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On political “psychology”…

Via Mike The Bad Biologist, a Krugman quote of which he agrees:

Long ago — basically when I started writing for the Times — I decided that I would judge the character of politicians by what they say about policy, not how they come across in person. This led me to conclude that George W. Bush was dishonest and dangerous back when everyone was talking about how charming and reasonable he was. It led me to conclude that Colin Powell couldn’t be trusted, back when everyone said his UN speech clinched the case for war. It led me to conclude that John McCain was unprincipled and self-centered, back when everyone said he was a deeply principled maverick. And yes, it led me to conclude that Barack Obama was a good man, but far less progressive than his enthusiastic supporters imagined.

I agree too – “it’s the policy stupid”.

I wish I could claim to have figured it out myself, but fortunately my best friend did for me by pointing it out in a conversation a few years back. Really I would go further than Krugman – it’s not what they say even, it’s what they do.

It really does not matter what character they have, whether you would like to share a beer with them, or whether they are moral or immoral. What matters is what they do – the active policy.

On that front, I am not sure I can absolve Obama as a “good man”, but again it doesn’t matter. What matters is policy, and well, I’m afraid in many ways he sucks (including not caring about unemployment as Mike points out).

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