You know Obama is not doing so hot when Krugman’s support goes away.
It’s more of a complaining piece than anything else. Yet, Krugman’s column should give Obama some pause.
But progressive disillusionment isn’t just a matter of sky-high expectations meeting prosaic reality. Threatened filibusters didn’t force Mr. Obama to waffle on torture; to escalate in Afghanistan; to choose, with exquisitely bad timing, to loosen the rules on offshore drilling early this year.
Then there are the appointments. Yes, the administration needed experienced hands. But did all the senior members of the economics team have to be protégés of Robert Rubin, the apostle of financial deregulation? Was it necessary to install Ken Salazar at the Interior Department over the objections of environmentalists who feared, rightly, that his ties to extractive industries would make him slow to clean up a corrupt agency?
This has to be the first piece I’ve read from Krugman that didn’t explicit blame Bush for all that’s wrong with the Obama administration. Krugman has tried that for almost 2 years now, and only highly partisan Democrats, like himself, actually bite at that anymore. Everyone knows that Obama didn’t have any business being in the White House. The Democrats were blinded by rhetoric and a candy coated surface. Just goes to show how “smart” they really are.
O.K., I don’t really know what’s going on. But I worry that Mr. Obama is still wrapped up in his dream of transcending partisanship, while his aides dislike the idea of having to deal with strong, independent voices. And the end result of this game-playing is an administration that seems determined to alienate its friends.
Imagine that, politicians not liking independent thought. Imagine a populace that doesn’t drink the Kool Aid, that probably frightens Krugman and the rest of the Democratic party leadership more than any Republicans gains this November.