It’s hard to know what to think about Greenspan’s memoirs which come out tomorrow. All we have are clips from the publisher which are designed to be controversial — after all they gave him an $8 million advance, they have books to sell. It is clear however, the publisher has chosen to play up the fact the Greenspan criticizes Bush and the Republicans.
While the left is sure to try to make points, most of his criticism, or the criticisms we’ve seen so far, have been for the Republicans not being fiscally conservative enough. He hits them from the right. Frankly as a fiscal conservative myself, he has a point. Greenspan slams Bush not for mismanagement of the economy per se, he approved of the Bush tax cuts, but for not vetoing spending.
It is a great irony that Clinton, with the Gingrich revolution to contend with, had to control spending while Bush, with the “lazy Republicans” (as I call them) could spend like there was no tomorrow. Greenspan, rightfully in my mind, calls it like he sees it.
“The Republicans in Congress lost their way,” Greenspan writes. “They swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither.”
If you’re a true conservative who isn’t living in denial, you have to swallow hard and admit he is right. “Republicans in Congress lost their way” should be on a tee shirt. — Forget looking for a second Reagan, I’d like a second Newt.
But it is the single sentence we have about the Iraq war that is, so far, the most controversial of the book. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says.
Sans context, it is a great way to sell books but offers little insight into his thoughts. If he is saying Bushco wanted to steal Iraq’s oil, then I’d suggest Andrea Mitchell get him checked for Alzheimer’s pronto. If he is saying that Bush felt Saddam posed a threat to the world’s oil supply because he was a madman capable of causing great turmoil in the middle East, then that point is worth debating. While many lefties will jump up and down with glee over that single sentence, it is doubtful Greenspan is a closet moonbat.
It is highly more probable that Greenspan was saying something well reasoned but got quoted out of context to sell books.
The only thing we can say for sure about the contents of Greenspan’s book is that both sides will try to spin it for a win.