And another thing about Sullivan, he’s an admitted fool:
Maybe I should have appreciated that the Bush administration's "mendacity was obvious from the beginning." We can't all be as clairvoyant as Krugman. But I gave them a chance. When America was attacked, I rallied behind them and hoped for the best. If a similar thing happened again, regardless of who was president, Democrat or Republican, I hope I would do exactly the same. My principle was "trust but verify." Maybe I was wrong to trust. But no one can fairly accuse me of not verifying.
So he’s just telling us that he’s going to be a fool again, and he’s proud of it. But why in god’s name does Sully need to trust the president during national crisis? Why was Sully’s trust needed to fight terrorists? Because trust shouldn’t have been required for the Iraq invasion, had the Bush Admin been honest about everything. It was only required because Bush was lying to us and couldn’t have invaded without getting our trust. It was a total con-job; by the very meaning of the word. Because they only pretended as if they had solid proof of their claims. That’s why Sully needed to trust them. But it was just a bluff. If they had solid proof, there was no reason to hide it from us. Once again, Republicans used the guise of National Security to cloak their actions. But they never did give any good arguments for why it was necessary. The truth was that the Bush Admin was taking a huge gamble with America’s foreign policy and they lost bigtime. And while we all know that now, there was no logical reason why we should have assumed it was different in 2002 and 2003. The only difference between then and now is that we now know that Bush was bluffing, and could only presume it then. And yet Sullivan is telling us that he’s going to keep doing this again.
And exactly how long does this trust last? Sure, Bush has apparently burned Sullivan’s trust. But what about the next president? In 2008, we are likely to still be facing the same guys that attacked us last time. We’re still going to be facing the same terrorism crisis that we faced in 2001. So will the new president start-off with Sully’s childlike trust and will he attack the new president’s critics as severely as he attacked Bush’s (and as he’s still attacking Krugman and other liberals who were proven correct)? Or do we have to wait for another attack on American soil before Sullivan decides to turn his brain off again? After all, when Bush took office two months after the Cole Bombing, we apparently wiped the terrorism slate clean and entered a period now dubbed “Pre-9/11”; in which terrorism wasn’t very important at all (except that Clinton is still blamed for not catching the Cole bombers). So maybe it really does work like that, and when a new president takes office, all the problems the previous president faced are wiped clean.
One last thing: I think that “Trust, but verify” is an idiotic saying. As I’ve said before, the best way to get people to be honest is to assume they’ll be dishonest. And the best way to get ripped-off is to trust people. I’m not saying we need to browbeat people and accuse them of theft. But as an accountant who’s been trained in the ways of auditing, as well as having worked on a few audits, I can tell you that I don’t trust jackshit. Everybody’s double-checked, every process has a back-up, everybody needs to be watched over. Heck, they train us in stuff like making sure that bookkeepers take regular vacations and on the minimum number of employees necessary to run an accounting department to ensure proper separation of duties; and that I could lose my CPA license for not doing this properly. And yet I’m supposed to trust someone when they tell me that they have lots of secret evidence that they can’t show me regarding one of the biggest events in modern history? I’m supposed to wait until after they’ve screwed everything up before I verify to see if it worked? Right.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m an optimistic kind of guy who generally thinks good things about my fellow man; but it’s just human nature that if someone is given the opportunity to scam someone else, the temptation might prove too strong to resist. And the head of a large organization is not somebody to be automatically trusted; especially when that man’s overseers are expected to be completely loyal to him. That’s how Enron and Worldcom and many other companies went corrupt, and that’s exactly what Sully’s telling us we should do for all future presidents. And the sad thing is that Andrew Sullivan will probably have more readers in a week then I’ll have all year; and yet I was completely right about the war in Iraq and most everything else. But I guess it’s better to be right than popular.