DIIULIO RETRACTS

Now he really is a loser. I have to say I loved his term “Mayberry Machiavelli.” Captures Rove beautifully. But how out of it was DiIulio in the first place to expect a non-political White House?

CORPORATE SCAMS: Ignore some of the loopy rhetoric. Arianna is dead-on in this column. The idea that the feds should be shovelling money to corporations who locate off-shore is simply disgusting. If I were a Democrat, I’d make a huge deal out of this. But then if I were a Democrat, I’d probably be on the take from these corporations as well.

THE RACISM OF THE POMO LEFT: Ian Buruma provides an important follow-up to my piece on the Miss World riots in the Guardian. Money graf:

Besides snobbery, there is a worse reason for being more outraged by western vulgarity than non-western murderousness. It might be called moral obtuseness, or even moral racism. The assumption appears to be that Africans or Asians can’t be held to our own elevated standards. They are more like wild animals, whose savagery should not be provoked by our foolishness. When we do provoke them, the consequences are entirely our fault. It would be as misplaced to apply our moral standards to their behaviour, as it would be to expect tigers to talk. The murder of Nigerians or Indian Muslims, or Iraqi Kurds, is par for the course, unless we did it, or Americans, or Israelis.

I think this describes a lot of white, Western, lefty sentiment toward Islamism. Many of these people actually believe that Western standards of freedom, decency, and tolerance cannot be expected of Muslims or other dark-skinned people. The way in which much of the Western Left (and parts of the insouciant right) simply excused the mass murder of hundreds in Nigeria is a function of this condescension. So, I think, is the idea that Iraqis don’t really want to live in freedom – or at least out of the grip of a disgusting dictatorship. What parts of the left are about is maintaining their own so-called morality, while consigning the inhabitants of the developing world to the backwardness that is naturally theirs’. If this were the nineteenth century, these lefties would be Tories. And eagles would be Gladstonian liberals.

KRUGMAN WATCH: In a rip-off of E.J. Dionne’s recent column, Paul Krugman says quite baldly that in the Wall Street Journal, “key conservative ideologues have now declared their support for tax increases – but only for people with low incomes.” Read the piece he cites. See if you can find any argument for actually increasing taxes on the poor. In fact, the editorial states that “While we would opt for a perfect world in which everybody paid far less in taxes, our increasingly two-tiered tax system is undermining the political consensus for cutting taxes at all.” The bottom line is that any further reductions in net taxes should be avoided. That’s not the same as raising them. Matthew Hoy has the goods. One instructive comparison: compare Dionne’s tough but fair piece with Krugman’s. It tells you all you need to know about Krugman’s intellectual integrity.