February 11, 2008

"A land of slander and scare; the land of sly innuendo, the poison pen, the anonymous phone call and hustling, pushing, shoving..."

"... the land of smash and grab and anything to win. This is Nixonland."

Said Adlai Stevenson, in 1956, quoted today by Paul Krugman, setting up a discussion of... what? No! You're wrong. He's slamming the Democrats.
The bitterness of the fight for the Democratic nomination is, on the face of it, bizarre....
And who's the new Nixon? No! You're wrong:
I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality....

What’s particularly saddening is the way many Obama supporters seem happy with the application of “Clinton rules” — the term a number of observers use for the way pundits and some news organizations treat any action or statement by the Clintons, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent....
I thought Obama was the Kennedy and Hillary was the Nixon. But flip it — there's your column — and let people decide if it makes sense the other way around.

26 comments:

peter hoh said...

Nixon is the new Kennedy.

rhhardin said...

Obama is not a cult of personality. He benefits from the effects of estrogen poisoning.

Hillary herself is past that, apparently. I do not see her swooning.

George said...

I don't know which one is Nixon, but Michelle Obama is not Mamie Eisenhower.

Great profile in today's WSJ....

"But sometimes her approach can backfire. When she told audiences that her husband is "snore-y and stinky" in the morning, doesn't put the butter back in the fridge and one morning "put on his clothes and left" while she juggled her own schedule to deal with an overflowing toilet, some voters and observers cringed that she was emasculating her husband."

Article also says her husband is only home about 10 days a year....none of these national politicians live anything resembling normal lives..

AJ Lynch said...

Is this Krugman describing how Krugman approaches his own OPEDs about Bush or Republicans?

He is the ultimate twerp- don't take my word for it- look it up in the dictionary- you will see his picture.

Roger said...

Interesting to me is that Paul Krugman is a very good economist--and he's not the partisan hack as an economist that he is a political pundit. The following analogy comes to mind: Paul Krugman is to politics as Linus Pauling is to nutrition. Academics should probably confine themselves to their field areas--otherwise they continuallyl beshat themselves.

Doug said...

Ten years ago, any criticism of the Clintons was dismissed as sour grapes, jealousy, player hating, and VRWC crap. Democrats stood by their man in true Tammy Wynette fashion. But unlike the late 90's, Democrats have a choice between the vileness of Clinton, and an unknown entity in Obama.

So what you have is the right wing who doesn't like or trust the Clintons, and now you have Obama supporters who dislike and distrust the Clintons. Seems like the portion of the population that is whiling to overlook the obvious flaws of Bill and Hill is shrinking.

Funny that Krugman, the "Conscience" of liberalism is still selling his soul for the Clintons and their corporate wing of the democratic party. Maybe Hillary promised him the Secretary of the Treasury job.

Wurly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Balfegor said...

I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality....

Doesn't that heavily undercut his Obama campaign = Nixon theme? I mean, a Nixon cult of personality would be about as sad as, well, as a cult of personality centred around Hillary Clinton. Whatever their faults, I don't think they can be accused of fostering a creepy personality cult, the way Obama has done.

Henry said...

Given that what made Kennedy Kennedy was youth, charisma, and inexperience, I think Obama is still Kennedy.

Maybe Krugman thinks of Obama as Joe Kennedy. But that would mean that Hillary remains Nixon.

Ah, the irony. But awareness of irony is not one of Krugman's virtues. Where else exists the pundit that can accuse the unbeloved W of building a cult of personality in the same column that he decries character assassination?

Where else exists the pundit that can accuse his political enemies of "slander and scare" in the same column he accuses entire "news organizations" of anti-Clinton "rules" -- to the point of lending approval to MSNBC's suspension of David Shuster.

Oddly enough, in his catalog of Nixonian horrors, Krugman avoids the word "paranoia". Given the Clintonian bunker mentality advanced in his own writing, I guess even Krugman realizes that trying to pin Nixon's paranoia on some other Donkey would be unconvincing.

former law student said...

supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody.

Those Obama supporters are just like that stupid Prince who wanted Cinderella, and not one of her ugly stepsisters. Cinderella's stepmother couldn't understand why, and neither can Krugman. Reminds me of those women who wanted the young, handsome Kennedy and not that jowly, sweaty, stubbly, Red-baiting Nixon.

For Krugman's information: to inspire a cult of personality means you have to have one.

Who is more like Nixon? Nixon pimped out his good looking daughters in his campaign, even marrying one to an Eisenhower. Nixon was petty and vindictive; Nixon laid traps for his enemies; here is a fruitful field for some Hillary-hater to mine.

Mister Snitch! said...

I am astonished that anyone who is (presumably) worldly and educated would think for one second that anything Krugman writes has anything at all with ideology. (Or, for that matter, that the Clintons' recent attack on an MSNBC reporter would have anything to do with 'family values'.) What Krugman does, and all he has done for years, is pose to gain and maintain power. What power? His standing in the Times hierarchy, for one thing. (You think high-paying, high-profile jobs like his grow on trees? They're damn scarce, and gone in a second.) His social standing among his power-addicted NYC neighbors and peers, for another.

If the Clintons can get a reporter fired, access and friendship with them can also enhance a career. Krugman knows this. That is the reason he'll continue to attack Obama. And it is the ONLY reason.

The sooner you come to grips with these realities, the less likely you'll be 'astonished' at such things. There's no point in attempting to argue Krugman's points. They are not based on anything but his base desire to remain important and relevant. Mostly he has done that by attacking Bush (certainly a safe haven in NY), but right now he must attack Obama. He gains nothing from an Obama win - indeed, he'll lose his place in line, behind those who have supported the guy since the beginning. Obama's win means Krugman brings nothing to the Times' table. It means his benefactors will have less power, and therefore less means to empower him.

There ARE no principles involved here, except the principles of self-empowerment. Once you grasp that, you'll realize that Krugman will fight to the bitter end.

Same thing with the Kennedys, by the way. Teddy knew he'd be increasingly shunted aside by the Clintons. But he also needed to get a sense that Obama had a real shot - he wasn't going to go too far out on a limb. (You don't survive as long as Ted has without a strong self-preservational instinct, and anyone who recalls that fateful day at Chappaquiddick knows how strong that instinct is in him.) Once he felt assured regarding his bet on Obama, he went for it. (There's also a danger of being too late with this sort of thing, and having your endorsement not matter so much. That's why you've seen such a surge for Obama lately - this is the sweet spot.)

I guess I see things this way because I did political consulting for years. The politicians (and guys like Krugman) spout rhetoric about their ideals and morals as effectively as they do (to the degree they ARE effective) because they more or less convince themselves. But when you observe them closely and dispassionately, you realize what really drives their behavior. And, beneath layer upon armorlike layer of denials, so do they.

And so should you. So should we all.

Gee, if I'm gonna go on like this, I should just write my own post. Think I will, too.

Titan said...

Reagan must have stolen the election. I don't know anyone who voted for him.

Obama supporters are mean. All the ones I know are meaner than the Hillary supporters I know.

Fatmouse said...

I think Obama is still Kennedy.

In the sense that if he does get the Dem nomination we'll see epic levels of dirty politics not seen since the days of... well, JFK.

Nixon lost Illinois in 1960, but only through massive voter fraud in Chicago courtesy Joe Kennedy. Had he pulled a Gore and contested the vote, he would have won the state and the election.

That's what Joe was willing to do to get his son elected. Imagine what Obama's followers will resort to in order to elect their messiah and Save The World.

Henry said...

Fatmouse -- you've lost my context.

ted said...

Seems to me that Billary has done the ultimate in their triangulation, they got the left and the right to hate them equally passionatley.

Ah, what goes around comes around, no truer words have ever been spoken.

Jim O'Sullivan said...

Doug, you beat me to the puch. I don't know if Hillary promised him Secretary of the Treasury, but if not, he's surely campaigning for the job.

Jim O'Sullivan said...

Just as surely as the fact that every comment I leave will have a typo!

garage mahal said...

(Or, for that matter, that the Clintons' recent attack on an MSNBC reporter would have anything to do with 'family values'.)

An old Arkansas Whitewater Woodtick call Chelsea a slut on TV because she won't talk to him, and the Clintons have the audacity to respond, and that qualifies as an attack in your world? Oy.

Palladian said...

"and the Clintons have the audacity to respond..."

...but not the audacity to hope, alas.

Don Meaker said...

It was once said of Buonaparte:

"He knew no motive but interest; acknowldged no criterion but success; he worshiped no God but ambition; and with an eastern devotion, he knelt at the shrine of his idolatry. Subsidiary to this, there was no creed that he did not profess, there was no opinion that he did not promulgate; "

So that is Krugman: Napoleon, without the accomplishments.

nathan said...

same old venom from the folks who made a cult of Ronnie R, the dead deficit builder...so keep it up and hurl away with the usual venom at this one and that one. Obama is no crook like Nixon he Liar

nathan said...

One comment said Krugman a man of no accomplishments! wow. You may not like the guy but accomplished he cerainly is.

nathan said...

same old venom from the folks who made a cult of Ronnie R, the dead deficit builder

nathan said...

same old venom from the folks who made a cult of Ronnie R, the dead deficit builder

Revenant said...

Krugman's been a Clinton toadie for years. The only mystery is why he waited this long to start attacking Obama.

And Nathan? Sure, Krugman's got accomplishments. Its just that none of them relate to politics.

Gene said...

Why, then, is there so much venom out there?

Venomous people produce venomous politics, and the Democrats have been overdosing on hate for the last 8 years.

With GWB going away in less than a year they need someone new to hate.

Unless there's a coup, of course :)

Gene