Krugman’s Confusion

If you do not understand why the Democratic Party has been a minority party in recent years, or if you want to see the path which risks returning them to the minority, read today’s column by Paul Krugman. In many ways it presents the exact opposite view of the Democratic Party as I presented in the previous post. Krugman returns to his usual course of Obama-bashing. He ignores the actual reasons as to why Obama lost in Pennsylvania and provides his view:

Let me offer an alternative suggestion: maybe his transformational campaign isn’t winning over working-class voters because transformation isn’t what they’re looking for.

From the beginning, I wondered what Mr. Obama’s soaring rhetoric, his talk of a new politics and declarations that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” (waiting for to do what, exactly?) would mean to families troubled by lagging wages, insecure jobs and fear of losing health coverage. The answer, from Ohio and Pennsylvania, seems pretty clear: not much. Mrs. Clinton has been able to stay in the race, against heavy odds, largely because her no-nonsense style, her obvious interest in the wonkish details of policy, resonate with many voters in a way that Mr. Obama’s eloquence does not.

Yes, I know that there are lots of policy proposals on the Obama campaign’s Web site. But addressing the real concerns of working Americans isn’t the campaign’s central theme.

He goes on to complain once again about how Obama’s health care plan isn’t good enough because he doesn’t force everyone to join, showing the attitude which leads many to oppose the Democratic Party. In dismissing Obama on economics you would think that we are dealing with the difference between John Edwards and George Bush. Those who consider Barack Obama to be too conservative on economic policy are living in a different universe than at least three quarters of American voters.

In reality Obama does address the concerns of working Americans. He also shows understanding of the concerns of affluent professionals. Instead of playing class warfare, Obama is seeking to propose economic solutions which are best for the nation. He believes that helping the poor and working class does not require attacking the affluent. Krugman sees economic populism as a viable political strategy. As I argued in the previous post, and as Norm Scheiber also leans towards in the selection I quoted, this course will limit the Democrats to those who voted for them when they were a minority party. The Democratic Party as envisioned by Paul Krugman and Hillary Clinton is not a party I, or many other independents, will vote for. The Democrats must either be a big tent which can accommodate the views of Obama and his supporters or we will see another generation of Republican rule.

The column ends with the announcement that “David Brooks is off today.” The strange thing about the last few months is that I’d now rather read Brooks than Krugman. Sometimes I find something of value in what Brooks writes, and occasionally I even agree with him. It has become hard to find anything of either value or that I agree with when reading Krugman since he turned into a proponent of far left populism and endless Obama-bashing.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    tjproudamerican says:

    I also read Krugman reluctantly.

    The idea that Clinton voters are smart, too smart for Obama’s flawed Health Care Plan, is laughable. Every demographic background shows her voters to be basically the Hee-Haw Crowd, poor, uneducated, rural, white, old.

    I have Krugman’s books and I am thinking of sending them back to him.

    If a Hillary-ditto-head like Taylor Marsh or Krugman wants to say, “Obama is black and white people have many racists among them, so vote for Hillary,” I would respect them.

    But they come up with stupid reasons. Hillary’s plan is similar to the Massachusettes Plan that REQUIRES people to get a Health Care Plan…i.e. they have their wages garnisheed. She still has not given an honest answer to what you do with the healthy, young who don’t want to get their own plan.

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