That "Climate of Fear"

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on July 24, 2010


Paul Krugman should really get himself a new act. The old one isn’t working all that well anymore.

The claims of people like Krugman notwithstanding, there was never any “climate of fear” during the Bush Administration to speak of. Plenty of liberal blogs were started up by previous Internet nobodies who suddenly became prominent, famous, and (in some cases) rich by incessantly bashing the Bush Administration even during the height of the alleged “climate of fear,” back in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, making the alleged “climate of fear” about the most unfearful thing that one can possibly imagine.

Even if we want to assume for the sake of argument that a “climate of fear” existed in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, it surely had dissipated by 2005. The year before that, after all, rabidly anti-Bush Democrats competed with one another to see who could be most rabidly anti-Bush while still being able to win the general election. If these, and the millions of Americans who supported them, were intimidated by a “climate of fear,” then I am Marie of Roumania. And for that matter, so are you. The Presidential election of 2004–a mere year before the Silberman-Robb Commission properly concluded that there was no effort to lie us into Iraq–would have gone to John Kerry if only a little over 108,000 votes in Ohio had changed hands. You’d think that a “climate of fear” would be a little more successful in cowing the opposition. Half a year after that election, President Bush’s approval ratings were a mere 42%, and they remained under 50% through the whole of 2005.

Think anyone was intimidated by any “climate of fear” to take President Bush on during this time? Yeah, me neither.

I understand, of course, that Paul Krugman disagrees with the conclusions of the Silberman-Robb Commission, even though he relies on thin gruel with even thinner sourcing to dispute it. He is a Bush-hater, and to Bush-haters, the facts don’t matter. But just because Krugman wants to inhabit his own little world, that doesn’t justify him lying to his readers. Again, when will the New York Times Ombudsperson step in and stop providing a forum for Krugman to act on his penchant for deception and dishonesty?

  • Tantor

    Sep 11 happenned on a Tuesday. On the following Saturday, I took a drive around Austin, TX to see what changes it had wrought. In front of the Capital, I found a crazed protestor wrapped in a bedsheet like a dishdasha and a makeshift Arab headdress railing to all passersby that we should not attack whoever it was who had attacked us. It wasn't obvious yet who it was at that point. However, whoever it was, this protestor shouted that they probably had a good reason. He claimed that we were living in a police state. I pointed out the State Troopers sitting in a police car a few yards away and asked him why, if we were living in a police state, the police weren't arresting him. He looked befuddled for a moment, but then launched back into his rant. Virtually every pedestrian and driver who passed had something pointed and negative to say about his treasonous position.

    The reason that many lefties kept their heads down in the aftermath of Sep 11 is that their nonsense was seen to be particularly stupid. It wasn't the government that opposed them, but ordinary, reasonable citizens who found their hate for American objectionable. Most lefties are a cowardly sort who wilt in the face of the public scowl. It took a few years for the public tolerance for their nonsense to return.

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