Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Witch Hunt Is Back?

Paul Krugman in the August 29th New York Times wrote an op-ed piece lamenting the return of "Witch-Hunt Season" because...get this...Republicans and conservatives oppose President Obama. Krugman compares Obama's Administration to the Clinton Administration in terms of "political opponents" trying to dig up anything they could on the President, regardless of how far-fetched it might be.

I'll be the first to admit Republicans and conservative bought into a lot of anti-Clinton conspiracy theories and that they're buying into a lot of anti-Obama conspiracy theories. Some are far-fetched, and some have at least some basis in fact.

Kind of like Krugman's column, if you think about it.

Krugman's defense of Obama against "Witch-Hunt Season" relies on a carefully-crafted distortion: that Republicans have no reason to investigate the President. With some of the questionably-legal actions the Administration has taken, I believe there are grounds to investigate if for no other reason than to put the questions to rest once and for all. That's pretty much the same way some Republicans went after Clinton, and as we saw then, there were some highly questionable actions the Clinton Administration and the Clintons specifically did. That's not to say all of the suggested investigations were valid, but suggesting that all of the investigations into Clinton and Obama amount to a witch-hunt is laughable.

Krugman's assessment of the situation seems to miss the 8 years between Clinton and Obama where George W. Bush was assaulted on almost a daily basis with accusations, not unlike what Krugman says happened to Clinton and is happening to Obama. Here's a brief list of the accusations against Bush:

- He didn't really win the Florida recount.
- His brother Jeb and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris conspired to cheat Al Gore.
- He knew about 9/11 and allowed it to happen.
- He arranged for relatives of Osama Bin Laden to be flown out of the US days after 9/11.
- Bush went into Iraq for oil.
- Bush made up the story about Iraq having WMDs.
- Bush made up the story about Iraq trying to acquire yellowcake uranium.
- Bush was ordered to attack Iraq by Big Oil
- Bush was ordered to attack Iraq by Israel.
- He stole the 2004 election in Ohio.
- He allowed Halliburton to get no-bid contracts because of Dick Cheney.
- Bush was responsible for outing CIA agent Valerie Plame because her husband was critical of the Administration.
- He controlled gas prices to make money for his Big Oil buddies.
- Bush ignored the victims of Hurricane Katrina because they were primarily black.
- He allowed banks to run roughshod and worked against regulating them, thus causing the subprime mortgage crisis.

Most, if not all, of these statements have been made by Leftists who have demanded (and in some cases gotten) investigations into these subjects, regardless of how far from the truth they are. But I'm guessing that Krugman didn't have a problem with these investigations because of a) who was the President being investigated, and b) who was pushing for the investigations. That undermines his credibility, what little he has, on this subject.

And let's not forget that it was Democrat strategist James Carville who talked about going to "war" against the Republicans in the latter part of the Clinton years, suggesting that Democrats would investigate any Republican President as vigorously as the Republicans investigated Clinton. Surprise surprise, that happened. Yet, no admonition from Krugman. Funny, huh?

Seems as though the "Witch-Hunt Season" isn't back...because it never stopped.

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