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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Paul Krugman, "Send in the Clueless": And What Will Happen Then?

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Send in the Clueless" (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/opinion/send-in-the-clueless.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss), Paul Krugman observes that given the "dire economic situation, 2012 should be a year of Republican triumph." However, claiming that Romney is "totally cynical" and that Gingrich is "totally clueless," Krugman thinks that the Republicans "may nonetheless snatch defeat from the jaws of victory." He concludes:

"The same metaphor, it seems to me, might apply to the G.O.P. pursuit of the White House next year. If the dog actually catches the car — the actual job of running the U.S. government — it will have no idea what to do, because the realities of government in the 21st century bear no resemblance to the mythology all ambitious Republican politicians must pretend to believe. And what will happen then?"

Indeed, what will happen then? In fact, perhaps we already have an answer.

Obama is certainly not clueless, but he is cynical. He was perfectly willing to lie about his 20-year relationship with the racist Reverend Wright in order to be elected. And given the "dire economic situation" of 2008, Americans and the liberal American media were willing to ignore his relationship with Tony Rezko, who helped Obama purchase his Chicago home by way of a sweetheart real estate deal, and who was sentenced last month to 10 1/2 years in prison for corruption and extortion.

Of course, Rezko's sentencing escaped the attention of Krugman and his columnist friends at The Times. Regarding Rezko's conviction, Obama stated, "This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew." Yeah, right.

Deemed the most "liberal" of American senators, Obama needed to lie about his relationship with Wright and disguise his thoughts, e.g., hostility to Israel, in order to be nominated and elected. Moreover, the exigencies of office, at least during his first term, have demonstrated that Obama is anything but honest. As observed in a previous blog entry, consider how Obama has reversed himself over the past three years:

• He promised to close Guantanamo.
• Although he has been a primary beneficiary of donations from financial institutions over the years, he now understands the underpinnings of OWS.
• Although he condemned Bush administration "extra-legal" behavior, he has actively engaged in targeted killings using drones and has come out in favor of "prolonged detention."
• He deviated from his timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq.
• No one would have ever imagined that he would escalate US ground involvement in Afghanistan.
• He promised to recognize the Armenian genocide, but now avoids the topic in order to pacify Turkey.
• With the economy in a tailspin, he has not kept his promise to create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
• Although he signed an executive order restricting former lobbyists from working in his administration for at least two years, William Lynn, a former Raytheon lobbyist, was appointed Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Freed from the constraints of re-election, no one knows how far left Obama could veer if given a second term as president.

My response to the question posed by Krugman at the end of his opinion piece, "And what will happen then?": First, all politicians are cynical, i.e. lie. Moreover, if a cynical politician, who needs to disguise his centrist, as opposed to rightist, positions in order to obtain the Republican nomination, is elected president in 2012, it will certainly be no worse than what America experienced under Obama, who needed to disguise his leftist, as opposed to centrist, positions. My concern is "what will happen" if Obama no longer needs to hide his radicalism during a possible second term.

3 comments:

  1. "Deemed the most "liberal" of American senators, Obama needed to lie about his relationship with Wright and disguise his thoughts, e.g., hostility to Israel,"

    I don't know ... Obama was not the most "liberal." I think Bernie Sanders was already in Senate. There is a general problem with vocabulary and in my view the words "left" and "liberal" are misused. In my opinion, the traditional left doesn't exist in America, or more correctly, there are some leftovers, scattered around the country, totally powerless, bitter and misunderstood.
    Obama is not the left. Yes, he is a cynical and antisemitic politician willing to sacrifice anyone at any moment.
    I can't call all these Hollywood billionaires and millionaires, or for that matter all these New York billionaires and millionaires, who interrupt their usual activity (counting money) to bark at Israel and/or promote gays, "the left."
    The rest of the population is confused, miseducated, brainwashed, and tired.
    I find Krugman more and more irritating, turning into a political hack, as dishonest and manipulative as hacks are. I find him also poorly educated (or educated in "geeky," limited, narrow way) and his arrogant (I am a genius, I can't be wrong), pushy, all silencing tone repulsive.
    I wasn't trained as a philosopher or theologian, but I die from sad laughter the moment he goes beyond (quite often) his geeky area. Yes, I am well educated and history (and particularly cultural history) is a significant part of my education.

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  2. Thanks for your comment, anonymous. Although Sanders came to the Senate in 2007, and although Russ Feingold was also perhaps "more liberal," Obama was named the "most liberal senator" for that year by the National Journal (http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/).

    I agree: Krugman is arrogant and repulsive.

    Jeffrey

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  3. I didn't have the time to elaborate on Krugman's poor education. Below is an illustration from his recent post:
    "And yes, the song is definitely Christian music. That’s fine with me; you take beauty where you find it."
    Everything is wrong about this fragment - pretentiousness, pomposity and arrogance are (I hope) obvious. A more important problem should be also visible to many. The author clearly is not familiar with one of the main (if not the main) themes of at least two thousands years of intellectual (both religious and philosophical) discussion in "the West".
    I am a trained (well) art historian among several other things, and I don't use the word "beauty" that often, probably because I am so aware of the the problem with the attitude "Die Schoenheit, die Schoenheit ist ueber Alles."
    No, I am not German, but the so called left of today forces me to use the language of "Ueber Alles." Similarities? Yes. I can elaborate, if asked.

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