I’ve diagnosed the problem (with Clinton’s campaign; one of the problems, anyway): She keeps coming up with vapid soundbite lines that in the context of this primary contest are ridiculous. Like “It’s easy to diagnose the problem. You’ve got to be able to solve the problem.”
I’m getting really good at recognizing instantly the latest vapid or ridiculous soundbite that Clinton has settled on and will be repeating again and again. So I detected her latest one the moment she introduced it at last Thursday’s debate:
It’s easy to diagnose the problem. You’ve got to be able to solve the problem.
Clinton was busy with private fundraisers on Friday and Saturday, I believe, but she confirmed the accuracy of my radar when on Sunday she told a block party in Washington Heights:
It’s easy to diagnose the problem. You’ve got to be able to solve the problem.
I’m not sure what problem she’s diagnosed that she has in mind. It’s certainly not, for example, that many millions of Americans remain without healthcare insurance and that many, many millions more live in fear of actually needing major medical care because their deductibles are so high and that huge swaths of Americans find their standard of living significantly impaired because of the high and annually-increasing insurance premiums.
Unless, of course, she means that Bernie Sanders has diagnosed the problem. And that he is proposing a way to solve the problem.
I mean … just sayin’.
“It’s certainly not, for example, that many millions of Americans remain without healthcare insurance and that many, many millions more live in fear of actually needing major medical care because their deductibles are so high and that huge swaths of Americans find their standard of living significantly impaired because of the high and annually-increasing insurance premiums.”
If she doesn’t diagnose that as a problem, then why the hell did she bother wasting ink on trying to achieve universal coverage by proposing to reach 16 million who qualify for Medicaid under the existing Affordable Care Act but have not enrolled, or coming up with more money to reduce co-pays and deductibles, or continuing support of a public option, or extending ACA rights regardless of immigration status? I suppose 99% with a goal of 100% is not 100%, and that’s that. We can be sure not a single American will fall through the cracks under Bernie’s plan: his plan will be certain to cover 100.0000% of the population.
I suppose it’s also irrelevant that some countries with what is said to be universal coverage manage to do so based on private entity coverage. Obviously, it’s irrelevant that if Bernie were to be nominated, Republicans will have more than enough material out of his own mouth and website to to mount devastating campaigns claiming that his single-payer plan will require massive increases in taxes, even for the middle class — with too little time to rebut them as John Kerry was so successful doing with the Swiftboat campaign, and as Al Gore dispatched so readily the claim that he lied about inventing the Internet, and as Michael Dukakis so thoroughly decimated the promulgators of the Willie Horton slur. Equally irrelevant will be Republican claims that hundreds of thousands who survive on their jobs with health insurance companies in many states will lose them and be lucky to land greeter jobs at Walmart if they aren’t among the relatively few offered the opportunity to move to Washington or one of the other Medicaid processing centers.
Yes, it’s just that old “electability” canard. What the Republicans (and the mainstream press) may be able to do can be safely ignored, because the people are just waiting to rise up and man the barricades. Millions may not be marching in the streets and singing “La Marseillaise,” but there’s millions at their keyboards and they’re made as hell and they’re not taking it anymore.
Yup. Definitely not enough time during the general election campaign for Sanders to reiterate what he’s been saying for months now, and what is obvious: that the tax will replace premium payments to private insurers by individuals and employers, and also will replace copayments and deductibles—and that, like Medicare, this insurance won’t have provider networks. Somehow this or some variation of it works very well for every other advanced-economy county in the world.
Clinton tried that just before the New Hampshire primary. She lost that primary by—what was it?—20 points? A CBS poll released today has Clinton nationally at 50% and Sanders at 48%.
For many baby boomers, it will always be 1988. I get that.
There is no majority in Congress yet for single payer which you should define so everyone knows what you mean by it. Ongoing generational change has not yet translated into a congressional change.
Has Bernie discussed what, if anything, he proposes to do if Congress will not agree to his single payer program? Bev, you’ve said before that it’s not fair to charge Bernie with “my way or the highway” so I won’t do that. If it isn’t the highway, what is it or what might it be? I don’t think it’s unfair to ask that.
I’m mourning the death of Golden Kitty, a very sweet-natured cat who was struck by a car this morning and killed. I’m not sure about how old he was—about 8-10, probably, but I don’t know. He’s still lying there, moved by someone else up against the curb. (He wasn’t very far from the curb when he was hit; someone must have cut that corner really close.) My heart isn’t into debating much of anything right now, but I’m not sure why people don’t ask similar questions about Clinton’s proposals—that is, if Congress continues with a similar makeup, why would Clinton have a chance to get her proposals enacted?
I don’t think the people who make your argument—and you’re in excellent company, Jack; Krugman comes quickly to mind—really understand the nature of Sanders’s campaign and its appeal. It’s to move the possibilities open for discussion to the left, and to really argue for them. One thing that most political analysts are recognizing finally is that an important part of Trump’s appeal is economic populism that is broader than xenophobia. The weird part of that, though, is that Trump’s actual fiscal/healthcare platform is now mostly Paul Ryan’s, although few of Trump’s supporters know this because he’s just snuck these things in to appease the Republican establishment, including donors and their proxies (a lot of whom will be convention delegates). It hasn’t worked yet, but by Nov., most of the electorate will learn this. It’s the main reason why Trump (nor any other Republican) can win, in my opinion.
But here’s the thing: No one campaigns on a set of policy proposals while also saying, “Oh, but I’ll be willing to compromise if I can’t get these passed.” That’s how Obama ran the first six years of his presidency, but even he didn’t campaign on, “Hope and change! But if Congress won’t go along, then I’ll settle for a little change and a modicum of hope.”
Sanders’s administration would propose legislation of the sort he’s campaigning on. But none of these proposals could take effect within a few months; they would need fairly long transition times, like the ACA did. Meanwhile there would be a separate set of proposals as stopgaps, proposed either by the Sanders administration or by progressives in Congress: Warren, for example.
And if Clinton wins the nomination and the general election (the Dem nominee will win the general), the here’s something that almost everyone forgets: Sanders will still be a senator, and now will have an actual media audience for his proposals. He probably won’t be alone, either; he probably will have other members of Congress assisting in drafting detailed legislation.
This is why I think it’s ridiculous that so many people worry that Sanders’s supporters will sit out the election if Clinton is nominated. Sanders and Warren will campaign aggressively pointing out that their proposals have a real chance with a Democratic president who is not Sanders, and a Democratic-controlled Congress. Paul Waldman had a piece on The American Prospect website yesterday that I think is exactly right. It’s titled “Why Hillary Clinton Could Be the Kind of President Bernie Sanders Supporters Will Love” and subtitled “She’ll be as liberal as liberals force her to be.” The article is about domestic policy, not foreign policy, and it’s last paragraph says:
“That means that when the Sanders campaign is over, their work will just be starting. As president, Hillary Clinton will be as liberal as liberals force her to be. If they do their job, that could be quite liberal indeed.”
It’s at http://prospect.org/article/why-hillary-clinton-could-be-kind-president-bernie-sanders-supporters-will-love.
R.I.P., sweet Golden Kitty. I’ll miss you.
What BS. This is the essence of the substantive differences between the two campaigns. Sanders touts simple solutions, Hillary believes the problems are more complicated and that solving them with the congress we actually have is even more complicated still. She was making a totally fair point.
Welcome to AB
Absolutely, Soho. The objective is to propose solutions that are as complicated as solutions can be!
I think you’re conflating problems and solutions. And the current Congress with the next one—post-Trump-campaign and post-Sanders-campaign.
Wow! Bev has really hit the spot, the reason why the awful Hillary must not be let near the nuclear codes and the Dem voters in the NY primary must act to keep her away from them: she makes vapid statements!
Certainly that is far far worse than claiming that the US-Panama trade agreement made it easier for US companies and individuals to hide their taxes in Panama (which is not true) or coming down hard on anybody who has not supported the irrelevant Glass-Steagall law (supposedly suitably updated) as a tool of the Wall Street Establishment.
So, Bev, you have done a huge massive public service here. Let us hear it for the BerniSiblings!
Thank you, Barkley. I like my contributions to society to be recognized. (They never are; this is a first.) I agree with everything you say here. Except the “not true” and the “irrelevant” characterizations.
The Democrat Primary campaign has turned nasty. It is almost enough to make an Independent like myself wonder if there is anybody on any side who deserves my vote. Focusing on the positives would impress me more and make it easier to get out of bed early to vote on Election Day. Just sayin’.Sorry if that’s vapid.
This is typical Clinton speak—-“knowledge economy” “humanitarian intervention” “welfare as we know it” It’s all just empty blather from the podium for the an electorate that they discard in favor of the donor class.
“vapid and ridiculous”
Exactly how is that supposed to help Sanders?
My hope is that if she’s nominee, as she probably will be, she will find a way to ditch the types of campaign stuff I’ve been railing about since she began them at the first debate back in Oct., and replace them with cogent statements about her own proposals and her opponent’s.
I’m not sure she’s able to; she seems utterly committed to this type of campaign. I don’t know why she thinks this is a good way to campaign. These tactics clearly don’t work, clearly make her look silly and sleazy–and her husband never used this type of stuff, and he won twice.
One could hope such would occur and some of Sanders would rub off on her.
I have one for HRC to use but I know she will never repeat it…”You cannot sole problems with the very same people who created them”. All people in the world today are looked at as either assets or liabilities. It really depends on how you see them that matters most…”Fraud is the business model of Wall St. Congress does not regulate Wall St., Wall St. regulates congress”. Int. Bus. Times 1-12-16
Interesting, so you have reverted to the old Republican BS about the uninsured, blamed it on the PPACA, and thrust what has happened to the PPACA upon HRC. I did not know she caused SCOTUS to decide what it did, caused states not to expand Medicaid, created the Medicaid gap as a result, decided not to cover undocumented aliens, etc. In the end the number of truly uninsured stands at ~5 million. The rest is caused by Federal and State government, people deciding not to seek coverage whether it is subsidized or not, etc.
Come on Bev you have gone one factoid too far.
Whaaattt?? I said nothing of the kind. And I absolutely recognize the huge step that the ACA is—the difference it’s meant in many millions of people’s lives. But Clinton’s proposals would not eliminate the problems I mentioned. They’d ease it for many, but nothing short of single-payer will solve those problems fully. Her claim that her proposals do is false.
But here’s a mystery, in my opinion: Why doesn’t Clinton tout her proposals instead of incessantly making generic and false criticisms of Sanders’s?
We have to forgive Bev. She is caught in the Primary Black Hole.
“In the end the number of truly uninsured stands at ~5 million. The rest is caused by Federal and State government….”
How is lack of health insurance CAUSED BY the government?
I do not do “bait and switch” like you do with others. Ask what you wish or state what you wish and I may consider it and even answer you.