Krugman and I expose McCain’s warts
Paul Krugman of the New York Times seems to me the sharpest establishment columnist going today. Way back in 2000 the Princeton economist documented time and again the essential dishonesty of candidate George W. Bush, with particular emphasis on Bush’s economic and social-security proposals. Krugman carefully showed how Bush’s numbers didn’t add up, and he showed how Bush repeatedly fudged yet paid no penalty for the fudging. Why? Because Krugman was a lone voice challenging Bush’s integrity, while the media chorus was lauding him as a plain-spoken Texas “straight shooter.”
Today Krugman takes down someone who’s even more beloved by the mainstream media than Bush had been until a few months ago: John McCain. Krugman shows that McCain is a cave-in artist rather than The Man Who Stands Tall, and that he’s far more conservative — and hawkish — than his reputation. He’s not a moderate, and to be fair to McCain, he routinely and accurately describes himself as a “proud Reagan Republican.”
Anyway, I’m glad Krugman has finally gotten around to puncturing the McCain myth. Granted, I beat him to the punch by six years, focusing on McCain’s belligerent, neanderthal approach to foreign policy, which echoed Reagan in its fondness for rightwing dictatorships and insurgent/terrorist groups that slaughtered and tortured with impunity. Perhaps the most amazing thing about my McCain takedown is that the Miami Herald published it. The Herald link for that Feb. 25, 2000 column, “A Foreign-Policy Quiz For McCain,” no longer exists, but this one does.