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The Post on Wolfowitz


I’ve been trying to break my lifelong habit of reading far too much of the New York Times, which causes me all kinds of psychic consternation. (There’s half a dozen names–Gerth, Nagourney, Wilgoren, etc., who have me muttering under my breath before I’ve read a word of the article). I’ve been using the Washington Post as a sort of methodone, and what everyone was telling me is correct–it really is a better paper. But DeLong is right–this editorial is breathtakingly bad and deeply insulting. Here’s the crux:

Mr. Wolfowitz’s critics, domestic as well as international, should now get beyond their dislike of his role in the Iraq war and give him a chance to succeed at one of the world’s hardest jobs.

Let me be clear. I’m a critic of the Wolfowitz appointment to run the World Bank, I’ve got long list of reasons for this position. I won’t bore you with the list, but the top reason is that Wolfowitz isn’t an economist and there’s scant evidence he knows anything about or even really cares about international development. His dismal performance on the Iraq war and poor judgement in that matter count against him, but they’re way down on my list. In an alternate universe wherein Wolfowitz had spend 30 years doing good work in development banking, then been mysteriously hired to run a disastrous and unnecessary war, and then was appointed to the World Bank presidency, I’d be fine with the appointment. But that is one of the many universes we don’t live in.

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