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I'm surprised I haven't seen anything here about a Salon column titled "Obama should have listened to Paul Krugman." It is an analysis of what went wrong with the Obama administration from the beginning from a progressive point of view. Author Walden Bello lists ways Obama failed to maintain the wave of passion he rode to election night in 2008, concluding:

"With his preference for a technocratic approach and a bipartisan solution to the crisis, Obama allowed this base to wither away instead of exploiting the explosive momentum it possessed in the aftermath of the elections.

"At the eleventh hour, Obama and the Democrats are talking about firing up and resurrecting this base. But the dispirited and skeptical troops that have long been disbanded and left by the wayside rightfully ask: around what?"

This last question seems to be the essence of the argument here at Kos over the Obama presidency. Sure we supported him over Romney, but only because Romney and the Republicans were so god-awful. It was all many of us could do to choke back our disappointment in Obama's performance for four years.

Of course, he achieved a few things, but he didn't give progressives what we desperately wanted - leadership.

Bello goes on to contrast the Republicans take-no-prisoners approach with Obama's confrontation-avoidance style. The book from which the article is excepted "Capitalism's Last Stand?: Deglobalization in the Age of Austerity" is out in paperback. It looks like a good read.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    "They are united in their hatred of me, and I welcome their hatred." - FDR... "They are united in their hatred of me, and I would like to invite them to a nice luncheon and discuss how I might better meet their needs." - BHO

    by ebrann on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 03:57:05 AM PDT

  •  He Ran Against Progressives. Rally What? nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto, blueoasis, PhilK, Deward Hastings

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:32:53 AM PDT

  •  Here Is A Link To Salon Article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Thanks. Good portion of my DK comments over the years relate to Krugman and Democrats not pushing his prescriptions. Will check it out now.

    •  Read It. 1 Of Better Summaries Of Last 4 1/2 Years (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Think Obama expected that his style of leadership would draw some GOP cooperation to form a consensus. Think he didn't understand that he was not going to get any more of a consensus than the voters who helped bring him in 2008. If you watched the campaign in 2008 and voted to make Palin VP, you were never going to be part of a progressive consensus and the GOP was going to cater to the worst in you as the Obama Presidency took place. Were the people who voted for Obama ready for progressive policies? The only way you could match the expectations of the rhetoric of hope and change was to do that.  A strong Keynesian approach would have not had more resistance than the Tea Party gave to a mild Keynesian approach. Today we would have a much lower unemployment rate, a deficit coming down to renewed growth and a strong but narrow consensus that progressive politics work. We might have even converted some who voted for Palin to join the consensus. Yes, a missed opportunity. Having said all that, Obama is still one of the better Presidents for reversing course after one of the countries most disastrous Presidencies.

    •  Thanks for the link. (0+ / 0-)

      I shouldn't have forgot to include one. That was my small missed opportunity. Oops.

      "They are united in their hatred of me, and I welcome their hatred." - FDR... "They are united in their hatred of me, and I would like to invite them to a nice luncheon and discuss how I might better meet their needs." - BHO

      by ebrann on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:49:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I really hate to have to say it, but sometimes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, Stude Dude

    polishing a turd is about as good as it gets. Better than Romney! Excuse me while I fan myself...

    bring your own petard.

  •  If the most we can say about President Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Stude Dude

    is that McCain/Romney would have been worse, we're not saying all that much, are we?

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:53:02 AM PDT

  •  The world economy was trembling on the brink (0+ / 0-)

    of collapse when he was elected in 2008. There were several urgent things demanding attention.

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:54:35 AM PDT

    •  Yep. And he ignored evidence... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that a much larger stimulus was necessary. We don't know if he could have gotten more, because he didn't ask for more. We do know that he said in public that more wasn't needed. This opened him to a lot of (unfair but expected) criticism from the Right.

    •  and he "saved" the banks . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilK, Lepanto

      at the expense of the rest of us.

      He had his "FDR moment" and failed.


      And he's danced with Wall Street ever since, while sending the rest of us back down the river.

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:38:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama has been a bit of a "raging centrist" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, Lepanto

    Should we be completely surprised?

    Obama's national career began in the U.S. Senate; he had Joe Lieberman for a mentor. He's still under the spell of the Reagan Revolution and Clintonian triangulation. And let's face it, the Democratic Establishment still has too many people who take that as their default setting. When Alan Grayson gets the same kind of respect a Chuck Schumer does, then maybe we'll see something starting to happen.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:18:56 AM PDT

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