This morning,Paul Krugman finally has some words of praise for President Obama :
I was favorably surprised by the new Obama jobs plan, which is significantly bolder and better than I expected. It’s not nearly as bold as the plan I’d want in an ideal world. But if it actually became law, it would probably make a significant dent in unemployment.
Krugman finds much to like about Obama's plan; but he holds out little hope that it will pass -- because of Republican opposition -- which, Krugman writes, means opposition to anything Obama proposes:
In early 2009, as the new Obama administration tried to come to grips with the crisis it inherited, you heard two main lines from critics on the right. First, they argued that we should rely on monetary policy rather than fiscal policy — that is, that the job of fighting unemployment should be left to the Fed. Second, they argued that fiscal actions should take the form of tax cuts rather than temporary spending.
Now, however, leading Republicans are against tax cuts — at least if they benefit working Americans rather than rich people and corporations.
And they’re against monetary policy, too. In Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate, Mitt Romney declared that he would seek a replacement for Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, essentially because Mr. Bernanke has tried to do something (though not enough) about unemployment. And that makes Mr. Romney a moderate by G.O.P. standards, since Rick Perry, his main rival for the presidential nomination, has suggested that Mr. Bernanke should be treated “pretty ugly.”
That's really not surprising, given the fact that the front runner for the Republican nomination doubts the science of climate change and evolution but has no doubts about capital punishment. While Mr. Perry questions evolution, he is a poster boy for the devolution of the Republican Party.
Obama reminded his audience again last night that the Republican Party once stood for far different principles, and once represented a much different constituency:
We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. Founder of the Republican Party. But in the middle of a civil war, he was also a leader who looked to the future -- a Republican President who mobilized government to build the Transcontinental Railroad -- (applause) -- launch the National Academy of Sciences, set up the first land grant colleges. (Applause.) And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.
The unemployed, Obama said, can't wait until the next election for government to fix this problem. We shall see how the party of Lincoln responds.
This entry is cross posted at The Moderate Voice.