Skip to main content

Obama the Progressive

  • Author:
  • Updated:

By Ben Cohen

Paul Krugman thinks Obama can, and should govern as a progressive, rather than the centrist everyone in power wants him to be:

Right now, many commentators are urging Mr. Obama to think small.

Some make the case on political grounds: America, they say, is still a

conservative country, and voters will punish Democrats if they move to

the left. Others say that the financial and economic crisis leaves no

room for action on, say, health care reform.

Let’s hope that Mr. Obama has the good sense to ignore this advice.

the political argument: Anyone who doubts that we’ve had a major
political realignment should look at what’s happened to Congress. After
the 2004 election, there were many declarations that we’d entered a
long-term, perhaps permanent era of Republican dominance. Since then,
Democrats have won back-to-back victories, picking up at least 12
Senate seats and more than 50 House seats. They now have bigger
majorities in both houses than the G.O.P. ever achieved in its 12-year

Bear in mind, also, that this year’s presidential

election was a clear referendum on political philosophies — and the

progressive philosophy won.