Friday, December 20, 2002

Get your Krugman! Hot as ever:
Quo Vadis, Karl? The day after the Republican triumph in the midterm elections, a jubilant Trent Lott held a celebratory press conference. "Let's roll!" he exulted. (Good taste is not one of Mr. Lott's strong points.) Six weeks later, we have to ask: Roll where (aside from Baghdad)? The storm that has broken over Mr. Lott's head is justified. But it may also reflect buyers' remorse: post-election polls suggest broad public unease about where Mr. Lott's party is taking us. It's not even clear what the Bush administration wants to accomplish now that it has full control. Until now the administration has been all politics and no policy; John J. DiIulio tells us that there is a "complete lack of a policy apparatus," that all decisions are made by the political arm. For the past two years domestic policy has consisted of little more than checking off the boxes on a wish list drawn up circa 1999. Meanwhile, as problems that weren't anticipated in 1999 have arisen, the administration has done as little as possible, as late as possible.
You know, it is really hard to quote Krugman because so much of what he writes is worthy of being quoted that I seriously run the risk of putting his whole column in my posts.
It may be that the bad few weeks the administration has just had were the result of random events. But I think the public is finally waking up to the fact that the people in the White House know a lot about gaining power, but not much about what to do with it.


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