The Self Made Pundit
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
THOSE GIDDY REPUBLICANS: Paul Krugman takes a whack at Republicans giddy over the prospect of victory in the midterm elections – the subject of yesterday’s Self Made Pundit – in today’s New York Times. The admirable Krugman, who does not suffer fools, hypocrites, and crony capitalists gladly, notes that the giddiness stops at the Oval Office (though only after making Bush lightheaded with malevolent joy):
The White House also apparently expects Christmas in November. In fact, it is so confident that it has already given business lobbyists the gift they want most: an end to all this nonsense about corporate reform. Back in July George W. Bush declared, "Corporate misdeeds will be found and will be punished," touting a new law that "authorizes new funding for investigators and technology at the Securities and Exchange Commission to uncover wrongdoing." But that was then; don't you know there's a war on?
.... But now the administration wants to cancel most of the "new funding" Mr. Bush boasted about.
In retrospect, it's hard to see why anyone believed that our current leadership was serious about corporate reform. To an extent unprecedented in recent history, this is a government of, by and for corporate insiders. I'm not just talking about influence, I'm talking about personal career experience. The Bush administration contains more former C.E.O.'s than any previous administration, but as James Surowiecki put it in The New Yorker, "Almost none of the C.E.O.'s on the Bush team headed competitive, entrepreneurial businesses." Instead they come out of a world of "crony capitalism, in which whom you know is more important than what you do and how you do it." Why would they turn their backs on that world?
While Krugman is generally right on the money in his criticisms of the Bush administration’s right-wing policies, perhaps he is being a bit too harsh here since the rapacious instincts of the administration’s crony capitalists are surely reined in by Bush himself, who attained corporate success and wealth as a result of his ability at ... I mean his mastery of ... I mean his knowledge of .... On second thought, never mind.