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Thursday, May 08, 2003
American History 101
From professional Bush-hater Paul Krugman:
There was a time when patriotic Americans from both parties would have denounced any president who tried to take political advantage of his role as commander in chief. But that, it seems, was another country.
Apparently so. Does Krugman remember Dwight Eisenhower? Obviously he does, because he mentioned him earlier in the op/ed. Does he think Eisenhower was elected president based on his high school football career? Ah, but you say Eisenhower wasn't taking political advantage of his role as commander-in-chief to get elected; he was taking political advantage of his role as general to get elected. Uh, yeah? And the difference is? There's a difference between using military success to get elected and to get re-elected?

And what if there is? Has Krugman ever heard of Abraham Lincoln? Remember the slogan "Don't change horses in midstream?" Was Lincoln not taking political advantage of his role as commander-in-chief to get re-elected? Sure, that isn't exactly the same as this situation, either, and you can keep splitting hairs to find distinctions.

But the point is this: Bush is doing nothing unusual. He's playing up an area in which he has been successful. (We certainly know that if the war had gone badly, his opponents would have been taking political advantage of his failures as commander in chief.) This is just more sour grapes from Krugman.

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