Paul Krugman, who isn’t an apologist for the president, continues to make a case for passing the Senate bill. Simultaneously, Krugman reinforces the idea that President Obama has mostly governed the way he ran:
There’s a lot of dismay/rage on the left over Obama, a number of cries that he isn’t the man progressives thought they were voting for.
But that says more about the complainers than it does about Obama himself. If you actually paid attention to the substance of what he was saying during the primary, you realized that
(a) There wasn’t a lot of difference among the major Democratic contenders
(b) To the extent that there was a difference, Obama was the least progressive
In terms of healthcare reform, the big difference between the Edwards and Clinton plans and President Obama’s plan was that the Obama plan lacked mandates. The Edwards and Clinton plans were considered more progressive and they included mandates. Now that President Obama has included mandates, he’s less progressive. Weird dynamic. Additionally, Howard Dean’s 2004 plan didn’t have a public option. Edwards in 2004 was more centrist than John Kerry.
I still argue that in many ways President Obama is the most liberal president since LBJ, if not FDR. Strictly in terms of priorities and accomplishments, he’s more liberal than Carter or Clinton. Edwards ’08 or Dean ’04 might’ve had more liberal priorities overall, but we’ll never really know how successfully they would’ve governed. Actually, if Edwards had been elected last year and his affair had gone public… Anyway…
Krugman concludes with some tough love:
But back to Obama: the important thing to bear in mind is that this isn’t about him; and, equally important, it isn’t about you. If you’ve fallen out of love with a politician, well, so what? [emphasis is Krugman's]