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Oct 05

Krugman’s Wrong: Obama Did Fight Back

Paul KrugmanPaul Krugman has a good article on Mitt Romney’s biggest lie of Wednesday night’s debate, Romney’s Sick Joke. He points out the usual stuff: Romney’s “plan” is to simply go back to what we had before—unemployed people who can afford the outrageous COBRA fees can keep their coverage.

He also added a few points that have not been so well reported. One is that the number of jobs that provide healthcare has been declining over the last decade. He also noted that the Romney campaign’s assertion that states could come to the rescue by guaranteeing coverage was nonsense. He write, “Mr. Romney wants to eliminate restrictions on interstate insurance sales, depriving states of regulatory power.” And, “If all you do is require that insurance companies cover everyone, healthy people will wait until they’re sick to sign up, leading to sky-high premiums.”

However, I think that Krugman makes a mistake that pretty much everyone is making: Obama did punch back on this point. Krugman writes:

One could wish that Mr. Obama had made this point effectively in the debate. He had every right to jump up and say, “There you go again”: Not only was Mr. Romney’s claim fundamentally dishonest, it has already been extensively debunked, and the Romney campaign itself has admitted that it’s false.

As I wrote in Romney Campaign Walks Back “Moderation,” Obama countered Romney on this exact point. And he did it quite forcefully. This makes Romney’s lie all that much worse because he doubled down on it during the debate only to have his campaign walk it back afterward.

When it comes to the debate, Obama can’t catch a break. Even when he did fight back, he gets no credit. And this is true even of good liberal commentators like Paul Krugman.

4 comments

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  1. Mack

    Man, you’ve been on fire lately! I can’t keep up.

    As for the debate, I agree that it won’t have much of an impact on the election. And what the debate really illustrated to me is our complete lack of choice, representation, and real participation in American government.

    One thing that Obama said brought this point home to me: "Governor Romney and I both agree that our corporate tax rate is too high." Corporate profits are at all time highs; productivity is as high as it’s ever been, yet wages for the middle and lower classes have hardly moved, but corporate tax rates are [i]too high[/i]?! And this is coming from a supposed "socialist."

    In one of your posts from a few days ago you said this: "What I found most interesting was that Cohn ends the article with the [b]exasperation that I seem to feel all the time these days[/b]" I also feel this perpetual exasperation and frustration and hopelessness, as any sense of optimism I once had has been completely eroded.

    Whether it be the environment, the economy, culture, civil liberties, or whatever, it really seems like everything is going to shit these days. And I don’t mean that in terms of apocalypticism – I’m just being realistic.

    By the way, I see you’ve added BBCode. Awesome.

  2. admin

    @Mack – I saw that you were using the BBCode. This is a non-standard version. I’m going to write an article about how to use it, because you can do some cool stuff with it like embed videos. But if it were just italics and bold, that would be good enough. It is [i]really[/i] nice to have.

    I’ve been writing a lot because of the election. Too much political stuff. Plus, I’m doing guest posts over at The Reaction (link on the right). And Crooks & Liars has been picking me up every couple of weeks. Traffic (minus spam) is way up. Plus, I started using Twitter as a research tool. It is amazing but exhausting.

    As for the exasperation: as the bumper sticker says, "If you aren’t outraged, you aren’t paying attention." It is crazy. I feel like I’m caught in an alternate universe–that I’ve tumbled down the rabbit hole. I don’t expect the president to actually be liberal, but I don’t think it is asking so much for the Republicans to not claim that he is liberal, much less socialist. I hate how narrow the overton window is in America!

  3. Mack

    I remember you said that you were doing work for other websites, but I didn’t see a link until now. Any other sites you’re writing for?

    I also saw that you had started using Twitter. I had never been much for Twitter, but I do have an account and I started following you. I’m still learning how to use Twitter and the jargon involved, but it looks pretty simple.

  4. admin

    @Mack – That’s all for now. The problem with politics is that I’m not sure what I’ll have to say after the election. Still, I’m already bored with the election. I’m trying to write about other stuff. I’m very interested in education and the so called reform movement, which is just the private school movement. None of these people care about education, it is profit, pure and simple. And why is it fine for bankers to care about their salary, but teachers are supposed to only care about "the kids"?

    My tweets are starting to look like real tweets. It’s taken me a while to figure it out. I’m too literary. Mostly, I just use it to keep up on what people are writing. It’s a mixed bag, but I may start pushing people to "follow" me. I like the auto-tweets for the articles.

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