Kevin Drum asks a solid question:
Is there something about having a New York Times column that makes you lose your mind? Obama wants to push taxes on the super wealthy back up to 2001 levels. He wants to move in the direction of carbon pricing and universal healthcare, just like he promised repeatedly during the campaign. He wants to increase defense spending, but increase it slightly less than the Pentagon would like. Stimulus outlays aside, the budget as a whole is up only moderately compared to two years ago.
If you object to this, fine. But Cohen doesn’t. “After the excesses of Reagan-inspired deregulation and the disaster that unfettered markets have delivered, the pendulum had to swing.” But how much less could Obama swing it and still be making any noticeable difference at all? What, exactly, has Cohen so worried? He never says. He just loses himself in a paroxysm of stammering cliches. Has he been taking lessons from Maureen Dowd?
It really is quite amazing that so many people are so worked up about the changes Obama is making. The way people are reacting, you would think that Dennis Kucinich was elected, and the first thing he did was disband the military and start a 2 million man Department of Peace. Sure, what is happening is more “liberal” than what we have seen the last decade (and considering Clinton was no flaming liberal either, we could say several decades), and yes, the budget is large and made me want to vomit when I first saw the number. But this is not socialism, we are not “soaking the rich,” etc. Nothing radical has happened at all, and if anything, it is the far left who has every right to be
pissed impatient because Obama is moving so slowly and so cautiously, and from a progressive standpoint is little more than a muddling centrist.