Smart People Agree With Me

August 27, 2009

Well, who knows if this Scott Sumner guy is smart. But people read him and talk about him, which is basically the same thing.

Character and Circumstance:

I seem to be the only person in the world who thinks Al Gore would have led us into Iraq. Why? Perhaps because he campaigned as a hawk, and was known to be very distrustful of Saddam. Perhaps because being elected by a tiny margin, with (in that case) blame for the intelligence failure of 9/11 falling 100% on the Dems, he would have been under tremendous pressure to look tough with a candidate like McCain getting ready for 2004. Perhaps because he would have been surrounded by pro-war hawks. He promised that Richard Holbrooke would be his foreign policy “czar.” And remember his VP pick in 2000? This counterfactual seems obvious, but I’ve never met a Republican or a Democrat who agrees with me. My history is a bit shaky, but didn’t McKinley oppose the Spanish American war? Didn’t Wilson promise to keep us out of WWI? Didn’t Johnson promise to keep American boys out of Vietnam? Presidents don’t go to war, countries go to war.

The rest of the essay is pretty good, too. Good in that I agree with it, which is basically the same thing. But I think we did a decent point/counterpoint on this back in January.


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