the republicans make us do it

Paul Krugman was the only honest columnist at the New York Times during the Bush era but lately he is tying himself in knots trying to justify Obama, whose politics smell just like his predecessor's. On Naked Capitalism Lambert Strether writes:

I cannot help but think that Krugman must also be waging a tremendous internal battle between his picture of this man he seems to like and trust to do the right thing [Obama], and the picture of human economic devastation in all forms that he must see through the windows of the Acela, which can but tell him that this man is doing nothing like the right thing. This battle — and yes, “Will Doctor Freud please pick up the white courtesy phone?” — can only force its way to the surface with formulations like Obama “wussing out” (others say “cave”). But the possibility that Obama is doing exactly what believes in, cannot be allowed to reach a conscious level, let alone expressed.

Commenter Max424 has some gallows fun with Strether's prognosis in this parody of a recent Bill Moyers interview with Krugman:

Professor, thanks for coming.

“Thanks for having me.”

Yesterday, looking out the port side of your train, you saw two Predator drones firing Hellfire missiles at selected American targets. What did you think of this?

“Well, I’m not entirely sure if the Republican dominated House of Representatives should be forcing Obama to do this. But at the same time, the collateral damage done to infrastructure might be a good thing.”

A good thing?

“Think about it. We’re in a liquidity trap, which means, the Fed can only hand out aspirin. But our depressed economy requires heavy doses of proscribed medications; we need, so to speak, a more potent palliative for our damaged national psyche.

“Now, if we have potholes, and filling them in would be good, it makes sense to assume that bomb holes, which are bigger, would be even better.”

So responsibility for the strikes doesn’t matter, as the strikes are always beneficial?

“Yes and no. The thing to remember is, without the Obama Drone Check, Republicans would use Predators to kill teachers and other public sector workers, and we know that killing teachers is not only wrong, it is a proven anti-stimulative. We need more teachers, not less.”

Where are we headed, Professor?

“If we can find the political will to repair the potholes and the bomb holes, to re-hire the teachers that Obama was forced to fire, or to replace the dead ones when the un-checked Republicans are in charge, it would be significant step toward what I call, a New Deal for 21st century.”

A new New Deal. Is this really achievable?

“Despite the fact that rising ocean levels are going to wipe out New York City by 2030, I believe it is, because I’m hopeful.”