Does Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman need to find a new rhetorical flourish for his New York Times columns and stop abusing Barack Obama's long-past-trite three-word campaign slogan already?

Yes, he does. After all, we still have at least three and a half years of the Obama Administration to go.

Here's a sampling of Krugman's use of this three-word crutch:

"HELP Is on the Way" (July 6, 2009): "[L]ast week the budget office scored the full proposed legislation from the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). And the news -- which got far less play in the media than the downbeat earlier analysis -- was very, very good. Yes, we can reform health care."

"An Affordable Salvation" (April 30, 2009): "So can we afford to save the planet? Yes, we can."

"Climate of Change" (Feb. 27, 2009): "Many will ask whether Mr. Obama can actually pull off the deficit reduction he promises. Can he actually reduce the red ink from $1.75 trillion this year to less than a third as much in 2013? Yes, he can."

"The Obama Agenda" (Nov. 7, 2008):"Can Barack Obama really usher in a new era of progressive policies? Yes, he can."

"The Resentment Strategy" (Sept. 4, 2008): "Can the super-rich former governor of Massachusetts -- the son of a Fortune 500 C.E.O. who made a vast fortune in the leveraged-buyout business -- really keep a straight face while denouncing 'Eastern elites'?

"Can the former mayor of New York City, a man who, as USA Today put it, 'marched in gay pride parades, dressed up in drag and lived temporarily with a gay couple and their Shih Tzu' -- that was between his second and third marriages -- really get away with saying that Barack Obama doesn't think small towns are sufficiently 'cosmopolitan'?

"Can the vice-presidential candidate of a party that has controlled the White House, Congress or both for 26 of the past 28 years, a party that, Borg-like, assimilated much of the D.C. lobbying industry into itself -- until Congress changed hands, high-paying lobbying jobs were reserved for loyal Republicans -- really portray herself as running against the 'Washington elite'?

"Yes, they can."


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