Rahmbo And Krugman

Jane Hamsher writes on Ryan Lizza's New Yorker piece on WH Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, where Emanuel defends himself from criticism of how the stimulus package was handled. Lizza quotes Emanuel:

“They have never worked the legislative process,” Emanuel said of critics like the Times columnist Paul Krugman, who argued that Obama’s concessions to Senate Republicans—in particular, the tax cuts, which will do little to stimulate the economy—produced a package that wasn’t large enough to respond to the magnitude of the recession. “How many bills has he passed?”

To me the obvious question is how many difficult bills did Emanuel pass before this one? I think the answer is none. Besides, I thought Emanuel had already admitted mistakes in the handling of the stimulus bill:

Mr. Emanuel owned up to one mistake: message. What he called the outside game slipped away from the White House last week, when the president and others stressed bipartisanship rather than job creation as they moved toward passing the measure. White House officials allowed an insatiable desire in Washington for bipartisanship to cloud the economic message a point coming clear in a study being conducted on what went wrong and what went right with the package, he said.

Krugman's response was pithy and to the point:

Eh. The question is why Obama didn't ask for what the economy needed, then bargain from there. My view is that Collins et al would have demanded $100 billion in cuts from whatever they started from; and that's not the case he answers.

No answer on this from Rahmbo.

Speaking for me only

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    Negotiating 101 (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:37:15 AM EST
    Always ask for more than you expect and bargain from there.  Krugman is right on the nose.

    Rahmbo should know better, except most people won't call him on it.

    Rahm et al know Negotiating 101 (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 05:00:18 PM EST
    far better than any of us do. Yet they're undeniably doing a half-a@sed job - the question is whether this is by accident or design.

    So, is the Rahm cohort really too naive to do anything other than an half-a@sed job? Or are they playing us for fools and purposefully doing a half-a@sed job for some self-serving reason that has nothing to do with the common good?


    While I don't agree (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Slado on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:37:38 AM EST
    with Krugmans solution I totally agree with his opinion of the results from the Obama administration.  

    There where two strong economic views of how to handle this opportunity (i'm in sales) or crisis.  The Friedman view of let them fail vs. the Krugman/Keynes view of large shock and awe government intervention.

    We all squablled back and forth for our partisan position but the bottom line was to me was if the govenrment was going to do something it needed to take a position in either direction and make a bodly plot out a solution.  

    IMHO it did neither.  It took the government bi-partisan position and spent some money that either was too much or not nearly enough depending on your partisan point of view and effectively wasted a bunch of money.

    That I think we can agree on.

    I would argue that the squabbling... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:58:13 AM EST
    ...was completely inadequate.  Obama should've had nightly addresses to the American people, the discussion should have been live TV all day and night.  We half-assed the entire thing, because of political cowardice and paradigm addiction.

    I love Krugman. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Fabian on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:38:45 AM EST
    And I keep being ever so glad that he keeps on being Krugman.

    I just wish there were more Krugmans and Gores and Greenwalds (,Glenn) instead of the egotistical pundits who hog the media spotlight.

    (Feel free to add your own choices to the list.)

    Fabian, my list: Krugman/Gore/Greenwald (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 05:18:13 PM EST
    Same as your list. I wish there were more of them but, at least, they've got 3 bases covered: Krugman on the economy; Gore on the environment; and Greenwald on the constitution.

    Imo, Greenwald is most free to speak his mind.


    You Must LOVE Greenwald's Take Down (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by daring grace on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 05:30:05 PM EST
    of Ryan Lizza's piece on Rahm.

    First two paragraphs:

    "White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel -- who The New York Times described as "arguably the second most powerful man in the country" -- is certainly one of the most controversial figures in Washington.  Prior to joining the Obama administration, Emanuel -- in the Clinton administration and then as a high-ranking member in the House Democratic caucus -- was at the center of countless political and personal controversies.   Emanuel has played the central role in much of the Blue Dog dominance in the House and many (if not most) of the worst Democratic capitulations to the Bush agenda.  Even in the four weeks that he's been in his current job, Emanuel has been the target of severe criticisms of his management skills from many precincts for his role in the Judd Gregg and Rod Blagojevich fiascoes and the Obama administration's questionable negotiating tactics in the stimulus package.   Both Jane Hamsher and Howie Klein yesterday identified just some of the current and past controversies that Emanuel has triggered.

    "Despite all of that, The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza has written a very lengthy profile of Emanuel -- almost 5,300 words -- that is so reverent, one-sided, and glorifying that it is hard to believe it wasn't written by Emanuel himself.  In fact, much of the piece consists of Emanuel praising himself and Lizza writing it all down uncritically.  It's almost impossible to walk on the streets of Washington, DC, without bumping into a vehement critic of Emanuel, but Lizza doesn't manage to include any comments from any of them."


    Your point being, what? ;-) (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 06:53:39 PM EST
    Seriously? (none / 0) (#27)
    by daring grace on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 11:42:03 AM EST
    I figured if you like Greenwald, you'd love what he said about Lizza's article.

    Maybe I'm projecting, because I really loved it.


    Im worried Rahm will blast Greenwald next... (none / 0) (#29)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 07:25:55 PM EST
    It was rather stunning that Rahm took such a direct shot at Krugman a few days ago. If Krugman is fair game (Krugman, for gawd's sake), I shudder to think.

    Yeah crap (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by lilburro on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:42:40 AM EST
    all over Krugman, Rahm.  Maybe that'll score you some points in the idiot Republican sector you like to suck up to.  I know, noone knows how difficult it is to pass a bill!  Cry me a river.

    I think maybe he did not get your message BTD, that this bill is only a success if it works.

    Rahm's hit-job on krugman has all the (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 05:10:16 PM EST
    charm one would expect from a professional thug.

    I have to say, it reminds me of the way Rove used to single out opponents for scorn, ridicule, and ostracism.


    Working the process (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:57:17 AM EST
    I continue to get the idea that Rahm, and probably Obama, don't distinguish this financial meltdown from any other "big bill" they are working through their precious "process". Five minutes even reading only this blog this morning scared me to death. We ask if the Republicans 'get it' - well I'm not sure the Dems do either.

    How many Nobels has Rahmbo won? (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:10:53 AM EST
    How many economic disasters has he accurately predicted years before they hit?

    It is the sign of a truly childish personality that feels the needs to snipe, in such an empty fashion, at people with, obvioulsy, much more knowledge and insight than they have.

    I've always thought (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:35:56 AM EST
    that Rahm's supposed genius was overrated anyway. As a political strategist, give me Chuck Schumer any day.

    Hard to say (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:37:34 AM EST
    He really is a novice himself at passing legislation.

    He learned it all (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:38:59 AM EST
    from Nancy Pelosi. . .

    Indeed (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:40:41 AM EST
    they are all really novices at this.

    Hawaii is a nice office (none / 0) (#13)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:06:43 AM EST
    Damn nice.  Sigh.  

    Krugman nailed it. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Faust on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:12:50 AM EST
    The end.

    Don't fret my friends (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:22:58 AM EST
    Obama has tapped Joe Biden to oversee the stimulus implementation.

    President Obama has turned to his own vice president to oversee implementation of the $787 billion economic stimulus package, part of which will be available this week for state Medicaid programs.

    Obama announced his decision before the National Governors Association in Washington on Monday, saying Vice President Joe Biden will help ensure the distribution of the money is not just swift, "but also efficient and effective."

    "The fact that I'm asking my vice president to personally lead this effort shows how important it is for our country and future to get this right," he said.  

    Biden, in his new role, would meet regularly with key members of the Cabinet, governors and mayor to make sure their efforts are speedy and effective. He is expected to make regular reports to the president that will be posted online at www.recovery.gov.

    With Biden at the helm, $15 billion from the recovery package will be freed up Wednesday for the health care programs, Obama said.

    The administration projects the money will help states struggling with budget deficits and maintain Medicaid coverage for 20 million recipients.

    And before I get crap about the link being from FOX, the Baltimore Sun, as well other news agencies are reporting it, although those stories bury this part in the middle of stories about Earl Devaney tapped as head of the RAT Board.

    Wannabe Big Man (none / 0) (#17)
    by nellieh on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:49:35 AM EST
    Emanuel is a little man with a big man complex. He is vicious and vindictive twit only because of his position. Since he hasn't the strength to do otherwise. And he is that way just because he can. If he would use his viciousness against the opposition instead of critics who are still on his AND Obama's side it would work better. He is still a tool of the DLC. Why alienate those who want to help, not obstruct?

    The need for an easy prey (none / 0) (#18)
    by koshembos on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:26:44 PM EST
    Rahm Emmanuel works for Obama. He didn't decide the size of the stimulus and he didn't decide to go bipartisan. The latter is part of Obama's claim to fame, except that such such an animal exists only in the minds of affluent right of center Democrats.

    If you want blame someone, the guilty party is Obama. Now we are paying for his outrageous inexperience, his centrism and his post bi partisan nonsense.

    I am sure the Emmanuel has many flaws, but in this case you are pissing on the wrong tree.

    There's "hope" for "change" (none / 0) (#21)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:39:48 PM EST
    in only replacing one of them in the next four years.  Good as your point is, perhaps that's a point for discussing what could be done now to do better on forthcoming bills and other actions from the White House?

    Ah, Biden. Former Sen-MBNA (none / 0) (#19)
    by jawbone on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:31:54 PM EST
    Here's Jonathon Chait's take on Biden's support of the bankruptcy law changes, from 2005.

    That ought to work out well in protecting Big Banksters' interests....

    Or, perhaps, he's changed. But during the VP debate he defended his support of the that egregious law, which Obama says he's going to reform.

    Oops--this was to be reply to #16 n/t (none / 0) (#20)
    by jawbone on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:32:53 PM EST
    Typical defense mechanism from Emmanuel (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jake Left on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 05:42:54 PM EST
    Sounds just like the kind of WH responses we got a year ago. If things were really different in the new admin, Emmanuel would be inviting Krugman to come to Washington to help instead of making snarky, inane comments.