President Obama already has a trust problem, says the NYT’s Paul Krugman. Why? Here are some of Krugman’s reasons and a few of our own.
- Progressives think he has betrayed them on healthcare, banks, reforms, etc.
- Conservatives think they can bully him into backing down on anything they disagree with
- The Wall Street bailouts were just a continuation of Bush administration policies
- Indefinite detention, Iraq, etc, are a continuation of Bush administration policies
- The healthcare debacle has made the administration look weak and discombobulated
- The White House’s economic forecasts looked ludicrously optimistic
President Obama was dealt a lousy hand when he took office (economy), and trust in any president would erode quickly with the economy this weak.
But the economy now appears to be recovering, and Obama is an extraordinary communicator who entered office with immense political capital. So it is surprising to see how quickly the administration seems to be throwing this away.
Krugman’s column is mostly about the administration’s ham-fisted efforts on healthcare. But he also nails the ongoing seething resentment about our bailed-out banks:
I don’t know if administration officials realise just how much damage they’ve done themselves with their kid-gloves treatment of the financial industry, just how badly the spectacle of government supported institutions paying giant bonuses is playing. But I’ve had many conversations with people who voted for Mr. Obama, yet dismiss the stimulus as a total waste of money. When I press them, it turns out that they’re really angry about the bailouts rather than the stimulus — but that’s a distinction lost on most voters.
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