Barack Obama Feels The Cruel Sting Of…Paul Krugman?

You can also expect the Democrats to go back to the “right-wing rage” meme as soon as the glow starts to wear off of Obama. After all, he ran as an “everything to everyone” candidate. He portrayed himself as a diehard liberal and a moderate, a hawk and a dove, a tax cutting free marketer and a statist, a pragmatist and an idealist, a partisan tough guy and a unifier. No matter what he does, a lot of people are destined to be deeply disappointed in him.

When that happens and his approval rating starts to tank, what better way will there be to explain it than to blame the racism of those “angry white males” who are destroying the unlimited potential of Barack Obama? Then, the reporters will head for the red state heartland and interview a few hundred people, ask them leading questions, pick out the angriest, most racist sounding yokels in the bunch, and portray them as the average conservative who disagrees with Obama.

That’s just how they roll, believing that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” only applies when Republicans are in power. — John Hawkins, November 14, 2008

I originally went back to grab that “everything to everyone” quote and just liked the other material around it so much that I decided to post the whole excerpt. Decide for yourself how spot-on it turned out to be.

In any case, despite the fact that Obama has governed as the single, most radical left-wing President we’ve ever had in the White House, the Left’s biggest columnist, Paul Krugman, just hit him with a huge broadside:

Obama’s Trust Problem

…A backlash in the progressive base — which pushed President Obama over the top in the Democratic primary and played a major role in his general election victory — has been building for months. The fight over the public option involves real policy substance, but it’s also a proxy for broader questions about the president’s priorities and overall approach.

…On the issue of health care itself, the inspiring figure progressives thought they had elected comes across, far too often, as a dry technocrat who talks of “bending the curve” but has only recently begun to make the moral case for reform. Mr. Obama’s explanations of his plan have gotten clearer, but he still seems unable to settle on a simple, pithy formula; his speeches and op-eds still read as if they were written by a committee.

Meanwhile, on such fraught questions as torture and indefinite detention, the president has dismayed progressives with his reluctance to challenge or change Bush administration policy.

And then there’s the matter of the banks.

I don’t know if administration officials realize just how much damage they’ve done themselves with their kid-gloves treatment of the financial industry, just how badly the spectacle of government supported institutions paying giant bonuses is playing. But I’ve had many conversations with people who voted for Mr. Obama, yet dismiss the stimulus as a total waste of money. When I press them, it turns out that they’re really angry about the bailouts rather than the stimulus — but that’s a distinction lost on most voters.

So there’s a growing sense among progressives that they have, as my colleague Frank Rich suggests, been punked. And that’s why the mixed signals on the public option created such an uproar.

Now, politics is the art of the possible. Mr. Obama was never going to get everything his supporters wanted.

But there’s a point at which realism shades over into weakness, and progressives increasingly feel that the administration is on the wrong side of that line. It seems as if there is nothing Republicans can do that will draw an administration rebuke: Senator Charles E. Grassley feeds the death panel smear, warning that reform will “pull the plug on grandma,” and two days later the White House declares that it’s still committed to working with him.

…So progressives are now in revolt. Mr. Obama took their trust for granted, and in the process lost it. And now he needs to win it back.

This is a great example of how a confluence of false liberal beliefs is leading them down the path to ruin. Liberals spent the last 8 years demonizing conservatives as evil. The idea of genuinely cooperating with Republicans, the way that George Bush cooperated with the Dems to push through the Iraq War Resolution or No Child Left Behind? Unthinkable! Especially with the margins the Democrats have in the House. Liberals believe they have so many Democrats that they don’t need to make any genuine overtures. Plus, they think most Americans are really liberal and share the values of people like Kos, Ezra Klein, and Keith Olbermann. So, Americans REALLY want the government running everything and anything to contrary? Well, that’s just lies stirred up by the “Right-Wing Noise Machine.” Combine all that with the Left’s realization of a terrible truth, that the political momentum is swinging away from them, and it’s creating a powerful sense of urgency. Oh, how can it all be slipping through their fingers again! They’re going to be looking for someone to blame and if Obama doesn’t turn things around, it could ultimately be his turn to see what the underside of a bus looks like.

PS: If Obama already needs to win back the trust of liberals at this point, I’m not sure how he’s going to pull that off. Nationalizing all private industries? Making oil illegal? Replacing the Lincoln Memorial with a statue of Marx? I’m not sure that Hugo Chavez would have governed farther to the left than Obama has since he got into office.

PS #2: I do have to be amused at liberals complaining about the stimulus and the bailouts that so many liberals championed and so many conservatives opposed (For example, I opposed the stimulus and all of the bailouts including TARP). Sometimes getting what you want is a curse.

PS #3: Since Paul Krugman is criticizing Obama, does that now make him a “racist?”

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