Hooray, Paul Krugman and David Hayden

Following up on my recent “Oops, he did it again” post… In yesterday’s (July 4) New York Times, Paul Krugman published this op-ed <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/04/opinion/04krugman.html?em&ex=1215403200&en=03d42e7cb8bee770&ei=5087&gt;

His central claim is that the McCain campaign is using Rovian tactics, which on its face qualifies for the “Duh” award. However, he strongly and clearly (better than I did, anyway) makes the point that Wes Clark’s comments about McCain’s war record weren’t the “attacks” that the McCain campaign is saying they were. Clark’s comment was a simple statement of fact, much the same claim that the Rovians made about John Kerry in 2004. Apparently, what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander.

Of course, the Swift Boaters have argued that the difference is they were right about Kerry, but the historical record is 100% clear that they made it all up. And now, in the face of the truth, all they can do is bluster about empty notions of patriotism and heroics, neither of which they have a monopoly on, and in this case neither of which do they seem to actually understand.

Also, this fantastic letter in this morning’s (July 5) NYT–

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/05/opinion/lweb05collins.html?ref=opinion

The main claim is that while McCain showed great physical courage in enduring his POW experience, he didn’t the show the moral courage to reject what he was asked to do as a participant in an immoral war.

Right on! That’s an incredibly important distinction, and as a candidate running for election from the “We think we know everything about morality and all the rest of you are doomed to hell” party, McCain needs to acknowledge it too. If he doesn’t, he comes off looking like the bloodthirsty pseudo-warrior that many of us are already afraid he is. That’s my argument, by the way, not Hayden’s. Soldiers (at least every one I’ve ever talked to who didn’t already hate me because I oppose war) are bound by a conception of honor that goes beyond blind obedience.

Only 364 days to July 4, 2009. May we all pass the year happy and safe from people who want to dry out, roll up, and smoke the Constitution!

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