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Krugman: Criticism from the left is not a significant problem for Obama. Annoying the base is.

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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 03:19 PM
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Krugman: Criticism from the left is not a significant problem for Obama. Annoying the base is.
August 10, 2010, 2:43 pm
White House Aides And The Principal-Agent Problem


A lot of commentary about the anti-left outburst by Robert Gibbs points out, correctly, that it was really dumb from a political perspective; criticism from the left is not a significant problem for Obama, while annoying the base is.

But I think people are missing an important point: whats good for Obama is not necessarily good for his aides.

Think about it: Complaints that the administration should have pursued a bigger stimulus, or fought harder for the public option, or taken a different position on Afghanistan arent going to matter in the midterms. But they might hurt White House aides who argued against a bigger stimulus (to the point of not even passing the option on to the president), or argued against a harder push on health reform (perhaps even calling for retreat after Scott Brown), or have argued that continuation of Bush foreign policy is a political winner. The point is that the president might actually take those criticisms to heart, and rethink who he listens to.

Of course, aides arent supposed to put their own interests above those of the man they serve. And they probably arent doing that consciously. But still .

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/white-house...
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 03:32 PM
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1. Interesting. K & R nt
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:08 PM
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2. Krugman touches the reality of the matter.
Obama will do what he will do. He asked us to keep on him, to give him our ideas. We are doing that. If his aides were less rude to us, we could serve our function in peace -- which is to present and promote new solutions to the problems that we all confront together, the government and we citizens.

Obama's aides want to lead. They want to be the sources of all of Obama's successes. That is why they don't want our input and our criticism. Who are we criticizing when we criticize what Obama is doing? Obama's aides.

So, Krugman is right. I hope Obama realizes that we are not the problem. His aides are jealous and insecure. Each of them wants to lead. That suggests to me that Obama needs to sort some of them out. He needs to make sure they understand that he is leading. And I don't think he is. He has done about turns on a number of issues since his campaign. His Afghanistan policy seems to be more of what Bush did.

His human rights policies are not at all what they should be. Like Bush, he has failed to make sure that the United States is the moral authority on human rights, that no country guarantees human rights and values human rights as we do. He just can't bring himself to do that. But if we do not lead on human rights, who will? Our nation's leadership on human rights has been the source of our strength through the centuries.

I blame Obama's failure in this area to the fearful and paranoid in the bureaucracy of the Obama administration who remain from previous Republican and the Clinton administrations. Krugman is right. Obama has nothing to fear from us and everything to fear from the jealous and paranoid aides who surround him.
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katandmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:41 PM
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3. Who hired those "jealous and paranoid aides who surround him"?
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 01:59 AM
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5. And who fails to fire them?
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leeroysphitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:47 PM
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4. So Obama's aides are the ones being stingywith the ponies and such? n/t
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