in first not preventing and then managing a man-made disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as it proved in managing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, can we finally put to rest the inane (not to mention counter-factual) Krugman argument that the Bush Administration’s incompetence in handling Katrina was a result of the government being “run by a political party committed to the belief that government is always the problem, never the solution?”
Indeed, if we want to follow Prof. Krugman’s argument to its logical conclusion, given that we have had two administrations in a row that have believed in big government and have proven incompetent, maybe having the government run by believers in government causes incompetence.
Or perhaps government just has some structural flaws that transcend the ideology of whatever party happens to be in power.
UPDATE: Amusingly, some commenters are insisting that the Bush Administration failed because it was composed of bad people who hated government but (a) the Obama Administration hasn’t failed with regard to the rig (how about Nashville, then?); or (b) the failure was a result of corporate malfeasance, which somehow makes it different from a failure that resulted from a natural disaster; or (c) the Bush Administration failed because its members just didn’t care about the people who lost their lives and homes under Katrina, whereas, apparently because empathy is an inherent part of being a liberal Democrat, the members of the Obama Administration really, really care.
Putting aside the partisan component, this does demonstrate a difference in mindset between (many) liberals and libertarians. Liberals tend to believe that government fails because the wrong people are in power, or the right people were not given enough power to do good. Libertarians tend to believe that government failure is a result of poor incentives and other structural problems that can sometimes be mitigated, but are always looming over government action.