Paul Krugman jumps so high over the shark he achieves low-earth orbit:
Yes He Could
Several times in recent weeks I’ve found myself in conversations with liberals who shake their heads sadly and express their disappointment with President Obama. Why? I suspect that they’re being influenced, often without realizing it, by the prevailing media narrative.
The narrative? Not, just to dwell on the last couple of weeks, the VA debacle, the Bergdahl debacle, or the meltdowns in the Ukraine and the Levant? Or, channeling my inner Progressive, the Cheney-NSA regime, the drone wars, the gun control collapse, the immigration collapse, the Children's Crusade - geez, what's a lib to do?
Brace yourself and (Keyboard trigger alert!) swallow anything you are drinking:
The accepted thing, it seems, is to portray Mr. Obama as floundering, his presidency as troubled if not failed.
But this is all wrong. You should judge leaders by their achievements, not their press, and in terms of policy substance Mr. Obama is having a seriously good year.
Mr. Obama is having a seriously good year. In fact, there’s a very good chance that 2014 will go down in the record books as one of those years when America took a major turn in the right direction.
That comes to us live from the Reality Base. On my planet a few more good years like this one and any remaining Democrats will vote to remove the letters "B" and "O" from the alphabet. But we agree that 2014 is likely to go into the record books.
The Earnest Prof divulges the recipe for his Kool-aid:
First, health reform is now a reality — and despite a shambolic start, it’s looking like a big success story. Remember how nobody was going to sign up? First-year enrollments came in above projections. Remember how people who signed up weren’t actually going to pay their premiums? The vast majority have.
Uh huh. Health care is such a success that no Demeocrat anywhere is willing to run on it. We all expect a wave of waivers this summer as Obama tries to shield voters from the emerging reality this November. And FWIW, no, I don't remember how "people who signed up weren’t actually going to pay their premiums". I remember headlines that "only" about 80 percent of enrollees would pay their prmiums, and that seems to have been borne out.
Then there’s climate policy. The Obama administration’s new rules on power plants won’t be enough in themselves to save the planet, but they’re a real start — and are by far the most important environmental initiative since the Clean Air Act. I’d add that this is an issue on which Mr. Obama is showing some real passion.
Let's cut to the Times analysis of the President's new proposals, which have yet to survive the regulatory review process. First, some context:
Thanks partly to a surfeit of natural gas that few people saw coming, emissions in the United States have already fallen 10 percent from 2005 levels and are still heading down, even without Mr. Obama’s new rule.
It is clear Mr. Obama’s immediate goal is not to solve the emissions problem, but to get the country moving faster in the right direction. The new rule alone offers little hope that the United States and other nations can achieve cuts on a scale required to meet the internationally agreed limit on global warming. But experts say that achieving the pledge Mr. Obama made in Copenhagen — a 17 percent reduction in the nation’s greenhouse gases by 2020, compared with the 2005 level — would be quite likely, if his plan survives.
Yet, by itself, the president’s plan will barely nudge the global emissions that scientists say are threatening the welfare of future generations.
“Is it enough to stop climate change? No,” said Ted Nordhaus, chairman of the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental think tank in Oakland, Calif. “No political leader in the world has a serious agenda to do that.”
After lauding financial reform as "much weaker than it should have been" but "real" Krugman rallies for the Big Finish:
Put it all together, and Mr. Obama is looking like a very consequential president indeed.
As was Jimmy Carter.