Alan Greenspan, Profile in Cowardice

Alan Greenspan was a partisan, ideologically driven hack. When a Democrat was president, deficits were the most important thing in the world. When a Republican was president, deficits didn’t matter, because indifference would produce precious, precious, unaffordable, disastrous, GOP-favored tax cuts.

He’s another George Tenet.

Back when he could have done something useful, he shilled for the counterproductive, disastrous tax cuts/invasion.

“Oh, nobody directly asked me that precise question at the time,” they both say now.

At the time of his testimony (and later), it was widely reported that he had offered support for the tax cuts. If he had been misinterpreted, as he now claims (scoop by fellow well-connected weathervane Bob Woodward), he had ample opportunity to correct the misconception. He had access to the media.

It would have taken courage to (1) not say the stuff that everyone in the world thought meant he was supporting the tax cuts, or (2) have corrected the “misconception.”

Instead, long after the verdict of history is in, he joins Colin Powell and Jack Goldsmith and John DiIullo and Paul O’Neill [Ivy B is right in comments; they were outspoken, some while serving, and didn’t hold their tongues forever once they were out] and George Tenet and Richard Armitage and Christine Todd Whitman and (less so) James Comey.

Now that it has no effect and does nothing but make him look self-serving, he admits that the Bush administration is as morally bankrupt as the country is financially.


Woulda been nice when it mattered.

UPDATE: I’d forgotten that Harry Reid once called Alan Greenspan “one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington,” a point also made by Paul Krugman.

I thought I was being all edgy and bloggery, when in fact I was just rehashing something the Democratic leadership said
two years ago. How embarrassing.


One Response to “Alan Greenspan, Profile in Cowardice”

  1. Ivy B Says:

    Elvis, I would disagree with your putting Paul O’Neill in that list, in your otherwise excellent post.

    From his Wikipedia bio —
    “O’Neill was a somewhat outspoken member of the administration, often saying things to the press that went against the administration’s party line,”

    He left not too long after he was appointed and immediately said all that he thought was wrong with the administration, to much criticism from them. You only have to compare the real hack that took his place, John Snow, to see the difference.

    And, now that I’m into this, I would also disagree with John DiLullo in the list. He took immediate exception with Bush and left very soon after his appointment. He is from the Philadelphia area and I have a lot of respect for him, although I don’t share many of his religious views. At least he doesn’t insist that he has a direct line to the truth. In fact his wife is a very strong supporter of gay rights, including marriage and there was a very interesting radio interview program with the two of them talking about it.

    I guess I’m looking at your list and making a distinction between those that stayed and toted water for Bush and those that couldn’t stomach it and left soon. To me these two have their reputations intact, compared with the likes of Powell, Tenet, Whitman.

    I commented specifically about the toady Greenspan on Swampland.

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