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January 20th, 2009
03:54 PM ET

Battered Liberal Syndrome

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/20/sign.jpg caption="The president signed three documents soon after his swearing in Tuesday."]

Bob Shrum
The Week

Perhaps there is something in the soul of Democrats, scarred by the stolen election of 2000 and a close loss in 2004, that anticipates setback. Call it Battered Liberal Syndrome. This time, it’s not electoral defeat Democrats fear, but a devaluation of last November’s victory, a scenario in which progressive policy is undermined and Democratic dreams are once again deferred.

A number of liberal bloggers and columnists, most notably the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, worry, hint or state outright that Obama appears to be selling his mandate short. Their indictment of the stimulus—or recovery plan, as Obama prefers to call it—is that the plan is both less efficient and less fair because it includes tax cuts. Then there’s Obama’s reluctance to pledge to investigate and prosecute a wide array of misconduct in the Bush administration. Obama is reproved for his resolve to focus on the future, not the past. At the least, dissenters on the left insist, he should establish a truth finding panel, with subpoena power, to rake through the Bush detritus and expose it to the world.

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Filed under: Bob Shrum • Democrats • Inauguration
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Annie Kate

    There are too many problems to focus on the past – the past is gone – let it lie in peace. Having an inquiry now into Bush and his administration just brings back the old politics of spite and contrariness. Lets be the grownups we say we are and work on today and tomorrow. Looking into the past won't fix what's broke.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:45 am |