The Stimulus Roundabout

David Frum asks, “can we please be spared the pretense that any of [what’s being passed in Congress] has very much to do with today’s economic crisis?”


After 9/11, President Bush (supported by me, among others) argued that the right way to respond to a terrorist attack from Afghanistan was by overthrowing Saddam Hussein. We offered a complicated explanation for this roundabout response, and for a time the public accepted it. But as the war went wrong, and failed to deliver the promised results, our plan’s credibility collapsed.

Now the Democrats have placed themselves in a similar situation. They are offering an indirect answer to an immediate question. The suspicion arises that they had decided the answer long before the crisis ever materialized—that they are using the crisis as an excuse to do what they had long wished to do anyway, for reasons that they are not stating in full.

Gee, you think?


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