Krugman and Dowd – do these two read each other’s columns? Certainly. Do they talk to each other, I wonder? Do they call each other on the phone for shouting matches? I wonder if they talk to people who don’t make it their business to comment publicly on current politics, people at whom the nomination campaigns are directed?
First, Dowd lets loose with a, yes, vitriolic critique of Hillary Clinton, and speaks hysterically of the Clinton Attack Machine. Whaaa? Way over the top! I haven’t heard anything outside the very wide bounds of the usual American campaign scurrilousness. Check out Thomas Jefferson’s election fliers and the limericks written against him! Dowd goes through periods of writing good, sharp columns, but I wonder why she thinks that we are interested in her buckets of bile.
Then, Krugman weighs in with his hissy-fit assessment of Obama as cult-icon, comparing him to Nixon and, get this, to GWB in a flight jacket on that aircraft carrier, USS Mission Accomplished! Is he on this planet? Yes, Obama’s wife was wrong to hem and haw about whether she would work on a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign – she’s rooting for hubby. But she’ll have plenty of time to smooth that over should her man not clinch the spot.
Krugman, for all his exceptional service to the nation as a tireless and generally spot-on critic of the Republicans, does have a tin ear at times when he ventures out of policy wonkdom. For all his anger over Bush’s Iraq policy, he can’t seem to fathom that other voters feel the same way, and hold a grudge against Clinton. Not just a grudge – they think it says something about her judgement and leadership. He castigates the Obama campaign for making a mountain out of a molehill regarding Clinton’s remark that LBJ’s skills and courage were crucial to moving forward MLK’s agenda. Her proposition may be true, but there’s that tin ear again, this time Clinton’s ear. And he ignores Clinton’s radical distortion of Obama’s comments on Reagan, that Reagonzo successfully moved the country in a new direction in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He was citing Reagonzo’s politicial skills – he didn’t say it was a good direction!