Krugman States it Plain

Go read Paul Krugman’s column. Money quote:

First, those who don’t want to nominate Hillary Clinton because they don’t want to return to the nastiness of the 1990s — a sizable group, at least in the punditocracy — are deluding themselves. Any Democrat who makes it to the White House can expect the same treatment: an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false (at least not on Page 1).

Bingo!

Comments

  1. #1 Rasputin
    January 28, 2008

    I haven’t read the column but that paragraph misses the point. I don’t want Hillary nominated because we’ll return to the nastiness of the 1990s in the months leading up to November thus increasing the likelihood of electing someone who cares not a whit for the the constitution.

  2. #2 Eric Lund
    January 28, 2008

    No, Krugman got it exactly right. Will we see 1990s nastiness if Clinton is the nominee? Absolutely. Will we see 1990s nastiness if Obama is the nominee? If you think the answer is no, I’d like to sell you some premium Florida swampland, and refer you to my friend who can arrange a mortgage with highly affordable negatively amortizing payments to finance the deal.

    As Krugman says: “The point is that while there are valid reasons one might support Mr. Obama over Mrs. Clinton, the desire to avoid unpleasantness isnt one of them.” I would prefer Obama as the nominee myself, but I know full well that the slime machine will be coming after the Democratic nominee no matter who (s)he is.

  3. #3 Lord
    January 28, 2008

    Can appeasing extremists avoid extremism? Can tolerating intolerance lead to tolerance? Making a decision based on what others think is usually regrettable.

  4. #4 Derek James
    January 28, 2008

    Could it possibly be that Obama and his wife won’t generate as much ammunition for the slime machine as Hillary and Bill? I don’t remember the Republicans making Bill go around sticking cigars in interns. Is it too much to believe that Obama might generate fewer distractions, might actually focus on the job he was elected to do, and might restore a little actual dignity to the office?

  5. #5 Lord
    January 28, 2008

    increasing the likelihood of electing someone who cares not a whit for the the constitution

    Another Republican?

  6. #6 lolife
    January 28, 2008

    Did you read to the end?

    it is now clear that putting [Hillary] in the White House brings a hyperactive Bill back in with her. Who needs it? Liberals and Democrats can get basically the same policies without the Clinton baggage, and in choosing Obama, they can nominate a more electable candidate.

    Hardly a ringing endorsement for Clinton.

  7. #7 Jason Rosenhouse
    January 28, 2008

    Derek-

    The Republicans were concocting one scandal after another long before the Monica Lewinsky story broke. After all the phony scandals, I think the Republicans were as surpirsed as anyone to find one that was actually true.

    lolife-

    I did read the column to the end and I did not see that quote anywhere. Where did you find it?

  8. #8 Shiritai
    January 28, 2008

    lolife-

    That quote’s from William Kristol, the writer of the opinion piece that came after Krugman’s.

  9. #9 lolife
    January 28, 2008

    That quote’s from William Kristol, the writer of the opinion piece that came after Krugman’s.

    Whoops! My mistake. Still the view I hold, though. :)

  10. #10 crf
    January 28, 2008

    Kristol’s piece is typical of the idiocracy.

    They don’t care about policies or competence, they care about imagined soap operas.

    Is Hillary intelligent enough to be President? Is her resume excellent? Has she proven that she understands how government works? Will she be able to run an administration that is more efficient and effective than what’s happened under Bush? Will she be wise enough to tackle large problems America and the world are going to face rather than pretend it’s a game?

    The trouble is, to answer questions like the that, the pundits actually have to be interested, intelligent and informed.

    A large part of what went wrong under Bush wasn’t so much his ideas, in my opinion, it was his total lack of attention to the process of carrying them out intelligently and successfully. Good ideas are a dime a dozen. Being able to carry them out is hard.

  11. #11 Pieter B
    January 28, 2008

    Given Bill Kristol’s track record as a prognosticator, I’d have to read his column as a ringing endorsement.

  12. #12 Dagome
    January 28, 2008

    The Republicans were concocting one scandal after another long before the Monica Lewinsky story broke. After all the phony scandals, I think the Republicans were as surpirsed as anyone to find one that was actually true.

    This strikes me as rather selective memory. What does it take to be a “real scandal?” Does Gennifer Flowers not count? Didn’t the Gennifer Flowers scandal fuel the Paula Jones scandal? I’ve long given Bill the benefit of the doubt on most accusations of philandering. But a philanderer he was, and fair or not, that did “fuel” the later accusations. The affair with Monica Lewinsky was a scandal unto itself, but when Bill lied about it, he added enough “fuel” to create an entirely new scandal (from adultery to perjury).

    It also is simply not true that Republicans and the media are equally eager to find fault with every public figure. Yes, they can manufacture scandal all on their own — but Gore and Kerry are much better examples of that.

  13. #13 Dagome
    January 28, 2008

    Yes, they can manufacture scandal all on their own — but Gore and Kerry are much better examples of that.

    I already regret this — whitewater is the best example of a manufactured scandal. It’s just that the unfair treatment that the Clintons received does not make them saints. Nor does “surviving it” necessarily make them brilliant politicians. There is a reason that comments like, “slick willy,” stuck, and it is not entirely down to the media or the VRWC. Comments like, “I didn’t inhale,” have something to do with it, too. (To say nothing of the post-Lewinsky, “it depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.”) I suspect there’s a lot of evidence to support Derek’s comments about ammunition.

    BTW, you have a high ratio of awesome posts on this blog. Please keep them coming!

  14. #14 Gary
    January 28, 2008

    I agree that Whitewater was blown way out of proportion, and the Republican judge who gave permission to expand it into a sex investigation went way overboard. But I have to say that Bill was probably his own worst enemy throught his whole administration.

    Enlisting the FBI to do his dirtywork in Travalgate was a very real, sleazy tactic, and those pardons he sold when he left office even revolted many Democrats. I think he did a pretty good job as a prez, but there’s no denying that he’s a sleazebucket. I think he always will be.

    I guess I’m just old-fashioned. I like a president to show at least a little bit of class. It’s been a long time since we’ve had one like that.

  15. #15 Gerry L
    January 28, 2008

    I have been very put off by the mud of the past few days and am less than thrilled by Bill’s role in his wife’s campaign. But folks, if any Obama supporters think this stuff has been “unreasonable” …?!? This is NOTHING compared to what will go on once the Dems choose their candidate and the Lee Atwater Brigade start their sliming.

    I’m just watching the whole thing. Have not made a choice. I live in Oregon, and our primaries are in May. So we don’t get a vote in selecting the candidates. I could support any of the Dems — warts and all. And everyone has warts. I just hope that if Obama is the candidate, his crew has the skill to fend off the inevitatable dirty attacks.

  16. #16 Dunc
    January 29, 2008

    Could it possibly be that Obama and his wife won’t generate as much ammunition for the slime machine as Hillary and Bill?

    Well, bearing in mind that we’re talking about a nominally black man with the middle name “Hussein” and a last name that’s only one letter different from “Osama”, with some (secular) madrassa time in his background… And further given that the slime machine has never shown the least compunction about just making stuff up… I’d say the answer to that is probably “no”.

    As for Bill Kristol’s views… First rule of success in politics: never take advice from your enemies. Shockingly, it turns out that they frequently don’t have your best interests at heart. Who’d’ve thunk it?

  17. #17 SLC
    January 29, 2008

    I get a kick out of those who get all excited about Mr. Clintons’ extracurricular activities. Compared to JFK, a man who had prostitutes brought in off the streets of Washington, DC to service his urges, Mr. Clintons’ activities were almost chaste.

  18. #18 Derek James
    January 29, 2008

    Well, bearing in mind that we’re talking about a nominally black man with the middle name “Hussein” and a last name that’s only one letter different from “Osama”, with some (secular) madrassa time in his background… And further given that the slime machine has never shown the least compunction about just making stuff up… I’d say the answer to that is probably “no”.

    I was talking about his behavior. And how exactly would a scandal be generated by any of the things you mention?

  19. #19 lolife
    January 29, 2008

    I am no fan of Kristol, but he’s right, as are a lot of Righties, that the Dems running Clinton will increase the chance that we end up with another Republican President.

    I agree Hillary is a good person but I would urge you to read this: The Problem(s) with Clinton

  20. #20 Dave Briggs
    January 29, 2008

    dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false (at least not on Page 1).

    I’ve had some experience with the media. The accusations on page one sells papers, pays their salaries and boosts ratings. The retractions go on page 20 because they do none of the above! I think some of them actually think they are doing society a service by being an overzealous watchdog too.
    Dave Briggs :~)

  21. #21 Chris Bell
    January 29, 2008

    I don’t like Obama because I think Republicans will be nice to him. I like Obama because he inspires me; because I’m standing out in the cold to pass out fliers and rally votes for him, something I’ve never done before.

    I think that energy (which is not uncommon) will translate to this issue. When the Republicans try to swift boat Obama, I think the backlash will be more pronounced.

  22. #22 SLC
    January 30, 2008

    Re Chris Bell

    “I think that energy (which is not uncommon) will translate to this issue. When the Republicans try to swift boat Obama, I think the backlash will be more pronounced.”

    Unfortunately, Mr. Bell is living in a dream world. The sad fact is that if enough mud is thrown, some of it will inevitably stick. Or as the late and unlamented Josef Goebbels said, if one is going to tell a lie, make it a big one, tell it ofter, tell it loudly and eventually people will begin to believe it.

  23. #23 Grodge
    January 30, 2008

    Kudos to Krugman for nailing it.

    The only way that the beautiful and “transcendent” Mr. Obama can get past the Republican Shitstorm Machine is if he kicks ass for it. And he’s an unknown quantity (unless beating Alan Keyes counts for something.)

    Krugman is the only member of the media that is giving Hillary any kind of fair treatment; she’s getting it from both liberals and Repubicans. But, no matter… she been here before.

    There is so much at stake for the big business and big banks and big Pharma that they will gunning after him all the way. At least Hillary has been in combat before.

    http://kalamazoopost.blogspot.com/2008/01/frank-rich-tool-of-week.html

  24. #24 Eric Thomson
    January 30, 2008

    Seems like a straw man. I’ve never seen anyone use that reason to want someone other than Hilary. She and Obama are basically indistinguishable on policy. Since she is one of the most divisive figures in politics, which will hurt her in the general election, I prefer him on electability grounds. But it has nothing to do with returning to nastiness of the 90s once elected. I just want to get an electable Democrat on the ballot.

  25. #25 Chris Bell
    January 31, 2008

    Response to SLC:

    “South Carolina”

  26. #26 SLC
    February 1, 2008

    Re Chris Bell

    If Mr. Bell thinks that Mr. and Ms. Clinton were being beastly toward Senator Obama in South Carolina, he is indeed being naive. Those were love taps compared to what he would face in a general election campaign from the Rethuglicans.

  27. #27 See familiaris
    February 6, 2008

    Hillary Clinton is “one of the most divisive figures in politics” because the GOP and their MSM water-carriers hated her and Bill from the beginning and successfully promulgated ridiculous fictions about them that the largely uncritical masses accepted as fact. Were the Clintons angels? No, but so what? Powerful people don’t acquire power by being all sweetness and light, especially when they are faced with the kind of destructive force embodied within today’s Republicans. Republicans need to stopped in their tracks–cold–by someone who is ready, willing, and able to kick their asses. Hillary played nice with Repubs as a Senator, and maybe that was due to the collegial atmosphere in tradition with that body. Or, maybe she calculated that the alliances she would make as a Senator would help her when/if she ever became Prez. Who knows? I believe Hillary would be able to stand up to Republican slime better than Barack. I speculate that Repubs would not hesitate to use their machine to savage Barack racially, that they would be largely successful in doing so, and to such a degree that it would cost him the election. Repubs would not, I feel, be as successful with similar, sex-based tactics if used against Clinton. If she were to become the Dem nominee, Clinton’s “baggage” would diminish as an issue as she took center stage and began demonstrating her ability to deflect and correct the lies. In my opinion, her grasp of the issues and her authoritative composure would weaken Republican trash talk in a way that would not apply to Barack Obama’s efforts to do the same.

  28. #28 Jim
    February 8, 2008

    Slightly of topic, but …
    I guess now with Romney not campaigning anymore his sons are now free to join the military, right?

  29. #29 Hillary is a criminal
    February 10, 2008

    Or could the reason people don’t want Hillary is because she’s pro-war and anti-freedom?

  30. #30 murat
    June 26, 2008

    “I’m picturing John Belushi’s samurai character.”

    That would rule.

  31. #31 Alex Griffin
    July 18, 2008

    I’m just watching the whole thing. Have not made a choice. I live in Oregon, and our primaries are in May. So we don’t get a vote in selecting the candidates. I could support any of the Dems — warts and all. And everyone has warts. I just hope that if Obama is the candidate, his crew has the skill to fend off the inevitatable dirty attacks.

  32. #32 Boobe
    September 6, 2008

    When the Republicans try to swift boat Obama, I think the backlash will be more pronounced.

  33. #33 Debra
    GvQfIwRxkK
    July 23, 2012

    It is sad how people call Hillary shady wtiuoht stating a fact. Hillary has always been concerned about the less fortunate. When Hillary was in high school she raised money to help the immigrant workers and even did baby sitting for the imigrant worker’s babies. Hillary has always been a very smart, successful, and determined woman. When Hillary went to visit Harvard a professor told Hillary there were already too many female lawyers, so Hillary decided to go to Yale instead where she met Bill Clinton. Hillary has always gotten a bad rap from some people. When Bill Clinton became governor, Hillary was a successful lawyer and this bothered some people because they expected a governors wife not to work. When Hillary went to Wellesley College and noticed there were not a lot of African Americans on campus, she organized a two-day student strike and worked with Wellesley’s black students to recruit more black students and faculty. I do not understand why someone would vote for McCain if Hillary is VP. Voting for McCain means another Bush Jr. The only people benifiting from voting Republican are the elite 3 percent of Americans that make $200,000 or more a year because they get better tax better tax breaks than the 97 percent of Americans that make less than $200,000 per year.

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