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Sun Jan 25, 2015, 08:26 AM

Heís not suddenly Paul Krugman: Letís not morph Obama into Elizabeth Warren quite yet

Heís not suddenly Paul Krugman: Letís not morph Obama into Elizabeth Warren quite yet
1/25/15

Populist State of the Union with a fiery tone has liberals excited. They'd be wise to remember Obama's true nature

Barack Obamaís State of the Union speech capped an epic political makeover. In two months he went from the living avatar of the political and economic establishment to a self-styled populist scourge. Itís as if he walked into a plastic surgeonís office after Election Day and said ďmake me look like Bernie Sanders.Ē No president has ever tried to alter his image so drastically or so fast. I wonder if heíll pull it off.

...What should we make of this new Obama? Are he and his new agenda for real? For liberals, these are tender questions. When Obama first appeared, their response was almost worshipful. Even today, many liberals treat Obamaís progressive critics as apostates. Given their deep investment in him, the vitriol of Tea Party attacks and the looming specter of GOP rule, itís easy to understand why. But itís crucial now for his liberal critics and defenders alike to see him as he is.

...Consider climate change. While negotiating his China deal, Obama was also busy auctioning off drilling rights to 112 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico. As soon as the deal was done, he was on the phone urging Democrats to back a bill that cut EPA staff, let the Export-Import Bank fund coal-fired electric plants and blocked enforcement of new rules for energy-efficient light bulbs.

In his first term Obama passed the word to his top hires to quiet down about global warming. He likes fracking and brags about increasing oil production. He wonít let Congress approve the Keystone pipeline, but he may approve it himself. In short, heís a study in mixed climate messages.

The net neutrality story is even more confounding. The statement Obama released was one of the more thoughtful of his presidency. But heíd already made Tom Wheeler, CEO of the most powerful lobby opposing net neutrality, head of the Federal Communications Commission. And they decide the issue. Itís an independent commission that does what it wants. Its members may be moved by Obamaís eloquent words, or just confused.

Perhaps the most troubling contradiction lies in foreign policy....That heís bogged down in Afghanistan is no surprise, as these wars are always easier to start than finish. (Itís why they call them quagmires.) But in fact there are more than 15,000 Americans still left there. There are, for instance, the private contractors, whose number tripled under Obama. In early 2014, the last time figures were reported, there were 24,000. Obama says the ďcombat missionĒ is over ó but the combat isnít finished and neither is the mission.

On Wednesday, Mother Jones ran a story by Nick Turse of TomDispatch.com reporting that in 2014 Obama deployed U.S. Special Ops forces to 133 countries. Thatís more than two-thirds of all the countries in the world; itís a disturbing number and one that also grew exponentially on Obamaís watch. Even more disturbing are the drone strikes Obama has authorized, more than 10 times the number authorized by George W. Bush. American drones have now killed an estimate of more than 4,000 people. At least 20 percent of them were innocent civilians; less than 2 percent were high-value military targets....

http://www.salon.com/2015/01/25/hes_not_suddenly_paul_krugman_lets_not_morph_obama_into_elizabeth_warren_quite_yet/






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Reply Heís not suddenly Paul Krugman: Letís not morph Obama into Elizabeth Warren quite yet (Original post)
RiverLover Jan 2015 OP
daleanime Jan 2015 #1
Scuba Jan 2015 #2
RiverLover Jan 2015 #6
sendero Jan 2015 #3
hfojvt Jan 2015 #4
RiverLover Jan 2015 #5
99Forever Jan 2015 #7
RiverLover Jan 2015 #8

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 08:37 AM

1. K&R....

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 11:07 AM

2. But, but, but he's governed as a progressive. I read it right here on DU!

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 11:52 AM

6. Ha! From the watch what he says, never what he does crowd.

If you mention his GOPy actions, you're clearly on the side of the GOP...such blind devotion is dangerous, not only for Democratic party principles, but for our country. As we know. We've seen.

We see.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 11:09 AM

3. Don't worry...

.. people with an IQ over 95 can tell the difference between rhetoric and action. Obama's always been good at the former.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 11:19 AM

4. I do not think this is new

Obama has always put forth a whole bunch of pro "middle class" rhetoric as if the top 20% is the heart of the middle class.

He proposed to save the Bush tax cuts for the "middle class" (most of the benefits even of his original plan went to the top, to say nothing of his eventual "compromises"

He proposed a payroll tax cut for the "middle class" (and 12.1% of the payroll tax cut goes to those in the bottom 40%
26.7% of the payroll tax cut goes to those in the top 10% (in other words that ALSO favored the top).

I still believe even his current PROPOSALS favor those ABOVE the median income more than they favor those below it. Nor do I appreciate the seeming embrace of Republican rhetoric - how do we solve the country's problems? The consistent Republican answer - with tax cuts. Once again, Obama's seeming message - Republicans are right.

And Krugman? Krugman unfortunately has been a big cheerleader for a lot of upper class economics. http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2225110

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 11:48 AM

5. I agree with all you say here.

I thought the Paul Krugman mention in the title was strange too.

The only time he mentions Krugman in the article is in regards to the TPP~

Nearly all left-leaning Democrats oppose the TPP: Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Bob Reich, Elizabeth Warren. One canít imagine Obama changing his mind on it any more than one imagines him asking any of them to help craft his new populist agenda. As he likes to reassure his donors, ďIím a market kind of guy,Ē meaning he comes as close as a Democrat can to being a market ideologue. And yes, there is such a thing.

Market ideologues arenít the sort to throw bombs or ruin dinner parties but theyíre ideologues nonetheless. Their solution for every problem known to mankind is to adopt ďmarket principles.Ē Their influence on Obamaís generation of Democratic elites has been profound. Itís why so many of them apply market theory to issues to which it is ill-suited, such as carbon reduction, health care and public education.

Obama doesnít get that free trade can be as good as he says for business and still be a terrible deal for workers. He doesnít get that markets by their nature do a great job of creating wealth and a poor one of distributing it; that absent a strong government to encode and enforce a social contract there is no middle class; that pitting our workers against those lacking such support will eventually impoverish them. Itís why he opposed raising the minimum wage when he had the votes to do it in his first term. Itís why he bailed out banks but not homeowners, and abandoned the public option.

Missing from Obamaís speech, as from his presidency, was any mention of public corruption. Countless polls attest to the depth of public revulsion at the domination of government by moneyed interests. Obamaís silence allows the Tea Party to fly the flag of ďcrony capitalism.Ē Most progressives miss the criticality of this issue that social change movements the world over put at the very top of their agendas...


Isn't Krugman all about those "market principles", or have I missed something?

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 11:57 AM

7. The man does purdy speakin'.

Yup.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 12:28 PM

8. The best. nt

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