Do you trust the Obama administration, or not? For progressives, in many ways this is the fundamental economic and political question of our times.
For example, it isn't difficult to find Nobel laureates, distinguished, progressive blog-friendly economics Ph.D.s, and even people who saw the financial crisis coming who think that the Obama administration's Wall Street bailout plan is a good idea that will probably work. At the same time, it isn't difficult to find Nobel laureates, distinguished, progressive blog-firendly economics PhD.s, and people who saw the financial crisis coming who think the Obama administration's bailout plan is a bad idea. As such, faith in the bailout plan really isn't a question of analytic and scholastic ability, having clean hands on the financial crisis, or whether or not someone comes from an elite world of Villagers. It is simply a matter of trust in the people executing the plan.Much the same can be said for the Afghanistan escalation, long-term social investment spending, torture and detainment policies, the new defense budget, the value of post-partisanship, the degree of progressivism in Obama administration appointments, and much more. The debate within progressive circles we are experiencing over these issues is primarily based on a question of trust, and only to a lesser extent on analysis, research and facts. It is a debate with which almost anyone who consumes progressive media is familiar: give President Obama a chance, aka trust the Obama administration and stop criticizing it, versus make him do it, aka President Obama's administration will only pursue a progressive policy direction if it is forced to do so by popular pressure. Within progressive circles, these attitudes are demonstrative of either a fundamental trust or distrust of the intentions of the Obama administration.
by Chris Bowers at Open Left