Saturday, March 08, 2008

What is Fair

Is it me, or has Paul Krugman really gone to town on Senator Barack Obama? And is it not mostly because of the mandate in Senator Hillary Clinton’s health-care policy?

Now, before I go on, let me please state that I still admire and respect Paul Krugman. And, in fact, he has
admitted that he would rather not write about such items, but write more along the lines of textbook economics. Moreover, I have to admit that when he is grilling Senator Obama, he is doing so on policy grounds. Or, at least, that is what he is trying to do.

But why does it seem so vicious? Why is it that when
Sebastian Mallaby or Robert Samuelson discuss Senator Obama, their criticisms seem less attacking?

Some more caveats. Firstly, Krugman is the kind of man who prefers tackling opposition head on. That is to say, when you think the other side is wrong, you must call them out on it, even harshly at times. Obviously Obama's rhetoric has tried to go more toward the middle of the road. With that said, going towards the middle of the road brings us to another reason why Krugman is so stringent on Senator Obama. Because Senator Obama voiced his concern against mandates on health insurance, Krugman noted that Senator Obama was attacking Senator Clinton "from the right." By attacking Hillary Clinton "from the right," Krugman was noting that this would not help either candidate - and more importantly to Krugman, the health care plan - in the general election.

Yet, the tone of Mallaby and Samuelson differs from Krugman's. And I have to wonder why when I think of the disparity because Mallaby and Samuelson have raised valid concerns regarding Senator Obama.

What it all comes down to is why Krugman becomes silent when Senator Clinton makes an argument against Obama? Why is it okay for her to attack Obama from the right by saying that she and Senator McCain have more national security experience than Senator Obama? Once again, Krugman's arguments are not necessarily wrong, but he seems to miss the counterpoints. Whereas Mallaby and Samuelson make specific arguments against a ploy, tactic, or misconception, Krugman seems to not address the times when other candidates (i.e. Senator Clinton) do the same thing. So, he's not wrong, but I just get the feeling that I'm not being told everything.

And if I am not being told everything, I wonder what the average American is missing?
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