Friday, March 07, 2008


So when did Paul Krugman’s column become the weekly Hillary Clinton Booster? This bothers me for the predictable reason that I’m for Obama and he is not and he is a writer I have a lot of respect for. But his columns repeatedly says that Clinton is more progressive that Obama and I see very little evidence of this. Krugman made this striking remark in his March 3rd column:

Now, nobody would mistake Mr. Obama for a Republican — although contrary to claims by both supporters and opponents, his voting record places him, with Senator Clinton, more or less in the center of the Democratic Party, rather than in its progressive wing.

How does he come to the conclusion that Obama is in the center of the Democratic Party? Certainly not from his actual voting record in the Senate when the National Journal ranked him the most liberal Senator in 2007 and consistently more liberal than Hillary Clinton.

He consistently downplays Clinton's vote in 2002 to authorize the Iraq War which was perhaps the most important litmus test of a politicians liberalism in the last 40 years and she wasn't on the same side as Russ Feingold, Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, Paul Wellstone or even Lincoln Chafee.

From what I can tell his claims are based on Obama’s healthcare plan not including mandates to buy health insurance where Clinton’s would. I guess that is a fair criticism although I think Obama’s reasoning that mandates that penalize people who can’t afford healthcare premiums is far from progressive is a valid counterpoint. But beyond that where is the proof that Clinton is the better choice for progressive than Obama?


Anonymous said...

It's amazing how many people just choose who they want to win and then spin arguments to support that case and criticize the opponent. I kind of agreed with his article about the health care mandates, it seems like Clinton's plan would cover more people for slightly more money. I can accept that on this issue my candidate has the second best plan. That's OK. I can concede some points but still favor one candidate.

Krugman is the Eliot Spitzer of the Op-Ed page.

I'm not sure what that comment about Spitzer means but I've been dying to compare someone to Spitzer since yesterday morning.


Dan said...

I think it remains to be seen what the results will be from the litmus test of mandating that people buy health insurance - the new law in MA. As a representative of the class of people below the federal poverty level who are receiving health care for free, I'll keep you posted on the quality of care. So far, so good. Though the state was not remotely prepared for the volume of response and the amount of health insurance they're going to have to subsidize. I, for my part, get everything for free and plan on taking full advantage of it. That cost is obviously going to be passed on to the tax payer. I understand the argument that the state was paying for some emergency care for those without health insurance anyways, but I find it hard to believe that it's not going to be significantly more expensive this new way.

Dan said...

Also, the reason I find the focus on their health care plans intriguing is that I don't really believe either one will get their plan implemented. Am I being overly cynical there? I mean, I know I am in fact receiving free, state-funded health insurance, but it's MA.

Dewy24 said...

I agree that meaningful health care legislation on a national level might not be possible. But I could see a lot of states imitating Massachusetts if it turns out well.