Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another Washington Post Edition)

Yes, it's Sebastian Mallaby being an idiot once again:

A Nadir of U.S. Power - washingtonpost.com: By Sebastian Mallaby: It's not exactly morning in America. In Iraq, things get ever uglier, and the old remedy of extra troops now seems tragically futile. The Bush team has recently tried putting thousands of additional soldiers into Baghdad, and the result after two months is that violence there has increased. Iraq is often seen as a special Rumsfeldian screw-up. But in Afghanistan, the Bush team quickly handed off to a model pro-Western leader backed by a broad NATO coalition. And what are the results there? The government is wobbling, warlords run drugs and the pro-al-Qaeda Taliban have 4,000 to 5,000 active fighters in the country.

It's not just military efforts that are faltering. Five years ago, President Bush launched an experiment in tough-talk diplomacy....

But traditional diplomacy is faring no better. In North Korea and Iran, the United States has tried every diplomatic trick to prevent nuclear proliferation, making common cause with Western Europe, Russia, China and Japan, and wielding both sticks and carrots. The result is failure: North Korea has tested a nuke and Iran still presses on with its enrichment program...

Ummm. No. Whatever you call what the Bush administration's policies, they have not tried "traditional diplomacy."

Mallaby continues:

Every honest politician knows that we need to quit gobbling carbon. But higher gas taxes are seen as a political non-starter on both sides of the political spectrum...

Seen as a non-starter by Al Gore?

And there is more:

[T]he right and left are pushing policies that are marginal to the country's problems. The right wants to make its tax cuts "permanent," even though the boomers' retirement ensures that taxes will have to go up. The left wants to raise the minimum wage, even though this can only help a minority of workers...

So only policies that help everyone are admissible?

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