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March 05, 2005

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» The Demonization of Greenspan continues from ThoughtsOnline
Funny how they weren't complaining back in the early days of the Clinton Administration when Greenspan's support was critical to passing Clinton's tax hikes. [Read More]

» Rip & Read Blogger Podcast for 2005-03-05 from Rip & Read Blogger Podcast
Here's what I ripped and read in my Podcast today: The Daily Kos is Planning Attack on Alan Greenspan The MinuteMan at Just One Minute has discovered an oddity in the big name blogosphere. The primary blogger is a loon, and his commenters bring... [Read More]

Comments

Gerry

"[This] is a freeper's dream post."

Hmm. My dreams generally include either Catherine-Zeta Jones, winning the lottery, landing a writing gig with the National Review, or the similar. And my dream post would be "Hey, my wife woke up looking like CZJ, I hit the lottery, got hired by the National Review, and I got a lower rate on my auto insurance by switching to Geico."

But in lieu of that, I will admit it is kinda neat watching political foes furiously slashing at their own wrists. Metaphorically.

gt

Not a smart idea although Greenspan has become quite the hack. The man that practically created the SS trust fund and in 2001 said we needed tax cuts or the surpluses would be too big (how's that for a prediction?) now says we simply must cut benefits?

TM

I will admit it is kinda neat watching political foes furiously slashing at their own wrists. Metaphorically.

One of the wildest comments in the thread was this [Creative Excerpter Alert!}:

...if only winning is important, then why [bother] with that position at all? Why don't we just go kill these people and be done with it? Why have the arguements on the web and tv when we could win simply by shooting them?

Oh, where is Maureen Dowd? The full bit is less absurd:

if we are trying to claim the moral position, then isn't it important that we always pursue things that boost out integrety, not undermine it? And if not, if that is not important, if only winning is important, then why both with that position at all? Why don't we just go kill these people and be done with it? Why have the arguements on the web and tv when we could win simply by shooting them?

Now pardon me, I think there are some black helicopters coming. Yep -

(note to the Secret Service, CIA, and FBI: I am making a theoretical arguement here, I am NOT advocating violence.)

These are the folks on the moral high ground.

gidgiddoni

Someone needs to tell some of these people that spelling and grammar are directly related to the effectiveness of an argument.

TM

RE: Spelling and grammar - I think they know that.

RedDan

The basic idea (as I understood it) was to go back and conduct an extensive oppo research on Greenspan, based on the extreme disjunction between statements made last week and statements made in 1998 and 1999.

I have a feeling, having not read the entire thread yet, is that some of the more excitable folks took the bit in their mouth and ran with it.

One question I have for you is that a previous post of yours dealt extensively with Krugman and his various pronouncements and predictions...

Let's not get into the actual meat of the argument over the veracity, accuracy, or relevance of those various and sundry statements...

Instead, I want to ask you, given that it appears to you to be perfectly ok to take Krugman's past statements, predictions, pronouncements (including the recycling of the pretty shakily based charge that he was "on Enron's payroll")...and yet you somehow interpret going after Greenspan in similar fashion as evidence of nuttiness or stupidity?

I would say that whereas Krugman may have made some predictions or pronouncements that were wrong...Greenspan has said exactly polar opposite things regarding deficits, the budget, putting SocSec into the market, taxes, the surplus, and so on....the only real difference between then and now was that then was Clinton and now is Bush.

That is hardly "out of bounds" nor is it particularly radical to be checking his past statements and predictions as a means of discrediting or weakening his current prescriptions and pronouncements...

After all, you do it, lying in ponds does it, some crazy guy named Luskin does it...

Why can't we do it?

Oh, wait...we are.

TM

Obviously, as you have described it, go forth and conquer. However, if you read the post, you will catch a different tone.

Anyway, I hope that in the course of their research, the D Kos Connection hits upon a few other points:

Many folks think that the Fed over-reaction to rising inflation and under-reaction to the resulting recession led to the weak recovery which cost Bush I his job and elected Bill Clinton.

Some folks think that Greenspan's cheerleading for the new economy deferred the recession just long enough to give Gore a chance to win the election in 2000.

We eagerly await their insights on these points.

And just to help, here is what we read at Kos:

And for those of you who want to really get down & dirty in the trenches, we can turn this into a one-degree-of-separation venture. That is, if you can find similar material for anyone who is closely linked to Greenspan, that's fair game, too. Good examples would be Greenie's idol, the nutbag "objectivist" Ayn Rand, and Andrea Mitchell, his NBC reporter wife. (An aside: We can debate the merits of this approach all you like, but suffice it to say, there is no question that Republicans do the same crap to us all the time. If you still want to play by the Marquess of Queensberry rules, fine - but I've moved on to brass knuckles.)

Please, I am begging you - don't ask me to pretend that, one week after the Guckert debacle, the "down and dirty" "brass knuckles" was just a call for a good sweep of Lexis/Nexis on past economic pronouncements.

If you need to believe that, fine - however, it was obvious from the thread that many commenters were troubled.

RedDan

One:

Perot cost Bush his re-election. The vast majority of Perot voters would have swung rightward rather than leftward from their position in the angry middle.

Considering that Perot's largest and strongest appeal was NOT his demeanor, but rather his fiscal condemnations of both Bush and Clinton, I think most folks enamored of Ross would have, in the absence of Himself, gone for Bush.

Two:

Greenspan's cheerleading consisted of making statements about irrational exuberance and cranking up the interest rates.

Personally, my take on Greenspan is that his reputation is almost completely undeserved, his history and record is pretty lame, and the only impact he has on the markets is his ability to turn the raising (or lowering) of interest rates some kind of mystical rite.

Think "Savings and Loan Scandal" and that will give you a good idea of my opinion of the man.

"The Guckert Debacle"? Maybe you thinkso. I don't realy see how spending zero cash and performing some in-depth googling and DNS searching to destroy a fake media outlet, remove a partisan, lying shill, and send Bobby Eberle and several others scurrying to erase mountains of "articles" from their servers constitutes a debacle.

RedDan

Oh, and to address your take on the "smearing" initiative...

I certainly agree that playing "degrees of separation" digging through his trash, and etc., are extreme and should be discouraged. I think that there are several distinct sub-populations at kos, discernable by their proposals, rhetorical fluorishes, and attitude.

In some cases, one or more of those groups gets bent out of shape, goes on a rampage, and gets too extreme. Usually, their impulses get moderated quite quickly by the greater population at large.

Finding one comment, one series of comments, or one diary that proposes a whacky idea or a bad act does not, in fact, invalidate the entire site, nor does it invalidate the core of the idea (opposition research on Greenspan).

Ideas evolve...and they evolve in a Lamarckian way, rather than Darwinian.

Cecil Turner

"I certainly agree that playing "degrees of separation" digging through his trash, and etc., are extreme and should be discouraged."

RDan,
It's not just the tactics, the whole goal is a classic illustration of "smear campaign":

It's a brilliant idea - no one is more worthy of having a halo-ectomy than St. Alan - so let's have at it. [ . . .] We should hunt down anything Greenspan has ever written, said or done that reflects poorly on him.
Even the update, which toned it down somewhat, focuses more on Greenspan personally than his economic views. In my experience, this sort of thing does not wear well with the average Joe.

TM

Perot cost Bush his re-election.

Hmm, you are off-message here. I had an ardent lefty convince me, a few years back, that Clinton could have won a two-man race. (He cared because it gave Clinton greater hypothetical legitimacy).

Actually, he ended up convincing me (well, as with any con, the sucker convinces himself - as I looked for poll data to support my obvious "Bush woulda won!" conclusion, I learned that a lot of analysis pointed the other way.

It turns out there was a huge "time for a change" vote (as we saw again in 1994). Many of those folks went for Ross, but might have gone for Bill over George. William Safire, who endorsed Clinton, is Exhibit A in that reckoning (for purposes of this Post, I can be Ex. B)

In some cases, one or more of those groups gets bent out of shape, goes on a rampage, and gets too extreme. Usually, their impulses get moderated quite quickly by the greater population at large.

I have confidence that you are part of the larger population. And since at least one commenter was worried about appearancse to the outside world ("a freeper's dream", maybe my cheap-shotting has a modest impact as well.

Oh, who am I kidding? Red Dan, we are relying on you as a voice of reason and sanity (and heaven help us...).

Actually, I have a totally different plan to occupy Red Dan. But don't be fooled.

justpete

Sure republicans love Greenspan. He is one and is a great ally at wresting power and accumulating wealth. His wife works for a great mouthpiece organization and does a great job at shilling for Bush and crew.

You are absolutely right. Any valid criticism should immediately be attacked. We must remain pure. Any dissent is evil.

Oh, and good to see you continuing your dishonest distortion of the Guckert prostitution story.

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