Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of the Taliban – New York Times (3/8/09):
Mr. Obama rode to the White House partly on his savvy use of new technology, and he has a staff-written blog on his presidential Web site. Even so, he said he did not find blogs to be reliable, citing the economy as one example.
“Part of the reason we don’t spend a lot of time looking at blogs,” he said, “is because if you haven’t looked at it very carefully, then you may be under the impression that somehow there’s a clean answer one way or another — well, you just nationalize all the banks, or you just leave them alone and they’ll be fine.”
A fake reason, an accusation of sloppiness, a false equivalence, and then, of course, the signature piece of Obama douchiness, the triangulation over left and right alike. The sheer depth of this garbage is breathtaking, and I’m not going to repeat myself today. But two quick points:
There are plenty of top-flight economists who are pushing bank nationalization, and I’m not just talking about Nobel winner Paul Krugman. Nouriel Roubini has been there since well before the first TARP. Greg Mankiw, Martin Feldstein, and even Alan “I’ve found a flaw in capitalism” Greenspan are among the Republicans who are recommending nationalization. And now Newsweek is out with a poll that has nationalization leading ‘keep burning money’ by 56-29. I guess everyone’s a fucking blogger now.
The irony is that either of the alternatives Obama pooh-poohs would be better than the Summers/Geithner cock-up. Nationalization spreads the pain over a longer period, and doing nothing hurts more but for a shorter timeframe. But to someone who values moderation and compromise over sound policy, I guess the third way looks nice.
I’m starting to think that the reason he’s so sympathetic (emphasis on pathetic) to Summers/Geithner’s advice is John McCain‘s campaign strategy of casting Obama as a socialist. It didn’t win McCain the election, but it certainly has Obama going the long way around to prove that he isn’t one.