Friday, January 07, 2005



Bush's new national motto and battlecry is IOKIYAR! Paul Krugman explains why IOKIYAR explains everything from the new House "Ethics (or lack thereof)" rules to our future Attorney General's New Year's resolution to give up torture. (Let's hope he keeps it better than Ashcroft and Porter Goss kept similar promises during their respective confirmation hearings.)

How did we find ourselves living in a bad novel? It was not ever thus. Hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels have always been with us, on both sides of the aisle. But 9/11 created an environment some liberals summarize with the acronym Iokiyar: it's O.K. if you're a Republican.

The public became unwilling to believe bad things about those who claim to be defending the nation against terrorism. And the hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels of the right, empowered by the public's credulity, have come out in unprecedented force.

Mr. Krugman also points out that Mr. Gonzales was in charge of "vetting" Bernard Kerik for head of Homeland Security. Mr. Gonzales either failed to uncover any of the many reasons Mr. Kerik was unfit to serve as a beat cop, let alone head of Homeland Security - or he didn't tell the President - or he let the President appoint a blatantly incompetent and corrupt man to a critical public safety post without protest. Is Mr. Gonzales incompetent or is he merely what Molly Ivins calls "ethically impaired?"


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