Monday, April 16, 2007

Thank You, Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman has reassured my faith in sanity today by admitting that he sees something I've also been seeing for quite some time.
..a funny thing has happened on the Democratic side: the party’s base seems to be more in touch with the mood of the country than many of the party’s leaders.
Let me ask you, why should it be, as Mr. Krugman puts it, that "reluctant Democratic politicians are being dragged by their base into taking highly popular positions?"

It seems as if we're living in a society (and a political atmosphere) where the flow of public information made most easily available over the airwaves (by leaders and media)and the information that we get from the carefully-edited newspapers is set up to be off-base and misleading first - and the challenge is left to the least powerful (least corporate-sponsored) voices to fight the misleadings with what most of us have naturally (and long ago) come to a consensus as seeing as "true."

That is so twisted.

It's hard to believe that "Beltway insiders .. still don’t seem to realize how overwhelmingly the public has turned against President Bush." Yet, Mr. Krugman gives solid examples of those who are still lost in the alabaster castle-world of Washington D.C.

Mr. Krugman is correct. We were (and should have been) infuriated when Barack Obama (the "rock star") seemed to say that he would support an Iraq war funding bill without a timeline while only the few Freeper-type supporters of the Bush war say they believe Congress should allow war funding without a time limit. For someone who's bragging that he didn't support the Iraq war, I'm not bowled over by Senator Obama's hesitancy to put an end to the farce now that he has great power in his hands.

Mr. Krugman is coreect in saying that John Edwards is the only Democratic candidate who's offered a real-world, solid plan and path for universal healthcare. Where are the others? (nyceve asked the question today at Daily Kos).

Krugman ends his column is advising against the odd (anti-center) caution being displayed by Democrats in the halls of Congress.
Republicans will, for a while at least, be trapped in unpopular positions by a base that’s living in the past. Rudy Giuliani’s surge into front-runner status for the Republican nomination says more about the party than about the candidate. As The Onion put it with deadly accuracy, Mr. Giuliani is running for “President of 9/11.”

Democrats don’t have the same problem. There’s no conflict between catering to the Democratic base and staking out positions that can win in the 2008 election, because the things the base wants — an end to the Iraq war, a guarantee of health insurance for all — are also things that the country as a whole supports. The only risk the party now faces is excessive caution on the part of its politicians. Or, to coin a phrase, the only thing Democrats have to fear is fear itself.
I want to thank Mr. Krugman for causing me to feel - what is the word - Justified? Vindicated? Correct? ... for simply stating on a daily basis what my conscience has told me is the right thing to do and say.


Chancelucky said...

Just confirms what I've felt for some time. Krugman is one of the better political columnists going and it's not just in his specialty, economic matters. With the loss of Molly Ivins, the number of individuals who actually shed light on the issues in the mainstream media continues to dwindle.
I'm just glad the guy is around.

The Democratic party often feels like a basketball team with great players and the worst imaginable ownership and coaching.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see someone start a drive for Democrats to update their party affiliation in protest as soon as our "leaders" cave in again. A majority of Dems changing to Green might get their attention.