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November 20, 2011

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Posted: 20 Nov 2011 12:06 AM PST

"It is Fine ... That Barack Obama is Not a Liberal"

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 01:44 PM PST

Brad DeLong:

...From my perspective, it is fine--not optimal, but fine--that Barack Obama is not a liberal. Somebody pursuing effective technocratic centrist policies that work would be an enormous asset to the world right now.

The fear of all of us is that Obama is not just not a liberal, but that he is not a technocrat--and not a particularly good manager either. If you judge policies not by whether they work but by whether centrist worshippers of bipartisanship approve of them, don't be surprised to find yourself up to your neck...

Both Parties are Equally to Blame Even When They're Not

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 09:54 AM PST

No matter how much the Democrats give up in negotiations, the media still accuses them of refusing to compromise:

Supercommittee Democrats Insist on Not Giving Republicans Everything, by Dean Baker: In much of the media it is the rule that both parties are equally to blame regardless of what the facts of the situation are. Hence the lead sentence in the Post's article on the supercommittee's deadlock tells readers:

"Congressional negotiators made a yet another push Friday to carve $1.2 trillion in savings from the federal debt, but remained stuck in their entrenched positions on tax policy even as the clock was running down on their efforts to reach a deal."

It would be interesting to know how the Post decided that the Democrats have an entrenched position. They have offered dozens of plans, many of which would not involve having the rates return to their pre-Bush level, as is specified in current law. By contrast, the Republicans have consistently put forward proposals that would keep the taxes on the wealthy at their current level or lower them further.

Even though the Democrats have shown every willingness to cave, the Post refuses to give them credit for it.

I wish this was accurate, i.e. that Democrats did have an entrenched positions on tax increases and other things. We call these principles, and there's nothing wrong with having them or defending them.

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