Quite to the contrary argues Paul Krugman in today’s NY Times oped piece – the FT is just waking up to the cold and scary truth of how America is being turned into a „Banana Republic“ by a semi-feudalist governmental gang –
„The Financial Times suggests this is deliberate (and I agree): ‚For them,‘ it says of those extreme Republicans, ‚undermining the multilateral international order is not enough; long-held views on income distribution also require radical revision.‘
How can this be happening? Most people, even most liberals, are complacent. They don’t realize how dire the fiscal outlook really is, and they don’t read what the ideologues write. They imagine that the Bush administration, like the Reagan administration, will modify our system only at the edges, that it won’t destroy the social safety net built up over the past 70 years.
But the people now running America aren’t conservatives: they’re radicals who want to do away with the social and economic system we have, and the fiscal crisis they are concocting may give them the excuse they need. The Financial Times, it seems, now understands what’s going on, but when will the public wake up?“
It is difficult to assess the level of truth in his claims. But his interpretation certainly fits my perception of what’s going on. And if „those extreme Republicans“ believe John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira that demographic trends, especially increasing ethnic diversity among the American electorate, would inevitably lead to an Emerging Democratic Majority it would explain the hurry with which they are trying to grab for their constituency whatever they can get hold of as long as they are in power.
In a way, this is a long-run version of my initial interpretation of the Bush economic stimulus programme as bottom-up redistribution that signalled insecurity about the political consequences of the looming conflict in the Middle East and the prospects for a second GWB presidency (can’t access my archives for the link – I wonder when Blogger is going to be working normally again… the service has really been unreliable lately…).