Why Democrats Should Avoid the 'R' Word
My thought has long been that back in 2009 and 2010, even though many Americans may have been sympathetic to the idea that changes should be made in our health care system, the public wanted the focus at that time to be on job creation and the economy, which polling at the time indicated was absolutely the case. To the extent that Washington seemed obsessed with health care, voters wanted the government's focus on jobs, and this rubbed them raw. To this day, Americans don't think the economy has been effectively dealt with. Thus, maybe Democrats should avoid the "R" word.
Have to admit it: Paul Krugman has a point
The administration was almost eager to move the economic crisis to the back burner while they and the liberal Congress pushed forward with long-standing items on their wish list (cap and trade, health care reform, immigration reform, etc.). Inside Washington, it might seem smart to see a crisis as an opportunity to pass progressive legislation. To the people who are bearing the brunt of the recession, it seems like an abdication of leadership or a heartless betrayal of trust.
Obama and FDR
I've argued before that one key reason is that the Obama administration displayed a bizarre combination of cynicism and naivete in their handling of the economic crisis. (“Never let a crisis go to waste.”) Instead of a laser-like focus on the economy, they pushed for a host of items on the progressive wish list (healthcare reform, “green” energy, cap-and-trade, civilian trials for the 9-11 terrorists, etc.). FDR, in contrast, used his first 100 days to pass legislation that directly attacked the depression and its causes. The public saw- rightly- that Roosevelt was concentrating on the issue that was their number one concern.