October 13, 2014

#Krugman guzzles #Obamiac Kool-Aid, the full party jug, gets an F for #fail

Paul Krugman is "doowwwn" with his Obama bromance!
Paul Krugman, possibly the best of the New York Times' op-ed columnists (of course, that could be seen as similar to the best bagel in Bismarck, North Dakota, and besides, overall, Gail Collins is better), once an Obama critic for the president having the Teddy Roosevelt-quipped "backbone of a chocolate eclair," now calls him "one of the most consequential, and yes, successful, presidents in American history."

Man, Krugman could't do much better, or rather, worse, if he were paid White House PR flak. And, if he were paid, it would be by the soft bigotry of low expectations count, because that's what ultimately drives twaddle like this.

Here's Krugman's tout list:

His health reform is imperfect but still a huge step forward – and it's working better than anyone expected. Financial reform fell far short of what should have happened, but it's much more effective than you'd think. Economic management has been half-crippled by Republican obstruction, but has nonetheless been much better than in other advanced countries. And environmental policy is starting to look like it could be a major legacy.
I'll go through that in detail in a minute.

First, Krugman dismisses the likes of Cornel West, who call him a fake progressive. Actually, I'd dismiss West by calling him a fake whiner; the reality of Obama's neoliberalism on fiscal issues, sellout on civil liberties issues, and other things, were all visible before the 2008 general election — a general election in which West avidly supported Dear Leader.

On health care, Krugman ignores that Obamacare was:
1. Written by AHIP and Mod Max Baucus;
3. Dilatory to the nth degree in its passage — whatever Dear Leader wanted should have been passed long, long before Scott Brown was elected to the Senate from Massachusetts
3. Based on Dear Leader lying all along about his stance on single-payer.

But, that's all pre-passage stuff.

Let's look at post-passage stuff.
1. More and more information that the most neoliberal parts of Obamacare, like electronic patient records, are nowhere near what they were cracked up to be
2. A horrible rollout (hey, Krugman, per Mike Dukakis, the fish rots at the top, especially on a "signature achievement")
3. Relatively modest proof so far of restraint of medical inflation rates.

Specific to that link on EPRs? From that story:
Frustrated medical professionals across the country told The Dallas Morning News that the expensive systems — the technology used by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, part of a $200 million investment by its parent company — are often unwieldy and problematic.
 (Experts) have documented cases where patient histories and other information have seemingly vanished from software or ended up in the wrong place.
 And researchers have found that emergency room doctors are more frenzied in keeping up with data demands because of the complicated systems, even hiring personal scribes to input information for them on the fly.

That said, per the story, EPRs were actually fobbed off on the American public by Shrub Bush. But Obama gleefully embraced them.

Krugman touts a drop of about 10 million people without health insurance. Nice, but far short of the 25-30 million mentioned not too many years ago.

Krugman then claims single-payer wasn't politically feasible. I'd argue it was before Scott Brown was elected, at least. But, because it was never in the playbook of a man who, during the 2008 primaries, didn't "get" the need for the individual mandate, or else was lying on that issue too, what else can you say?

Financial reform? Here's Krugman:
You often hear Dodd- Frank, the financial-reform bill that Obama signed into law in 2010, dismissed as toothless and meaningless. It isn't. It may not prevent the next financial crisis, but there's a good chance that it will at least make future crises less severe and easier to deal with.
Well, if that ain't praising with faint damns, what is? I'll skip past the rest of this section, because it's that bad. It's ugly. It's doubly bad in that Krugman doesn't even mention Tim Geithner's hiring by name. It's triply bad because Krugman brings out the "soft bigotry of low expectations" card by comparing US recovery from the Great Recession to that of the European Union.

(Of course, Obama's whole presidency, when discussed by Kool-Aid drinkers, whether regular ones or Johnny-come-latelys, benefits from the "soft bigotry of low expectations" compared to Shrub.)

Krugman then dismisses with a light shrug Obama's approach to war crimes, etc., not even mentioning Dear Leaders "we tortured some folks" phrase.

And, the violations of civil liberties that got EXPANDED by Dear Leader?

Krugman mentions them not at all.

Hell, David Frum could have written something just like this from the other side of the aisle about Shrub.

Seriously, while Obama may not be in the bottom 10 of US presidents so far, he's closer to that than to the top 10.

 And,  two other asides.

First, I guess Krugman is OK with surrendering his civil liberties.

Second, we have two-plus years of encomia like this? Oy.

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