Alan Gonespan

Alan Greenspan

I have a theory that as a person ages, they politically go wacky left or wacky right. This is not to say that everyone goes through this but the media seems to focus on the more prominent figures in society.

Remember when Barry Goldwater endorsed Karan English, a Democrat, over the Republican Doug Wead who were both running for the old congressional district 1 seat? That was one of those moments in political history when the GOP had a political seizure and tried to shake it off by trying to strip the name of our late senator off GOP headquarters on 24th Street.

The latest figure to join the ranks of the wacked out cadre of political figures is Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Tomorrow, the former head of perhaps one of the most powerful institutions, will release a memoir claiming that the Iraq was motivated by oil (Washington Post).

Yes, you heard right. The former chairman of the Federal Reserve has joined the ranks of Michael Moore and MoveOn.org.

In his book, Greenspan, who has considered himself a Republican, will also assert that Republicans deserve to lose elections next year because they have walked away from their dedication to the practice of smaller government. (Sure, I could agree with half of that.) But in the same breath, Greenspan also praises former big government President, Bill Clinton.

Next week, I’m sure that Greenspan’s memoir will travel the talk show circuitry with an electrifying effect so expect to hear the same assessment by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Ingraham and Hewitt. At 81, Greenspan has gone off the farm and I’m sure he ain’t coming back any time soon.


Comments

  1. I don’t see what the problem is. If Iraq didn’t have oil, it wouldn’t have been a threat, nor would instability in the region and potential genocide be a threat either. There is a difference between “war for oil” and “war because of oil”.

    If Iraq didn’t have oil it would be more like Sudan. Genocide that could be ignored.

  2. You should deal with the substance of what Greenspan said – that Bush abandoned the principles of fiscal discipline, along with Congressional Republicans,to spend the federal government into penury if it won them a few more congressional seats.

    Clinton, on the other hand, fought for passage of a deficit reduction bill that actually – what a concept – reduced the deficit. it also raised taxes, and in my opinion, helped the Rs take control of both houses in ’94. I recall that DeConcini hemed, hawed and squirmed before reluctantly providing one of the final votes needed for passage.

    I don’t see a lot written about any of this now, but I continue to believe that’s what happened.

  3. I have a competing theory that it is emotionally convenient and intellectually barren to accuse someone of going off the deep end as they age when they happen to disagree with you, or when they speak the truth about base hypocrisies practiced by those you have followed or admired. This post is nothing but a cheap shot at both Goldwater and Greenspan designed to make both the writer and many of those who agree with him feel better about some of their widely discredited opinions. It matters litle that they assuage their own feelings by tearing into two conservatives many on their side admired for many years.

    Bush and Cheney abandoned long-standing GOP principles regarding fiscal policy in the pursuit of other policy goals and Greenspan was not the first to point this out. Clinton defied many in his own party with regard to deficits, welfare and trade. Greenspan also very correctly pointed out how Clinton’s lack of character and personal control detracted from his potential legacy and flew in the face of the inquisitive and deliberate style he practiced when dealing with tax and budgetary policy. Thus, it’s clear that Greenspan was pretty even-handed in his appraisal of both Bush and Clinton.

    While I do NOT agree with him that our involvement in Iraq is mostly about oil, it is hard to argue with the fact that the economic calamities that would ensue if Iraq’s oil was threatened helped lead to our role there now and in Desert Storm. However, my view is that Bush’s evangelizing world view about America’s role in the world and his own mission as president were more responsible for our current involvement in Iraq than anything else. He was encouraged in those views by the neocons like Cheney, Rumsfeld and Armitage.

    Last, it would be helpful to recall what a polarizing and extremist person Doug Wead was and how foolish it was for the GOP to run him aginst English. Let’s also not forget that the Goldwater and English families had been friends for some time, so there was a personal connection for Barry, too. He did, however, also take the opportunity to rightly point out how Wead was the poster child for the takeover of the GOP by the far right. It’s both silly and cruel to attribute his views to either senility or a manipulative wife, both of which were claims made at the time by right-wingers. Rather, the Goldwater endorsement of English was exemplary of Barry’s consistency and courage. Although I didn’t always agree with him, I regard him then and now as an American of great accomplishment and unquestioned character.

  4. Sorry, DSW, no sale. Greenspan is smart. Rex and I will have to agree to disagree on the question of oil. Oil is exactly why we went there. Heard of PNAC? Look around, and you can find Wesley Clark disclosing the full plan. It called for seven countries over five years. Iraq was first. Iran was last.

    If you are upset now, wait until Giuliani gets the GOP nod. Hillary’s November victory will brighten your mood further.

    Whatever facade is put forward, Iraq becomes three separate entities each making sweet deals with the likes of Hunt and his ilk, and for real gravy, the entities can’t join OPEC.

    Dick’s pals make an absolute MINT off the war itself, and then they get the oil.

    Ka-Ching!!

  5. Conspiracy theories and fever swamps. Bush mentioned Saddam once before 9/11, so 9/11 was used as the pretext for invasion. If so, then you must believe Bush planned 9/11, otherwise there could be no invasion.

    If it were a “war for oil”, Bush would have done what the French did and just make backroom deals to get the oil. That’s a lot simpler, and since the French do it, the Dems would have supported him.

    Let’s be honest. If there was no 9/11, Bush would never have gone into Iraq. He did it because he believed Iraq to be a threat and to give the muslim world an alternative radical Islam — which is a good thing.

    Clinton bombed Iraq in 1998 to distract Americans from his impeachment and in 1993 after the gays in the military debacle. Just about every Democrat applauded him for it.

    As for fiscal displine, the Congressional Republicans sold out and deserved what they got. But don’t lie that Democrats are better. They want to spend MORE money.

    Clinton’s so-called fiscal prudence was caused by a Republican Congress that fought for its principles. They sold out, acted like democrats, and are now in the minority.

  6. I don’t see the part where he says we should lose in 2008.

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