What you don't buy, you don't get buyer's remorse for
The Man Who Called His Shot on Bush, The Shrill One opines:
Progressive activists, in particular, overwhelmingly supported Mr. Obama during the Democratic primary even though his policy positions, particularly on health care, were often to the right of his rivals’. In effect, they convinced themselves that he was a transformational figure behind a centrist facade.
Ya think? But what's with the "in effect"?
They may have had it backward.
Mr. Obama looks even more centrist now than he did before wrapping up the nomination. Most notably, he has outraged many progressives by supporting a wiretapping bill that, among other things, grants immunity to telecom companies for any illegal acts they may have undertaken at the Bush administration’s behest.
The candidate’s defenders argue that he’s just being pragmatic — that he needs to do whatever it takes to win, and win big, so that he has the power to effect major change. But critics argue that by engaging in the same “triangulation and poll-driven politics” he denounced during the primary, Mr. Obama actually hurts his election prospects, because voters prefer candidates who take firm stands.
In any case, what about after the election? The Reagan-Clinton comparison suggests that a candidate who runs on a clear agenda is more likely to achieve fundamental change than a candidate who runs on the promise of change but isn’t too clear about what that change would involve.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that Mr. Obama really is a centrist, after all.
Krugman leaves out a very important fact, however. As he points out:
Current polls — not horse-race polls, which are notoriously uninformative until later in the campaign, but polls gauging the public mood — are strikingly similar to those in both 1980 and 1992, years in which an overwhelming majority of Americans were dissatisfied with the country’s direction.
However, with the war, the financial meltdown, global warming, the destruction of our constitituonal order, and hugely increased extremes between the wealthy and the rest of us, the country is much, much worse off in 2008 than it was in 1992, let alone 1980.
Nobody ever said "change" had to be for the better. And if the change comes "Shock Doctrine"-style, marketed as "Yes we can," the change will be a lot worse.
Double shot? Latte?