Delong channels Krugman

The usually reasonable and moderate Brad Delong makes an uncharacteristically harsh observation:

The Bush administration has tried its hardest to ruin America--to impoverish the country, to alienate the allies whose enthusiastic cooperation we need to help manage a dangerous world, and to create the preconditions for the Middle East to breed terrorist assassins like swamps breed mosquitoes. And, yes, continued rule by these people and their future analogues would eventually ruin this country.

Now I'm no fan of the Bush administration either, but does Professor Delong honestly believe that Bush intends to ruin America? That Bush desires to impoverish the country? Why would anyone think this is so? What could possibly motivate Bush to do this?

This calls to mind some of the left's criticisms of Bush for making overly-simplistic dichotomies such as "evildoers" and "you're either with us or against us."

One of the characteristics of children's cartoons is a lack of depth, a lack of motivation. Why is Wile E. Coyote obsessed with catching Road Runner? Why is Snidely Whiplash's favorite pastime tying damsels in distress to railroad tracks, only to have them rescued by Dudley Do-Right, daring defender of justice and fair play?

We do not know. All we know is that some people are good and some people are bad. We do not know why. We must accept these circumstances as given for the purposes of the story. Children need not be confused with complex and nuanced motivations and context.

I expect this kind of analysis from a children's cartoon, not a Berkeley economist.

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No, Micha, from a Berkeley

No, Micha, from a Berkeley economist this is all you can expect. Remember the recent study from Berkeley that purported to establish that conservatism is a mental disease?

Considering the prestigious heights from which it's fallen, I'm surprised Berkeley's crash didn't detach California from the North American Continent.