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Friday, September 12, 2008

Krugman on lying liars

Posted by on Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 12:08 PM

"Blizzard of Lies" is a must-read by The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Did Krugman perhaps see that front-page thumb-sucker in The N&O yesterday (blame the AP for writing it, but who front-paged it?) about how the McCain and Obama campaigns are each guilty of bad behavior? Krugman calls out that shoddy journalism for the weak, misleading stuff that it is. But here's the really important part:

" ... how a politician campaigns tells you a lot about how he or she would govern.

I'm not talking about the theory, often advanced as a defense of horse-race political reporting, that the skills needed to run a winning campaign are the same as those needed to run the country. The contrast between the Bush political team's ruthless effectiveness and the heckuva job done by the Bush administration is living, breathing, bumbling, and, in the case of the emerging Interior Department scandal, coke-snorting and bed-hopping proof to the contrary.

I'm talking, instead, about the relationship between the character of a campaign and that of the administration that follows. Thus, the deceptive and dishonest 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign provided an all-too-revealing preview of things to come. In fact, my early suspicion that we were being misled about the threat from Iraq came from the way the political tactics being used to sell the war resembled the tactics that had earlier been used to sell the Bush tax cuts.

And now the team that hopes to form the next administration is running a campaign that makes Bush-Cheney 2000 look like something out of a civics class. What does that say about how that team would run the country?

What it says, I'd argue, is that the Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.

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