Thursday, March 27, 2008

Call it, Friendo

Paul Krugman, who I have been eyeing ever since his bludgeoning support of Hillary's healthcare mandates, issued a pretty bold challenge on Monday:

Now, I don’t expect presidential campaigns to have all the answers to our current crisis — even financial experts are scrambling to keep up with events. But I do think we’re entitled to more answers, and in particular a clearer commitment to financial reform, than we’re getting so far.

And, more specifically:

On the Democratic side, it’s somewhat disappointing that Barack Obama, whose campaign has understandably made a point of contrasting his early opposition to the Iraq war with Hillary Clinton’s initial support, has tried to score a twofer by suggesting that the war, in addition to all its other costs, is responsible for our economic troubles....Hillary Clinton has not, as far as I can tell, made any comparably problematic economic claims. But she, like Mr. Obama, has been disappointingly quiet about the key issue: the need to reform our out-of-control financial system.

When I read that, I put down my guns a little--because I agreed with him. And today, not three days later, Obama let loose with what in my eyes went above and beyond the call of duty in responding to the challenge. I read his entire speech on renewing the American economy, and it took me almost two hours because I read each paragraph like, three times, and had to look up all these words I didn't know. But there it was: not only a commitment to reform, but a clear demonstration that he has the necessary understanding and judgment required in order to follow through with that commitment. Clinton, too made a speech (on Monday), which consisted of her reciting everything that she has already proposed--i.e. proposed prior to Krugman's assertion that she has not proposed enough. And, frankly, she hasn't proposed enough. Her plan amounts to little more than a bail-out combined with punishment for those that exploit the system--not a reform of the system itself.

I'm waiting, now, eager to see how Krugman fields this. His refusal to acknowledge that there was any value in Obama's healthcare plan without once even mentioning the portion of the plan that sought to reform our healthcare economic system made me very suspicious--he's supposed to be fucking economist, after all. So here we are: the moment of truth. I can't wait to see what he says.

UPDATE: Here it is... BLAH

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