Recently, I argued that Nicholas Kristof was incorrect, in that there is a sane center-right party, and it is called the Democratic Party. Apparently, I’m not the only one. The Krugman (boldface mine):
First, on economic issues the modern Democratic party is what we would once have considered “centrist”, or even center-right. Obama’s Heritage-Foundation-inspired health care plan is to the right of Richard Nixon’s. Nobody with political influence is suggesting a return to pre-Reagan tax rates on the wealthy. Fantasies about Obama as a socialist, redistributionist hater of capitalism bear no more resemblance to reality than fantasies about his birthplace or religion.
While we’re on the topic, it’s worth adding Obama’s response to the Collapse of Big Shitpile (aka the housing crisis) to the list. Democratic Congressman Barney Frank (boldface mine):
The mortgage crisis was worsened this past time because critical decisions were made during the transition between Bush and Obama. We voted the TARP out. The TARP was basically being administered by Hank Paulson as the last man home in a lame duck, and I was disappointed. I tried to get them to use the TARP to put some leverage on the banks to do more about mortgages, and Paulson at first resisted that, he just wanted to get the money out. And after he got the first chunk of money out, he would have had to ask for a second chunk, he said, all right, I’ll tell you what, I’ll ask for that second chunk and I’ll use some of that as leverage on mortgages, but I’m not going to do that unless Obama asks for it. This is now December, so we tried to get the Obama people to ask him and they wouldn’t do it.
Translated into English: Bush’s Treasury Secretary was willing to cramdown mortgages–that is, force banks to take losses on shitty loans (even if that wasn’t his first option). Obama and Secretary Geithner have never proposed any sort of haircut for the banks. Ever. On the housing crisis, Obama has been and still is to the right of George Bush.
Sadly, Obama was still the better option. That’s how crazy Republicans are in 2012.