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Progressive Obama Fears

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OK, granted, Barack Obama does seem to be a genuinely good guy. Though I supported 3 of his opponents in the primary, I do say a sweaty day amongst 150,000 of my fellow Kansas Citians at a rally in Memorial Park

But still, some of my original issues with him from the primaries do seem to be creeping around my hindbrain. I can't shake them. I may be the only guy who will admit it, but I have some basic fears regarding the President-elect, and I will proceed to do the apparently politically-incorrect thing nowadays and voice my problems publicly.


Anyhow I am going to clearly define my opinion of a few things to watch, things I think could be critical flaws in the man and the organization so many have pinned their most fervent political dreams to. I'll do one issue for now, as it is slightly wonkish and long. I'll spit out a few more here and there as we go along here, so if you haven't already, subscribe to my feed and you'll get the skinny right in your favorite reader.

Ahem. So, here we go...
really turned me around about him. After winning that grueling marathon battle he seemed to pick up the standard of the party, managing, for the most part, to piece together the scattered subgroups of disaffected Democrats into a highly effective electoral force.

Not Thinking Big Enough

Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning economist, has been kicking up a fit
about the size and possible investment options outlined in Obama's original stimulus plan;
Still picking over the Romer/Bernstein official evaluation of the Obama economic plan. Again, kudos to the team for producing such a clear, honest assessment. But the more I look at the report, the more I wonder why anyone in the Obama team thinks the plan is adequate.
At that point he goes into a wonkish stream of econo-talk I cannot comprehend, and will not display here; I barely got past Trig in school, and beyond coding for the web, have no use for mathematics whatsoever. Suffice it to say I have gleaned that he is pushing for a far bigger package, something that thinks really big. History has taught us half-assing it only makes it worse.

As a counterpoint he does say;
As some of us worry that the Obama team isn't showing the audacity we hoped for, and try to chivvy BHO into doing more for the economy, one demand that I've been getting is for specifics--what, exactly, should they do differently?

Up to a point, this is a fair demand. But there are two things the critics of the critics should bear in mind.

First is that we don't have many specifics from the Obama people themselves. We don't, for example, have a dollar figure for their planned public investment spending, let alone a breakdown of where the money would go. So it's kind of hard to specify what should be done differently when we don't know what they're proposing to do in the first place.

Second is that individuals or even organizations outside the government simply don't have the resources to draw up detailed economic plans.
Overall, using primarily Krugman's NY Times column and a Google search as reference, the general feeling I have gotten is that Republicans will find a reason to hate whatever fix Obama proposes, Democrats will find ways to locally cover their asses if they have to, or make inroads in the burgeoning, netroots-flush Democratic party, and the actual people in power will do whatever can be easily slipped through the razor-fine, close to filibuster-free Senate.

I sincerely hope Obama's team threads the needle and does whatever is needed to save our faltering economy, despite the disparate and often conflicting goals of the power brokers in Congress and K Street. We didn't hope and vote to see that power turned into a lukewarm ass-covering rescue plan that won't fix anything at all.
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Mike Kuykendall is a progressive, patriotic veteran of the U.S. Air Force, fighting hard to save our democracy.
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