Skip to main content

Has Obama lost the trust of progressives?

Glenn Greenwald @ Salon - Paul Krugman has an excellent column today arguing that progressives have backlashed so intensely over the prospect of Obama's dropping the public option because -- for reasons extending far beyond specific health care issues -- they no longer trust the President. Citing Obama's steadfast continuation of Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies, the administration's extreme coziness with crisis-causing banks, and the endless retreats on health care, Krugman says that "a backlash in the progressive base . . . has been building for months" and that "progressives are now in revolt. Mr. Obama took their trust for granted, and in the process lost it."

Krugman contends that while "the fight over the public option involves real policy substance," it is at least as much "a proxy for broader questions about the president’s priorities and overall approach." That's the argument I made the other day about why the health care fight is so important regardless of one's views of the public option. The central pledges of the Obama campaign were less about specific policy positions and much more about changing the way Washington works -- to liberate political outcomes from the dictates of corporate interests; to ensure vast new levels of transparency in government; to separate our national security and terrorism approaches from the politics of fear. With some mild exceptions, those have been repeatedly violated. Negotiating his health care reform plan in total secrecy and converting it into a gigantic gift to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries -- which is exactly what a plan with (1) mandates, (2) no public option and (3) a ban on bulk negotiations for drug prices would be -- would constitute yet another core violation of those commitments, yet another bolstering (a major one) of the very power dynamic he vowed to subvert. Read more.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LA Woman’s Building Awarded Cultural Monument Designation

After 45 years on the radar, the Woman’s Building is finally also on the map. On June 8, the L.A. Conservancy architectural preservation society formally announced that the L.A. City Council had approved the building’s Historic Cultural Monument designation. Besides protecting the building's 1914 Beaux Arts design against the future development going on all around it, this move also resoundingly acknowledges what generations of artists and feminists in L.A. and around the world have known for decades: The Woman's Building is one of the most significant cultural heritage sites of the last 50 years.  Read more.

Canada just legalized marijuana

Canada has become the first wealthy nation in the world to fully legalize marijuana.
The Senate approved Bill C-45, also known as the Cannabis Act, on Tuesday. The measure was already approved by the House of Commons, so the Senate’s approval means it’s now set to become law.  Read more.

Sign language fluent gorilla Koko dies at 46

Koko, a western lowland gorilla said to have mastered American Sign Language, has died aged 46, the California institute which studied her said on Thursday.

"The Gorilla Foundation is sad to announce the passing of our beloved Koko," the research centre said in a statement, adding she passed away in her sleep.  Read more.