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Krugman interview

September 17th, 2003

If you haven’t already, you should read Calpundit’s interview with Paul Krugman. For regular readers of this blog, there’s nothing new – unsustainable Bush fiscal policies imply financial crisis partly by resolved by inflation, with a consequent increase in interest rates, frequent mention of Argentina etc. But Krugman says it better than I do, and Calpundit shows new possibilities for blogging with a rare instance of primary newsgathering.

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  1. rdb
    September 17th, 2003 at 23:56 | #1
  2. Dave Ricardo
    September 18th, 2003 at 00:25 | #2

    Krugman’s characterisation of the Bush crowd as revolutionary fanatics is scary stuff, but don’t forget, Bush will stop being President either in January 2005 – which is not impossible, the way Iraq is going – or at the latest January 2009. Even if he wins a second term, he’s not going to get American schools to stop teaching evolution and start teaching religion, either literally, or as a metaphor for other things. Chances are Iraq – the sheer cost of it, if nothing else- will dominate Bush’s second term, assuming he gets one.

    And if the bond markets revolt, that will make the cost of neo connism intolerable. It’s one thing to spend megabucks on an imperial enterprise when people are prepared to lend you the money to do it. But if they aren’t, well, it just can’t be done.

  3. September 18th, 2003 at 03:34 | #3

    Term limits won’t stop the GOP from nominating a different Bushite in 2008. Assuming the country can limp along under Bushism rather than collapsing and forcing us to do things differently, a non-Bush Bushite might even be better — Bush hasn’t been all that pure a Bushite, so it’s doubtful he’s an intellectual leader of the philosophy.

  4. Dave Ricardo
    September 18th, 2003 at 14:57 | #4

    Nobody knows whether the Republicans will nominate a Bushite in 2008, even if Bushism is seen as a raging success. Republicans nominated Bush senior in 1988, and he was anything but a Reaganite, when there were genuine Reaganite candidates, like Pat Buchanan and Gary Bauer, in the field.

    But more to the point, after another four years of pouring squillions into the Iraq black hole and Bushism will have lost its gloss to Republicans, let alone the American public as a whole.

  5. September 18th, 2003 at 17:46 | #5

    You can almost see the seeds of the Republican Party’s destruction in their current actions/direction. Assuming Krugman is right and the hard right wing of the Repubs is out to bankrupt government so they can ‘drown it in the bathtub’ you have to wonder how long will the moderate Republicans go along with it? If the moderates at some point stand up to the hard right, will the hard right back down? And if they don’t, what then? A Republican party split?

    This could play out in such a way that the Republicans achieve some of their aims in downsizing government in the medium term but in destroying themselves leave the Democrats to dominate the political scene in the long term with control of both houses of congress and the presidency.

  6. September 18th, 2003 at 20:39 | #6

    The hard-right wing is currently in charge of the Republican party, and has been since Gingrichs victory in the1994 elections. They are essentially made up of the Reaganite coalition:
    econo-con: Wall Street supply-side tax-cutters
    neo-con: Pentagon unilateral militarists
    theo-con: Deep South Christian conservatives
    They have been driven by an undercurrent of fury as they feel cheated by History. The sense of thwarted aggression has been palpable for almost a decade, and comes out in right-wing opiners who uniformly adopt an apopleptic style of rhetorical confrontation.
    They believe their faction made the Repulican Party the victors in the:
    Class War: deregulation of Wall Street – which broke the US’s organised working class
    Cold War: re-militarisation of the Pentagon – which broke the USSR’s Red Army
    Yet for all that effort, what did they get?
    They were cheated of power by a recession and maverick candidate in 1992.
    Their program was flouted by their own party and a serial philander throughout the nineties.
    An attempt to impose socialised medicine by WJC.
    Two tax-hikes from GHB and WJC.
    A run down of the miiltary by ditto.
    The twin back-downs on Baghdad and Oslo.
    To make matters worse, the Republicans have been utterly trounced in the place where their hearts live:
    Cullture Wars: by women, gays and minorities, variously represented by celebrities, lawyers and academics
    They got beaten back when Gingrich Government shutdown, but that run out steam.
    They had another go with the Clinton Impeachment, but that also blew back on them.
    Election 2000 gave them their chance to make a clean sweep of power, and 911 made their whole program doable.
    They followed the Nixon formula, ran Right in the Primaries, to the Centre in the Election and Machiavellian Opportunistism in Office.
    But with a twist, the Reganite coalition had to be appeased. And their power machinations are now much more efficient thant the Democrats, with K-street lobbyists, Political Action Committees and think tanks on tap.
    However, their program is unachievabe without massively adverse consequences to the US both:
    domestic: fiscal crisis leading to financial crisis
    foreign: strategic blunder leading to military quagmire
    These will annoy significnant stakeholders in both the US and RoW power systems, not to mention the US voters to the extent they are aware of the looming crises.
    I predict that the non-hard Right will stike back if the US suffers a twin crisis:
    fiscal-financial
    military-diplomatic
    In particlular, the paelo-cons and the tory-cons will attempt to take back the Republican policy making from neo-cons and econo-cons.
    As Abe Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
    The Republican Right will suffer a major electoral defeat, and a prolonged period of apparat-purging, soul-searching and seat-warming will follow.

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