Krugman rebukes Obama supporters (the hospital story)

Many of you may not yet be aware of this, because the comment is found deep into the last paragraphs of his Friday's column; but anyway,  Krugman was careful enough to tell the huge difference between the classy, sophisticated Barack Obama and many of his brain-dead supporters. After tackling the media myths behind "hospital-gate", as you may call it, Krugman noted:

t was particularly sad to see a number of Obama supporters (though not the Obama campaign itself) join enthusiastically in the catcalls against Mrs. Clinton's good-faith effort to put a human face on the cruelty and injustice of the American health care system.

Look, I know that many progressives have their hearts set on seeing Barack Obama get the Democratic nomination. But politics is supposed to be about more than cheering your team and jeering the other side. It's supposed to be about changing the country for the better.

Something similar happened not long ago. When that exemplar of journalistic integrity, Matt Drudge, claimed without any evidence that some campaign person whose name we never learned, was "circulating" emails with pictures of Obama in Somali clothes.
Howard Wolfson later denied having any knowledge of anyone in the campaign did such thing; indeed, Drudge was never man enough to name names. But to many Obama supporters, the prescence of evidence was not a requirement back then, and still isn't.

I think you should follow this advice. It would help our party and the nation.

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Hillary, Barack, Words, Counterpunch, Crisis, Reality

I'm not happy about the quality of life in my community. As a local elected official, he had a primary role in that.


Hillary Clinton does not have an exciting exterior, while Barack Obama certainly does (by the low standards of elite law schools and U.S. politics). And yet there she is, doggedly plugging away with her progressive proposals, while Barack's words are so, well, Clintonian. As in 1992-2000 Bill DLC Clintonian. And, well, let's let Paul Krugman, in Loans and Leadership, do my work for me on the latest:

When George W. Bush first ran for the White House, political reporters assured us that he came across as a reasonable, moderate guy.

Yet those of us who looked at his policy proposals -- big tax cuts for the rich and Social Security privatization -- had a very different impression. And we were right.

The moral is that it's important to take a hard look at what candidates say about policy. It's true that past promises are no guarantee of future performance. But policy proposals offer a window into candidates' political souls -- a much better window, if you ask me, than a bunch of supposedly revealing anecdotes and out-of-context quotes. . . .

And then Krug takes a look at all three of the remaining mainstream candidates and finds her the only one attractively [except for her Rubin/Greenspan commission boner] New Dealish:

These days, even free-market enthusiasts are talking about increased regulation of securities firms now that the Fed has shown that it will rush to their rescue if they get into trouble. But Mr. McCain is selling the same old snake oil, claiming that deregulation and tax cuts cure all ills.

Hillary Clinton's speech could not have been more different.

True, Mrs. Clinton's suggestion that she might convene a high-level commission, including Alan Greenspan -- who bears a lot of responsibility for this crisis -- had echoes of the excessively comfortable relationship her husband's administration developed with the investment industry. But the substance of her policy proposals on mortgages, like that of her health care plan, suggests a strong progressive sensibility.

Maybe the most notable contrast between Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton involves the problem of restructuring mortgages. Mr. McCain called for voluntary action on the part of lenders -- that is, he proposed doing nothing. Mrs. Clinton wants a modern version of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation, the New Deal institution that acquired the mortgages of people whose homes were worth less than their debts, then reduced payments to a level the homeowners could afford.

Finally, Barack Obama's speech on the economy on Thursday followed the cautious pattern of his earlier statements on economic issues.

I was pleased that Mr. Obama came out strongly for broader financial regulation, which might help avert future crises. But his proposals for aid to the victims of the current crisis, though significant, are less sweeping than Mrs. Clinton's: he wants to nudge private lenders into restructuring mortgages rather than having the government simply step in and get the job done.

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Krugman debunks Bush's Regulation Plan

(crossposted on Swordscrossed and Dailykos)

Paul Krugman is a gentle man, whose nature is not to be confrontational. So in today's column, rather than accuse the Bush administration of the most outrageous deceit in trying to disguise a continuation of libertarian free market ideology as "reform" he buried this exposure in the text with the title "The Dilbert Strategy

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Krugman on Presidential Leadership through Policy Proposals

Does a candidate's policy proposals reveal the kind of president he/she would be?  Paul Krugman today in the NYT suggests that policy proposals have revealed the kind of leadership that past presidential candidates.  He points out that Bush proposed big tax cuts for the rich and followed through on them, making life harder for the rest of us.  

The moral is that it's important to take a hard look at what candidates say about policy..... policy proposals offer a window into candidates' political souls -- a much better window, if you ask me, than a bunch of supposedly revealing anecdotes and out-of-context quotes.

The current issue that McCain, Clinton and Obama have responded to is the mortgage crisis.  Krugman analyzes the three responses and I found his analysis interesting and to be troubling for progressives.      

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Why Obama can't bring the change he promises.

Obama promises that he can change the tone in Washington, and derides "the partisan politics of the past" (ie the nineties and Hillary Clinton).  But he can't change the tone because the problem is with Republicans not Democrats.  A non-partisan Democratic President will be as hapless against partisan Republicans as the Democratic congress is often accused of being now. Republicans are willing to block progressive legislation.  

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