Krugman responds to Obama

I've already posted my thoughts on Obama's personal attack on Krugman. Anyone that looks at what Krugman wrote would conclude that Obama's campaign selectively lifted quotes that were favorabl,e while leaving out those which showed Krugman's "Then" is no different than his "Now" regarding his criticism of Obama's healthcare plan. More from Krugman:

... I was prepared to leave it at that -- Obama's plan was weaker than his rivals' because it wasn't universal, but I hoped that he would fix that in practice.

But then Obama started attacking his rivals from the right, denouncing their proposals using exactly the same false claims that conservatives will use to try to derail reform in the future.

And now, having been caught out on the facts, the Obama people respond with a personal attack, lifting quotes out of context to pretend that I never had problems with the plan. Something is very wrong here.

That's an understatement, and thirdestate comes up with a theory about Obama's actions:
Why focus on Social Security at all, since it's not really a big problem? Why attack health care plans that have mandates, rather than say why your approach is better? And why in the world would your campaign attack Paul Krugman??

I've been considering these questions for some time, and I'm becoming more and more convinced that Obama is trying to win the "media primary" (which I referred to awhile ago). My suspicion is that Barack is attempting to appease/manipulate the class of establishment pundits, and with them the press corps as a whole. It's not a bad strategy as far as it goes. As Rove knew, if you can get the press to attack a candidate, you don't have to do it (or pay the price with higher negatives). An opponent, no matter how formidable, isn't so scary if he or she is busy fighting the press AND the opposing campaign. By making noises about Social Security and mandates, Obama is feeding the media beast. Heck, it might even work, if recent polls are any evidence.

What concerns me is that the beast is always hungry. I know Obama doesn't want to go on some crusade against the powers that be (look what that's done for Edwards), but do you really have to suck up to them that much? Do you really think the press will stay friendly to you forever? Did you read that execrable Washington Post piece on the "Madrassa" rumor?

So while Obama's (or should I say David Axelrod's) strategy might make sense, I find it very, very worrisome.

Tags: Barack Obama, Paul Krugman (all tags)

Comments

119 Comments

Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Paul Krugman is an part of the old America. The new America is a land of cool people like Barak. He is very attractive and he seems so cool. I want to dance with him at a cool party at opera's. That's all that counts. He doesn't have to vote in the senate on important issues relating to iran, or to use facts in discussing medical insurance. He doesn't really care anyway, nor do most of his supporters who are only concerned about how cool he makes them feel. Opera does not even vote for Democrats. She doesn't vote at all.

barak is hollywood & bollywood--he is an international movie star. He is madonna and kravitz and pitts all in one. Who cares if he can win, or if he will do anything positive.

Being able to win or get anything accomplished--or to tell the truth--is so old school. Shame on Krugman for telling the truth.

by maxstar 2007-12-08 06:43AM | 0 recs
Yeah. SHAME!!!

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 06:54AM | 0 recs
Can't we all get along?

I found this post fairly disturbing and so I took the time to read everything that seemed to go to the issue: the two Krugman columns, the Obama campaign's response, Krugman's counter response, Jerome's two posts here, and the post on First Read by NBC's Mark Murray. I hate the idea that this gets blown up into a battle between Barack Obama and Paul Krugman because it's clear to me that that is not either one's intention.

We need to start by asking ourselves, what would we have our candidates do when something unfavorable is published about them? Would we have them meekly accept the criticism, ignore it, or forcefully put out their points of view? We all remember the lessons of the Kerry campaign, and I for one would like the eventual nominee to be someone who responds forcefully.

The response on Obama's web page...
http://www.barackobama.com/factcheck/200 7/12/07/fact_check_krugman_didnt_alway.p hp
is undeniably to respond forcefully with the candidate's point of view. Is it sufficiently respectful of a distinguished columnist? Yes. Is it sufficiently reverent to a hero of the left? To me it is, but I can see Jerome's criticism. I don't see what he talks about in his Friday post,
http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/12/7/2237 4/8663
the fingerprints of Robert Gibbs. This is a policy debate, hardly comparable to an attack ad that features Osama bin Laden.

Obama's response is an intelligent, and fair, criticism of a negative column. In fact, it's not even the Obama campaign's criticism, it's taken almost word for word, from Mark Murray's post:
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2 007/11/30/490207.aspx
It uses Krugman's own words, not out of context, to show the difference in tone between his June 4 column:
http://select.nytimes.com/2007/06/04/opi nion/04krugman.html
and the more recent one:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/30/opinio n/30krugman.html
The first paragraph of the Obama campaign's response concludes, "The substance of Krugman's two columns is essentially the same. The tone, however, is not."

Krugman's change in tone is ostensibly because Obama has decided to go on the offensive in comparing his healthcare plan to those of his rivals. Clinton says Obama's plan isn't really universal because it doesn't require coverage and Obama counters that Clinton's plan would still leave people who can't afford insurance, and then punish them for it.

Krugman's main criticism, the one that sticks, is that Obama's plan doesn't mandate that everyone get health insurance, but does prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions. This could lead some people who would otherwise maintain insurance to wait until they are sick and then buy it. This is the substance, and it's lost in both of Jerome's posts.    

Obama says that requiring people to buy health insurance means you have to find some way to enforce that requirement. Clinton has not put forth this detail, and Edwards has just done so last week. According to Krugman:

"Well, John Edwards has just called Mr. Obama's bluff, by proposing that individuals be required to show proof of insurance when filing income taxes or receiving health care. If they don't have insurance, they won't be penalized -- they'll be automatically enrolled in an insurance plan."

He calls this "a terrific idea" but doesn't mention that it could lead to the same scenario as Obama's plan. Someone hasn't bought insurance, gets sick, goes to the hospital, and then enrolls. Alternatively, Edwards's idea would use the IRS as an enforcement mechanism. That's fine, but let's have that debate. The truth is that the universal healthcare system Mitt Romney signed in Massachusetts does not cover everyone, even though it includes a mandate. In fact, they had to set up a donut hole to legalize a class of people who couldn't afford insurance but couldn't qualify for state aid.

Okay, enough substance, let's go back to the strategy. How would you have Obama respond to a negative column? He didn't impugn Krugman's integrity as Jerome suggests. He didn't take Krugman's quotes out of context, as Krugman suggests in his blog:
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12 07/oy-obama
What he did was use the columnist's own words to contradict his negativity. That's not using Republican talking points, that's just good debating. It's definitely not a "personal attack on Krugman" as Jerome calls it. It's a candidate defending himself, which he's entitled to do, no matter where the criticism comes from.

Let's debate the issue, not the tactics. Krugman doesn't like that Obama has gone on the offensive about, of all things, a component of healthcare policy. Isn't this the very thing we want our candidates to be debating?

Jerome doesn't like that Obama is defending himself against a criticism from the left. Do we prefer our candidates stand pat and not respond to criticism?

For my part, I'll admit that I've picked a horse in this race and sent money twice to the Obama campaign.

I think Jerome's criticisms are completely unfounded and inflammatory. Let's not turn this into a war between a good liberal soldier and a high quality Democratic candidate. The two have a policy disagreement. That's that. These are the kinds of debates we should be having, and frankly, I'm really proud that our candidates are engaging at this level.

by davefordemocracy 2007-12-08 09:33AM | 0 recs
Well stated
But I fundamentally disagree.
He calls this "a terrific idea" but doesn't mention that it could lead to the same scenario as Obama's plan. Someone hasn't bought insurance, gets sick, goes to the hospital, and then enrolls.
This I think misstates Edwards's position. If you don't get routine health care of any sort and don't file taxes then you conceivably would end  up in the same place as Obama's plan. But most people do file taxes and a lot of people do go to the doctor for conditions that don't change your insurance risk. That is I don't think any insurance plan would consider a sprained wrist to be a disqualifying condition. Over time Edward's plan would capture a lot of people before they had an illness serious enough for actual hospitalization.
Okay, enough substance, let's go back to the strategy. How would you have Obama respond to a negative column? He didn't impugn Krugman's integrity as Jerome suggests. He didn't take Krugman's quotes out of context, as Krugman suggests in his blog:
Well that is a matter of judgement and on this one I have to go with Jerome. The basis of the Obama response is that Krugman had no objection to the exact same plan in June and by implication was simply attacking Obama with hidden motives. But Krugman did in fact have the same critique in June and he did in December, in both cases he identified the lack of mandates as a problem. The difference being that we are now a month out from the first vote and the issue has become an active point of contention between the candidates. What had been a relative mild critique has now become a little more strict lecture. Well frankly that is what Osama deserved for listening closer to Austan Goolsbee (his chief economic advisor) than to Paul Krugman. If you give someone good advice and they don't take it and so get exposed to legitimate attack you need to expect a certain amount of "I told you so". Team Osama did not in fact keep this at a policy level, if they had then previous statements from Krugman would have been irrelevant, by focusing on an alleged flip-flop they did in my view make this a matter of integrity.
by Bruce Webb 2007-12-08 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Well stated

You may want to do a correction reply to your comment where an "s" was inserted where a "b" should be.  People seem a bit sensitive and based on your past comments, I'm pretty sure it's an error.

by Kingstongirl 2007-12-08 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Well stated

Bruce, your first point is well taken. John Edwards has put forth a bold solution and it deserves to be looked at. I concede that it might be a better way.

Your second point, not so much. To claim that Obama's defense took Krugman's words out of context requires that you give examples words that were taken out of context, and you've given none. To claim that Obama made a personal attack (a PERSONAL attack!) on Paul Krugman requires that you tell us what personal detail Obama has attacked him on.

You wrote:
"But Krugman did in fact have the same critique in June and he did in December, in both cases he identified the lack of mandates as a problem."

...but you have no argument here. The post on Obama's page clearly says:
"The substance of Krugman's two columns is essentially the same. The tone, however, is not."

So I'm not sure why you guys are trying to gin this up, but I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

by davefordemocracy 2007-12-08 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Can't we all get along?

Thank you for your highly informative comment.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Can't we all get along?

It's definitely not a "personal attack on Krugman" as Jerome calls it.

That's what Krugman called it too, but it's not surpising that you'd also call him out-- he disagreed with the hero!

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-12-08 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Can't we all get along?

It's a sign of what we've come to that an honest discussion about some real Obama missteps and policy shortcomings cannot be discussed openly.  The Hillary and Obama forces who try to hatchet anyone not drinking their Kool Aid are the ones hurting whether we "all get along."

Obama almost had my support With the exception of a very brief consideration of Edwards last summer, I have mostly leaned Obama.  But I am really tired of the emptiness of Obama's support for Democratic principles. Is anyone not questioning why the very conservative Andrew Sullivan likes him?  Just as Murdoch supporting Hillary sends up a flag, so too does the Sullivan piece.  But most of all, we have to support the one we most think will steer the country in the direction we think best.  That's why we vote for God's sake.  It's our vote.  And our justification is as worthy as any the Obama or Hillary ninjas set forth.  

So, if you want to know if we can't just get along, look in the mirror.  It's gotten testy here precisely because of the Hillary and Obama folks who unload at the least provocation.  Edwards deserves his passionate bloggers just as much as the other candidates.  And he's got a few here.  This is supposed to be a problem?

And though I haven't written a pro-Edwards piece yet, doesn't mean I won't.  And the ninjas will just have to get over it.  

Edwards for President.

by KathyinBlacksburg 2007-12-08 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Can't we all get along?
Kathy,
I thought my post was fairly Edwards-neutral. If anything I highlighted a positive about him, so I'm not sure what you're all worked up about there. If what you're looking for is an honest policy discussion, then I think you need to read my post instead of just the subject line. The response from Bruce is positive toward Edwards too, and makes a fair criticism of the points I made about healthcare policy (convenient misspellings aside). Your post, on the other hand, is not about policy but about who's  supporting whom and who's slamming whom. It is your rhetoric that is empty.
--Obama Ninja
by davefordemocracy 2007-12-08 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Yeah, my daughter actually has a friend (early 20s) who talks like this and is big Obama fan.

by Coral 2007-12-08 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

It is cynicism at its worst, and the Obama campaign knows this.  They are pandering to low information voters and to those who are voting on personality and not on policy.  The differences he attempts to highlight are petty, and then you utilizes Republican rhetorical devices in order to lend these distinctions ballast.  Willing to do or say anything in order to win, Obama is a career politician.  And he will sacrifice the Left in the process.

by truthteller2007 2007-12-08 06:46AM | 0 recs
please media elites

I think media strategy is part of it, but what really underlies Obama's position is his relative conservatism. His Iraq position notwithstanding, Obama is a moderate to conservative Democrat. His policy positions and voting record show that, his rhetoric is less consistent.

by souvarine 2007-12-08 06:49AM | 0 recs
Obama's relative conservatism?

LOL!!! What planet do you live on?

Obama has the third most Liberal voting record in the Senate behind Feingold and Kenneddy.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's relative conservatism?

Yes, but unless he says the right things in the preferred language of the blogosphere nothing he does matters. The blogosphere is to be bowed downed to because they represent the most important segment of the American people--and you know who they are.

by General Sherman 2007-12-08 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's relative conservatism?

Yeah I realized this a while ago. Obama was supposedly done 2 months ago. Kaput, Finished; because the kings of the net-roots said so. T

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's relative conservatism?

Sure, you can cherry pick votes to make Obama look ultra-liberal or ultra-conservative. But if you look at the whole of his record he is a moderate. On the issues I care about he is to the right, going by progressive punch he is ranked pretty low among Democrats.

by souvarine 2007-12-08 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's relative conservatism?

alright souvarine. You have spoken.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 07:09AM | 0 recs
oh believe that completly

you saw i at the russser debate.

hes 20 pois back, he has no natl campaign.

his team believes that if he can ge the msm o destroy hillary he can win.

in truth, what are his other options.

and look how they have followed his every request.

this week is hillary attacks week.

started off by obama usig the disproved gerth lie that the clintons have had a 20 year plan to put hillary in the wh.  But whats been 100% of the media story - that mean bitch hillary attacks a kindergarten kid.

I know its not gonna work past SC, but it will surely be a bumpy road haat will leave us wounded and scarred.

Bur what does Obama care, to Obama - its all about Obama.

"Everywhere is Obama country" right?

To "know Obama is to love Obama " right?

Jeeze.  We're finally getting rid of one super egoist with a cult like following and now the media is saying that we should - no scratch that - we must -  nominate another as our candidate?
I dont think so...

ANNOY THE MEDIA - SAY NO TO OBAMA!

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-08 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: oh believe that completly

Valium my friend....try some Valium. You need it.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Unfortunately, given the powers that be, both Obama & Hillary, for different reasons, have reined in their liberal impulses. For Obama, he's a black man running for president & thus must appear reasonable to the great white, middle class masses. Add to this that he doesn't have fighting instincts.

Hillary, on the other hand, has, for about 15 years, been run through the mill by the RW slime machine. They've essentially defined her publicly & her hopes for winning rest on establishing a counter image, ie. one of a moderate, safe candidate. While her campaign style is robust, her policy positions are watered down so as to appear nonthreatening. Thus, from Iraq to national health care, they're centrist positions, ones least likely to incur the wrath of corporate America or the forces of the right.

by carter1 2007-12-08 06:51AM | 0 recs
doesn't have fighting instincts?

subjectivity is an amazing thing to behold. You clearly don't know much about Barack Obama. You think you get to where he is in life without being a fighter?

Thats just an incorrect statement my friend.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: doesn't have fighting instincts?

Obama is indeed a fighter. He just doesn't have to tell everyone about it. He's obviously a student of Sun-zi.

by General Sherman 2007-12-08 06:56AM | 0 recs
Once again GS.....

You have spoken wisely.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Jonathan Cohn says something very interesting in his latest piece on mandates which exhibits who really is behind this idea:


But achieving universal coverage is as much a political challenge as a policy one. And by talking down a mandate, he makes the political challenge that much harder. Among other things, the moderate Republicans and business groups willing to consider universal coverage will likely demand that a mandate be part of the package, because they see it as a way to reinforce personal responsibility. The insurance industry, meanwhile, will demand it because they think it essential to prevent an adverse selection death spiral. If the idea is to pass universal health care with bipartisan support, then a mandate may be essential.

And so in Armstrong's topsy-turvy world going against the interests of the Insurance companies, business groups, and moderate Republicans is attacking from the right.  Okay, Jerome, we get it.

And look at the naivety and inexperience reflected in that statement in terms of how to negotiate.  Obama who has said many times he would be open to considering mandates down the line, holds onto that chip when he steps into the room to start the negotiation which will lead to the final plan.  Clinton & Edwards give the Insurance companies exactly what they want before they walk in.  And Armstong, Krugman and the like think that's great in the name of Progressivism.  If your idea of being a Progressive is being ineffectual, of being just rhetoric without a clue how to set a goal and actually achieve it, then I guess Obama is not a Progressive candidate.  I don't really think so, but then again what do I know - I think someone's vote on the War on Iraq should be a litmus test of who the Progressives support, but in Armstrong's world actions aren't important.

by Piuma 2007-12-08 06:58AM | 0 recs
Bravo!!

Could not have said it any better myself! Thank You!

It's not just the plan people; or the quip "Universal Health Care"; it's getting something relatively close to any of their (O, C & E) three plans passed.

Obama stands the best chance of negotiating with the powers that be, because he's left himself some leeway for negotiations, to get something done in congress.

I just don't see how a plan like Edwards or Hillary's gets passed as they currently stand. I'm being pragmatic here.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Bravo!!

But it's not about getting something done rapcetera.

Rather, it's about saying the right things so that the blogosphere likes you. Results don't matter so long as you fight the good fight.

Principle is all that matters, even if we accomplish nothing.

After all, most of the blogosphere has adequate healthcare coverage so the stakes aren't all that high.

by General Sherman 2007-12-08 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

The income tax is a mandate. The Payroll tax is a mandate. Are those all evil corporate and anti-progressive measures as well?

by adamterando 2007-12-08 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome's jihad against Obama

The Edwards supporters on this site need to think about what you are doing.

Question:  Who is the most likely beneficiry if progressives remain divided in Iowa and beyond?

Answer:  Hillary Rodham Clinton and the DLC wing of the Democratic Party.

Facts:

1) Obama has more momentum and a statistically significant lead over Edwards in Iowa.

2) Obama is much more likely to defeat HRC for the nomination.

3) Obama has leads over Edwards in NH, SC and Nevada, more money, higher national polls, better organization in place in the Feb 5 states.

If Edwards outperforms his eroding polls and somehow wins in Iowa, it will actually increase the chance that Clinton will be able to bounce back in NH and sweep the Feb 5 primaries.  Obama is clearly the one in the best position to defeat HRC.

Edwards is a great candidate, but he is the clear looser in the "alternative to Hilary" pre-primary primary.  People like Jerome who consistently seek to attack and undermine Obama are only helping Hillary.  Jerome Armstrong: Crusader for the the DLC.  Wake up and smell the coffee.

by upper left 2007-12-08 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome's jihad against Obama

Don't worry upper left. Let the snipers snipe. What's said here will have zero impact in Iowa. It's almost comical how anything Obama says or does becomes an indictment on his entire character.

No, people like Jerome resent Obama's very presence in the race. They've resented it from the beginning because Obama "got in the way" of John Edwards.

On this score they're not much different than the Clinton Camp. You see, for all her faults, to them, at least Clinton has a legitimate right to be in the race. She's a respected opponent

But not Obama, not him. He's just some undeserving spoiler that wants to play president. This is why these types would be much more comfortable with a Clinton presidency. Even though they disagree with her on many scores, they don't harbor resentment towards her. No, that's reserved for Obama.

by General Sherman 2007-12-08 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome's jihad against Obama

I agree here...Jerome had been oppose to the Obama candidacy from day oe.

The Edwards partisans felt that Obama would take away anti-Hillary support from them so they've always resented his entry.

And of course , The Hillary people hated the fact that Obama jumped in the race because they felt that it was Hillary's turn to be president.

Problem is , none of those groups will have any effect on whether Obama wins or now.

When you think about it , the leftist netroot was oppose to Obama from day one ....

Kos was never a big fan of Obama and he remain that way , but at least , i've seen him post fair opinion concerning Obama.

Kos have even come to he conclusion that only Barack can derail Hillary and he sound like he may be willing to support him.

Jerome on the other hand , is extremely anti-Obama and i have never seen him post a bias opinion about Obama...Everything is something that slander Obama's.

Edwards always had the etroot support , but as Edwards stays stuck in third place in the national poll and as his support in Iowa declines , netroot people started realising that Edwards had no chance.

Edwards has no money and no way to compete with Hillary beyond Iowa.

by Prodigy 2007-12-08 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome's jihad against Obama

John Edwards - the born-again populist.

Mr. Pro-China Trade, Mr. Co-Sponsor of the Iraq War, Mr. CAFTA/NAFTA, Mr. "Not for Universal health Care when I ran for the Senate", Mr. "I will charge you 6 figures for a speech on Poverty", Mr. Hedge-Fund.

Edwards can't run on his record. He's practically apologized for every position he took as a Senator. He's not consistent on the issues, and has now morphed himself into this seething populist just in time for this Presidential run;

Thing is I like John Edwards, he's by far my second choice, but the hypocrisy on here is just beyond believable, so every once in a while, I have to point out John Edwards acheles heel, to project some much needed perspective.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 07:35AM | 0 recs
national unions

representing over 4 million workers have endorsed hillary.

how many have endorsed obama?

zero.

none, nada, zip.

the one great progressive force in american poliics has spoken

and its choice is

CLINTON.

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-08 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: national unions

Keep drinking the Clinton coolade. You Clintonitas have a staggering lack of foresight.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 07:36AM | 0 recs
Yeaah we union fols now nothing

but you cultsts - youve got specal info.

from where - tweeties hardball?

Heres a hint - youre 20 points behind with a month to go !!

get that memo yet?!

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-08 01:52PM | 0 recs
Yeaah we union folks know nothing

but you cultists - youve got specal info.

from where - tweeties hardball?

Heres a hint - youre 20 points behind with a month to go !!

get that memo yet?!

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-08 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: national unions

Does the UAW midwest council count?

by upper left 2007-12-08 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: national unions

since thats not  national - but rather a Ill baed union - dominated by the state machine - Id say....

NO!

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-08 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome's jihad against Obama

I think where you go off the rail is you think this is about Edwards, It's not. It's about healthcare. You assume incorrectly that all of us Edwards supporters will play politics with this. I won't. Maybe others will. The reality is that I respect Krugman alot. This issue, healthcare, is extremely important to me. So you can talk until you are blue int he face about Clinton and the DLC and whatever else you think will pull the political strings. You will be wasting your time, because you are speaking to someone like me at least who cares deeply about this  issue, and I have a big problem with Obama engaging in character ploys rather than substantively discussing hte issues. He can disagree-w e all can. but he needs to correct himself here in terms of tactics. Attacking Krugman personally on an issue like this is just dumb because it turns off people who respect the man. It's really that simple

by bruh21 2007-12-08 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome's jihad against Obama

I was Executive Director of the Oregon Health Action Campaign, a statewide coalition working on universal health care, during the late 1980s.  I have worked on health policy issues for many years.

The most important aspect of health care is not the policy, it is the politics of the issue.  Who can put forward a plan and build a coalition that will be able to overcome the array of opposition that benefits financially from the status quo?

Frankly, I don't give a damn about the details of anyone's proposal because I realize that what is proposed bears little resemblance to what may eventually emerge from the other end of the sausage factory.  The point is that Obama, because he is a more trusted and less polarizing figure, will, IMO, have the best chance to generate public support and overcome Republican obstructionism.

by upper left 2007-12-08 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome's jihad against Obama

Furthermore, where do you and others get off saying that Obama attacked Krugman "personally."  

Krugman is the one who did the attacking.  The Obama folks are clearly on the defensive and are mearely pointing out that Krugman has substantially changed the tone of his rhetoric and analysis of Obama's proposal.  How is that a personal attack?

by upper left 2007-12-08 10:16AM | 0 recs
Trusted and least polarizing

unless he wins the nomination, then watch the GOP beat up on him. Suddenly, he'll be polarizing.

Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter tried to play nice with Republicans, too. And look where it got them.

Polarizing is defined by the attackers, not the attackees.

by Coral 2007-12-08 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards

I think where you go off the rail is you think this is about Edwards, It's not. It's about healthcare. You assume incorrectly that all of us Edwards supporters will play politics with this. I won't. Maybe others will. The reality is that I respect Krugman alot. This issue, healthcare, is extremely important to me. So you can talk until you are blue int he face about Clinton and the DLC and whatever else you think will pull the political strings. You will be wasting your time, because you are speaking to someone like me at least who cares deeply about this  issue, and I have a big problem with Obama engaging in character ploys rather than substantively discussing hte issues. He can disagree-w e all can. but he needs to correct himself here in terms of tactics. Attacking Krugman personally on an issue like this is just dumb because it turns off people who respect the man. It's really that simple

by bruh21 2007-12-08 08:24AM | 0 recs
Obama's economic team

Might as well be handpicked by the DLC. Nothing about Obama's Social Security or Health Care plans are remotely progressive.

Obama had a chance to try to get around Hillary from the Left, instead he is trying to squeeze his way past around the Center. Well that is not going to work. Personally I believe Hillary is a closet progressive, but whether I am right or wrong on that point I can see clearly that tactically she is not going to let anyone get between her and the Center.

Obama seems to be trying cautious triangulating tactics to get around Clinton. Instead he needs to pull out into the left lane and floor it. Because Hillary is not going to just pull over and let him by.

by Bruce Webb 2007-12-08 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's economic team


Krugman own review of Obama's plan recognizes that it has many fine progressive elements.

How is proposing to raise the cap on the SS payroll tax a move to the right?  This tax would only effect the top 6% of income earners.  It sure looks like a progressive proposal to me.

Who do you object to on Obama's economic team;  or, is this just another unsupported assertion?

by upper left 2007-12-08 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome's jihad against Obama

Well at least Hillary believes in UHC.

I like Obama, but this point on UHC has really bothered me all along. It's good we're having this discussion so maybe the Obama campaign will come along at some point. Unfortunately, they seem to be more interested in using the whole mandate thing as a way to draw contrasts between himself and Hillary.

It's too bad, because his plan is about as good as the MA plan, which is very very bad.

by adamterando 2007-12-08 09:32AM | 0 recs
You start with a false

premise that makes your entire argument fallacious.

Your premise is that Obama is a progressive.  False.

Look at universal health care.  Your hated DLCer actually has a much better plan.

Edwards and Clinton have better plans than Obama.

There is not a game called "alternative to Hillary."  There is a primary.

As for "progressive," I'm afraid you do not know what that word means.  

Obama is attacking progressive policies.  NO THANKS.

by TomP 2007-12-08 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama
Yep. Good one Jerome. Right now I am a weak Obama supporter, But I think I am jumping ship after this.
by Big Tent Democrat 2007-12-08 07:01AM | 0 recs
First Dodd, now Obama

Maybe you should just sit this one out.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

I may be one of the clueless Obama supporters, but I do remember your attempt to enlighten us. Weak support ... I'm not that cluelss.

by misscee 2007-12-08 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

BTD, we'd love to have you. Come on over to the Clinton side.

by lonnette33 2007-12-08 07:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Jerome's Jihad Marathon continues..
How long can he go?
As long as it takes to paint the most progressive candidate as the least progressive? I guess..

Even krugman doesnt believe the crap he is spouting now..

by hawkjt 2007-12-08 07:09AM | 0 recs
Which Mandate is really important?

Which Mandate is really important?

1. A mandate that insurance companies want which forces people to buy Insurance but doesn't force them to be healthy?

or

2. A mandate to achieve health care reform in the first term of the next President.  Obama makes that pledge.  Do Clinton and Edwards.

by Piuma 2007-12-08 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Which Mandate is really important?

Romney also pledges to reform health care. How a candidate plans to reform health care matters. I do not support Romney's plan, nor do I support Obama's or Biden's. Every other Democrat's plan proposes actual reform, and I support those.

by souvarine 2007-12-08 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

I'm glad the Obama people knocked Krugman teeth out and now , the angry man is even more angrier.

Obama will be campaigning with Oprah while Krugman write another angry blog entry...Shame on you Krugman.

Krugmann represent the past and Obama is the future.

by Prodigy 2007-12-08 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

oh isnt that in depth and thoughtful commentary?

go team obama!

new kind of politics indeed.

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-08 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Learning new facts about Oprah too.  She runs a non-union organization although she belongs to three of them.  See Taylor Marsh.

Obama is pro-union unless it is inconvenient for him.  

That is his whole package.  Do what is good for Obama and who cares about anybody else.  

Obama is not fit to sit at the same table as Krugman.  You demonstrate your thugishness and lack of progressive values.

Krugman criticizes Obama and you want to knock his teeth out.  I shudder at the future Obama will bring with supporters like you.

by pioneer111 2007-12-08 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

This proves how the blogosphere amounts to one big circle-jerk.

by General Sherman 2007-12-08 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

These folks are running scared GS. Obama's a bonafide threat, I can just feel the frustration and annoyance. They don't yet believe. But fret not, they will become believers soon.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Only on the blogs that cover more policy, this is making hardly a ripple on Kos. But hey, if examining issue positions is a circle jerk to you, so be it.

by souvarine 2007-12-08 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Do you agree or disagree with  what Obama did here? My issue here is that y'all are giving off the impression to me that emperor can't be wrong? You must be able to call your candidate on their mistakes. This was one of them. Can you not see why that is the case?

by bruh21 2007-12-08 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

The Obama supporters just care about winning and not about what is the result of winning.  

They have no idea what they are talking about.  The fact that some of them are willing to trash
Krugman demonstrates their lack of knowledge and their lack of progressive ideas.

Obama is the issue not a better life for people.  This sickens me on the Democratic side.

by pioneer111 2007-12-08 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

I am not willing to go that far. I think a few things are happening here. First, you are right about the the particular supporters posting here. They are clearly the do-anything-to-win crowd. Second, I am not convinced that this is Obama's mind set. His issue is that he's the accomodator type of personality. Sometimes the 'reasonable" or accomodator type of personality will argue with the person who maybe right such as Krugman simply because Krugman is at one end of the poll rather than because of the underlying issue. That's just my speculation. The fact is the political calculation on this doesn't make much sense in terms of democratic primary voters. I don't see what Obama hopes to gain, and therefore I conclude it has to be a function of his personality to approach policies this way. As to the attack on Krugman- that again doesn['t make much sense. ANd, yes, by the way, there can be an issue- and this is true of all candidate- of candidate first, issues second. That's why several posters above becomes what i can only call confused by arguing from their set of assumptions- ie which candidate this hurts or helps etc without that topic ever being at issue.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Accommodating?  Bruh, answer honestly, are the Insurance Companies for or against an Individual Mandate?  Who is being accommodating here?

by Piuma 2007-12-08 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

if they are - they are idiots. the value of the mandate is that it allows for the trojan horse of the public option beeing put into place which can only work if one doesn't allow for free rider situations. because nothing beats cheap like free.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

You are misrepresenting Obama's Plan.  He has a public option, the plans are the same in that.  The potential Free Riders in Obama's plan are healthy people, who are not covered by their employers, who can afford Insurance, and who choose not to have it.  When that person gets sick, it is not free.  They can afford to pay for care.  What might have cost him $1000 if he had insurance now costs him $150,000 but he probably has that in the equity to his home.  So he loses that, he has made a stupid mistake but it was his choice.  And by the way, these free riders exist in Mandated plans until they are caught.  They place the same burden on the system in increased care.  That burden is more from a lack of education and preventative care than not paying into the system in premiums.  We have allowed this debate to become about what's best for insurance, rather than Health Care.

by Piuma 2007-12-08 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

this is the line where you show you don't understand:

" What might have cost him $1000 if he had insurance now costs him $150,000 but he probably has that in the equity to his home."

that cost will not be borne by the person who gets sick. it will be borne by the system that has to absorb the cost. a) we can not be certain the person will have money as you do and b) even if he or she does it's still remains an issue of the system aborbing additional transactional costs.

overtime your issue about mandates having free riders become less likely. under obama the problem remains a consistent problem. they also do not place the same burdens for other reasons but i think you are starting to get my points.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Every critic, Krugman, Cohn, and the like all praise Obama's plan for what it is, how it reforms the Health Care Industry, how it regulates the Private Insurance Industry, how it establishes a National Health Care Plan which subsidizes lower income people and provides coverage plans to small employers.  The only disagreement is whether an individual mandate to bring healthy people who can afford insurance into the insurance pool.  That isn't about Health, that is about Insurance.  That is not something Doctors are worried about, it is something Insurance companies worry about.  And I don't think that really is a concern so much for the voters as it is for the negotiations which will take place before anyone's final plan comes into play.

I have stated elsewhere what I think are the dangers of establishing the individual mandate as proposed in terms of other issues.  What is wrong, what has been the only attack is to claim that somehow Obama's plan displays a lesser commitment to bring quality affordable health care to all citizens.  The more I have read critiques of it, the more I have listened to him talk in depth about it, the more convinced I am of the wisdom of it.  I read Jonathan Cohn pro-mandate article and became fully convinced on his own terms that he was reaching the wrong conclusion.  

by Piuma 2007-12-08 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

i disagree with you. but thats the point. reasonable peo can come to different conclusions. tactically what obama did here was to turn this into a fight over personalities. thats  where he went off the rail because thats not what this is aobut. it showed   bad political judgement for himt o make it about that.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Wow bruh, you are on fire today. I've never agreed with you this much. Keep it coming!

by lonnette33 2007-12-08 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

oh puhleez. Save it.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 07:16AM | 0 recs
Who elected you as moderator?

You seem to have selected yourself as judge, jury and executioner here. Try making a policy argument for a change.

Obama's economic team ranges all the way from Center to Near Right. For Christ sake his lead economic advisor drew praise from George Will. If that didn't set off an alarm in your head you need to get out more. Google 'Osama advisor Goolsbee'. Then try googling 'Osama advisor Liebman' to which the first result from my search brought up this Krugman column from Nov 11th Why Osama why? Forget Osama's voting record, who is he freely picking to be on his team?

When you pick a guy from Uncle Miltie's University of Chicago School of Economics to lead up your team (Goolsbee) and then couple him up with the author of the LMS Social Security privatization plan (Liebman being the 'L' in LMS) real progressives have to worry.

by Bruce Webb 2007-12-08 08:57AM | 0 recs
Even krugman doesnt believe

the crap he is spouting now..

What?!

I dont think so...

Krugman knows the reality of what IS Obama campaign and he is our truest truth teller.

He WILL do his duty.

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-08 07:18AM | 0 recs
yup and the same media dawlings

who love obama now

carried the bush water then and abused krugman terribly.

see its just one big circle..

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-08 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

You should be more careful because people may just laugh when you try to claim mandating the someone BUYS INSURANCE is a left-wing concept.  Single payer Medicare for all is a left-wing concept, mandating people to do what the Insurance Industry wants is not left-wing in my book.

And has anyone stopped to consider how this plays into the abortion debate?  If the Government cannot mandate what you do with your body, why should it mandate how you insure it, because we are not talking about mandating only catastrophic care.  That's not the plan.  It is mandating complete coverage.  And if that is okay doesn't this open the door for the reverse?  If we can mandate you have insurance, can't we mandate you don't smoke, don't get fat, have to exercise, not have an abortion....

Be careful what you wish for.

by Piuma 2007-12-08 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

Well, some leftists mandated retirement and disability insurance (otherwise known as Social Security), they certainly thought mandated insurance was a left wing concept. Even single payer will be structured as insurance. You are more correct on the public/private issue, and this is where Obama's plan is weakest.

by souvarine 2007-12-08 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

Think about what you just said and for once let's think two steps ahead.  There is a huge difference between the Government providing retirement for all and MANDATING retirement coverage.  The Social Security model is the single payer Medicare for all model.  This is not what Edwards is saying.  He says to me, a healthy adult who can afford coverage that I MUST have Health Insurance.  Okay, so I choose Blue Shield, a private company, and that covers my Mandate.  

Now let's look at Social Security.  If that is a Mandate, well then let me choose to put my money in my Morgan Stanley retirement fund and I will have satisfied my mandate.  Why not?  What is good for Health Care is not good for Retirement?  This idea of a full coverage mandate takes us right down the path to privatized Social Security.   Once again, Edwards judgement is lacking beyond the emotion of the moment.  And so-called Progressives like Armstrong are blithely tagging along.

by Piuma 2007-12-08 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

That's not all Edwards is saying, and the Social Security example really is a good one that frankly you are spliting hairs on. Effectively rather than form wise- what is the difference in outcome? Not much.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

Bruh, where am I wrong?   Isn't Edwards saying that despite me being healthy I must have insurance.  I can well afford it so the choice is mine, private or public, but I must purchase insurance. I am positive that is what his individual mandate means.

I find it a little odd that people get so upset over using the word "crisis" instead of "problem" when referring to Social Security, but have no problem with establishing a Government model for one issue which could easily spread to others.  It is not splitting hairs.  The Individual Mandate for Health Insurance which Edwards and Clinton support is exactly the model for Privatized Social Security and School Vouchers.  I must have retirement savings, let me choose a public or private plan.  I must educate my kids, let me choose a public school or a private one.

It is not splitting hairs.  We're being sold a bill of goods here by people like Jerome who place partisanship over good policy.  This individual mandate idea is wrong headed.  If we allow it to take hold then what is the defense against privatized Social Security as an individual's choice?

by Piuma 2007-12-08 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

You say several things so let me go through them in turn:

a) I don't know your level of economic thought background? I am not an expert, but I will give you my general views of how you are contorting the idea of why mandates are needed.

The mandate is far more complicated than you are describing. Yes, it means you would have to obtain insurance. that part is right as far as it goes- but there is a reason for that. It's called the free rider effect- which is part of the reason why our system is so expensive. The key difference in what you say is that you miss the point entirely- you are healthy now, but  if you were uninsured, and you get sick- will you go   to a doctor?

Of course, not, because ultimately we value human life.

Or, how about this hypo- what if you had something that if you had insurance and went to the doctor earlier it would have cost the system 1000 but now with the emergency care approach costs it 150k?

The mandadate exists like with Social Security as a safety net. The mandate- at least to me- exists to reduce costs and prevent free rider situations because insured or uninsured- you will use the services for which the insurance is meant to cover. If you can argue that the uninsured will not partake of the healthcare- system- then your concern over mandates has some weight in my mind.

Also- let's be clear the structure Edwards gives for the mandate is progressive - ie, ability to pay is a factor in what one has to pay. We do that or used to with our tax code etc. The poor will not have to pay what hte wealthy pay. The idea isn't to unduly burden them, but realistically again prevent free rider situations- ie think Walmart employees where this is rampant.

b) problem versus crisis is a question of intensity of what's happening and/or connotation and not simply definitions.

c) The key difference is from where and to where one is going. The mandate is meant to start a process toward universal healthcare. The point is to where it leading? If the private sector can out compete the public I would certainly love to see that. Don't think it will happen and i suspect many will choose the public. THe public option with healthcare is comparable to social security. It's , in other words, the minimum. You are looking at it in the wrong way to see it as the ceiling. Afterall we have SS but we also have IRAs and multiple other things that are in place. All a mandate does, like with Social Security taxes (everyone inlcuind the poor pays those), is to require there is minimum in place for healthcare insurance.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

I started to respond but then thought better of it.  Please just take 10 minutes and watch this:  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjsRcIfMj -E

by Piuma 2007-12-08 09:14AM | 0 recs
The numbers don't run

Now let's look at Social Security.  If that is a Mandate, well then let me choose to put my money in my Morgan Stanley retirement fund and I will have satisfied my mandate.  Why not?
Clearly you have not actually looked at Social Security. No one has put a private account based plan on the table that provides a better result for most workers than Social Security does, particularly if called to do so using the same economic projections currently being used by the Social Security Trustees. It just can't be done.

Which is why I would prefer that we go Single Payer, taken as a whole it is the cheapest way to achieve Universal Coverage. But absent that the next cheapest way is to require mandates. Because in the end it doesn't matter how healthy you are or what your resources are or how skillful your riding skills are, when that semi pulls over and sends your bike and your helmetless head into the divider and puts you in a wheelchair for life then someone is going to be picking up the bills. Obama's plan lets young and dumb people stay young and dumb until the bills come due. Which then get stuck on me. Things like helmet laws and mandates are not insurance for you, they are insurance for me and everybody else that would be stuck with the results of your poor choices.

by Bruce Webb 2007-12-08 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: The numbers don't run

Well then isn't that what should be mandated? Catastrophic care only?  He wants to really see how many are not in the system before structuring the way to bring them in.  And perhaps mandate is not the way to go - matter of fact we all know it isn't.  Perhaps at that point he can sidestep what the Insurance companies want, and create a single-payer Catastrophic care for all system.  Limited Medicare for all with employer mandated full coverage and public subsidies wrapped around it.  If you already give the Insurance companies what they want going in you have lost that flexibility.

by Piuma 2007-12-08 09:32AM | 0 recs
Mandates can transition to Single Payer

in ways Obama's plan does not.

Which is why progressive critics of Medicare Part D drug coverage were so off based. Sure it was a sell-out to Big Pharma. On the other hand it did get all seniors covered. Over the long run we have the opportunity to improve Part D by giving Medicare the power to bargain drug prices and by removing the donut hole. In the short term we keep people from being hospitalized because they couldn't afford their heart medication. It is rarely a good idea to allow the perfect to remain the enemy of the good.

Is Edwards plan perfect? No, much like current Plan D is to Big Pharma, the Edwards plan is to the Insurance industry. But it allows future options like giving people the ability to voluntarily enroll in Medicare as an alternative to private insurance. Given a balanced playing field (i.e. no subsidies) Medicare has shown it can compete on a cost basis with private Medicare Advantage plans, which is why those companies are screaming today at attempts to eliminate the subsidies. All Medicare Advantage proves is that with higher funding you can provide more services. Well Duh.

Once people are forced to have coverage they will have incentives to seek the lowest cost alternative and properly handled that will be government run Medicare. The logic of mandates is the same as the logic of Social Security, private insurance simply can't provide the same coverage at the same cost, they can only make money by exclusion and so shifting the externalities out to the public sector.

by Bruce Webb 2007-12-08 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Mandates can transition to Single Payer

I disagree.  Mandates take us away from where we want to be and your example of Medicare Advantage is right to the point.  All the plans set up a National Health Care plan with subsidies that puts in place the transition mechanism for Medicare For All.  But where the Clinton/Edwards scheme goes wrong is in putting that in competition with Private Plans and giving an individual mandate to give a bigger pool to the Insurance companies to cover their  risk.  

The Medicare Advantage program is not in competition with Medicare.  They are wrap arounds.  In the Medicare For All program we all want this to move to, private plans would not be in competition, they would be wrap-arounds as well.  We can't place it in competition and then stack the deck by having tax money pay for the Public plan beyond subsidies.  This is where Obama is much smarter.

Instead of giving Insurance companies the individual mandate they want, Obama sits down with them and says I want lower costs, no exclusions, etc., etc. and they say but we can't lower costs unless we have a bigger pool of healthy people putting in.  And Obama can say, well I didn't run on a mandate proposal, I don't have the backing of the people to tell them they have to get insurance, and besides there are people over there on the far right who will fight me on Big Government telling an individual what he has to do about insuring his own body.  So what can we do, the public has clearly mandated that we all reform health care, how do we solve this risk pool problem.

And the answer is clear as can be, staring us right in the face.  Government provided catastrophic care, the entrance drug of Single Payer Medicare for All.  Obama has already hinted at this when he talks about Government taking up some of the costs when one person's excessive care bumps up a small employer's insurance pool rates. Once Government takes over the root of why we all need Insurance out of tax money, then private plans can morph into the wrap-arounds that is the Medicare model. Employers can then provide excess health care as a true benefit instead of replacing Government's social contract role as a safety net for its citizens.  By refusing to give up now what Insurance companies want to get their hands on, he sets a clearer path to where we want all want to go, Single-Payer true universal coverage paid for out of tax dollars.  

by Piuma 2007-12-08 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

Bingo.

Obama's plan would be to fix cost problems first and fix problems later like the ones that Krugman listed (and rightfully so.) The other plans would create a mandate first and fix cost problems later. There is a clear choice.

by misscee 2007-12-08 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

You appear to have forgotten that Clinton's plan is a three part plan: first lower costs, then improve quality, finally cover everyone.

This whole argument is extraordinarily disingenuous on the part of Obama supporters. Your audacity really us breathtaking. You spent most of the campaign attacking Clinton for announcing her plan in phases and misconstruing her position that it will take as long as two terms to achieve universal coverage. Now, when it becomes clear that Obama's plan never achieves universal coverage you want to forget that Clinton placed lowering costs first.

When I look to see who has been consistent and honest on this issue, and who has mislead and changed postitions, Clinton has been straightforward, I cannot trust Obama.

by souvarine 2007-12-08 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

If you cannot trust him it is only because you are not informed about him.  There is very little substantial difference between the candidates and from my perspective what has been wrong is the claim that somehow Obama intends not to provide UHC.  Their goals are the same, they have a slight difference in how to get there.  But please, don't criticize people as being disingenuous while being so yourself.  Please take time to watch this interview with Obama before drawing such a conclusion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjsRcIfMj -E

by Piuma 2007-12-08 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: And people laughed when

I didn't mean to imply that the plans were so simplistic. Thanks for clarifying that. However, since HRC has not outlined how and when the mandate would be imposed, I stand by my comment.

by misscee 2007-12-08 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

The media doesnt give a fuck about Krugman anyway....They see him as an angry guy a la mike gravel...One of those crazy liberals that makes all liberals looks bad.

Krugman = Mike gravel

by Prodigy 2007-12-08 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Krugman shrill! Republican much?

That is kind of the point of these defenses of Krugman, Obama is helping marginalize liberal voices in the media. And you are too.

by souvarine 2007-12-08 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Look- support Obama, but don't make shit up. Krugman has been one of the strongest advocates of reforming healthcare. He's not a shill for anyone. He seems from my experience of folloiwing his columns on these issues for several years to be about the issue of healthcare in america.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 08:18AM | 0 recs
i keep repeating this cause its just so good

a commment from ezra kleins blog about Obama attacking Krugman

 

This, and Obama's apparent surge generally, is very, very troubling. It does not bode well for us at all, as Obama is the candidate most likely to give away an election that is ours to lose.

   Democrats need to get really serious about this race really fast. People are always complaining about how "early" it is, but we're barely a month out from a handful of actual votes that will probably decide who carries the Democratic banner in 2008. There is very good reason to wonder whether Obama is ready for prime time, but we're on the verge of putting him there without even considering this question.

   If Obama wasn't in the race, I think we'd see a more serious campaign. Clinton and Edwards have reasonably distinct ideological perspectives, and each would bring different electoral strengths to the ticket. It would be nice to have a forceful but rational debate over the future of the party and the different paths they represent.

   But Obama is a sideshow, a candidate whose celebrity is his only rationale. It is very fitting that Oprah is campaigning for him. Obama's supporters represent a disturbing cult of personality that I do not see anywhere else (except Ron Paul). They seem to think that his very existence is somehow miraculous and that his election would be "transformative" in some ineffable, metaphysical way. Andy Sullivan's argument, essentially, which should really tell you something.

   Posted by: Jason C.

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-08 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: We do not all share your racist fears.....

I personally believe that Obama is by far the most electable Democrat.  

He is the only one of the top three who has been largely authentic and consistent in his public life.  Edwards is a born again populist who is completely out of step with his own record in the Senate.  HRC is an unnown and untrusted cipher, who, rightly or wrongly, is widely percieved as being consumed with ambition.

Obama is authentic at a time when the public is demanding authenticity.

by upper left 2007-12-08 10:30AM | 0 recs
That's right...

and that's why he will win Iowa where the demographics are terrible for him.

by mboehm 2007-12-08 11:12AM | 0 recs
Just Asking

how come all the anti-Obama stuff that gets posted here comes from Jerome Armstrong? I never see him going after anybody else.

You might call it fair criticism but is it really fair if the only one he ever criticizes is Obama?

Just asking.

by freaktown 2007-12-08 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Just Asking

Look, Obama is my second choice- and I believe he would make a good President- and yes Armstrong can be guilty of what you say- but this isn't about that. it was just  the wrong move to attack Krugman on this issue. Krugman has been talking bout healthcare issues for al ong time, and I respect his views a lot because he tends to be dead on about the issues. If Obama want'ed to disagree- argument ont he merits- don't argue based on character because Krugman is above attack for me regarding his character.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 08:16AM | 0 recs
Just Asking: Here's an answer

Krugman made a policy based critique of Obama's Social Security and Health Care plans. Team Obama's response was to attack Krugman personally. Others objected, including Jerome. Somehow criticizing a negative attack becomes an unfair, biased response in the minds of the attackers supporters. Well that is the sign of a personality cult and not a policy discussion.

The pure fact is that in the minds of progressive economists and those who follow the issues from that perspective Osama made some serious blunders on both Social Security and now Health Care. At a minimum he chose entirely the wrong team of economic advisors. At best he has taken some bad advice, at worst on economic issues he is not progressive at all. For what it is worth I don't really believe the latter, that instead he is just pursuing an ultra-cautious approach, but at this point I can't be sure.

Frankly a lot of Obama supporters are in the position of the onlookers who all admire the Emperor's New Clothes, nobody being willing to point out that from an economic policy position the Emperor here is in fact naked. Instead in true attack the messenger fashion they have decided to lash out at Krugman, who in this parable represents the clear sighted Little Boy.

by Bruce Webb 2007-12-08 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Just Asking: Here's an answer

a) I am hoping your calling him Osama was a mistake.

b) Never refer to a black man (and this is just from me) as a boy. This conversation has nothing to do with race, and as you can see by my posts here  in this diary I disagree vehemently with Obama, but you do cross a line.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Just Asking: Here's an answer

Perhaps one day you'll realize who you have thrown in with.  The Audacity of Hope.  That title is not so much a wistful dream as it is a social commentary.  How dare he.  Just look at how this whole debate has been swung away from Obama pledging to get reform done in his first 4 years to what is the best way to help the Insurance companies.

by Piuma 2007-12-08 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Just Asking: Here's an answer

You confuse a single poster with his or her own agenda with a candidate? This site is so full of hyperbole and over the top commentary.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Just Asking: Here's an answer

I wish it was that.  But there was a campaign early on that we should side with Edwards because he is a white Southern male and therefore the only one electable in the GE.  And this wasn't just a whisper campaign by a few people.  I heard a member of the California Party Progressive Caucus go on KPFK and say the same thing.  And even Thom Hartmann, master of "Cracking the Code", constantly says he likes Obama but he is "afraid" he can't win the in the General Election.  And it is never he "thinks" he can't win, it is always he is "afraid".  I'm not saying all these people are out and out racists, but there are tendencies, old habits, bad thoughts which people in the Edwards campaign have been trying to give cover to by the whisper that only a White Southerner can win, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

This is showdown time, Bruh.  We have a real chance to transform our country.  The point of The Audacity of Hope is that it is not audacious to hope, it is our right.  

by Piuma 2007-12-08 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Just Asking: Here's an answer

 the campaign early on was that edwards thought he was the best choice, and what candidate doesn't think that? all of race stuff which i thought we had gotten pass was shit added by others- it's the same kind of shit that clinton added when she was questioned at the debates "it must be because i am a woman" she didn't say as much but her supporters definitely ran with that idea. it's something that obama has expressly disavowed and i find it fascinating you would use it here. these people are candidates running for office- if another candidate who happens to be white says they think they are better- the first assumption should not be- well he's saying it because he's white. that's taking id politics too far. show me one real instance- not even a statement- but instance proving your point that is not just your interpretation of the events. this is a conversation iw ould expect to have with book girl, not you. she has difficulties understanding that cricism or questioning who is better does not per se equals id politics as well.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Just Asking: Here's an answer

I gave you some instances and I was also referring to the Edwards is the only electable in "tough" districts campaign that he had Mudcat Saunders doing early on.  People saw right through it.  And as I said, I listened to my fellow Progressive Caucus member Brad Parker say it outright on the radio, we must nominate a White Southerner.  This was couched in political analysis talk, but when that runs counter to every indication we have: national polls, money raised, amount of contributors, amount of volunteers, groundwork structure, enthusiasm generated, then it doesn't take a genius to crack that code: fear of racism to continue racism.  Maybe this doesn't bother you, but it makes me disgusted.  

by Piuma 2007-12-08 01:48PM | 0 recs
Screw you Bruh

I spelled his name right three times and slipped once. And you immediately jump to the conclusion that I am making a covert attack. Fuck that, my progressive credentials are well established, my first diary here is dated Nov 27. 2004.

And brush up on reading skills clown. In this particular parable Obama is the Emperor and Krugman the Little Boy and last I knew Krugman wasn't black.

Which is kind of the characteristic of a lot of Obama supporters, they are a little too quick to take offense and ascribe malicious motives. Well sorry me boyo sometimes like a cigar is just a cigar a typo is just a typo.

by Bruce Webb 2007-12-08 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Screw you Bruh

bruce

calling him a little boy wasn't a matter of mispelling his name. were it just hi sname i would hav eignored you. that you called him boy is what brought your comment further into a particular context, so you can go to hell with your misplaced indignation because it was unnecessary. the same thing i am arguing is the problem with obama trying to play off personality is what you are guilty of here. realize your mistake and move on or not- i dont care, but splease don't pretend like you were being anything other than what you were being in calling him that name.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Just Asking: Here's an answer

Bruce I had to rate you down on this one. The substance of your comment was great. However, calling Barry Osama and then calling him a boy is not a good thing.

by lonnette33 2007-12-08 10:01AM | 0 recs
See my reply above

I didn't call Obama a boy. In context that role would go to Krugman.

And it doesn't say a lot for the level of discussion that you would automatically assume that given a 3 to 1 ratio of Obama to Osama that I was being deliberate here. Jeez I have been known to use 'their' when I meant 'there', never got troll rated for it.

This is why I ultimately walked away from dKos for the most part, you can spend months and years building up a record and have it trashed in a minute by somebody you never heard of.

by Bruce Webb 2007-12-08 10:47AM | 0 recs
Lonnette

Maybe you are actually a long time lurker, but per your user page you made your first contribution in July of this year. Maybe you should do what I did which is to check someone's posting history out before passing judgement.

I have been a member here since MyDD came back from hiatus and went to Scoop and I really resent being called a racist on the basis of people not being able to put a fairy tale in proper context. (Did he say 'fairy'? Must be a homophobe.) Life is too short for that.

by Bruce Webb 2007-12-08 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Lonnette

Not true. I've been a member for over a year. I only started writing diaries of late.  Yes, I was a lurker for quite sometime. You seem very senstive. Obviously, I'm basing my opinion off your post under this frontpage diary. However, I understand where you are coming from and I will up rate the troll rate.

by lonnette33 2007-12-08 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

I know others want to quickly turn this back to the substance, but quite frankly I am disappointed with Obama over this. I don't understand him attack Krugman even if he disagrees with the substance. Krubman has been rock solid on these issues. Different people can come to different conclusions but to try to make Krugman out to be something bad is just wrong. I still say Obama would be my second choice, but this is disappointing.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Obama WAS my second choice.  I now feel we will really lose this country for a generation if Edwards isn't elected.  Obama needs to lose to wake up and learn.  Edwards IS the only hopeful choice.  

I feel real sad about the Democratic side too now.

by pioneer111 2007-12-08 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Obama already lost, woke-up and learned when he ran for congress back in 2000.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

He could make a great president, but he does have some blind spots that he needs to work on. this is one of them i believe.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Listen to you speak. All the candidates on both the Republican and Democratic sides, have blind spots. Do not single out Obama.

by rapcetera 2007-12-08 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

do you know me. i don't think anyone can accuse me here are singling any candidate out until its their sacred cow they think i am attacking. when they fuck up we need to call them on it. period- there are no exceptions.

by bruh21 2007-12-08 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Isn't this exactly the kind of thing Obama doesn't want to do: getting in a spitting match with a columnist/reporter. Doesn't feed his new kind of politics image. He is having a tough time on this healthcare issue. His opponents can say their plan is universal while his is not. Now that's not saying his plan might not be very good, but this is politics. He should defend his plan instead of using right wing speek against those that don't feel it's really Universal Healthcare.

by Christopher Lib 2007-12-08 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

Ultimately, Krugman and others can only offer an opinion on how these various healthplans will work.  And the only plan with an actual individual mandate, the MA plan, has not achieved universal coverage.  And none will actually be fully implemented.  So I am not sure why Krugman is making a fuss except to support Clinton's campaign.

But I agree its futile, if not worse, to get into a pissing contest with a columnist.  But the NYTimes could always fire him.

by Javier Doval 2007-12-08 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Krugman responds to Obama

I've now beginning to suspect that the opinions of Dr. Paul Krugman, who used to be a top advisor to Enron, is bought and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Why else would he stoop down to the level of personal attack that was so much fun for Hillary Clinton?
I know several other Phds in economics that believe that mandates don't and won't work on Healthcare unless the insurance is affordable in the first place.  The America that rid itself of "free loaders" like Krugman would want is not the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This is the same reason why Hillary failed in 1993, because then, she, like Krugman now went straight into demonizing everyone that disagreed with their opinion.  Thank God that Obama is currently inching up in the polls to save the democrats from another embarrassment on Healthcare from Hillary Clinton and her paid and semi-paid advisers.

by igwealth5tm 2007-12-09 07:29AM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads