Russel Baker has a review of Paul Krugman’s new book in the New York Review of Books.
Krugman is being modest when he attributes his strength as a columnist to his being “an outsider” in politics. While it’s true that he comes from another (academic) realm, his real advantage is being an intellectually honest, empirical, social scientist. By applying scientific methods and critical skills to public policy issues, not only does he expose the disparities between what the unprincipled Republican right (Cheney, Rove, et.al.) claims to stand for as opposed to what it actually does, but he makes apparent the value of honest reasoning and analysis based on facts.
What Baker’s analysis overlooks is the important distinction between the self-serving Republicans in the Administration and “principled” neo-cons such as Wolfowitz, Kristol, and others who are pursuing a very different agenda focused on democracy and nation-building. It’s important to keep in mind this distinction between the motivation of the radical right and that of the neo-cons both inside and outside the current administration. Bush may very well be torn between the two camps.