Never mind; better late than never. We should welcome the recent epiphanies by conservative commentators who have finally realized that the Bush administration isn't trustworthy. But we should guard against a conventional wisdom that seems to be taking hold in some quarters,, which says there's something praiseworthy about having initially been taken in by Mr. Bush's deceptions, even though the administration's mendacity was obvious from the beginning.
According to this view, if you're a former Bush supporter who now says, as Mr. Bartlett did at the Cato event, that "the administration lies about budget numbers," you're a brave truth-teller. But if you've been saying that since the early days of the Bush administration, you were unpleasantly shrill.
Similarly, if you're a former worshipful admirer of George W. Bush who now says, as Mr. Sullivan did at Cato, that "the people in this administration have no principles," you're taking a courageous stand. If you said the same thing back when Mr. Bush had an 80 percent approval rating, you were blinded by Bush-hatred.
And if you're a former hawk who now concedes that the administration exaggerated the threat from Iraq, you're to be applauded for your open-mindedness. But if you warned three years ago that the administration was hyping the case for war, you were a conspiracy theorist.
The truth is that everything the new wave of Bush critics has to say was obvious long ago to any commentator who was willing to look at the facts.
Modesty precludes me from including me 'n Fixer in the "old wave", but Mr. Krugman is absolutely correct. This "new wave" waited until there was absolutely no way to deny or spin their way out of the long-ago-obvious without looking like the idiots we've known they are. There's not enough Kool-aid in the world to sustain the evil charade except for the brain-dead true believers and Corporate beneficiaries.
Welcome to the club, but don't think you're going to be treated like heroes for discovering something new about Bush & Co. You won't be and you didn't. You helped keep this cabal going a lot longer than it should have, and some of us have long memories.