Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Paul Krugman Missed One Today


I enjoy reading Paul Krugman's column and his books and I go to his lectures. I always learn something. Today I read Fools On The Hill, a post on his blog, and learned he can be wrong too.

I couldn't agree more that the pack of cowards on the Hill are fools-- and worse. He correctly points out that-- quite predictably-- they're in "panic mode." I suspect he wants to vomit as much as I do. But after that, we part company. "[T]he strategy," he writes, "of playing Republican-lite, and hoping that you’ll be left alone, has been tried-- and failed disastrously... It’s up to the House, which can and should just pass the Senate bill."

The Senate bill sucks; really and truly sucks. They should do it over. In fact, what they should do is just expand Medicare (which would automatically get rid pre-existing condition exemptions), go after insurance companies that discriminate against women, overturn the Republican deal with Big Pharma to ban drug importation and... then turn on Wall Street in a serious way. Republican-lite? I don't think so. A very smart man pointed out that "Democrats have to realize that politics isn’t just about where you stand on issues, it’s about perceptions of a party’s character. The rap on Dems has always been that they’re wimps-- and giving in on such a central part of the party’s agenda, emerging from two years in power with nothing major to show for it, will play right into that perception." And there's no reason on earth to stick America with a bad bill when there's an opportunity to make it much, much better -- as well as simpler and easier to understand and build support for.

Scott Brown's victory can be turned into a real triumph-- despite Scott Brown-- for the American people. Committing political suicide by forcing through a Senate bill that the whole country hates isn't the correct approach for Democrats.

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At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

But Howie, these are Democrats. And by the nature of the term, they must always sit back and claim they can't achieve anything, as opposed to Republicans, who regularly achieve something--it's just always something abominably bad.

You're right, they have a chance to do something great, here. And like every other chance, the Senate Democrats will blow it. Because anything is a good excuse for inaction, in their book.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger brad4d said...

I can't wait to start discussing the 28th amendment to the US Constitution ~ tax-paid servants should not deny Americans anything they are privileged, or charge Americans for what they don't pay equally for.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger 333 said...

The Republicans are smelling victory. They'll wait for a crisis, much like 9/11 and pass a Healthcare bill just like Romney did in Massachusetts.

If the DNC cant get it together and vet their candidates more on personality and quality, than on good ole' girl politics... then they are going to lose all over the country.


At 4:27 PM, Blogger Bula said...

Obama needs to accept he's toast.

That being said, go for broke.

Use Executive Orders anywhere he can.

Recess appointments, veto every appropriations bill till he gets his way.

Show them what going rouge really means.

Take a hit for the home team!

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Bob In Pacifica said...

Absolutely, Howie.

This survey:

says that Obama voters in 2008 who either voted for Brown or who stayed home overwhelmingly supported a SINGLE-PAYER plan.

Everyone should chew on that. If Dems don't do what Dems want the voters will either stay home or hope (unrealistically) that a "maverick" Republican will do something differently.

The Dems need to shed those corporate chains.

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Daro said...

Krugman's other little hiccup? 10 years of full-throated support for the idea that the whole NAFTA/ free global trade policy push emanating from US wanna-be sweatshop owners was good for the US economy. He's been quiet abut it for over a year now, but some readers have a memory not cloned from goldfish brain cells. Every time I see photos of US industry ghost towns I think of Krugman.


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