The Two Barack Obamas

By Ben Cohen

Paul Krugman looks at the two Barack Obama’s – the reformer, and the appeaser:

First, Mr. Obama offered a crystal-clear explanation of the case for

health care reform, and especially of the case for a public option

competing with private insurers. “If private insurers say that the

marketplace provides the best quality health care, if they tell us that

they’re offering a good deal,” he asked, “then why is it that the

government, which they say can’t run anything, suddenly is going to

drive them out of business? That’s not logical.”But when asked

whether the public option was non-negotiable he waffled, declaring that

there are no “lines in the sand.” That evening, Rahm Emanuel met with

Democratic senators and told them — well, it’s not clear what he said.

Initial reports had him declaring willingness to abandon the public

option, but Senator Kent Conrad’s staff later denied that. Still, the

impression everyone got was of a White House all too eager to make


Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.