Friday, January 16, 2009

Krugman wants a witch-hunt, and so do I

I would in fact say he's being too kind to the American system:
In fact, we’ve already seen this movie. During the Reagan years, the Iran-contra conspirators violated the Constitution in the name of national security. But the first President Bush pardoned the major malefactors, and when the White House finally changed hands the political and media establishment gave Bill Clinton the same advice it’s giving Mr. Obama: let sleeping scandals lie. Sure enough, the second Bush administration picked up right where the Iran-contra conspirators left off — which isn’t too surprising when you bear in mind that Mr. Bush actually hired some of those conspirators.
But the denouement to Iran-Contra was, itself, just a replay of Ford pardoning Nixon. And those assholes weren't just pissants like David Addington, they were criminal conspirators like, oh, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

I am shocked when I hear baby boomers say that Ford did the right thing -- hardcore lefties, in all other areas, who nevertheless think that it was grand for Nixon to go unpunished. I am told that "you don't understand what it was like then", as if the prosecution of criminal conduct of the highest order is something that should be optional. I'm told that near-impeachment was enough of a punishment, even if he never saw the inside of a cell, even if America never had to grapple with why they re-elected that monster.

Finally, I'm told that the country couldn't take it, the same logic that's being used now to urge Obama to carry on, nothing to see here. If that's the case, then the only real lesson to learn from the Bush, Reagan, and Nixon years is that we deserve everything we get, and nothing less.

1 comment:

Amos Anan said...

I'm not sure what your basis is for the swipe at baby boomers, other than some have become conservative. In terms of not understanding "what it was like then" I think you may have forgotten or missed that many of Nixon's group were charged, tried, convicted and jailed for their crimes. Nixon was broken and fully and completely discredited. He could no longer make even the most plaintive claim to not be a crook. And beyond that Ford was hand picked by Nixon to pardon Nixon.

What did you expect? Rioting in the streets for Nixon to be hung by his feet in the town square? And there was plenty of outrage. Far more so then than anything like what we see today with a far more malevolent and criminal president. So look to your own generation's lack of response to high crimes and misdemeanors rather than a prior one.