Sunday, August 19, 2012

Niall Ferguson: Still Being Given A Forum To Embarass Himself [UPDATED]

Update: Salon does it better, of course.

As a historian, Ferguson may have valuable insights, especially if you are sympathetic to the "White European Men Rock!" strain of historical analysis. But in many other ways, not least as a political commentator, he's just horrible. The link takes on one dumb point, the link inside the link (to Krugman) takes on another, but I just love this line of argument:

In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.
Is this satire? Irony? Or is Ferguson's understanding of the American political process at the Federal level so poor that he doesn't realize that the Congress, not Obama, dictates what laws are passed? Does he not get that the House has been Republican for two years? Does he not understand the significance of the filibuster, or the median vote in the Senate?

The rest of his article blathers on about the debt (which Ferguson does not understand), foreign policy (neoconservative garbage and apologetics) and is basically a big commercial for Romney 2012. It isn't that Ferguson is awful, it that he is respected that kills me. Hacktacular indeed.

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