by katerina, Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 11:38:27 AM EST
Okay, I'm taking a deep breath here. This is not meant as an attack diary, though I know it will be seen as such. It is rather a further examination of an issue that has been a source of contention in this campaign: the question of why Obama chose to leave out mandates in his health care reform plan.
When Obama's plan first came out, the lack of mandates was seen as either a mistake or the result of too much caution by Obama's advisors. Then when Obama began campaigning as if this lack of mandates was a virtue, Krugman called him on it, which resulted in a tense back and forth between the two, Obama claiming that the lack of mandates was a stand of principle, Krugman accusing him of sabotaging the future of health care reform, and Obama's supporters lashing out at Krugman and trashing his reputation. I found this back and forth both troubling and surprising.
Many in the blogosphere interpreted the reaction of the Obama campaign as defensive and the reaction of Obama supporters as merely reflexive in trying to defend their candidate. However, last night -- while watching the New Hampshie debate -- a different explanation occurred to me. What if Obama left out mandates to insure all American adults not by accident or timidity or because of principle -- after all, he did impose mandates to insure children -- but instead as an integral part of his electoral strategy?