Earlier notes/comments here: https://bernielatham.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/krugman-on-bipartisanship/
Michael Tomasky, of the Guardian UK writes:
Well, it’s already happened. Barely two weeks into the job and President Barack Obama has compromised fundamental principles, timorously caved in to Republicans and conservative Democrats in the Senate and lost control of his agenda.
Or … wait. Maybe it’s the case that, a mere two weeks into the job, President Obama has already changed the country’s direction in remarkable ways. He’s on the verge of a massive political victory when the Senate passes the stimulus package tomorrow, as expected, and the Republicans are apoplectic and divided and intellectually bankrupt.
Which is it? Friends, I usher you on a tour of the liberal mind.
OK, what I’m about to say isn’t true of everyone, of course. But there is a general thing: liberals are happy being unhappy. Or worrying. We’re (I very much include myself) big worriers. With reason: history teaches that the tide of change doesn’t always flow in our direction, especially in recent years. I know a lot of people who couldn’t quite believe that America could elect a man like Barack Obama, and still didn’t quite believe it after it happened.
…Well, today, I announce my emancipation from such habits. Goodbye to all that. The stimulus bill, imperfect as it is, does indeed represent an enormous political victory for Obama. For reasons tactical as well as substantive, liberals ought to declare victory and dance on the vast empty tundra that is the Republican present.
continue reading here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/09/barack-obama-us-economy
There’s a hell of a lot of truth to what Tomasky is saying here about that “if it’s going good, we just aren’t properly recognizing the facts of things” mindset lots of us on the left can be victim too. And, as Tomasky says, it’s not for no reason we might tend to worry. And it isn’t just history. A couple of decades ago, a longditudinal study of children led to a book titled “The Optimistic Child”. The researchers found that children who naturally were predisposed to optimism were more likely to be successful in schooling and in life. On the other hand, they found that the pessimistic children were more often right.