Friday, April 24, 2009

Paul Krugman is Right About Something

I think we sometimes get so caught up in our disagreements with people that we forget that they can sometimes have really valuable opinions. Paul Krugman is one person for whom that's sometimes true with me. I know that Krugman is an intelligent person, but sometimes it can be so difficult for me to get past my fundamental disagreements with him that I approach everything he says with the prejudice that he's going to be egregiously and unacceptably wrong. And that's not fair.

Yesterday, Krugman wrote a really good column. It had (almost) nothing to do with economics or the bailout -- it was about the need to hold the Bush administration accountable for the injustices that occurred under their leadership. Krugman said:
...there are indeed immense challenges out there: an economic crisis, a health care crisis, an environmental crisis. Isn’t revisiting the abuses of the last eight years, no matter how bad they were, a luxury we can’t afford?

No, it isn’t, because America is more than a collection of policies. We are, or at least we used to be, a nation of moral ideals. In the past, our government has sometimes done an imperfect job of upholding those ideals. But never before have our leaders so utterly betrayed everything our nation stands for. "This government does not torture people," declared former President Bush, but it did, and all the world knows it.

And the only way we can regain our moral compass, not just for the sake of our position in the world, but for the sake of our own national conscience, is to investigate how that happened, and, if necessary, to prosecute those responsible.

I agree. I agree completely and wholeheartedly. So for a moment, I just want to enjoy this moment of giving credit where credit is due.

Paul Krugman is absolutely right.

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