Friday, November 5, 2010

Block that 'focus' cliche

Posted By on Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 6:42 AM

I'd just been muttering about the umpteenth columnist to write that health care — which has deeper support than many want to believe and which promises multi-generational benefits — was wholly a mistake for President Obama to undertake. No, he should have "focused" — with a laser in every usage — on the economy.

Thanks to Paul Krugman for tearing down this simplistic bit of all too conventional wisdom.

After all, are people who say that Mr. Obama should have focused on the economy saying that he should have pursued a bigger stimulus package? Are they saying that he should have taken a tougher line with the banks? If not, what are they saying? That he should have walked around with furrowed brow muttering, “I’m focused, I’m focused”?

Mr. Obama’s problem wasn’t lack of focus; it was lack of audacity. At the start of his administration he settled for an economic plan that was far too weak. He compounded this original sin both by pretending that everything was on track and by adopting the rhetoric of his enemies.

There's more. It's good.

.... But wait, what Obama really should have done was cut taxes more. That would have done it right? Then the trickling down really would have started. Yes, that was the problem. Those Bush tax cuts for millionaires just weren't big enough.

UPDATE: And speaking of cliches, here's a refreshing response to the notion that the election was all about the obvious need for a rightward correction to a leftist slant.

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