When You Fight For Issues


Why do people like me feel the need to revisit the fateful decision to go for an underpowered stimulus right at the beginning of the Obama administration? Its not about I told you so, or at least not mainly. Its about the economic narrative, which will matter long after the current players are off the scene. [. . .] So Im trying to keep the record straight here. It may not matter for the immediate political debate, but I think it does matter for the long game.

When you fight for the issues, and not the pols, that's what you do. If you are all in for Obama, then you pretend the stimulus was a "progressive triumph."

Speaking for me only

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    Well, Krugman rolled over easily (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 05:48:12 PM EST
    for what was given and coughed up any bully pulpit and settled for hoping for a second stimulus because he is an amazing economist who is a super crappy political strategist.  That, along with saying he would no longer write about or argue for the real solutions because those would not be entertained anyhow is a little too much hopey dopey for me as we stare the Third Great Depression down.

    Not that I don't like the guy.  I do, and I appreciate his work.  Things are really bad though and I'm not going to hope for the best, get crap, and then muffle my sobs with my pillow at midnight.

    You're right (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 11:29:47 PM EST
    He has zero political sense, it's always seemed to me.

    But he also has zero credibility and influence in this administration, or even in much of Congress, and he knows it.  It must be just maddening to him to be screaming into a vacuum the way he has been and helpless to get his point across to the cadre of quasi-Chicagoans in the White House.


    A lot of us... (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by NealB on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 11:55:06 PM EST
    ... know the difference between freshwater and coastal economics because of Krugman. Living in the land of freshwater economists, I have some direct experience of the difference. So it's useful to me that a New Jersey professor (Princeton I think) pointed it out in the New York Times.

    Krugman is clearly a shy kind of guy. He's been more forthright than anyone else of whom I can think. Constant reminders of what I learned in high school economics class is reassuring. I'm grateful to him for that. Not clear why Obama never learned his lessons in high school.


    I don't remember (none / 0) (#2)
    by dk on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 06:16:51 PM EST
    Krugman so much rolling over on the stimulus (but I could be wrong).  I don't recall him ever saying that was passed would do the trick.

    I do, however, recall him rolling over on TARP and on the health insurance bill.  But as you say, his incredible strength is as an economist, not as a political strategist.


    I don't remember Paul rolling over (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by weltec2 on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 06:51:44 PM EST
    so much as acknowledging that the Obama admin -- and Demo Congress -- does not have the political will to do the right thing. On a number of occasions he seemed to be groaning 'well... it's better than the Repubs would have given us.'

    A few more so called (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:45:56 PM EST
    "progressive triumphs" and the Democratic Party will be dead in the water for years to come.

    I fear, seriously fear, you are correct, (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:20:21 PM EST
    MO Blue. In the 'real world,' people think think the adminisration hasn't done anything for them. 25 bucks a week in extra unempliyment comp, with taxes on more than 2k in compensation, for example. Unemployed means, to the regular family, something that a c-note a month doesn't touch.

    Idiots. Uninformed, out-of-touch idiots in the White House.

    Or lapdogs licking their corporate masters' faces.

    either alternative leaves real people to suffer.


    Part of the real world thinks they (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by ruffian on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 08:04:55 AM EST
    have not done anything, and another part thinks they have enacted a socialist agenda.

    sooo.... do you go with the flow and claim (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by ruffian on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 08:08:16 AM EST
    your 'socialist agenda' as a 'great progressive victory' even if it was neither progressive nor a victory? The house of mirrors is too hard for me to keep up with anymore.

    Now now (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by cawaltz on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 04:33:49 AM EST
    There you go getting all idealistic and not realistic. How in the world are the "very, serious pragmatists" going to take you seriously if you badmouth their accomplishments-or lack thereof?

    Yep (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 08:22:31 AM EST
    The idealistic in me kinda likes things that actually work. You know actually accomplishes the stated goal.

    The "very, serious pragmatists" OTOH just want to say that they passed something. Doesn't have to work. But hey, they can create sound bites and pat each other on the back while lecturing others on not letting the "perfect being the enemy of the good." Of course, the so called "good" is the equivalent of that old beat up clucker on blocks sitting in the field without tires, motor and a few other necessary parts that is necessary for it to work.


    Issues? Issues?! (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Jackson Hunter on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 09:54:31 PM EST
    "We don't need no stinking issues!"  Chill out, he's got this!

    Sorry, couldn't help it.


    Once again, (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 11:35:19 PM EST
    I would ask for a little fairness. Paul Krugman has been right so much more than wrong, even at the expense of alienating the Administration, that I feel really uncomfortable at the criticism addressed towards him by some "seeking perfection" Progressives. I'm not a Krugman Groupie, nor do I think he's exempt from criticism, but in the political environment we find ourselves in I don't think its helpful bashing one of the truly bright lights on our side.

    On his fiscal and monetary opinions he's been right on target.

    On his calling out the Republicans and Blue Dogs, basically calling them sadistic, unpatriotic slugs, he's been right on target.

    And on his views regarding the "health care" debate, I was pretty much shocked, and dismayed, how Progressives pummeled him for expressing his "better than nothing" position.

    I don't know what a guy has to do; he said over and over again that Obama's position was a sellout, a travesty, and a tragedy. But when all was said and done, yes, it was better than nothing.

    He has been correct as an economist (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 07:57:34 AM EST
    but he is not good at politics or political strategy.  Nobody is criticizing him in his profession.

    football pool (none / 0) (#4)
    by jharp on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 07:34:17 PM EST
    I haven't been posting much but still visiting as often as usual.

    And a suggestion, Mr. BTD.

    How about a football pool? Just pick the winners without point spreads. And rank them according to how sure of a win you think it is.

    Just realized this isn't an open thread. Oh well.

    Long view on dem losses (none / 0) (#7)
    by vicndabx on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 08:58:38 PM EST
    With info on Depression era recovery widely available, it seems to me the admin and congress folks would know that gov't needed to step up - and pretty substantially.  It also seems they'd know that jobs aren't going to come back quick enough - regardless of the size of the stimulus.  Where's the demand?  Seems feasible to think they, being politicians, would not want to hand Republicans stronger talking points - that is, even more taxpayer $$ spent and still no jobs.

    Krugman the Bully (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 10:08:55 PM EST
    Well, the other way to look at it, is he was right all along, and now he has resorted to screaming...

    Wasn't 'the Shrill One' his nickname at one point? (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 08:06:24 AM EST
    It was with the Blackwaterdog (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 08:59:21 AM EST
    Booman crew.

    And Glenn Greenwald is unhinged :) (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 09:00:50 AM EST