Fabian: Focus or Obama: Fabian Progressive

The point of this post in modelled behavior is that President Obama may have one overarching goals:  more spending on health care.  That seems right as it is the thing that he has focused on more than anything else, including jobs and economy writ large.  Given the long pursuit of US national health in some form, and movement toward it may pay off.  I’m not sure that Obamacare as passed is desreable, but the debate is I think.  Especially because other issues like the budget imbalance are part and parcel of the healthcare debate.


I’ll offer some amateur outside the beltway strategery analysis. Given the behavior of the Obama White House, it looks to me like their primary objective is to secure an expansion in the scope of government funded health care by avoiding conflict on all other issues.

This explains the steady even if bloody push to pass the PPACA. It explains the seeming disinterest in meaningful shifts in policy in other areas. It explains why Obama was for the stimulus when it seemed popular and conceded to austerity when it seemed popular.

This is a classic Fabian approach. Avoid engaging the enemy when time is on your side. This also seems like an accurate description of the progressive movements position. While at the moment Progressivism may lose a head-on confrontation, time is indeed on its side. Its opposition is older and grounded in institutions which are losing power. The intellectual base of the right is eroding. Political opinion is solidifying around the notion that there will be some form of universal health care.

As always the Fabian defense is unpopular with hawks, who would prefer that the enemy be engaged and crushed. However, it is successful.

Now as always I think the politics of these big issues is not that important. I suspect that in the end the equilibrium will be determined by fundamentals. However, if you were going to play a pro-progressive political strategy this doesn’t seem like a bad one.

Filed under: Economics, Health Care, Society

Obama: Fabian Progressive
Karl Smith
Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:43:06 GMT

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