Sweet Jeebus, I guess Paul Krugman was right.

At least, that’s the impression you’d get from the Time “Persons of the Year”. Krugman had said that the corporate scandals of 2001 and 2002 were bigger deals than 9/11. Everyone discreetly pointed and twittered under their breath the way you used to do in grade school when that quiet kid in the corner who could only use safety scissors would start eating paste again.

Of course, maybe that’s a little unfair. After all, they did include someone involved in revealing some of the worse PC excesses of the FBI, and that’s all well and good. And sure, I know that the Time editors would sooner put Lucifer H. Satan on the cover than the person who has been the most dynamic force for change in the world thus far such as oh. … Bush, for instance, but couldn’t they at least put the veneer of actually choosing someone truly influential rather than just blatantly going after their ideological agenda?

This is not to downplay the importance of what those three women had to do with Enron, WOrldCom and the FBI, but only to put it in its proper place in context of what else has been going on, and why Time chose them.

Firstly, I think it’s pretty clear the fact that there were three women available heavily influenced the selection process. The story would have been less likely to catch Time’s top spot if it had been all men, or even a combination of men and women. I don’t think they necessarily set out determined to find only women to make people of the year, but that these three names were on the table for some kind of consideration, and they saw an opportunity to put some females in an honored position that has been almost exclusively the place of men.

Second, it again ignores the pivotal role Bush has played in the world over the last year. He (basically singlehandedly) provided the impetus to resume weapons inspections in Iraq. He went to the UN and, with much goading, eloquent words and a healthy dose of the carrot and stick, somehow managed to uphold their blessed multilateralism and actually get the approval of everyone from France to Syria and jumpstart the inert beheamoth that is the UN into some action that might actually lead to fruitful results, be it the disarming of Saddam (which would cause him to be overthrown) or serious efforts to disarm him provoking a war and his subsequent personal ouster care of the US marines .

Through his willingness to speak plainly and honestly about the sheer uselessness and villiany of Arafat and the PA, he helped move the Palestinian people towards actually accepting that they will only continue to stagnate, rot and die as long as they embrace their idiot fanaticism.

He led his party to an almost unprecedented midterm election victory, making everyone from the New York Times to Michael Moore sit up and go “Huh?” And time after time, whether it be in regards to Saddam Hussein or Trent Lott, he has repeatedly demonstrated clear, unambiguous, forceful leadership.

And everyone knows it. As of 8:43 am PST, a Time poll of their readers asking, “Do you agree with TIME’s choice for Persons of the Year?” has yielded the following results:

YES – 8.1%

NO – 89.3%

Also, Laurence Simon does a good job putting these women’s achievements in perspective.

I suppose after Saddam has gone the way of the dodo next year, Bush still won’t be the Man of the Year in 2003, even though he will have provided more of the fuel and drive to send Saddam to his eternal resting place than anyone else. That’s just the way things go. I’d imagine the most generous selection they could make would be to give it to Tommy Franks after a blindingly successful Iraq campaign and about 9 months at least of turning the country around makes everyone on the NYT editorial board try to cover their asses and explain just why they are so repeatedly wrong .

After Saddam is just a sickening memory, and after Baghdad is taken with small civilian casualties and smaller US military casualties, and after half of the Iraqi military has surrended to Geraldo and Tom Brokaw, and all the reports of Saddam’s atrocities flow unbidden from the lips of millions of jubilant Iraqis, suddenly everyone who tried to suggest before that the “Bushies” and their “oilmen cronies” were joyfully trading hundreds of thousands of people’s lives so they could make a few more bucks will once again try to change history and claim that they were in favor of the whole thing all along. Remember Afghanistan? Remember how just uttering the word “quagmire” was enough to conclusively respond to any argument about why we should be taking the fght to the Taliban and to instantly qualify you as a serious-minded expert on global affairs? Remember the deafening silence after the fall of Kabul? Remember the urge to make it look like they had actually been for it, and not only that, but with their hawkishness they would have done a better job of it, too?

Well tune in next time. Same Bullshit time, same Bullshit station.

last update : 23-5-2018

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