Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Compare and Contrast

The two opinion pieces in the New York Times by Krugman and Brooks are an example of the sophistication of political debate within the mainstream US media.

It never fails to surprise me how NZ liberals go on and on about how terrible the US media is but in reality it gives voice to a far greater range of political views than The Listener, supposedly a liberal publication.

I have respect for both Krugman and Brooks. Krugman has written on how economics can benefit from developments in the field of evolution and Brooks seems to me to be a moderate conservative.

Krugman may well turn out to be right about Bush's tax cuts but his comments about Bush already planning to overthrow Saddam at the outset of his presidency don't add up to much. Clinton was planning to overthrow Saddam and had signed a law making that objective official US policy. It was not until 9/11 that the hawkes were able to take this contingency planning and put it into action.

Brooks' analysis of US opinion and the Republican/Democrat divide rings true. My impression is that the Dems face an uphill battle to defeat Bush. The 50/50 split was there at the time Bush took office so cannot be his doing (maybe it was Clinton's - he was in office for the previous 8 years).

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