Irony DOA

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only

It's official. TPM's M.J. Rosenberg murders irony when he writes:

Krugman is making two big mistakes. The first has to do with his influence as a columnist. By constantly attacking Obama, he is turning off the 50% of Democrats who favor Obama as our nominee. People like me can no longer read him without thinking "What's up with this guy? Has he really developed such a personal animus to our likely nominee based on his differences with him on health care? What's his agenda here?"

(Emphasis supplied.) Yes, Paul Krugman has substantive critiques of Barack Obama and he loses Obama fanboys like the ones writing a TPM. The shallow, fallacious and empty attacks on Hillary Clinton by TPM, not to mention the legion of Obama supporters from Senators on down, is sure to make for a wonderfully unified Democratic Party. Writing from the TPM glass house with its tattered reputation, Rosenberg chooses to throw stones at Paul Krugman? Yes, irony is now dead and buried. More . . .

BTW, Krugman's great sin? Writing this:

Indeed, while Mrs. Edwards focused her criticism on Mr. McCain, she also made it clear that she prefers Hillary Clinton’s approach — “Sen. Clinton’s plan is a great plan” — to Barack Obama’s. The Clinton plan closely resembles the plan for universal coverage that John Edwards laid out more than a year ago. By contrast, Mr. Obama offers a watered-down plan that falls short of universality, and it would have higher costs per person covered.

Worse yet, Mr. Obama attacked his Democratic rivals’ health plans using conservative talking points about choice and the evil of having the government tell you what to do. That’s going to make it hard — if he is the nominee — to refute Mr. McCain when he makes similar arguments on behalf of such things as privatizing veterans’ care.

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    TPMCafe is dead, (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jes on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:43:30 AM EST

    Heh (5.00 / 8) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:47:00 AM EST
    You remember that one do you? That was when TPM supported Joe Lieberman. I remember that if no one else cares to.

    No fair weather friends here (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:50:38 AM EST
    Seriously? (none / 0) (#18)
    by rilkefan on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:58:42 AM EST
    That's really surprising to me.  When about was that - not last cycle, surely?

    TPM Cafe Is Dead, Baby (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:08:17 PM EST
    was the name of a DKos post I wrote about a TPM post that was titled "Ned Is Dead, Baby"

    The original TMP Cafe post (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:21:33 PM EST
    is gone, with the site scrubbed. But it's still in the archive

    Well, it was apparently TMP, but of course (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:23:34 PM EST
    I mean TPM.

    I'm really out of it today. . .


    Thanks for the explanations (none / 0) (#55)
    by rilkefan on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 02:52:40 PM EST
    Ok, that particular person (whose name I don't recognize) was an idiot, but I didn't need to know that.  "Inside baseball" would have been sufficient.

    It all fits together (none / 0) (#60)
    by cal1942 on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 03:45:12 PM EST
    Support Lieberman AND support the invasion of Iraq.

    Then there is the DLC thing.  Always denying but inviting many in for coffee. The last time I read a Marshall response to a reader's query on the subject he would only say that some of these people are his friends.

    I don't have a real problem with publishing commentary by DLC people, some aren't bad, but it does give an insight into JMM.

    So Rosenberg suggests that Krugman give up writing about specific policy matters, that he suspend his analysis in order to eliminate a critical assessment of his candidate.

    Rosenberg wants another new Obama rule:

    Thou shall not look too closely at Obama policy proposals


    Can we hold a funeral? (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by ahazydelirium on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:44:27 AM EST
    This willful self-deception astounds me. How do people engage in such obvious doublespeak and cognitive dissonance without recognizing it?

    Is this the change in politics we are promised? When criticisms of policy amount to the politics of personal destruction?

    Alas (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Lahdee on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:45:08 AM EST
    poor Irony, we knew you well.

    Except some people never actually knew ye. [nt] (none / 0) (#4)
    by ahazydelirium on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:45:47 AM EST
    Heh (5.00 / 18) (#6)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:48:33 AM EST
    As one of those dead-end Hillary supporters who is crouched in the corner snarling like a badger, I can say that the substantive critiques don't bother me one bit.  Obviously I disagree with the ones I don't think are fact-based, but you can tell me all day that you prefer Obama because of this issue or that and it's not going to faze me.  It's the personal character attacks that divide the party.

    I suspect Krugman is a little irritated by a combination of hate mail and frustration at the fact his point isn't getting through.  Obama supporters who insist that his health care plan is universal must seem to Krugman like Republicans who insist that revenues go up when you cut taxes.  Even Ezra Klein, who has a strong preference for Obama, acknowledges that Obama is full of it on health care.

    That recent article describing Elizabeth Edwards' reaction to Obama and his health care plan really does ring true.

    Amen. (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:56:12 AM EST
    Poor Paul Krugman. He's such a rational person. He doesn't get that rationality doesn't work with irrational people like the Obama fanboyz.

    And I agree. Someone please give me a substantial reason to prefer Obama over Hillary, instead of insulting, dismissing and screaming at me for wanting her to become President.

    Do they really wonder why they've lost the readership of HRC supporters?


    Krugman is always fact based (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by dianem on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 01:16:47 PM EST
    That is why he annoys so many Obama supporter's. He doesn't "attack", he "criticizes", Clinton and McCain and Obama. Clinton supporters aren't that sensitive to fair criticism of their candidate, while Obama supporters see any criticism of their candidate as an "attack". Clinton supporters, by and large, recognize that she is a politician and a human being, and so is Obama.

    In all fairness, Krugman does criticize Obama's health care plan more than he does Clinton's. But he has been completely consistent in his criticisms of the plans - he simply wants universal health care and feels that Clinton's plan is closer to his ideal system. Krugman has also made some negative comments about Obama supporters, which is not the same as insulting the candidate. Obama supporters get very offended when you refer to "cultists", but the reality is that many Obama supporters (not all) have been acting like members of a personality cult. Krugman is not being unfair or inaccurate when he refers to this.


    Obama lost supporters (none / 0) (#59)
    by Josey on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 03:26:38 PM EST
    when he stooped low and used the Insurance industry's 1993-94 "Harry and Louise" ad against Hillary.
    The GOP will be using those Obama ads against universal health care during the general - regardless of the Dem nominee.
    Gee thanks, Obama!

    But what's really crazy is Obama's later ads claiming his health care plan IS universal.

    He was against UHC before he was for it?


    Steve M (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by kmblue on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 01:50:10 PM EST
    You made me laugh out loud for the first time today
    ("snarling like a badger" is what did it).
    Paul is always my first look of the day, but I've stopped reading the comments on his blog and his columns.  The animus is way over the top.  The slightest criticism of Obama brings out the crazies.
    As someone who just finished shopping for health insurance (I'm now heading for the bank to take out a loan ;0) I appreciate Paul emphasizing the health care issue.

    As a Wisconsinite born and bred, and a Badger fan (none / 0) (#57)
    by jawbone on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 02:58:31 PM EST
    until I'm dead...

    "snarling like a badger"...whoohooo! Can't much tougher than that!

    They're one mean creature when threatened or cornered! Not to be treated casually, us snarlin' badger types.

    Especially the females when protecting their young. And that's how many females see it this election--get Hillary into office to have a decent chance for the young of the species.


    Ah, I yearn for the day (5.00 / 13) (#8)
    by Lena on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:52:31 AM EST
    when a columnist trashes Clinton for her policies, not for her pimping, her cleavage, her air of loserishness, her refusal to defend Barack's minister, her refusal to defend Barack's Christianity, etc. etc.

    Lucky Barack, to have a critic that focuses on his policies!

    Precisely (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:54:01 AM EST
    While I agree that this is hilarious (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by Kathy on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:55:50 AM EST
    This is what got me:

    the 50% of Democrats who favor Obama as our nominee

    By implication, and admission that 50% of Democrats favor Clinton!

    This simply cannot be.  I thought everyone wanted her to drop out for the good of the party.  If she'd only stop winning, he'd have this nomination wrapped up!

    Those other 50% don't count, though. (5.00 / 11) (#17)
    by ahazydelirium on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:58:34 AM EST
    They're trying to destroy the Party.

    Besides, the other 50% (none / 0) (#66)
    by Imelda Blahnik2 on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 08:50:56 PM EST
    are low-information bigots. Who needs 'em?

    MJ Rosenberg is horrible (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by lyzurgyk on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:59:07 AM EST
    He's predictable, hysterical and lacking in any worthwhile insights.   No idea why they feature him.   MJ must be a friend or relative of Marshall.

    However to be fair I have spotted some thoughtful commentary at TPM Cafe recently (which was surprisingly featured on the front page by Kurtz)


    Thanks for that link (none / 0) (#49)
    by jerry on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 01:26:41 PM EST
    I am going to have to reread that post when I have more time. And reread Obama's speech.

    All or nothing (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:20:14 PM EST
    Krugman is either with them or against them, in their minds.  They respected his opinion for years, and now all of a sudden he is dead wrong, and has ulterior motives in everything he writes.

    It is all so needless.  Can they not find room in their "high information" brains for one or two Obama flaws?  All they have to do is say, 'Krugman has a good point, but I support Obama anyway'.  Is that so hard?  We Hillary supporters do it all the time, probably because we know her so well after all these years in the public eye.  We know better than to try to pretend she is perfect.

    Obama is going to make mistakes if he is elected. Serious ones. They need to find a way to deal with that without shooting the messenger every time.

    The Problem with a Movement (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by BDB on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:41:38 PM EST
    You're either part of it or you're not.  Simple as that.  

    *raises hand* (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by RickTaylor on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 04:26:24 PM EST
    Sure I'll do it. Krugman has a great point, and I support Obama for unrelated reasons. In fact, in the progressive community we should keep Obama's feet to the fire if he's elected to encourage him to do the right thing on health care.

    I may not be representative though, seeing as my preferences have been evenly divided enough that I originally voted for Hillary, and for all the things I like in Obama, I have noticed he is actually unable to walk on water.


    Hee. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by rooge04 on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:23:38 PM EST
    It made me laugh that he basically admitted that because Krugman is critical of Obama he no longer makes sense.  

    Over at HuffPo (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by ding7777 on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:42:29 PM EST
    Jon Robin Baitz, a self proclaimed Obama suporter, posted a Hillary bashing entry (no surprize).

    But after weeding out the anti-Hillary sentences, the only thing Jon had to say about Obama was he:

    uses brilliant oratory and has purging energy.

    Its just another way to say "shuck and jive" ... lol.

    "Purging energy"? (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:44:56 PM EST
    Like an enema?  

    I admire Obama's energy, but that is not the image I would have chosen.


    The Unity Pony has "purging energy" (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by lambert on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:54:54 PM EST
    But I don't know if I'm going to have the energy to clean up after it...

    JRB is the most self-indulgent, overwrought (none / 0) (#52)
    by Joan in VA on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 01:52:39 PM EST
    writer I have ever had the misfortune to read.  He is a too frequent contributor over there and just ratchets up the hysteria that has overtaken that site.

    Krugman is a logical man, not like Dowd (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Prabhata on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:45:34 PM EST
    Krugman knows what he is talking about and he cannot be disputed with slogans of HRC is evil.  I enjoy watching Jim Cramer Mad Money interviewing HRC on substantive economic issues.  Being from the business community, I would have been impressed with any politician that answered Cramer the way HRC did.



    Thanks for the link, (none / 0) (#64)
    by RickTaylor on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 04:53:16 PM EST
    I'm not a business person and usually I don't know what to make of Kramer when he's doing his show, but that was a great interview.

    Obama's supporters/blogs (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by OxyCon on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 01:26:08 PM EST
    If you want to get a really good look at Obama's hard core base of supporters (which would comprise all of the Obama blogs), go back and take a look at the "performance" Randi Rhodes recently gave in San Francisco.
    Those were hard core Obama supporters in the crowd, cheering wildly everytime Rhodes called Hillary and Ferraro those toxic words. Those audience members all met up on Obama's campaign website to go hear Rhodes. Obama's base, his low level staffers, phone bank callers, organizers, etc.
    The guy who campaigns on "Hope" and "Unity" either attracts rabid haters, or somehow his supporters become rabid haters after supporting him.

    I am probably making a mistake to do so (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by jerry on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 01:30:12 PM EST
    But Paul Krugman seems to be the one touchstone of honesty and intellectual honesty that I have found.  And almost always correct.  He was right on Iraq from day one.  He was right on the housing crisis.

    For Rosenberg to say that Krugman can't be trusted?  Rosenberg doesn't look good on skis, and neither did Fonzie.

    Are you serious? (none / 0) (#65)
    by 1jpb on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 08:07:07 PM EST
    Read "The Return of Depression Economics," he makes all kinds of predictions that have turned out to be wrong.

    Also, when he supports mandates he doesn't note the problems with MA.  But, he does point to European systems that are completely different than the HRC proposal.  The two big differences are that those countries 1) don't allow the private insurers to grow their income directly and indirectly the way we and the HRC plan do, and 2) perhaps most importantly, these other countries have cost controls, which Americans seem to despise.

    Here's my opinion.


    Dissent under Obama (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by facta non verba on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 02:58:29 PM EST
    One of my principal worries about an Obama Administration remains what form would dissent take in an America under his rule? Never mind that criticism of Obama is often labeled as racist, it is more the charge any criticism is labeled unfair or out of beyonds. To me this is not dissimilar to circumstances under George W. Bush in the run up to the Iraq War and in its wake where criticism was labeled unpatriotic. The Obama camp seems to believe that in criticizing Obama, he is being held to a different standard which to me has translated to no standard at all.

    When standing up for a progressive agenda, as Krugman has, one is attacked on a personal level. Coming into this primary season as an Edwards supporter and finding Clinton's healthcare proposals are amendable to my own beliefs, I have to support Clinton. And yet somehow this makes me a racist.

    If I am a critic now, I would expect to be doubly so during an Obama Administration when it tried to pass long held Democratic proposals, albeit watered downed versions that are in effect sell-outs. If our criticisms now are unfair, what will they be then? His relationship with the media often pliant does not promise to always be so. And so his reactions to unfavorable coverage during this campaign leave me rather uncomfortable and frankly worried. Adversaries are dismissed with slurs and diatribes while critics have found themselves silenced. James Carvile and Paul Belaga were removed from their roles as pundits since they favoured Clinton on CNN before the run up to Super Tuesday after Obama complained. Non partisans fonts such as the Huffington Post turned into Obama mouthpieces. The events at the DailyKos, TPM and other blogs led to a defacto culling of opinion. The reason many new blogs now exist is because our differing views were in fact censored. So many dissent voices have been bullied and attacked for advocating a different view of the race and of politics.

    The whole messanic character of the Obama campaign is another worry I have when it comes to dissent. Dissendents, religious or otherwise, have never fared well when confronting would-be saviours. As an atheist, all this leaves quite perturbed and rather anxious. Will I have to confront 20 somethings the next four years as to why I haven't converted? Their dismissal as one who does not get it is their answer now. Throwing me to lions, metaphorically speaking, is likely their answer to come down the line. That's the thing about cults of personality, you either tow the line or you are silenced. I will not be silenced.

    Obama is such a copy of Bush it's (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by MarkL on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 03:25:54 PM EST
    not funny. First, he's the choice of the elist; second, he's not prepared in the least, and the fools who chose him expect to be able to control him; third, what you mentioned---just like Bush, any POLICY disagreement is met by an all out personal attack.

    He is a copy of Bush (none / 0) (#61)
    by RalphB on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 03:59:50 PM EST
    and how anyone in their right mind could vote for a copy of Bush is beyond me.

    How the WorkinJoe Reasoned (none / 0) (#67)
    by WorkinJoe on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 07:53:03 AM EST
    I'm a 48-year-old white guy, co-owner of a small business.  I'm college educated.  I'm interested:  I follow the news, I read blogs that support Hillary, those that support Obama, even some from the Dark Side.  My one and a half small business paychecks each month (still growing the biz) doesn't qualify me as a member of the white liberal elite.  I didn't ingest any Kool-Aid before casting my vote for Obama.  (I find this "messianic" labeling tedious.  Obama drew unexpectedly large crowds early in the campaign; our lazy media dubbed it messianic.  I attended a rally in my home town; no one was fainting, Obama performed no miracles.)

    Here's how the WorkinJoe reasoned.  The Repubs figured into my thinking.  The important thing is not just the Dems win the White House, but that the new Dem president actually achieves something in those first four years.  Two conditions must be met for this to happen.  First, the Dems must gain as large a majority as possible in the House and Senate during this election.  To this end, I think that Obama has longer coattails.  He'll bring out more Dem voters and I think he'll have a greater effect down the ballot.  Hillary will energize the Right, increasing McCain's coattails.  Second, the Dem president must be able to work across the aisle with the Repubs for any serious accomplishments to occur.  I think Obama is best suited to do this.  I've read favorable reports about his tenure in Illinois, how he sought concensus and worked cross-aisle there.  He's also done that in his short stint in the Senate.  I'm concerned with Hillary's high negatives.  She is so toxic to the Right that any Repub congress person will be branded with a scarlet H for cooperating with her.  I fear that the same screeching stagnation will continue for another four years, which we can't afford.

    What about Hillary's knowledge of the nuts and bolts of policy, etc?  I want someone with a greater vision as president, someone who is a concensus builder, someone who listens to the other side.  When Hillary headed the health care task force when Bill first took office, she made an absolute hash of that.  With a Dem House and Senate and a Dem president, she pissed off enough people that she couldn't get her proposal out of committee.  I'm sure she could rattle off health care statistics till the cows came home, but she couldn't achieve a good result.

    I feel good about my primary vote.  After the Rev. Wright crisis, Obama delivered a thoughtful speech that I felt addressed the matter on a personal and national level.  After the Bosnian sniper crisis, Hillary stated that she misspoke and that she's human.  Well, she "misspoke" at least three times over two months.  I saw this video of her speaking to a paper's editorial board about this issue.  She seemed quite frustrated and peeved to be called out on this quite obvious fabrication.  I think Hillary can continue to do good work in the Senate.  I think Obama has a chance for greatness in the presidency.


    That's pretty damn funny. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Marco21 on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:54:06 AM EST
    Do these Obama supporters own mirrors?

    Yes - they just don't cast a reflection (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by badger on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:10:31 PM EST
    Heh. (none / 0) (#11)
    by BDB on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:54:17 AM EST
    No sense of irony and absolutely no self-awareness.  And not just at TPM.

    But then this is the same group of people who think Rocky lost.  Which, of course, is wrong.  That's just upper middle class white liberal intellectual prejudices talking.  As they so often do these days.

    Annie Savoy says (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:57:02 AM EST
    The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self-awareness.

    Ha! My favorite philospher (none / 0) (#29)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:21:36 PM EST
    what a wonderful piece by Lance. (none / 0) (#27)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:21:15 PM EST
    Hillary sees them... excellent. thanks for the link.

    Yes, I Admit It (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by BDB on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:40:28 PM EST
    The main point of my comment was to pass along some interesting work I've found in the last week about the class divides in the democratic party.  I don't agree with every thing I've linked to, but there's some thoughtful stuff out there on the smaller blogs.

    I think I finally get it (none / 0) (#12)
    by jpete on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:55:32 AM EST
    There has been a certain lack of critical thinking on some of the Obama bogs (word intended).  It's as though facts and details don't matter.  And so I was struck by Rosenberg's "In other words, the differences between the Clinton and Obama bills do not matter because, in the end, a Democratic President will happily take whatever the Democratic Congress sends him."

    O, facts and details really don't matter.  

    the Democratic party (none / 0) (#15)
    by teachermom on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:56:13 AM EST
    Looks like we really are split 50/50. Where do we go from here? Personally I think the Democratic party should just crawl into a hole and pull the entryway in after it -- oh wait, they already have.

    Amen, Brother! (none / 0) (#19)
    by ChiTownDenny on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:58:52 AM EST
    The 50% of Hillary Dems just love the journalism of TPM, the Orange Demon, and many other MSM mouthpieces.  

    Oops, sorry. . . . (none / 0) (#24)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:17:01 PM EST

    Link did not work (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:18:52 PM EST
    Trying again (none / 0) (#30)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:21:53 PM EST

    Sadly, It's Not Limited (none / 0) (#34)
    by The Maven on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:24:51 PM EST
    to people on blogs.  In a generally amicable email group of a dozen or so folks that's been in place for about eight years ago (it started up around the time of the 2000 election), there's one Obama supporter who now keeps pushing the seemingly "official" line to a point of absurdity, all in this off-putting, insufferably drippingly smarmy fashion.  This is someone with whom I've been friends for almost 25 years, yet right now, I can no longer attempt to engage him rationally (for there is no reason left in him).

    And he, too, suffers from this irony deficieny, pointing out twice so far today how well Obama is doing with small donors compared with Clinton's donor.  A legitimate point, perhaps, but awfully hard to take from someone who's given $4300 to Obama and has several work colleagues who have given between $2300-$4600, and about a half-dozen others in the $500-$1000 range.  This is not someone who should be criticizing any candidate for their big-money donations.

    Let me explain one more time (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:48:31 PM EST
    why commenters are not allowed to attack me, Jeralyn or this site.

    Because I am not allowed to rhetorically eviscerate those of you who choose to do so.

    If it was my site, you could and then I would leave you in tatters in response. I did that for many years at Daily Kos. It is one of my favorite things. But this is not my site. And I am not allowed to do so.

    Ergo, you do not get to attack us.

    Tiparillo is suspended. Further comments will be deleted.

    Did Rosenberg mention Krugman's son? (none / 0) (#42)
    by lambert on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:53:25 PM EST

    Hasn't Marshall himself conceded that Hillary (none / 0) (#44)
    by reality based on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:57:29 PM EST
    is correct about the need for mandatory participation in a successful universal health care program?  I wonder if those statements still exist on his site?  I don't go there anymore so I couldn't verify it.

    I think he once wrote (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:59:38 PM EST
    that Hillary's argument was more compelling. It so happens I do not have an opinion on the issue, I know too little on the subject.

    Interestingly, I find great fault with health care bloggers (Ezra Klein cough!) who claim health care is the most important issue, agree with Hillary but still support Obama. That makes no sense to me.  


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 01:02:12 PM EST
    there's a school of thought that says the details don't matter as Congress will be writing the plan anyway.

    I am personally more perplexed by the sort of person who claims to want Fighting Dems and to deplore Hillary's brand of cautious centrism, yet argues that we shouldn't even try to fight for mandates because they'll be politically unpopular.


    The way health insurance actuary wonks explain (none / 0) (#53)
    by reality based on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 02:08:35 PM EST
    it to me is that, in an optional plan, the healthier types (usually the younger ones) will opt out thereby driving up the costs to be shared by the remaining participants and leading to even more gaming of the system in an ever downward spiral of participation and upward spiral of individual costs.  That's one reason they throw in things like preexisting condition exclusions, waiting periods, limited enrollment periods, etc.   The lowest individual cost is obtained by maximizing participation-- assuming you don't get to exclude the sickest cases.  It's pretty much based on observable facts and common sense.  Throw in the big numbers, inflation, medical care advances, an infinite time horizon and a few other statistical factors and it gets confusing, mysterious and susceptible to demagoguery.

    Yup (none / 0) (#54)
    by Petey on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 02:13:12 PM EST
    What Armando said.

    I have to admit, (none / 0) (#62)
    by RickTaylor on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 04:17:02 PM EST
    that is pretty funny, especially given we live in a world where Keith Olbermann is given free reign.

    Of course I've always enjoyed reading Krugman, and it was partly his arguments that convinced me to vote for Clinton. Since then my choice has shifted back to Obama for unrelated reasons (not that it really matters as my vote is cast), but I still think Krugman's original arguments were sound.

    The point Krugman made wasn't just that Hillary Clinton's health care plan was better than Obama's, but in attacking her plan for including mandates for forcing people to buy insurance, he was attacking it from the right, because they would force people to buy insurance, using a right wing talking point that might make the fight for a good healthcare system more difficult in the future.

    It actually made me think differently about the way I evaluate candidates. Of course a nominee has to attack they're opponent to help them win (I've never seen an election without "negative" campaigning), but Ideally they should do it in a way that doesn't tear down the party. Now of course there's always going to be a judgement calls and weighing one thing against another, but that is the ideal.

    I just found this Krugman blog entry, saying that unlike Edwards and Hillary, Obama originally didn't include an option a public option, to buy it from the government, and it was only included after hectoring from progressives. So maybe he really is taking some of the other campaigns good ideas. I hope he takes more.

    John Kerry (none / 0) (#68)
    by glennmcgahee on Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 02:19:50 PM EST
    Wasn't it Obama supporter, John Kerry, who stated last week on ABC's This Week that there would be no Universal Healthcare? That it was a "non-starter". I've been waiting for a follow-up to that statement.