Archive for ‘George Freaking Will’

January 14, 2009

Good-bye, opposition

RE-BUMPED: Peggy Noonan was there and, as Rae said, Peggy must have been “as giddy as a schoolgirl.”

Speaking of schoolgirl giddiness, today Obama met with liberal commentators including Andrew Sullivan.

BUMPED: Rush was NOT at this dinner.

PREVIOUSLY: George Freaking Will plays host to Obama, with Bill Kristol and David Brooks and perhaps even Rush Limbaugh (!) on the VIP invitation list.

Betrayed! The stab in the back! The neocon cabal!

UPDATE: Apparently, Michelle Malkin’s invitation got lost in the mail.

UPDATE II: Charles Krauthammer sells out.

UPDATE III: They’ve won a medal!

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November 30, 2008

Economic shock and awe

George Will:

FDR’s hyperkinetic New Deal created uncertainties that paralyzed private-sector decision making. Which sounds familiar.
Bear Stearns? Broker a merger. Lehman Brothers? Death sentence. The $700 billion is for cleaning up toxic assets? Maybe not. Writes Russell Roberts of George Mason University:
“By acting without rhyme or reason, politicians have destroyed the rules of the game. There is no reason to invest, no reason to take risk, no reason to be prudent, no reason to look for buyers if your firm is failing. Everything is up in the air and as a result, the only prudent policy is to wait and see what the government will do next. The frenetic efforts of FDR had the same impact: Net investment was negative through much of the 1930s.”
Barack Obama says that the next stimulus should deliver a “jolt.” His adviser Austan Goolsbee says that it must be big enough to “startle the thing into submission.” Their theory is that the crisis is largely psychological, requiring shock treatment. But shocks from government have been plentiful.

The Republican message for the foreseeable future is three words: “It won’t work.” Nothing is more predictable than the failure of the Keynesian interventionism of the Democrats’ economic program.

I debated whether to link Will, considering that I’ve recently argued that he and David Brooks ought to be loaded onto a C-130 and dropped on the Taliban. But now that Will is back to quoting George Mason economists, I suppose Brooks can make the trip solo.

October 30, 2008

And to hell with George Will, too

George Freaking Will blames Palin:

From the invasion of Iraq to the selection of Sarah Palin, carelessness has characterized recent episodes of faux conservatism. Tuesday’s probable repudiation of the Republican Party will punish characteristics displayed in the campaign’s closing days.
Some polls show that Palin has become an even heavier weight in John McCain’s saddle than his association with George W. Bush. Did McCain, who seems to think that Palin’s never having attended a “Georgetown cocktail party” is sufficient qualification for the vice presidency, lift an eyebrow when she said that vice presidents “are in charge of the United States Senate”?

How fascinating that Will, just like Frank Fukuyama, now lumps Sarah Palin together with the invasion of Iraq, considering that Will, just like Fukuyama, was among those who called for a “preemptive” attack on Iraq back in the day:

Some critics seem to say that in order for the president to “make the case” for proving that the danger is present, its presence must be evidenced by a “smoking gun.” But that means America cannot act against Iraq until acting is much more dangerous, when Iraq has nuclear weapons. . . .
As Condoleezza Rice has said, let us hope the smoking gun is not a mushroom cloud.

It seems Will is blaming Palin for his own “carelessness.” He’s forging the first draft of history: Having rewritten the past to exempt himself from blame, now he is falsifying the present to hang the blame on Palin. Well, George, if you were so wrong in 2002, why should we believe you’re right now?

UPDATE: Linked by some lefty Brit blogger, and also by PrestoPundit, who points out that this would be a nice time to re-read Hayek’s thoughts on “Why the Worst Get On Top.”

September 23, 2008

Grudge match

Last week Quin Hillyer alluded to the bad blood between Team Maverick economic advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin and SEC Chairman Chris Cox as the reason for the Republican’s idiotic proposal to make Cox the fall guy for the current economic crisis (which was caused by problems outside Cox’s SEC portfolio).

Now, George Will puts specifics onto the allusion:

Perhaps an old antagonism is involved in McCain’s fact-free slander. His most conspicuous economic adviser is Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who previously headed the Congressional Budget Office. There he was an impediment to conservatives, including then-Congressman Cox, who as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee persistently tried and generally failed to enlist CBO support for “dynamic scoring” that would estimate the economic growth effects of proposed tax cuts.

This kind of petty grudge-holding and score-settling business is a lot more common in Washington than most outsiders can imagine. Feminists may have made famous the expression that “the personal is political,” but personal relationships are very important to how things are done in Washington, and sometimes it resembles nothing so much as a pack of seventh-grade girls engaged in one of those silly popularity-based feuds we all remember from our middle-school days.

It seems bizarre to the average citizen to learn that presidential elections or federal fiscal policy might be determined by childish quarrels like this one between Holtz-Eakin and Cox, but stuff like this goes on all the time in Washington.

Ask yourself, for instance, why Ron Paul — a former Libertarian Party presidential candidate — refused to endorse Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr. Is it because of some fundamental ideological difference, or is it because somebody got their ego bruised?

Often, as seems to be the case with Holtz-Eakin and John McCain, you’ll have an adviser who gets the ear of a politician and uses that relationship to poison the politician against the adviser’s enemies: “Don’t listen to so-and-so because [insert gossip, slander, etc.].” Thus, politics becomes clique-ridden, full of falsehood and cronyism, with everybody sucking up to the clever courtiers who inevitable insinuate themselves into positions of influence in such an environment.

The day I arrived in D.C. in 1997, I found myself in conversation with an experienced Washington journalist named Michael Rust, who warned me: “Welcome to Washington, a town where people advance” — and here, he made a hand gesture as if climbing a ladder — “on the knives stuck in the backs of their former friends.” Truer words were never spoken.