Obama attacks... Krugman?

Barack Obama's campaign has released an oppo document on Paul Krugman (h/t Ezra Kline). Apparently stung by Krugman's criticism of Obama's health care plan the campaign has decided to attack one of the few progressives with a national column. The attack is doubly odd because it attempts to contrast Krugman's sympathetic overview of Obama's plan with his critique of the plan's details. Apparently that is what you get for promoting Obama, a smack-down if you deviate from praise.

Krugman is no saint, I don't agree with everything he has to say, but a Democrat who has an issue with his columns ought to at least address the substance. This kind of cheap juxtaposition in an attempt to smear is typical of how Obama treats fellow Democrats. Given Obama's series of actions on Social Security, gay rights, health care, his history of religious pandering and now attacking Democratic allies it is very hard for me to discern in what way he is a progressive or liberal Democrat. Obama's desperation to please media elites, his openness to Republican policies and undermining of Democrats tells me why he found Joe Lieberman such a compelling mentor.

See also atrios.

Tags: Barack Obama, Health care, Paul Krugman (all tags)

Comments

68 Comments

Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

I certainly wouldn't call this an attack. This is a defensive document, foremost. It does suggest an odd shift in tone from Krugman. In any case, I'm surprised that so much fuss is being made about the mandate issue. Until Clinton's enforcement scheme is made apparent, it's difficult to evaluate consequential differences. In addition, Obama has indicated an openness to mandates after sufficient cost-reduction. So, this issue doesn't seem to divide the candidates as much as some allege.

I would finally note that I don't get the Krugman worship by some. He has done plenty to warrant praise in the past, particularly his popularization of economics. However, his op-ed work disappoints me very much. I don't like it much when intellectuals I admire indulge their more ideological impulses. Brian Leiter is another good example.

by DPW 2007-12-07 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

The piece is obviously meant to undermine Krugman's credibility. It is particularly sleazy because it does not address the substance of Krugman's argument. If mandates are so acceptable then why is Obama attacking them as coercive?

From the rest of your comment I take it that you do not like Krugman's long history of attacks on Republicans. For instance his strongly worded argument in the 2000 campaign that Bush's economic plans were based on a pack of lies. I am not surprised that an Obama supporter would feel that way.

by souvarine 2007-12-07 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

Sure, I think it does question the credibility of his tone. That is, the comparison of Krugman's tone "then" and "now" is sufficiently different to require explanation. And, I think a decent explanation has been given, although I still find it odd when folks get so worked up over "right-wing talking points." Indeed, when I expressed disappointment with Krugman's op-ed pieces, one of my specific complaints is the fact that he (an important intellectual) sometimes demonstrates a paranoid concern about rhetoric.

You say that the obama reply doesn't address the substance of Krugman's piece. That's true, but this is just one part of the campaign's response. The campaign, including Obama himself, has responded substantively to criticims in various memos, press meetings, etc.

Finally, I haven't seen where Obama calls mandates coercive, but I'll take you at your word that he has used such language. I have no problem with that, since it's true, of course, that mandates are coercive. That's doesn't mean mandates constitute unacceptable government action, though. All government regulation is coercive, really. Some of it can be justified, while others examples can not. I don't imagine that Obama has referred to mandates as "unjustified coersion," so we should attribute larger political meaning to the term.

From what I gather, Obama's approach to mandates reflects a legitimate concern that certain problems with health care should be tackled before implementation of a mandate. Otherwise, there is a very real risk that the burden imposed on some will be too substantial. I frankly don't see what is so objectionable about that. Indeed, I hate the idea of a mandate, unless contributions from individuals are collected through income taxes so that we can ensure that the cost burden is more fairly distributed. Economists do not typically worry themselves about specific issues relating to distributive justice, with is a good thing really. But, economists like Krugman too often exceed the scope of their expertise with these demonstrations of broad approval/disapproval vis-a-vis some political program. Krugman is certainly qualified to address various issues of fact relevant to economics. He is not, however, a political philosopher, so I would rather he stay away from broader pronouncements that depend upon difficult normative matters beyond his apparent expertise.

But, more generally, when folks like Krugman and Leiter move beyond their academic discipline, they just tend to abandon some of the intellectual temperament that characterizes their academic work. Suddenly these rigorous minds begin to oversimplify, to be more personal in criticism, and other such stiff.

But, more specifically, it always upsets me to see extremely smart people convince themselves that their expertise is more expansive than it actually is. A less-political example is Richard Dawkins. He is surely an intelligent man who knows very much about evolutionary biology. Yet, his recent book The God Delusion shows us a man blind to the limits of his expertise. He often presumes the very thing he claims to be proving--his naturalistic, reductionist view--and the saddest part is that he doesn't seem to have a clue that he's engaged in just question-begging. Thomas Nagel's semi-famous, negative review of the book characterized Dawkins' problem perfectly, and the fact that Nagel is a notorious atheist philosopher made it all the more embarrassing for Dawkins.

Well, sorry for the ridiculously long reply. I just got back from a happy hour and began to ramble.

by DPW 2007-12-07 05:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

correction: "we should NOT attribute larger political meaning to the term"

by DPW 2007-12-07 05:35PM | 0 recs
of course not!

obama doesnt "attack"...he just "sharpens the differences" right?  Only HILLARY attacks!

Krugman has been the ONE great na'l prog columnist during the bus regime.

What a fool you are to slander him.

who do you prefer ?  Frank Rich and his gal pal Mo Dowd?

your type of "Obama can do no wrong"-ers have caused me to add this new tag line.

and I mean it.

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: of course not!

I don't prefer any newpaper column for  my health care analysis.

Good night, Holden.

by DPW 2007-12-07 09:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

No, all obama does is vote more progressive than any of the other candidates other than Dennis.

But around here voting progressive is not as good as pretty stories pandering to fantasies of the krugmans..

by hawkjt 2007-12-07 10:06PM | 0 recs
not true

Clinton has a more liberal voting record than Obama.  And he doesn't bother to vote on the really tough issues, so who knows where he really stands on some things such as choice and this mess with Iran.  hE can talk all he wants but actual votes matter and his record is not more liberal.

by MollieBradford 2007-12-07 11:11PM | 0 recs
Re: not true

Mollie - love your sig!

Most Dems - especially the young ones - have no idea that the Centrist Clintons and their Corporate DLC damaged the Dem Party for 20 years.
Clinton was president of the DLC when he was elected in 92 - and of course, Hillary is still a major leader of the www.DLC.org.

The Clintons didn't build the Dem Party during the 90s even as the Repub Party was building their base because Centrism has NO core values.

Edwards wants to return the Dem Party to the core values that the Clintons - and even Obama - have ignored.

Go Edwards!

by annefrank 2007-12-08 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: not true

and even Obama - have ignored.

what core values has he ignored?

by jello 2007-12-09 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: not true

Mollie - love your sig!

Most Dems - especially the young ones - have no idea that the Centrist Clintons and their Corporate DLC damaged the Dem Party for 20 years.
Clinton was president of the DLC when he was elected in 92 - and of course, Hillary is still a major leader of the www.DLC.org.

The Clintons didn't build the Dem Party during the 90s even as the Repub Party was building their base because Centrism has NO core values.

Edwards wants to return the Dem Party to the core values that the Clintons - and even Obama - have ignored.

Go Edwards!

by annefrank 2007-12-08 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

yup , krugman tone is extremely offensive where he completly attacks Obama...Earlier this year , his tone was never that aggressive.

by Prodigy 2007-12-07 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

Klein Update:

To say a bit more on this, the campaign's attack on Krugman raises the question they don't want to answer: What changed? When Obama's plan came out, Krugman, and me, and Jon Cohn, and all the usual suspects criticized it for lacking an individual mandate, but said that, on the overall, it was pretty good, and Obama had passed the bar. Suddenly, we're all up in arms. Why?

Well, it was one thing when Obama simply didn't have a mechanism to achieve universality. It became a whole other when he began criticizing mechanisms to achieve universality.

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

And you don't see a general election problem with this 'mandate' notion?  This ain't Massachusetts we're talking about.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-12-07 05:19PM | 0 recs
it will be a HUGE problem

but this is our HUGE problem.

Im in my 40s now and sometimes, when the barometer moves hard, I just ache...

from old wounds and injuries that I had to just let self heal because of no medical insurance.

my right knee, my left knee, my left shoulder, broken fingers and toes that I had surfers, sailors and rugby players set for me instead of a trained professional...aaargh...

THIS is one fight we are gonna have to have sometime if we want real change.  Maybe Hllary realizes thats it better to face this battle now, so if and when we win the WH  back, this time we can go in with a fought for and won electoral mandate of the people backing change.

This will be a great force when the hiaa and the trial lawyers and all the others try to whittle down her proposal.  I think she learned this from hard fought and earned experience.

See how that works?

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: it will be a HUGE problem

So we are going into this election betting the farm on health care?  Why the f*ck should we do that.  Let's get elected and then do it.  We seem fixated on electoral failure.  I can just see the Democratic candidate tangled up in wonky explanations of how people's wages will be garnished to pay for over-priced health insurance.  Not me.  Single-payer?  You bet.  Cobbled up half-measure compromise enshrining insurance companies in our social economics?  Why bother.  It is ideological fruit salad.  All the electorate wants is cheaper health care, and who could blame them.  What did Rove say once?  Go ahead, send us that one. I dare you.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-12-07 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: it will be a HUGE problem

Then why offer any plan at all!?
If we agree that universal health care is the goal, and mandates are necessary to accomplish that, and it'd be nice to at least give people the option of having a public plan, then if you're not going to offer any of those in your plan in the primary (which Obama doesn't) then why start negotiating with yourself and offer a more milquetoast plan just because you're afraid you don't have the political skills to make the case to the American people that  having all those goals is the best thing for the country?

No, this isn't MA. The MA plan was awful, it did not have the subsidies necessary for low-income families. It also did not have a public option. Edwards's plan has both of those things. And once people realize that their premiums will be cut by 50%, 75%, or 100%, they will vote for Edwards and vote for his plan.

Obama is really really frustrating me here.  

by adamterando 2007-12-08 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: it will be a HUGE problem

Well then why not go the whole hog for single-payer?  I'm no expert on this, to be sure, but isn't that the idea?  How many more electoral opportunities are we going to get?  The wonkishness of this seems to be a weakness, if the netroots are arguing about it among themselves for days, misunderstanding the intent and detail, missing the point, how is the electorate going to do with a hostile campaign fanning the fire of confusion?

Everyone understands single-payer, it's simple.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-12-08 10:56AM | 0 recs
wait a minute hoss

no ones garnishing anyone wages.

and we tried it before, it is obvious we need an electoral mandate and ALL POLLING SHOWS

we can WIN ONE NOW!

So lets DO IT!

by the way my right knee aches like a MFer right now. We cant wait.

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-08 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: wait a minute hoss


A mandate is very complicated to explain, with lots of easy fear-mongering tools built into it the right can use (collection agencies, wage garnishment, etc).

Matt Stoller - Obama's Attack on Krugmann 7 Dec 07

It's the general election arguments over this which are my concern.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-12-08 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: it will be a HUGE problem

I'm not putting too much faith in Hillary's health care plan. Her take from corporate lobbyists and HMOs are Big Red Flags that her health care plan will be watered down by the time the lobbyists edit it.

They're not donating to Hillary to help "we the people."

Go Edwards!

by annefrank 2007-12-08 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: it will be a HUGE problem

enjoy your time with nader

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-08 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

Thank you for the link.  Mr. Krugman is behaving strangely toward Mr. Obama.  His aggressive attacks have been, well, weird.  I was wondering what the Obama campaign had to say.  And, I guess Mr. Krugman has made it impossible for them to ignore.

I wouldn't worry about Obama pissing off Mr. Krugman.  Seems Mr. Krugman is perfectly capable of doing that to himself.

by noquacks 2007-12-07 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?


Klein Update:

To say a bit more on this, the campaign's attack on Krugman raises the question they don't want to answer: What changed? When Obama's plan came out, Krugman, and me, and Jon Cohn, and all the usual suspects criticized it for lacking an individual mandate, but said that, on the overall, it was pretty good, and Obama had passed the bar. Suddenly, we're all up in arms. Why?

Well, it was one thing when Obama simply didn't have a mechanism to achieve universality. It became a whole other when he began criticizing mechanisms to achieve universality.

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

An individual mandate doesn't make a plan Universal.  You know that, right?  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-12-07 02:14PM | 0 recs
uh huh - right...

The Obama oppo mimics the horrible Ruth Marcus oped in the WaPo a week or two ago. The whole point is to destroy Krugman's credibility. That's Obama's modus operandi - he doesn't seem to care who or what he destroys if it gets in his way.

At this point, I think I'd take ANYBODY but Obama

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: uh huh - right...

1.  You didn't answer my question.  

2.  Does anybody include Republicans?  If that's the case I'd have serious questions about your judgement.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-12-07 02:22PM | 0 recs
I IGNORE silly spin questions

like that.

why dont you tell me about auto insurance %s?

isnt that next on your "script"?

and I've never voted for a republican and I sure don't want one to be our nominee!

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: I IGNORE silly spin questions

It's not a spin question.  i'm just sick of Clinton supporters claiming that mandates make a plan universal.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-12-07 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: I IGNORE silly spin questions

DID YOU EVEN READ THE KRUGMAN PIECES BEING DISCUSSED?

IF YOU HAD - YOUD KNOW THAT SPIN WAS ANSWERED.

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: I IGNORE silly spin questions

It's not spin, it's a serious point.  Hillary's plan isn't universal.  I disagree with people touting it as universal.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-12-07 02:55PM | 0 recs
Re: I IGNORE silly spin questions

so you didnt read krugman?

what a shock.

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 03:14PM | 0 recs
Re: I IGNORE silly spin questions

Hillary's plan is universal, and you are a paid operative who reiterates Obama's false talking points.

by truthteller2007 2007-12-07 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I IGNORE silly spin questions

Even Jonathan Cohn, whose opinion the Clinton argument largely rests, thinks this issue is a big to-do over nothing.  He says:


If the significance of including a mandate as part of health care reform really came down to nothing more than the numbers, it would not be so important. Obama's plan may not reach as many people as Clinton's or Edwards' would, but it would reach an awful lot of people--and, as such, do an awful lot of good. And, thankfully, Obama continues to say he wants to achieve universal coverage--that is, to make sure everybody has insurance. At least he has the right goal in mind.

He goes on to make a lousy case for mandates which only go to show he's a lot better at policy than negotiating strategy:


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.

If that is the case then it is completely foolhardy to include Mandates in your plan at the start.  When negotiating you pray you have some issues they really want that you are willing to give and get some for in return.  Obama has always said he is willing to consider mandates, but not until he sees the full plan.  He is already starting the negotiations.  Clinton & Edwards have already caved and got nothing in return.  

by Piuma 2007-12-07 04:08PM | 0 recs
What you said is unconscionable .

Why is including a personal mandate caving? There is nothing free on this planet. If health insurance is to become a publicly administered good then we have to cut back on free riders who will benefit from the massive investment poured in with taxpayer dollars so that they can get affordable coverage and then decline it, reaping benefits in shorter lines at the ER but still possibly foregoing the resources to pay for care because they had the choice not to be insured. Meanwhile, the insurance companies will have to calculate the cost of eventually having to take on someone later on who hasn't been insured (by their own choice) and pass that cost onto its other customers as they do now.

This is where many, many economists and policy makers actually agree. Why are you manufacturing a sellout when there is none?

Read the National Journal:

It's here that Obama faces his own contortions. He commendably calls for building a broad health care consensus that includes the insurance industry. But in the states, the individual mandate has been critical in persuading insurers to accept reform, including the requirement that they no longer reject applicants with pre-existing health problems, a key liberal goal. If such a requirement isn't tied to a mandate, insurers correctly note, the uninsured can wait until they are sick to buy coverage, which will inflate costs for everyone else. By seeking guaranteed access without an individual mandate, Obama is virtually ensuring war with the insurance companies that he has pledged to engage.

Make up your mind. If Obama is a realist, he should either include a mandate or withdraw his plan. If Obama is a consensus builder, then he should get in line with the consensus or stop attacking people who actually know what they're talking about. If Obama is a progressive, then he should propose a real change in the health care status quo. EOT.

by bowiegeek 2007-12-07 10:47PM | 0 recs
Re: I IGNORE silly spin questions

Just because you have a mandate to be covered doesn't mean that it has to cost a lot of money, or even any money for the individual to fulfill that mandate.

In the Edwards plan, families up to 100,000 income will be heavily subsidized (on a sliding scale) to purchase insurance if they can't get it through work or if they're not covered by medicaid (whose eligibility is doubled). Plus, you will always have the option of enrolling in the public Medicare Plus plan (unlike Obama's plan, where this is limited to self-employed people).

by adamterando 2007-12-08 05:41AM | 0 recs
Re: uh huh - right...

You mean any Democrat, don't you?

by Shaun Appleby 2007-12-07 02:40PM | 0 recs
Re: uh huh - right...

EVEN THE MIDGET.

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: uh huh - right...

You know, if I thought he had a celluloid rat's chance in hell he would be my first choice on policy.  UFO's and all...

by Shaun Appleby 2007-12-07 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: uh huh - right...

agree

by sepulvedaj3 2007-12-07 04:07PM | 0 recs
hell ya

and having a first lady with a tongue ring would totally rock!

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 05:16PM | 0 recs
Anybody but Obama

The secret of this primary season is that Obama is the LEAST progressive of the Democrats running.

I'm totally with Krugman on this.

Obama's attack on Social Security and on universal health care have pushed me to a pro-Edwards as second choice position.

by Coral 2007-12-07 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

No, individual mandates alone don't make a plan universal. The Massachusetts mandates, for instance, exempt a number of people. Obama's plan only mandates coverage for children. However all of the Democratic plans (other than Obama's and Biden's) are universal coverage plans that use mandates to ensure universality. The alternative is single payer, which is universal without mandates, and relies purely on the coercive power of the tax system. Obama's plan is not single payer and does not have mandates, so it is not universal and in fact is likely to miss at least one third of the uninsured.

by souvarine 2007-12-07 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

What is going on here?  Mandates don't ensure universiality.  They never have, and when you refuse to disclose enforcement, they never will.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-12-07 03:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

talkinng point spin.  is that all you ever have?

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 03:15PM | 0 recs
Nobody's Plan is 'Universal'

Even the people bagging Obama admit that:


It's true that nobody knows exactly just how much impact a mandate would have. But if it would be wrong to have blind faith in mandates, it would be even more wrong to discount them. The available evidence suggests that a mandate does make a big difference--and that, while it may not guarantee full universal coverage, it offers the best prospects for getting there.

Jonathan Cohn - The New Republic 7 Dec 07

You can drop the ideological purity of 'universality.'  These are all mere half-measures.  Single-payer is the only way to go.  My objection to the 'mandate' is based on this, frankly admitted by a fierce critic of Obama's approach:


In all of these cases, however, the only way to make sure these people get insured is to compel them to do so--in other words, to make it a legal requirement. That's a relatively simple matter if you have a single-payer, government-run system; you just enroll everybody at birth. (That's one more reason why folks like me continue to talk up this option, even though none of the leading candidates have taken to it.) But if you want to provide universal coverage mainly through private insurance--which seems to be where we're heading at the moment--then you have to make people buy it.

Jonathan Cohn - The New Republic 7 Dec 07

Compel people with a legal requirement to make them buy private insurance?  In a 'for-profit' marketplace?  Don't you see that as a wee bit, well, dodgy?

by Shaun Appleby 2007-12-07 05:09PM | 0 recs
Next, please.

You keep spinning, but you're still wrong. Come on and bring up California car insurance so that I can point out that California is a state without the resources get borne into the system to enforce insurance for every driver, but that even then auto insurance rates have kept low despite the dramatic increase in the number of drivers on the road.

Just because Obama opposes change in the healthcare system doesn't mean that change isn't possible.

by bowiegeek 2007-12-07 05:03PM | 0 recs
The lack of a mandate insures

it is not UHC.

by edgery 2007-12-07 05:16PM | 0 recs
nonsense
Krugman isn't acting strangly, Obama is.  He's acting like a republican.  Krugman is being consistant, he's a liberal and he is a criticizing Obama on policy.  
Geez, the minute Obama gets a fair criticism, it's a freaking conspiracy or something.
by MollieBradford 2007-12-07 11:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

by noquacks 2007-12-07 01:32PM | 0 recs
true comment from kleins page

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 2007-12-07 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: true comment from kleins page

yowza.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-12-07 03:51PM | 0 recs
Extremely incisive. n/t

by bowiegeek 2007-12-07 05:05PM | 0 recs
Re: true comment from kleins page

We'll see.  'Sideshow,' indeed.  More popular than Madame Clinton's Wax Museum, that's for sure.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-12-07 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: true comment from kleins page

Foreshadowed by the Ahhnold victory in California a few years ago. People have changed, and don't take elections as seriously as they once did, or count celebrity as a serious positive.

IF Obama loses to Hillary and gains the VP spot, he will have played his celebrity well and the Dems will have a cool national ticket. If he wins the Presidential nomination, the Dems may get for President a Lieberman protege and an 'everything on the table' attitude toward social benefits.

by fairleft 2007-12-08 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: true comment from kleins page

I kind of wondar how the rockstar candidate Obama will do in the end. The polls could very well be inflated by people excited now about him, but don't show up in the end for the caucus and primaries. He's relying on young people and new caucusers more than his rivals. Oprah can help him, but it also may turn some people off from him as it reinforces his celebrity over substance. It will be interesting how well his supporters turn out when all is said and done.

by Christopher Lib 2007-12-08 08:42AM | 0 recs
1/3 of those unisured would stay

uninsured.

And THATS going IN with the Plan!!!

forget the 15 million - think of it as 1/3.t

ABB!

by Seymour Glass 2007-12-07 03:19PM | 0 recs
Re: 1/3 of those unisured would stay

Has Holden Caufield been retired?  My how age creeps up on you.

by Piuma 2007-12-07 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: 1/3 of those unisured would stay

I was thinking the same thing.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-12-07 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: 1/3 of those unisured would stay

he changed his name after i taunted him for not getting laid. i was just kidding. guess i hit a sore spot.

by jello 2007-12-08 05:22AM | 0 recs
Re: 1/3 of those unisured would stay

just to elaborate, i didn't attack him unprovoked. he put up a diary entitled "it's sunday night, time to laugh at barry." you can't put up a diary like that without expecting incoming.

by jello 2007-12-09 03:51PM | 0 recs
by edgery 2007-12-07 05:19PM | 0 recs
Re: And over at Open Left

Did you read it?  Responding to Krugman has the 'pwogwessives' up in arms, to be sure, but the content of Matt's post is worth a second look:


A mandate is very complicated to explain, with lots of easy fear-mongering tools built into it the right can use (collection agencies, wage garnishment, etc).  And once the Village gets its mind set on mandates, any mandate will do.  That means that the likely outcome of this debate is going to be not just a universal mandate, but the worst possible universal mandate.  While I don't know what that would look like, with mandates, the "devil is in the details".  I think I now get why lots of wonks like the mandate plan, because they enjoy details, especially clever ones.  That could be something of a blind spot.

Matt Stoller - Obama's Attack on Krugmann 7 Dec 07

I'm on the wrong site.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-12-07 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: And over at Open Left

Maybe.

Stoller makes a habit of bigfooting into policy disputes he does not grasp. He is only a recent convert to Democratic domestic policy, having learned economics from Martin Feldstein. His opinion on this issue reflects that background. He is too young to remember the extensive policy debates that got the Democratic party to UHC with mandates, and he is not familiar with the economic and political case for the approach.

by souvarine 2007-12-07 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: And over at Open Left

Well, I'm a bit of a sasquatch myself, as you have noted.  But it is important to keep our political wits about us as we revel in social revolution.  This plan, from all comers, is a half measure.  Why bet the farm on this?

The more we discuss it the more canny Obama's position seems.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-12-07 06:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

Given Obama's series of actions on Social Security, gay rights,

[screeching tires]

hold on a second. it wasn't obama who signed defense of marriage act into law. it was bill clinton. something hillary supported.

by jello 2007-12-08 05:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

BILL Clinton? If we're going to be non-sexist about this, that raises the 'obvious' question: "Does Michelle support Barack's attacks on Social Security?"

by fairleft 2007-12-08 06:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama attacks... Krugman?

that doesn't even make sense. are you defending doma too?

by jello 2007-12-08 06:32AM | 0 recs

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