Monday, September 12, 2011


I didn't want to go back to discussing the wingnuts' faux-outrage at Paul Krugman's 9/11 post, but I'd like to respond briefly to a preposterous passage in the response by Elizabeth "the Anchoress" Scalia -- easily the most patronizing, condescending, self-admiring, self-satisfied morality-shines-out-of-my-keister figure in the right blogosphere, and that's saying a lot:

I read [Krugman's] post and immediately got an image of a small guy, hugging a pillow and cowering in his closet. That is similar to the image I have harbored of Maureen Dowd, since immediately after 9/11 -- on her bed in a fetal position, with a gasmask on her bedpost and a bottle of cipro between her knees. More than anything, Krugman and Dowd have, since 9/11, seemed utterly terrified by an event that didn't fit their worldview and which forced them to depend upon people they hated for their safety and security.

"Forced them to depend on people they hated"? No. Forced them -- and all of us -- to depend on people who fucked up. Fucked up repeatedly. Fucked up boastfully, swaggeringly, vaingloriously, all the while attempting to cow as many of the rest of us as possible into silence about how expertly, how virtuosically, they were fucking up.

No, I'm not talking about the troops or the first responders. I'm talking about the fuck-ups who put those people in harm's way, from Rudy Giuliani through Bush and Cheney to the preening narcissist who today declared that Krugman's post motivated him to cancel his New York Times subscription, Donald Rumsfeld.


Incidentally, I wanted to see whether Krugman's demeanor was timid or frightened immediately after 9/11, so I went to look at his first post-attack column. It's not timid at all. For the most part he talks about possible economic consequences of the attack. Then he ends with this:

Now for the bad news. After the attacks, I found myself wondering whether some politicians would try to exploit the horror to push their usual partisan agendas. Then I chided myself for such an uncharitable thought. But it seems you can't be too cynical; sure enough, the push is already on to sell tax breaks for corporations and a cut in the capital gains tax as a response to terrorism.

One hopes that the White House will distance itself from this disgraceful opportunism, that it will deliver the bipartisanship it originally promised. But initial indications are not good: the administration developed its request for emergency funding in consultation with Congressional Republicans -- full stop. A Democratic contact says that his party received ''no consultation, no collaboration, virtually no information.''

I didn't want to mention this, but now is the time to draw the line. This tragedy will only be magnified if it is exploited for political gain. Politicians who wrap themselves in the flag while relentlessly pursuing their usual partisan agenda are not true patriots, and history will not forgive them.

He saw it coming from the start. Did I say "fucked up" above? I should have said "fucked up and cashed in." Talk about not letting a crisis go to waste.