Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Obama Krugman Sullivan & Yglesias

Andrew Sullivan contrasts political strategy and political tactics.

Should Obama become a partisan attack-dog in response? Check out the Gallup poll here. If Krugman, Yglesias and Brown are right, these polls are very wrong. Obama is winning the stimulus fight - because he seems more connected to the actual crisis people are confronting than his rivals in both parties, and more reasonable in finding a way forward.

One feels exactly as one did in the primaries as his occasional drifts against Clinton led to a chorus of attacks from the base that he was being too much of a wimp, too defensive, too polite. My gut is to advise him to let rip. But Obama's brain is often shrewder than many guts. From a long-term strategic perspective, even the critics are already entrenching the central meme that Obama has tried to bring as many people on board as possible.


Yglesias notes that in addition to political strategy and political tactics there is policy, that policies have consequences and those consequences matter even to the hypothetical person who only care about winning elections.

the argument that the administration has erred by not being more hardcore about the stimulus isn’t an argument about short-term politics. It’s an argument about the irrelevance of short-term politics. The administration will be judged in 2012 on the basis of its results. Unpopular 2009 actions that produce a strong recovery will be rewarded. Popular 2009 actions that prove insufficient to drive a strong recovery will be punished. “But the voters liked this approach 40 months ago” isn’t going to convince anyone.



Ouch, that's got to leave a mark.

Yglesias' case against Sullivan is strengthened by a brief glance back at Sullivan's argument "One feels exactly as one did in the primaries as his occasional drifts against Clinton led to a chorus of attacks from the base that he was being too much of a wimp, too defensive, too polite. My gut is to advise him to let rip. But Obama's brain is often shrewder than many guts."

Odd analogy no ? To Sullivan a proposed draft bill appropriating hundreds of billions is like being polite during a campaign. Evidently he hasn't noticed that it's not just talk now, that after the TV cameras are turned off, actual money is actually going to be spent, while during the campaign, policy proposals were just words. They were promises which might be kept or broken, but which wouldn't have any effect on policy unless something else was added (you know like legislature and executive orders and stuff) *after* the next election.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well done.

Anonymous said...

I know and understand and agree, the slander is too much. But, the slandering person has been making a habit of such comments.

Anonymous said...

Also, Barack Obama we learn has not only been doing what can be done to undermine President Karzai but has not even had the decency to call Karzai even with waging war in Karzai's country. We like our puppets well stringed.

Let's bomb Pakistan now. I am appalled.

Anonymous said...

Notice by the way that Bush bombs have been replaced with Obama bombs in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with the same threats by American supposed diplomats especially the threat to in effect remove Hamid Karzai which is all the rage now.

Imagine my surprise.

Anonymous said...

Listening to Richard Holbrooke has always been as though listening to a thug, though I am sure Holbrooke is kind to cats.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/washington/18web-troops.html

February 18, 2009

Putting Stamp on Afghan War, Obama Will Send 17,000 Troops
By HELENE COOPER

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/world/asia/18afghan.html?ref=world

February 19, 2009

Afghan Civilian Deaths Rose 40 Percent in 2008
By DEXTER FILKINS

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/us/politics/18policy.html?ref=world

February 18, 2009

Obama's War on Terror May Resemble Bush's in Some Areas
By CHARLIE SAVAGE

[I am trying to remember who I voted for and why, but I forget though there was something or other about change in there.]

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/world/asia/17pstan.html

February 17, 2009

Pakistan Makes a Taliban Truce, Creating a Haven
By JANE PERLEZ

Speaking in India on the last leg of his trip to Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, the Obama administration's special envoy to the region, Richard C. Holbrooke, did not address the truce directly but said the turmoil in Swat served as a reminder that the United States, Pakistan and India faced an "enemy which poses direct threats to our leadership, our capitals, and our people."

[This is the diplomacy of Holbrooke, who immediately supposed Georgia for bombarding Russian peace-keepers and Russian and Ossetian civilians in Ossetia along the Russian border then invading Ossetia while condemning Russia for responding.]

Anonymous said...

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2009/02/judd-gregg-declines-commerce.html

February 12, 2009

Judd Gregg Declines Commerce...

... breaking his word to Obama.

The vetting process must have come up with something really slimy.

-- Brad DeLong

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/us/politics/20web-baker.html

February 20, 2009

The Political Stakes Are High as U.S. Counts Noses
By PETER BAKER

Senator Judd Gregg's rise and fall highlighted a partisan rift over how to conduct the census.

[Had DeLong bothered to read the New York Times before Gregg withdrew from the Commerce nomination, what would have been clear is that the issue of the census was critical, but as often the case better to slander than properly criticize.]

Anonymous said...

Correcting:

This is the diplomacy of Holbrooke, who immediately [supported] Georgia for bombarding Russian peace-keepers and Russian and Ossetian civilians in Ossetia along the Russian border then invading Ossetia while condemning Russia for responding.

Supported, not supposed.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/21/washington/21policy.html

February 21, 2009

Obama Widens Missile Strikes Inside Pakistan
By MARK MAZZETTI and DAVID E. SANGER

Two strikes targeted a militant network that seeks to topple the Pakistani government but has not had a major role in attacks on U.S. troops.

[Disgracefully Bush bombs have become Obama bombs only more so. We have a President who is trying to undermine the President of Afghanistan, widen the war in Afghanistan while widening the war in Pakistan.]

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/washington/22bagram.html

February 22, 2009

Obama Upholds Detainee Policy in Afghanistan
By CHARLIE SAVAGE

Arguing that detainees have no right to challenge their imprisonment, the administration embraced a key Bush argument.

[Remembering change to believe in, and all that jazz.]

Anonymous said...

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/02/obama-surge.html

February 20, 2009

The Obama Surge

"The United States will have to keep about 60,000 troops in Afghanistan for at least the next three to four years to combat an increasingly violent insurgency, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said yesterday, warning that 2009 will be 'a tough year.' " *

* http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/18/AR2009021803373_pf.html

-- As'ad AbuKhalil

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/world/asia/22afghan.html?ref=world

February 22, 2009

U.S. Concedes Afghan Attack Mainly Killed Civilians
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.

An airstrike by the United States-led military coalition killed 13 civilians and 3 militants last Tuesday, military officials said.

[But we always and immediately announce that the killed are all the most fearsome of the enemy, while never explaining how we know and why villagers claim otherwise and can sadly show just who was killed who could not have been an enemy.]

Anonymous said...

Are Obama bombs the change we can believe in or were they using the Bush bombs while waiting for the changed better sighted Obama bombs? I want to know.