Paul Krugman issues a challenge to his fellow members of the establishment: stop making excuses for Bush.
So why are so many people making excuses for Mr. Bush and his officials? Part of the answer, of course, is raw partisanship. One important difference between our current scandal and the Watergate affair is that it's almost impossible now to imagine a Republican senator asking, "What did the president know, and when did he know it?" But even people who aren't partisan Republicans shy away from confronting the administration's dishonest case for war, because they don't want to face the implications. After all, suppose that a politician — or a journalist — admits to himself that Mr. Bush bamboozled the nation into war. Well, launching a war on false pretenses is, to say the least, a breach of trust. So if you admit to yourself that such a thing happened, you have a moral obligation to demand accountability — and to do so in the face not only of a powerful, ruthless political machine but in the face of a country not yet ready to believe that its leaders have exploited 9/11 for political gain. It's a scary prospect. Yet if we can't find people willing to take the risk — to face the truth and act on it — what will happen to our democracy?