Krugman on Dean IV

February 15, 2005

Krugman’s next statement needs to be refuted every time it is made. He writes:

Even on Iraq, many moderates, including moderate Republicans, quietly shared Mr. Dean’s misgivings – which have been fully vindicated – about the march to war.

First, I know of few moderates anywhere, even few liberal politicians, who, at the time, had the courage to oppose the war. John Kerry and the rest of his phonies supported the war because the public was overwhelmingly for it. And while I’m sick of saying this for the thousandth time, I can never say it one tenth as many times as Democrats disingenuously contradict it. And that is that Democrats supported the war resolution without conditions and based on the same intelligence the president had. The president was found by independent investigations not to have coerced the CIA into doctoring the evidence to exaggerate WMD. And something else on this point:

If moderates truly opposed this war, whether Republicans or Democrats, why were they doing so “quietly,” as Krugman asserts? If this is one of the defining moral issues of our time then why didn’t these moderates Krugman is applauding have the moral courage of their conviction?

But the most egregious statement in the Krugman quote is that these anti-war “moderates” have been vindicated about the march to war. To the contrary, we witnessed the miraculous birth of democracy a few days ago and President Bush is the one who has been resoundingly vindicated.

Again, his case to attack Iraq was not wholly dependent on our finding WMD. The issue was whether we reasonably believed he had them or was pursuing them and whether he’d met his burden of proving he’d gotten ridden of them. On all counts Bush was vindicated, notwithstanding our failure to find the smoking gun after the fact.

But I’m tired of beating this dead horse. Suffice it to say that “moderates” didn’t oppose this war. Some Libertarians and paleoconservatives (for lack of a better term) did, but not moderates. And Dean’s opposition to the war certainly didn’t come from the center. He was as far in left field as it was possible to be.