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There is a reason why Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist, and not a political operative who seeks to elect more and better Democrats.  Case in point: this.

Joining other pundits in explaining the outcome of the election a week before Election Day, Krugman delivers his "I told you so" message once again, beating the same drum he's been beating for over 2 years.  The stimulus package was too small and focused too much on tax cuts, instead of stimulative spending.  As a result, the stimulus was unable to offset major budget cuts at the state and local levels, and the economy fell into higher levels of unemployment than the Obama administration had anticipated.

As the old African proverb goes:  When the elephants fight, the grass suffers.

Krugman scores points in his running argument with economists like Greg Mankiw, Larry Summers, Ben Bernanke, and Christina Romer.  And yes, Krugman's line of argument could be seen as prescient.  The stimulus didn't fix the unemployment problem and Fed easing only managed to put more money in the hands of the banks that got us in this mess to begin with.  

But why are we talking about this a week from Election Day?

Krugman:

If Democrats do as badly as expected in next week’s elections, pundits will rush to interpret the results as a referendum on ideology. President Obama moved too far to the left, most will say...

And he's correct about this.  Doug Schoen, in an article by the Times's Peter Baker, says that losing the midterms will be the best thing that could possibly happen for Obama, because it will give him someone to run against.  (Because, ultimately, it's all about optics, apparently ... screw the country, we have an election to win!  In 2012!)  And Schoen isn't the only one dispensing this outstanding conventional wisdom.  It's not the Republicans' fault that the stimulus wasn't larger (even though they voted in lockstep opposition after repeated overtures from President Obama, and the tax cuts that Republicans claim will be the solution to all that ails our economy).  It's not the Republicans' fault that they opposed healthcare and lied about what it is doing for the country.  It's not the Republicans fault that Wall Street reform was too weak.  And of course, Republicans aren't to blame that Gitmo hasn't closed, or that the Bush Administration hasn't been tried for war crimes of which it is most assuredly guilty.

No, we should blame Obama for all of this.  And while we're at it, let's blame Nancy Pelosi too.  

The Democrats lost the election because...

Does anyone realize that we're still over a week away from the election?

This is like the Stanford band coming out on the field to celebrate their victory over Cal.  There is still time on the clock, and we don't even need a Hail Mary.  We just need to run the ball down the opposition's throat for the next seven days.

And yes, there are some Blue Dogs who might lose, and even a few incumbent progressives if we're not careful.

But this election is incredibly uncertain, incredibly volatile, and totally dependent on voter turnout.

Get back on the field!

This game isn't over yet.

Originally posted to Benintn on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 08:47 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  lost what election? (13+ / 0-)

    did the election happen and I miss it?

    Down with Prop H8! Jerry Brown for CA_GOV 2010

    by GlowNZ on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 08:49:17 AM PDT

  •  We have no one to fight for us (9+ / 0-)

    People on the so called professional left let the republicans lie openly and rather than defend the administration they piled on.  Well we see how much gets done under speaker Boehner, but the professional left will really have something to bitch about.

    Change happens because of you...Barack Obama

    by Adept2u on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 08:50:20 AM PDT

    •  The professional left would not have (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NearlyNormal, Bluefin, Nax

      been an issue had Obama and the rest of the Democratic leadership elected to govern as professional Democrats rather than Rockefeller Republican dilettantes, interested solely in maintenance of a status quo which was clearly passe' after an election run on the "audacity of change". So, headlines by so called "professional left"ists like the "Mendacity of change" were not all that surprising.

      If we get a speaker Boehner, at this point it will appear that the Democratic leadership will have gotten exactly what it wanted all along.

      "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

      by nippersdad on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:27:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's just bullshit of the highest order (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, Deep Texan

        There was a time when I'd take apart every part of that shallow as a puddle of spit thought process, but that's something I'm no longer interested in doing here.  That thought is almost delusional, but most of america is.

        Change happens because of you...Barack Obama

        by Adept2u on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:44:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I'm converted! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ezekial 23 20, Nax

          We have been looking at manufactured outrage and every effort at real change sabotaged to gain an illusory sense of bi-partisanship for nearly two years. It shouldn't take an MIT cum laude graduate to see that the status quo has always been the only thing on the table.

          "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

          by nippersdad on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:47:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well there certainly is a slice of crazy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nippersdad, Larsstephens

            on the table now..

            your choice.

            •  Wasn't that the fundamental point? (0+ / 0-)

              The right manufactures outrage over getting what they wanted in the first place by calling the compromise (read: original Republican position) a socialist takeover of government. So, one has the choice of voting for the demented or those who give the demented what they want.

              The slice of crazy that is on the table right now is continuing to enable the craziness; hence the lack of enthusiasm on the part of those who voted for change. Right?

              "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

              by nippersdad on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 10:16:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  you can play chicken with the republicans (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Larsstephens

                and see who gets run off the road first.

                •  I will play chicken with a Republican every day (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Bluefin

                  of the week over a committed liberal. Republicans are cowards and liars. The most notable thing about cowards and liars is the ease with which the give way when actually punched in the face. They come by their victim mentality honestly; they do indeed feel like victims, because they always feel like they are on the verge of being called out for their actions.

                  Hence the preemptive outrage.

                  On the verge will not get it anymore, we need to actually do it. Punch them where it hurts and they will fall. We just need someone with the guts and brains to actually do it on a consistent basis.

                  "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

                  by nippersdad on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 10:28:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  the problem here is (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Larsstephens

                    we all end up in the ditch..

                    •  Something that people like myself (0+ / 0-)

                      have been pointing out for twenty years. We are already in a ditch, advocating for the likes of Marshall here in Georgia will do little to get us out of it.

                      A great deal of effort was expended on his behalf two years ago and we have seen exactly what he has done to deserve it since, have we not? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results was Einsteins' definition of insanity. I have yet to see his theory disproven.

                      I am not advocating for voting for the Republican, just now wasting resources on those who appear to prefer them.

                      "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

                      by nippersdad on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 11:00:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  we didn't get what we wanted (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        nippersdad, Patate

                        because of the Senate.

                        Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results was Einsteins' definition of insanity.

                        If I remember correctly, this quote is falsely attributed to Einstein.

                        "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

                        I think this is a better one, if we were quoting Einstein.  While I do find faults, I also recognize the environment hasn't changed enough for us to get the support we need for progressive legislation.

                        So maybe you think it's insane to keep voting for Dems, I'll continue to do just that..  More Dems then Better Dems.

                        •  oh btw (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          nippersdad

                          i am essentially agreeing with you here.

                          but i fail to see a viable alternative.

                        •  Clearly, that was not the point I was (0+ / 0-)

                          trying to make. I am not advocating for voting for Republicans, just not wasting our limited resources on those who so clearly support them in the final analysis. We do not have the Koch brothers backing us, so we really do need to have a message that resonates with the public.

                          As long as we resolutely defend such as Marshall, that will never happen and we will continue to be subject to Republican policy. It is always easier to fight an actual opposition than it is to spend all of your energies in internecine battles. I'm just saying that the way toward getting better Democrats may not be to fritter away our message and finite resources defending bad ones.

                          "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

                          by nippersdad on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 12:02:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

    •  You know better than that (0+ / 0-)

      Don't blame the "professional left" because the professional centrists screwed the pooch.

      "Play it LOUD Robbie, Play it fucking loud" Dylan

      by NearlyNormal on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 10:30:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Progressives are in CYA mode (10+ / 0-)

    Krugman is trying to salvage the legitimacy of his ideology rather than tying to salvage the election.

    He has already beat the "STIMULUS WUZ INADEQUATE" topic to death; why couldn't it wait until after the election, if not to preempt criticism?

    Progressivism, like conservatism, cannot fail. It can only be failed.

    by tomjones on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 08:53:57 AM PDT

    •  Because he is an economist. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nippersdad, Deep Texan

      Krugman is making an economic argument for economists, the economist class, and the investor class.  He's talking to World Bank types ... Wall Street types ... hedge fund managers...

      And ultimately, Krugman is trying to defend the stimulus as an idea, because the stimulus as a policy didn't work out as well as anyone had hoped.

      Krugman was right that the stimulus was too small.  But he ignored the ways that the Fed could have and should have done more to promote full employment.

      9 days until Election Day. Sign up at OFA today.

      by Benintn on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 08:57:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is true to a degree: (0+ / 0-)

        Krugman was right that the stimulus was too small.  But he ignored the ways that the Fed could have and should have done more to promote full employment.

        But there were plenty of other economist that staked out that territory. William K. Black has been talking about the effects of economic policy wrt employment since he predicted (sucessfully) the depth of the problems we faced.

        "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

        by nippersdad on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:29:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the fact (14+ / 0-)

    The enthusiasm gap is from their side being unusually energetic, not our side being unusually apathetic.

    Nate Silver:

       * Or, it could mean that Republicans were unusually excited about the elections, while Democratic enthusiasm was just at par. That would also produce an enthusiasm gap. But it would be much more a story about Republican excitement than one about disarray in the Democratic base.

    In fact, it’s the latter explanation that seems to hold this year. The enthusiasm gap has more to do with abnormally high levels of Republican interest in the election than with despondent Democrats.

    What has been accomplished in the first two years has terrified the Republican base. They want their country back - a country with no national health care system before 65 and no restraints on Wall Street. You may say that what Democrats accomplished was pathetic or incremental. Nevertheless, it was sufficient to inspire fear and loathing among Republicans.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 08:55:12 AM PDT

    •  "Republican Base" = 120 billionaires. (8+ / 0-)

      But that's $120 billion ... which is a lot of money.

      Only in the mind of Republicans could white Protestant billionaire oilmen be considered an oppressed minority.

      9 days until Election Day. Sign up at OFA today.

      by Benintn on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 08:58:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The conservatives are going to the polls (5+ / 0-)

        and it's not just because of attack ads or the Tea Party Express.

        All the rhetoric over the HCR bill did serve to absolutely terrify the Republicans.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:03:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The LIES over the HCR bill... (5+ / 0-)

          lies which were paid for by a tiny minority of extremely wealthy Americans, along with Republican-affiliated outside groups like "Conservatives for Patient Rights" (which Rick Scott used to parlay into a bid for the FL Governor's office.).

          And you're right - Republicans and moderates were terrified.  Older adults, in particular, are still terrified.

          Attacking Obamacare is easy.  Defending it is harder.

          But in the end, it's a very moderate, sensible approach (supported by Mitt freaking Romney in Massachusetts!) and it's going to lower costs, improve access, and maintain quality.

          9 days until Election Day. Sign up at OFA today.

          by Benintn on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:06:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Don't forget the gazillion "grassroots activists" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan

        AKA, astroturfed TeaBots hoodwinked into voting against their own best interests, under the guise of "someday you'll be rich like us, so you'd better help implement our policies that will preserve your future wealth."

        Republicans...
        Do as I say, not as I do
        All for me, and none for you.

        by DeadHead on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:20:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not the Republican base. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens

          Those are the "swing voters" and "independents" who are targeted by the 120 billionaires.

          There is another group of "base" Republicans ... those who are so fundamentally opposed to government in general (especially taxes) that they will vote in favor of those who are most likely to undermine and destroy the federal government, so that they can get away with whatever they want to get away with.

          9 days until Election Day. Sign up at OFA today.

          by Benintn on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:29:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i disagree here (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larsstephens

            that is the Republican base.  

            always has been, always will be.

          •  So you're saying all of those (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Benintn

            "Tea Party Patriots" are independents/swing voters? Or am I misinterpreting your comment?

            They're the Republican base if they continuously vote Republican, despite all rational arguement to do otherwise.

            Republicans...
            Do as I say, not as I do
            All for me, and none for you.

            by DeadHead on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 10:31:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes. They self-identify as independents (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DeadHead

              and to that extent, they are upset with both parties and feel sold out by both parties.

              The astroturf campaigns from groups like Tea Party Express, Americans for Prosperity, etc., are all trying to use that anger to bring independents into the Republican column this November.  But in truth, the Tea Party is independent of the GOP and RNC and they are as angry with establishment Republicans as they are with establishment Democrats.

              But they believe that Republicans will do a better job of cutting spending and taxes.

              9 days until Election Day. Sign up at OFA today.

              by Benintn on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 02:21:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  All it takes to inspire fear and loathing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluefin

      in a Republican is a D appended to your name. I doubt that they have any real idea what the issues actually are. Authoritarians are known for their insufficiency of actual facts and overreliance upon talking points which tend to obscure same.

      "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

      by nippersdad on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:32:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stimulus needed two GOP votes. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, Ladyhawk, Benintn, Deep Texan

    Nothing the Dems could have really done, other than watch the economy crater completely and show they're not willing to budge to get two votes.  

    Imagine Pelosi having to have the gavel over to Boehner, and the shit eating grin he'll have as the GOP caucus erupts into raucous applause.

    by Jonze on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 08:59:54 AM PDT

    •  ... at a time when we were losing a million jobs (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKinTN, Larsstephens, Bluefin, Deep Texan

      a month.

      Your point is exactly right.

      Every day we waited was another day where we lost 25,000 jobs, 30,000 jobs, 35,000 jobs...

      Krugman is correct that the stimulus should have been bigger.

      But it also should have been faster.  And it should have been done BEFORE the economy cratered.

      Blame Bush.  He bailed out the banks but wouldn't do a thing to help ordinary citizens or homeowners.

      9 days until Election Day. Sign up at OFA today.

      by Benintn on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:04:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yup Republicans played chicken (0+ / 0-)

        with the next Great Depression..

        We had two choices..  Either do what we could to help or stale-mate, hope the voters blame Republicans..

        Dems were going to get blamed no matter what imo.  It was the right thing to do and it was the smart thing to do re: getting as much as we could with the just say no party.

    •  Tim Geithner on Charlie Rose makes your point. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo, Patate, Bluefin

      President Obama made a decision to go with what he could get because the alternative (trying to get the bigger stimulus) was not possible.  As stated, what we got only happened because we got two GOP votes.

      http://www.charlierose.com/...

      BTW: As I recall, Paul Krugman also wanted to nationalize the banks.

      We are prepared for battle. We'll grind it out, district by district, race by race. We have a story to tell. David Axelrod

      by Ladyhawk on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 10:22:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No pundit ever has to take (0+ / 0-)

      things like that into account, though.

  •  it should, at this point, be clear (4+ / 0-)

    on which side of this debate I fall.

    I've noticed though, that people seem to be falling over each other to be able to say "I told you so"

    or worse... claiming THE OTHER SIDE in this debate are spoiling for the chance to do so

    like... the cheerleaders are gonna blame the footburners... and vice versa... like the blame will only lie in that direction.

    mwanwhile the blame lies with the media's handholding of the baggers and distaste with the president, which we all know.

    it's facinating sociology, though.  and you can, by this time, guess what folks are gonna say from their name.

    take a shot everytime someone uses their "catchphrase" on here whether it's about making stuff up, a notation of a argument, or whatever... you'll be drunk by 9AM!  LOL

    GOTV folks!

    The rent IS too damn high.

    by mallyroyal on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:01:06 AM PDT

  •  i think we'll do fine re: elections (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, DeadHead

    we will keep the majority.  

  •  I don't really think you can call (0+ / 0-)

    it 'Monday morning quarterbacking' at the same time you say he's 'beating the same drum he's been beating for over 2 years'.

    If he's merely saying the same things he's been saying for two years, there isn't any 'Monday Morning' involved.

    If you feel insulted by anything I've said, find out if it was intentional. I'll let you know if you ask.

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 11:25:50 AM PDT

    •  I'm talking about calling the election (0+ / 0-)

      before the votes are counted.  

      Krugman opens his latest essay by talking about how the Democrats are poised to lose big in the elections.  He predicates his whole essay on the fact that Democrats are going to lose, rather than talking about what it takes to win.

      9 days until Election Day. Sign up at OFA today.

      by Benintn on Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 02:23:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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