Friday :: Jan 22, 2010

Krugman: "I'm pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama"


by Turkana

Paul Krugman, who has been defending President Obama's health care effort, now has very strong words about the president.

As Krugman sees it, reform hangs in the balance and leadership is desperately needed. And then he sees this quote from the president:

I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on. We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people. We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don't, then our budgets are going to blow up and we know that small businesses are going to need help so that they can provide health insurance to their families. Those are the core, some of the core elements of, to this bill. Now I think there's some things in there that people don't like and legitimately don't like.

And he responds:

In short, “Run away, run away”!

Maybe House Democrats can pull this out, even with a gaping hole in White House leadership.

The gaping hole that has both Greg Sargent and David Shuster reporting that Congressional leaders are getting no guidance from the White House. And they do need guidance.

Krugman praises Barney Frank for reversing course, to be willing now to support the Senate bill, if there are promises that it will be fixed, later. And then he gets to his bottom line on Obama's approach:

But I have to say, I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.

The public option polls well, even in the unlikeliest places. Support for the Obama plan consistently registers significantly less support than does a public plan. Some might figure out that when what could be the best part of the plan enjoys wide support, while the plan without it is widely opposed, it might be a good idea to fight for that best part. Both for the policy and for the politics. David Waldman has shown that there is a path forward. The question is why we aren't taking it.

Turkana :: 2:07 PM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!