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hueyshort Donating Member (293 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:37 AM
Original message
NYT Krugman on Obama
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 08:38 AM by hueyshort
I haven't seen this posted anywhere.
Progressive Economist, Paul Krugman makes commentary on Obama.
Here is a segment of his March 3 editorial, followed by a link to the whole thing:

The trouble is that faith in Mr. Obamas transformational ability rests on surprisingly little evidence.

Mr. Obamas ability to attract wildly enthusiastic crowds to rallies is a good omen for the general election; so is his ability to raise large sums. But neither necessarily points to a landslide victory.

Polling numbers arent much help: for now, at least, you can find polls telling you anything you want to hear, from the CBS News/New York Times poll giving Mr. Obama a 12-point national advantage over John McCain to the Mason-Dixon poll showing Mr. McCain winning Florida by 10 points.

What we do know is that Mr. Obama has never faced a serious Republican opponent and that he has not yet faced the hostile media treatment doled out to every Democratic presidential candidate since 1988.

Yes, I know that both the Obama campaign and many reporters deny that he has received more favorable treatment than Hillary Clinton. But theyre kidding, right? Dana Milbank, the Washington Post national political reporter, told the truth back in December: The press will savage her no matter what ... they really have the knives out for her, theres no question about it ... Obama gets significantly better coverage.

If Mr. Obama secures the nomination, the honeymoon will be over as he faces an opponent whom much of the press loves as much as it hates Mrs. Clinton. If Mrs. Clinton can do nothing right, Mr. McCain can do nothing wrong even when he panders outrageously, hes forgiven because he looks uncomfortable doing it. Honest.

Bob Somerby of the media-criticism site predicts that Mr. Obama will be Dukakised: treated as an alien, unsettling presence. That sounds all too plausible.

If Mr. Obama does make it to the White House, will he actually deliver the transformational politics he promises? Like the faith that he can win an overwhelming electoral victory, the faith that he can overcome bitter conservative opposition to progressive legislation rests on very little evidence one productive year in the Illinois State Senate, after the Democrats swept the state, and not much else.

And some Illinois legislators apparently feel that even there Mr. Obama got a bit more glory than he deserved. No one wants to carry the ball 99 yards all the way to the one-yard line, and then give it to the halfback who gets all the credit, one state senator complained to a local journalist.

All in all, the Democrats are in a place few expected a year ago. The 2008 campaign, it seems, will be waged on the basis of personality, not political philosophy. If the magic works, all will be forgiven. But if it doesnt, the recriminations could tear the party apart.
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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. The Kool-Aid drinkers will deny this...and savage Krugman...but how
can they deny that the press does love McCain? Look at the coverage he's getting already...ain't gonna change...even most of the press ran to his defense over the rumors he was sticking it to that lobbyist.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Anyone can disagree with Krugman
...and many good people do.
However, I am always interested in what he has to say and always VERY impressed by his knowledge about and insight into the issues concerning health insurance and health coverage.

He is invaluable as a resource there.
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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:46 AM
Original message
My point being that he seems to have been labeled a tool of the right wing
by the Obama-bots here because of his columns about BO's healthcare plan...
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
12. Yeah. Quite ridiculous for anyone to say or think that.
He was clearly leaning Edwards before - or rather - pointing out that Edwards was staking our well-articulated progressive positions. Thanks to Edwards both Clinton and Obama sharpened their health care proposals. Neither has a really good one but Hillary's is somewhat better.

Krugman's analysis of health insurance issues is invaluable.
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Kittycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
2. Old Article. Try searching before reposting a 5 day old article.
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hueyshort Donating Member (293 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Sensible Commentary doesn't date in 5 days
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 08:47 AM by hueyshort
Given the savage, shrill, hysteria posts coming from the Obama camp,
I thought it would be healthy to hear from the voice of reason.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Oooh shame on that op.
...only ORIGINAL thinking and comments allowed on DU. Please make a note to post only new and original thinking. Please. No more tired, trite,rehashed, hackneyed and cliche-ed comments from now on.

Please make a note of it.

Much appreciated.
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hueyshort Donating Member (293 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. mindless, shrill, hysteria is original?
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 08:49 AM by hueyshort
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
3. One Great Point He Makes
About the press's admiration for McCain.

Hillary understands what it is to have the press hate you and the need in such times to take it straight to the voters. She did it when she pointed out the VRWC, although the results of that were dubious at the time. She did it last week and it forced the press to take another look at Obama.

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DogPoundPup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
8. ENOUGH BUNKUM! Let's get down to the nitty gritty...
Why Lick the Boot that Kicks You?...
It is almost hard to believe now that the reason health insurance was on the Clintons' first agenda at all, back in 1992, was because there was a mini movement for single-payer in the country. Labor unions, citizens groups, doctors' and nurses' groups, some business leaders, had all been agitating, making it an election issue in other races, writing letters, organizing meetings, protests, media attention. Bill Clinton rode that wave and immediately after being elected, while in the transition, he asked his allies to shut up; Wall Street was already breathing down his neck, the right was bringing heat, trust him and he would, as promised, "put people first" when it came to health care. A protest caravan that had been planned was canceled. One of the biggest players in the coalition, the unions, so flattered to have a president who actually spoke to them, were eager to comply. Bill gave the job of health care reform to Hillary, who studiously interviewed all the players, at one point asking Dr. David Himmelstein, a major exponent of a Canadian-style system "where's the power?" behind such a reform. "Seventy-five percent of the American people," he answered, to which she replied, "Tell me something interesting."

The people never have been interesting to the Clintons, not in organized, confident form. They have been interesting as election props and poll numbers, and interesting as victims, atomized, whose pain could be felt, causes championed, and misery exploited. They are interesting to Bill on rope lines, as exemplars of popular adulation and individuals to be charmed or lectured. Hillary used to hate the rope lines, hate being touched, and in the 1992 campaign she used to make sure that big men were around her to keep the plebs at bay. That changed as her ambition grew and she discovered Purell instant hand santizer. Having purelled universal health care as a live issue for a generation, she's back at it, just where she wants to be, as an answer to a murmured prayer, among a populace mobilized for nothing but elections.

Bill Clinton bribed and buttered up every member of Congress he could to pass NAFTA in 1993. The unions made speeches and phone calls and rallied here and there, but it wasn't much of a fight. And it wasn't the only issue that labor failed to make into an energetic public case. Even as unions were being crushed by employer intimidation during representation campaigns, they didn't fight en masse for labor law reform while Clinton had a Democratic Congress, and they didn't fight, after the long night of Reaganism, for a seachange in government priorities, for an industrial policy, for reinvestment to end the bleeding of their jobs and their communities and the class. Organized labor vowed to throw out the bums who had passed NAFTA, but ended up backing most of them for re-election in 1994, and did nothing to organize globally with other losers in the aggressively pro-capital regimen of neoliberal capitalism. The Democrats lost Congress, which only made unions (if not their members) more loyal. Clinton lectured delegates to the AFL-CIO convention in 1995 about how he was right on NAFTA and right in his vision of retraining and lifetime learning and the high-tech tomorrow, and the union men and women stood, clapping and hollering their approval. They told their members he was all that stood between them and destruction in the form of Republicans, and mobilized voters for his re-election in 1996 and that of his v.p., Al Gore, in 2000. Now workers come to Hillary's rallies and her "town halls" telling reporters of the multiple agonies of their towns and their counties and repeating the rumor judiciously planted by campaign supporters in the press and on the streets: "You know, privately she was against NAFTA from the beginning." Now she is the solution, the savior for everything that ails them.

Anyone who wants chapter and verse on how cynical the Clinton team was on the price of deindustrialization should read Louis Uchitelle's book of a couple of years ago, The Disposable American. And for a refresher course in the realities of the "peace and prosperity" that the Clintons promise to bring back -- and anyone who has trailed the campaigns in a primary state cannot miss that "the Clintons" are indeed running as a team promising to do just that -- there is Robert Pollin's devastating account of global austerity at the end of the '90s, Contours of Descent. But the larger point is how they got away with it. The prison population and prison labor (engaged in everything from taking reservations to sewing jeans to building furniture and transmissions for pennies an hour) mushroomed under Clinton's three-strikes-you're-out and kindred crime policies, and organized labor didn't fight. Prisons expanded, and organized labor didn't fight. (To the extent that more cops and more prison guards and more construction crews were real or potential union members, this development was sometimes even welcomed.) Privatization moved apace here as in so many other sectors, and organized labor didn't fight. The prisons filled with young black and Latino men, and black leadership didn't fight, Latino leadership didn't fight, the civil rights movements didn't fight -- not in any robust, sustained and visible fashion, just like the unions with job loss, NAFTA and the decline in real wages. Now one in less than 100 adult Americans is locked up. That was a blip in the news during the campaigns in Ohio and Texas. Hillary Clinton called for even more cops on the streets, more community policing and only lastly a review of sentencing.

I don't know if Obama, then struggling to defend himself as someone who would not allow America's sleeping children to be slaughtered by foreigners, said anything at all. But there was no popular outcry he might have ridden or been pressured by, no mass organized black or Latino outcry, just as there had been none during the Clinton reign. Critics say Obama is isolated because he's maintained a careful distance from black leadership, and that is true, except that that leadership has allowed its children to be criminalized and locked up, and all the while cheered for Bill, rustled votes for Bill, just plain liked Bill, and in many cases signed on early to his wife's campaign without making mass incarceration an issue. Prisons have been the only real growth industry in Ohio's Mahoning County, home of Youngstown and its supposed population of fighters, and the county went 64 percent for Hillary on March 4.
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Dollface Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
9. Sometimes Mr. Krugman makes you put the kool-aid down. Other times he knocks it out of your hands.
I respect his observations although I don't always reach a similar conclusion.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
10. Do not answer the question outloud but think seriously about it.
We are constantly warned about what is going to happen if Obama
does not get the nomination.

How do you believe Hilary supporters and backers will react if
Obama loses the WH. This is just as fair to ask as the other
way around.

How is the Party going to feel????

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Ameridem Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
11. Krugman is respected and knowledgeable
but like anyone else he can be wrong. Obama's appeal and message is not one without risk. It also is one that that has a great chance of working. In anything, whenever you are asked to defy conventional wisdom, you expose yourself up for scrunity, especially politics. The reality is those who have influence and power over both party establishments will not give up easily. Historic examples of presidents who had to use unconventional policies are FDR, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Most know how history and the voters judged each. In my opinion all of this Obama lack of experience talk is a crock.
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