Krugman on the Democratic Primaries
The following Paul Krugman column confirms my general thoughts about American politics:
At one extreme, Barack Obama insists that the problem with America is that our politics are so “bitter and partisan,” and insists that he can get things done by ushering in a “different kind of politics.”
At the opposite extreme, John Edwards blames the power of the wealthy and corporate interests for our problems, and says, in effect, that America needs another F.D.R. â€” a polarizing figure, the object of much hatred from the right, who nonetheless succeeded in making big changes.
. . . itâ€™s actually Mr. Obama whoâ€™s being unrealistic here, believing that the insurance and drug industries â€” which are, in large part, the cause of our health care problems â€” will be willing to play a constructive role in health reform. The fact is that thereâ€™s no way to reduce the gross wastefulness of our health system without also reducing the profits of the industries that generate the waste.
. . .
Thereâ€™s a strong populist tide running in America right now. For example, a recent Democracy Corps survey of voter discontent found that the most commonly chosen phrase explaining whatâ€™s wrong with the country was “Big businesses get whatever they want in Washington.”
And thereâ€™s every reason to believe that the Democrats can win big next year if they run with that populist tide. The latest evidence came from focus groups run by both Fox News and CNN during last weekâ€™s Democratic debate: both declared Mr. Edwards the clear winner.
For the record, I think that Hillary Clinton is worse than either Obama or Edwards.