Two Great Anti-Gop Quotes

Last night I did two things. First, i began reading The Plan, Rahm Emmanuel and Bruce Reed's new book. Second, i had an argument with some friends online about the merits of Paul Krugman. The first task I approached with a degree of resignation. Pre-election books written by senior politicians (Emmanuel) or clued-in wonks (Reed) can often have a ghost-written "will-this-do?" feel to them. So imagine my surprise that the first couple of chapters make for very, very entertaining reading. The book is one of the sharpest overviews of the current political set-up i've come accross of late. The second task, on the other hand, was prompted by this post over at Brad De Long's website, where De Long says he finds "a certain horrifying fascination in watching the right wing's minions and useful idiots in the press attempt to attack Paul Krugman on matters of economic substance.... [which resembles an] air assault by a circular firing squad of flying attack monkeys."

Anyway, in the course of my night's activities i came accross two splendid quotes i thought worth sharing in full. The first, from the book, was from President Clinton giving his overview of Compassionate Conservatism:

"This 'compassionate conservatism' has a great ring to it, you know? It sounds so good. And I've really worked hard to try to figure out what it means. I mean, I made an honest effort, and near as I can tell, here's what it means. It means: 'I like you. I do. And I would like to be for the patients' bill of rights. And I'd like to be for closing the gun-show loophole. And I'd like not to squander the surplus and, you know, save Social Security and Medicare for the next generation. I'd like to raise the minimum wage. I'd like to do these things. But I just can't. And I feel terrible about it.'"

The second, from Krugman himself, is his reposte to people who acuse him of excessive partisanship.

Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that the Bush administration was, in a fundamental way, being dishonest about its economic plans. Suppose that the numbers used to justify the tax cut were clearly bogus, and that the plan was in fact obviously a budget-buster. Suppose that the Social Security reform plan simply ignored the system’s existing obligations, and thus purported to offer something for nothing. Suppose that the Cheney energy report deliberately misstated the nature of the country’s actual energy problems, and used that misstatement to justify subsidies to the energy industry......In this hypothetical situation, what sort of columns should I have been writing? Does the ideal of “nonpartisanship” mean that I should have mixed my critiques of Bush policies with praise, or with attacks on the hapless, ineffectual Democrats, just for the sake of perceived balance? Given what I knew to be the truth, would that even have been ethical?

Keepers, the both of them.