I'm no Harry Truman fan (and don't even me started on James Whitmore). But Larry Kudlow rightly calls out for the miniature Missourian when it comes to out-of-control and corrupt spending in Iraq.
Special K's basic point is this:
But [inspector general for the Iraq reconstruction Stuart] Bowen says this is a problem that began at home: "[T]he Bush administration's overall handling of Iraq contracting—from relying on no-bid contracts even when major fighting had ended, to failing to standardize contracting regulations to help prevent fraud—was deeply flawed." He goes on to say that the U.S. has not provided the proper contracting and procurement support necessary to manage reconstruction efforts that were begun three years ago, and also cites widespread mismanagement among competing U.S. government agencies.
What does this have to with Harry Truman?
When Truman was an unknown senator from Missouri during WWII, he chaired hearings that rooted out corruption in various war-related contracts among defense suppliers. In doing so, he made a real name for himself as a corruption fighter, prompting FDR to put him on the presidential ticket in 1944….
The senator held numerous hearings in Washington, and traveled all over the country gathering facts and figures on the building of ships, warplanes and various plants. He investigated giant corporations, small businesses and unions, turning up all manner of bad planning, sloppy administration, poor workmanship, and cheating by labor and management.
And count Kudlow among conservative hawks whose enthusiasm for the Iraq War is plummeting:
I want to win this war. I do not want to cut and run. I agree with President Bush's basic mission of spreading democracy and freedom to the Middle East.
But after three democratic elections in Iraq, a wondrous advance for democracy, it still does not seem that we are winning this war. And if we are not winning it, then one has to worry about the possibility that we may lose it. And that would be a very bad thing.
Whole thing here.
Hey Steve Earle or Tim Robbins, why don't you stage a version of Arthur Miller's war-profiteer thumbsucker All My Sons and set it during the Iraq War?
Gratuitous but funny Catholic-bashing quote from Bess Truman here.