your own facts if you're a New York Times columnist.
Ultimately, this isn't just about Mr. Rove. It's also about Mr. Bush, who has always known that his trusted political adviser - a disciple of the late Lee Atwater, whose smear tactics helped President Bush's father win the 1988 election - is a thug, and obviously made no attempt to find out if he was the leaker.
Most of all, it's about what has happened to America. How did our political system get to this point?
And Paul Krugman is a liar and a hack -- there are better descriptions, but I consider this a PG-rated blog. How did our political system get to this point? Krugman might start by looking in the mirror.