Not what they seem

In today’s NY Times, Paul Krugman says that progressives (nee liberals) voting for Barack Obama are not getting the most progressive candidate:

All in all, the candidates’ positions on the mortgage crisis tell the same tale as their positions on health care: a tale that is seriously at odds with the way they’re often portrayed.

Mr. McCain, we’re told, is a straight-talking maverick. But on domestic policy, he offers neither straight talk nor originality; instead, he panders shamelessly to right-wing ideologues.

Mrs. Clinton, we’re assured by sources right and left, tortures puppies and eats babies. But her policy proposals continue to be surprisingly bold and progressive.

Finally, Mr. Obama is widely portrayed, not least by himself, as a transformational figure who will usher in a new era. But his actual policy proposals, though liberal, tend to be cautious and relatively orthodox.

  • HFAnalyst

    That’s hilarious.

  • Sad But True

    Ugh. Anybody that thinks that ANY of these candidates offer anything truly progressive has another thing coming. What we see here, may be packaged differently, but it’s just more of the same old crap. It’s a frustrating thing to stare at a ballot and know that no matter which box I check, nothing is going to change. My vote goes to Ralph Nader. You heard me. Ralph Nader.

  • Barry Collins

    So what Krugman is saying is Hillary Clinton is making promised she will never, ever be able to keep and Barak Obama is making promises that he might not be able to keep. Hhhmmm, which candidae is pandering?

  • tjproudamerican

    I do not understand this about Hillary Clinton: if she is such a great candidate, why don’t people like her?

    I am sick of her, and Bill, but I voted for each twice. I had a moment watching her ‘debate’ Obama and misrepresent what he had said about Reagan, when I thought, “Again? More justifying The Clinton’s when they are obviously telling lies or doing things I detest?” And I answered myself, “No. That is it. 17 years, two terms as president, 7 years as my senator, I have had it with them. They do lie and their behavior is awful.”

    I know the answer, because I was a supporetr of The Clinton’s: the answer is to attack the people who attack The Clinton’s. The women? Bimbo’s. And Republicans are worse. The War? What could Hillary do? She had to sign on for the Victory and nobody could have predicted the defeat. God Forbid, The Clinton’s ever did things that made us proud or didn’t have to be excused.

  • tjproudamerican

    Still, the question remains: If Hillary Clinton is such a good and great candidate, why do so many people dislike her?

    Is it possible that Hillary Clinton, as her own person and as her half of The Clinton’s is at least partly responsible for her standing?

    Or is she the victim, the Jack Johnson of Women in Politics? If she is, and the problem is the MSM and sexism, what will happen when Condoleeza Rice runs for president? Rice, like Hillary and McCain, but not like the hapless Obama, has certainly crossed The Commander-in-Chief Threshold that Backers of The Clinton’s hold so important. Should we back Rice because she is a strong woman? She isn’t very likable either, so maybe America can atone for its sins against The Female Half of The Clinton’s by electing Rice someday?

  • A lot of people disliked Bill Clinton, too, but I think he was a damned good president.

  • tjproudamerican

    I have heard several non-answers that cover the question that is sometimes asked: “Why didn’t Hillary Clinton increase her popularity and win the nomination before now?”

    First, her supporters argue that Hillary is a woman and men (and some women) are threatened by strong women. Maybe so.

    Still, she did seem to win her Senate seat because she was Bill’s wife. I am not sure that makes her a self-made woman who scares men, and there is another problem with this explanation.

    Hillary Clinton often disappoints, and says things that are shocking to those not already convinced she is the one. Instead of protesting that nobody’s religious views are anyone else’s business, Hillary added “at least not so far as I know”

    Instead of sticking to her real overseas experience which is vast and something she can be proud of, she brags about her Bosnian Combat Experience.

    And we are often told that she is tougher than men, and if weakling male candidates like Obama cannot handle the fray, get out because she is the toughest man in the bar out for a night of ass-kicking and beer-drinking, and the beer just ran out. Fair Warning.

    So is the “poor Hillary, undone by sexism!” How can I put this… is it an accurate motif?

    Second, when Obama-mania first hit, we were told, “Sure, Hillary isn’t an orator like Obama, or likable like Bush, but we don’t want pretty words and someone to have a beer with (and remember from point one, Hillary is about to kick asses), we want someone who “gets things done”.

    But if she isn’t likable, cannot get people to follow her, speaks out against eloquence and excitement, how does that make her a leader? I would never run for president. I have no skills. But if I did run, I would not try to make my lack of skills a virtue.

    Hillary is so tough, and gets things done.

    Is that true? If so, why can’t she close the sale? She started with way more money, way more name recognition, a way better political organization, and by everyone of her fan’s admission a way better intelligence, decency, and resume than a nobody like Obama or pretty boy like Edwards….

    Hillary Clinton lost people like me this year when we watched her. Is it my fault I don’t accept The Clinton Defense “Other people are worse” anymore? Don’t The Clinton’s and and doesn’t Hillary deserve some responsibility for the way we think of them and her?

  • HFAnalyst

    The claim that Obama’s speech was more cautious and conservative than Clinton’s is just flat out wrong. Any progressive economist who knows the issues recognizes that Obama went MUCH farther than Clinton in his proposals.

    Incidentally, at a time when Obama needs to be worried about the General Election and an effort to consolidate his position with independents, going to the left of Clinton on the economy is not without risk.

    As I said before: Krugman’s column was hilarious. He’s either lost his mind or is already embarassed he wrote it.

    By the way, I’m still hoping that Jeff will see how incredibly inconsistent his support for Hillary is with the rest of his worldview. I’m not giving up on him.