A place to rant about politics, the media, and especially the electorate. Much like alcohol, the electorate is both the cause of, and the solution to, all of America's problems.

Location: Seattle, Washington

Monday, September 20, 2004

Clarity in the NYT op-eds...

Read Krugman's article, then read Brooks'.

Of course they differ in all the standard Dem vs Repub ways. And of course Krugman is right (thank God he's back from vacation!). But there's a clear way they differ, which isn't often explicity remarked on, and is typical of Dem/Repub.

It has to do with one's answer to the following question: In how many ways can America lose a war?

If your answer is "exactly one", then you're almost certainly a Repub. If you go on to say that that one way is by America turning tail like a sissy, then it's cinched. That, of course, is Brooks' view.

Krugman and the rest of us can acknowledge that in some cases, turning tail like a sissy is one way a war can be lost, but we think there are others as well. We think that Vietnam was a clear example of this. We also think that, unfortunately Iraq is as well. Krugman's point is that the war is already lost - the goals that we hoped to achieve by war - at least the stated goals - are now unattainable. Now that the war has been lost, there's essentially nothing to do but figure out how the hell to go home.

Brooks doesn't see this - and more importantly, he can't even countenance this. For him, the only wars we can lose are the ones we say we lose. If we don't say it, it ain't so. See the Repub-ness in this?

If people like Brooks were in charge, Iraq would never have been an issue - we'd still be in Vietnam.


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