It's funny, I just read Krugman in today's NY Times. Krugman has it wrong where he says, at the end of his piece, that "Mr. Obama's backers seem to lack all conviction." Krugman's in a "beltway" mindset of his own and not really in touch with us Obama backers. (Of course he was a Hillary-backer and never understood us even back in the day during the election). I don't know any of us who are lacking conviction -- we the Obama faithful know that Obama is governing, and that takes time to bring change.
Back in the day (Huffington Post March 29, 2009) I wrote a blog called: The Krugman/Limbaugh Nightmare: President Obama Might Succeed. I accused President Obama's critics on the left -- the loudest and most persistent among them at that time being Paul Krugman, of foolishly undermining the first blush of enthusiasm for the administration before it had a chance to do anything. I went so far as to compare the overall Leftist critique of Obama to that of Rush Limbaugh. (Many Huff readers got mightily pissed off with me.)
Now, as the Angry White Right -- in which I used to be a leader before I saw the light and got the hell out -- organizes to try to defeat everything Obama stands for -- especially health care reform -- it is not without a sense of supreme irony that I see in today's' Times Krugman making my point for me -- again. The irony is that he led the charge of the lefty sniping that has hurt Obama.
Now he writes in The Town Hall Mob (August 6)
Many people hoped that last year's election would mark the end of the "angry white voter" era in America. Indeed, voters who can be swayed by appeals to cultural and racial fear are a declining share of the electorate.
But right now Mr. Obama's backers seem to lack all conviction, perhaps because the prosaic reality of his administration isn't living up to their dreams of transformation. Meanwhile, the angry right is filled with a passionate intensity.
And if Mr. Obama can't recapture some of the passion of 2008, can't inspire his supporters to stand up and be heard, health care reform may well fail.
Yes, well, Mr. Krugman; talk about being hoisted on your own petard! Now you want unity?
It wasn't good enough we elected a progressive president to end the Bush nightmare. We wanted everything and wanted it now! And Krugman and many others on the impatient snarky left, refused anything less than instant perfection.
I am a former right wing activist. So I recognize the destructive smell of fundamentalism be it of the left or right. The no-compromise left is (and has been) shooting itself (and the rest of us) in the foot with the carping about Obama. The Republican leadership is correct: if health care reform goes down so does the Obama presidency. Krugman the the critics from the left have committed the sin of impatience. It is time to circle the wagons, jump on board and help this great president succeed.
Where are our people at the town hall meetings? Where are the Democrats in favor of health care when people backing the President are shouted down by right wing thugs? If some of them lack conviction, maybe it has something to do with the drip-drip-drip of Krugman's own efforts to "correct" the Obama administration. Krugman has been talking like Limbaugh about the "failure" of this president for months.
In my March 29 Huff post I said:
Yes, I know that open discussion, a "loyal opposition" and all that play a part, and that the strength of the Democratic Party is the free exchange of ideas, as opposed to the top down ideological "purity" of the folks in the Republican Party. However the Obama critics to the left criticize some members of his team for being beholden to the "Wall Street mentality." Well, what about the ethos they are beholden to? These commentators live in a media news cycle bubble, wherein after only 8 weeks they already expect miracles, or they are academics who live in the academy bubble where it's all hot air all th e time with no personal buck-stops-here accountability.
Now Krugman wants us all to suddenly get excited about the man he has been disrespecting. And Krugman wants us to do this just as the economy is showing signs of the start of a recovery, proving that Obama and his team actually know more than Krugman who has predicted that the President will fail to revive the economy.
We who have backed Obama from the start of his race for the presidency have not lost heart. But it's in spite of the perfectionist carping from some on the left. As the right wing thugs, funded by the insurance companies, and organized by lobbying firms, try to stall health care reform, if they fail it will be because ordinary Democrats and Independent voters stick with our president. The way that fickle "experts" and media commentators talk, talk, talk isn't the point. Krugman warning us to not give up is just another way of him telling us not to listen to people like him.
Frank Schaeffer is the author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back and the forthcoming Patience With God: Faith For People Who Don't Like Religion (Or Atheism)