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Friday, January 16, 2009

What Do Paul Krugman and Khaled Mashal Have In Common?

Paul Krugman is the NY Times columnist who won the Nobel prize for economics work he did over a decade ago before he became a columnist. Khalid Mashal is the political leader of Hamas based in Syria, who attained his position based on terrorist work he did more than a decade ago before he moved to Damascus. The two have strikingly similar facial appearances. They also have in common the willingness to talk tough knowing that others, not they, will bear the consequences of their rhetoric.

Mashal is based in Damascus, Syria. From that safe haven, Mashal has taken a hard line on a ceasefire in Gaza, essentially that the Israelis should more or less surrender. By all reports, this is at odds with the Hamas fighters in Gaza, who are suffering tremendous casualties in the Gaza conflict. A recent delegation of Gaza Hamas was told by Mashal to grin and bear it, no ceasefire. Mashal will not bear the consequences of his hard line rhetoric since he is not in Gaza.

Krugman wrote a column today taking a hard line on the investigation of supposed Bush administration crimes. Not the usual rant limited to "torture" and "Gitmo." No, Krugman wants a full scale, all out assault by the Obama administration against Bush administration officials high and low on issues such as (this is a partial list, mind you) "torture and illegal wiretapping [I guess he didn't read the FISA court decision]," the "hiring process during the occupation of Iraq," "that country’s failed reconstruction," "officials [who] used their positions both to undermine the protection of minority voting rights and to persecute Democratic politicians," "using the power of government to reward political friends and punish political enemies," and "abuses extended from environmental policy to voting rights."

Funny, I went back and looked at Krugman's columns when George W. Bush was first elected. No calls for the new Bush administration to prosecute Clinton excesses, from the selling of the Lincoln bedroom, to travelgate, to use of the IRS to investigate opponents, to alleged rape in the White House, and the list could go on. No, not a peep from Krugman as to the need, expressed in his column today, not to "let the previous administration get away with crime."

Krugman can talk tough because he will not bear any of the consequences of his grand inquisition. Nor, frankly, will Bush administration officials, who will be upheld in any fair court of law. No, the consequences will be felt by the Obama administration, which will spend its limited time and resources chasing Paul Krugman's ghosts, rather than implementing Obama's agenda. Maybe Krugman is onto something here.
UPDATE: Here's Gateway Pundit's take on Krugman.

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