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Understatement: Krugman losing patience with and confidence in the prez

Understatement: Krugman losing patience with and confidence in the prez
By Eric Black

If you haven’t read it earlier in the Times or elsewhere, Paul Krugman takes an absolute wrecking ball to Pres. Obama in today’s column. His immediate topic is his disgust with Obama for freezing the pay of federal workers. (I agree with Krugman that it’s small and symbolic only, but I don’t see the big problem.)

But Krugman’s larger point (which follows up on many previous columns about what Krugman thinks is needed in Washington and his growing frustration with Obama) is to portray Obama as a feckless fool. Personally, I’m still hoping that the prez is smarter and tougher than Krugman portrays him. But, for those who don’t click through, here’s a smackerel of Krugman on the rampage:

“It’s hard to escape the impression that Republicans have taken Mr. Obama’s measure — that they’re calling his bluff in the belief that he can be counted on to fold. And it’s also hard to escape the impression that they’re right.

The real question is what Mr. Obama and his inner circle are thinking. Do they really believe, after all this time, that gestures of appeasement to the G.O.P. will elicit a good-faith response?

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What’s even more puzzling is the apparent indifference of the Obama team to the effect of such gestures on their supporters. One would have expected a candidate who rode the enthusiasm of activists to an upset victory in the Democratic primary to realize that this enthusiasm was an important asset. Instead, however, Mr. Obama almost seems as if he’s trying, systematically, to disappoint his once-fervent supporters, to convince the people who put him where he is that they made an embarrassing mistake.

Whatever is going on inside the White House, from the outside it looks like moral collapse — a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction.”