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View Diary: Krugman On Geithner: Saved the Economy But Left It Crippled (148 comments)

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  •  the difference was the weakness (7+ / 0-)

    of the Republican party.

    In 2008, the Republicans were reeling, divided and discredited by eight years of Bush. Moreover, the demographics favored the Democrats. The older, more conservative white voters that formed the core of the Republican coalition were dwindling, and the demographics that were increasing--Hispanics, Asians--leaned increasingly Democratic. More young people and more women were voting than ever before. The GOP hadn't been in such disarray since 1932 when FDR swept into the White House.

    Had Obama and the Democrats tried just a little harder, they would have easily cemented that coalition and held Congress in 2010. Instead they spent a year and half bargaining away the public option, and excusing their capitulation by claiming that tiny mobs of angry lunatics being bused into town halls by insurance companies were a popular movement that deserved to be listened too.

    Besides that, they did very little for their base. This was what allowed the GOP an opening in the low-turnout midterm election.

    Obama spent the two years between 2010 and 2012 pushing austerity politics in futile search of his Grand Bargain and more or less ignoring his base. Even so, he still comfortably won reelection and turnout was high enough to help the Democrats make gains in the House and the Senate. Imagine what the results would have been if he had actually tried to advance a Democratic agenda instead of trying to compromise with the GOP.

    Obama has given hostages to the Republicans from the beginning, since he stepped down the stimulus instead of going for the trillion-dollar-plus stimulus that Krugman and others were calling for. If he had done even just a little more, the voters that came out for him so enthusiastically in 2008 would've stayed with the Democrats in 2010 and 2012 and the Republicans would be wandering in the political wilderness.

    That they aren't is largely due to the political malpractice of the Democrats.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:25:21 AM PDT

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    •  Trying harder (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah, FG, TomP, mcstowy, Nowhere Man

      would not have convinced Republicans to cease unanimous opposition to Obama.  This is where the FDR analogy fails.  When the first piece of New Deal legislation, the Emergency Banking Act, came up for a vote, it passed on a voice vote in the House, before printed copies were even available.  

      Or to put it another way, one Republican Senator, Arthur Clapper of Kansas, said at the time:  

      “I am for giving the President whatever he wants in the way of power.” (Smith, FDR, 315)
      By contrast, Republicans were already plotting to stonewall Obama's agenda on the very night of his inauguration.  

      I do believe Obama could've limited the political fallout and possibly helped Dems hold the House if he'd wrung more political advantage out of the financial crisis, primarily by bailing out more homeowners, by going hard after the financial sector before doing health care, and by at least indicting a few Wall Street bigwigs.

       

      "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

      by puakev on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:00:37 AM PDT

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    •  Yep they were on the ropes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, 3goldens

      We have had years of death and destruction due to this economy that could have been prevented if DC had an iota of interest in protecting this Nation.

      I need your support, my paypal is: boothie68@gmail.com

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:53:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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