Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 19, 2004
POLITICS: Wesley Krugman

If further proof were needed that Wesley Clark has wandered off onto the tinfoil-hat sections of the Left, you need look no further than the chief spokesman for that faction, Paul Krugman, in his Friday column. The Krug sets a simple test for the candidates, and only Clark and Howard Dean pass it:

Earlier this week, Wesley Clark had some strong words about the state of the nation. "I think we're at risk with our democracy," he said. "I think we're dealing with the most closed, imperialistic, nastiest administration in living memory. They even put Richard Nixon to shame."

In other words, the general gets it: he understands that America is facing what Kevin Phillips, in his remarkable new book, "American Dynasty," calls a "Machiavellian moment." Among other things, this tells us that General Clark and Howard Dean, whatever they may say in the heat of the nomination fight, are on the same side of the great Democratic divide.

* * *

Again and again, one reads that it's about the left wing of the Democratic party versus the centrists; but Mr. Dean was a very centrist governor, and his policy proposals are not obviously more liberal than those of his rivals.

The real division in the race for the Democratic nomination is between those who are willing to question not just the policies but also the honesty and the motives of the people running our country, and those who aren't.

On this score, the Krug at least has his taxonomy correct (although I'm not sure I'd leave Kerry out of the Dean/Clark faction). I'd disagree with him about Dean's Leftism, but that's for another post. The significant point is (as I've noted before) Clark's eagerness (like Dean's) to characterize any and all policy disagreements as signs of dishonesty, and their dalliances with dark conspiracy theories that lack even the slightest of evidentiary support. Jay Nordlinger in this month's National Review has a stunning collection of these from Clark, from his accusation that the Bush Administration is "occupying countries to extract their natural resources" rather than "buy them on the world market" to his bizarre claim that the Administration didn't use more ground troops to catch bin Laden in Afghanistan "because, all along, their plan was to save those troops to go after Saddam Hussein."

Blood for oil. Intentionally letting bin Laden go. And there's lots more where these came from; even Mark Kleiman calls Clark on the following:

Michael Moore, at a Clark fundraiser, said that he looked forward to a debate between "the general and the deserter."

Clark, asked about it later, said:

"I've heard those charges. I don't know if they are true or not. He was never prosecuted for it," and "I am not going to go into the issues of what George W. Bush did or didn't do in the past," and that holding Bush "accountable for his performance of duty as commander in chief" is "the issue is in this election."

Bogus, and as Kleiman points out, "deserter" is particularly strong language for a military man who parses fine distinctions about the term "relieved of command." Of course, I'm sure some people believe all this nonsense, in the absence of any evidence and often in the face of mountains of contrary evidence. Hey, Lyndon LaRouche has committed supporters too.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:07 AM | Politics 2004 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Somewhat off topic, I'm very dubious about Clark's new found Patriot-ism. They keep showing Clark on TV walking around New Hampshire in a New England Patriots sweater. How convenient (and pandering).

Isn't Clark from Arkansas? Or is there any reason to believe that he is actually any kind of Patriots fan? Reminds me of Hillary the Lifelong Yankees Fan.

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at January 19, 2004 12:52 PM

I was actually wondering this morning if the Panthers-Pats matchup might help native son Edwards in the SC primary against those hated New Englanders, Dean and Kerry. But Clark wearing a Pats shirt won't help him either.

Posted by: The Crank at January 19, 2004 01:34 PM
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