Krugigami

January 18th, 2010at 01:00pm Posted by Eli

As a longtime Paul Krugman fan, it has been sad and disappointing to watch him advocate for the terrible Senate healthcare bill, and repeatedly defend John Gruber for shilling said bill without disclosing all the money the administration paid him.  Overall, his heart’s still in the right place, but this one giant blind spot takes him to some interesting and uncomfortable places:

The Obama administration’s troubles are the result not of excessive ambition, but of policy and political misjudgments. The stimulus was too small; policy toward the banks wasn’t tough enough; and Mr. Obama didn’t do what Ronald Reagan, who also faced a poor economy early in his administration, did — namely, shelter himself from criticism with a narrative that placed the blame on previous administrations.

(…)

It’s important to remember, also, how important health care reform is to the Democratic base. Some activists have been left disillusioned by the compromises made to get legislation through the Senate — but they would have been even more disillusioned if Democrats had simply punted on the issue.

And politics should be about more than winning elections. Even if health care reform loses Democrats’ votes (which is questionable), it’s the right thing to do.

(…)

Democrats have to do whatever it takes to enact a health care bill. Passing such a bill won’t be their political salvation — but not passing a bill would surely be their political doom.

So, on the one hand, Obama and the Democrats are in trouble because they went half-assed, compromised and corporatist on the stimulus and financial reform… but on the other hand, they’ll be in even more trouble if they don’t pass half-assed, compromised and corporatist healthcare reform.  Mr. Krugman needs to make up his mind.

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Healthcare,Media,Obama,Politics


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