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Old 05-19-2020, 10:02 PM
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Progressives dropped out of the Democratic primaries at the worst possible time.


The current coronavirus pandemic provides a more hospitable environment for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party than it has seen in a long, long time. Ideas such as universal basic income, a massive overhaul of the healthcare system, significantly enhanced unemployment benefits and other such platforms are more mainstream today than they've perhaps ever been - but this comes right after people like Warren and Bernie dropped out and left Joe Biden, perhaps the most un-progressive of the entire Democratic field, as the remaining lone standard-bearer.

Granted, any elected Democratic president couldn't do anything until January 2021, a long time from now, but this window of opportunity for Democrats to push ahead some of their most progressive policies is now going to happen under the helm of a centrist. They blew their chance by having Liz and Bernie drop out. Biden may get things done anyway, but he sure isn't going to be a particularly energetic advocate for such stuff.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:09 PM
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Yeah, that losing elections thing really catches up with you.

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I don’t sense a seismic change in a desire for radical health care reform. All I see are Warren and Bernie people wanting to refight the primaries.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:54 PM
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Yeah, that losing elections thing really catches up with you.

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I don’t sense a seismic change in a desire for radical health care reform. All I see are Warren and Bernie people wanting to refight the primaries.
I truly have a hard time trying to decide who is more toxic to the body politic...your ilk or MAGA types.

You'd think it is obvious but it's not when you look at it.
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:21 AM
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Hey, not all of us want an overly "progressive" candidate. I just want someone to win who isn't Donald Trump.
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:43 AM
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I truly have a hard time trying to decide who is more toxic to the body politic...your ilk or MAGA types.

You'd think it is obvious but it's not when you look at it.
I freely admit I’m an opponent of Sanders. But, the OP seems like nothing but sour grapes and wants to refight the primaries that have been over for 2 months. Poll after poll shows Biden doing well.
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Old 05-20-2020, 05:04 AM
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I freely admit I’m an opponent of Sanders.
Aha! You admit it at last!
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Old 05-20-2020, 05:59 AM
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I freely admit I’m an opponent of Sanders. But, the OP seems like nothing but sour grapes and wants to refight the primaries that have been over for 2 months. Poll after poll shows Biden doing well.
I think the OP has a point in that the race for the nomination was fought on very different turf than we found ourselves on even a few weeks later.

Super Tuesday was on March 3, and all you had to do was look at the results the following morning to see that it was game over. But the coronavirus was still in the background as an issue then.

If the coronavirus had hit a few months earlier, it would have certainly changed the nature of the race, exposing the weaknesses of everything from our health care and health insurance systems to how we conduct elections. We'd have had a very different debate.

Like it or not, we're really Scotch-taping the results of a primary season that happened in one world onto a totally different world.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:55 AM
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I truly have a hard time trying to decide who is more toxic to the body politic...your ilk or MAGA types.

You'd think it is obvious but it's not when you look at it.
When I saw this post, I assumed it was written BY dalej42 TOWARD Whack-a-Mole, and I thought, “Hear, hear.”

That it turns out to be the reverse is, in its way, telling.

(Note this is not a personal attack on anyone).
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:55 AM
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Why are you still holding on to the idea that policy positions are the most important thing for a president. I want a president that actually governs like a sane person. While Biden wasn't my first choice, he will bring sanity back to the white house. Give me a president that appoints smart, qualified people and listens to experts before making decisions. Bernie Sanders has never come close to enacting universal health care in 30 years in congress. If he were president he wouldn't miraculously get it done. If Sanders and the Democrats can actually get a bill through congress, I guarantee you that Biden, or any other Democrat, would sign it.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:59 AM
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Based on recent overtures from the Biden camp to the Progressive wing to more or less reshape the party platform* and overall direction as the campaign really gets going now (according to reports from reputable sources), I’d say both sides may get their cake and eat it, too. (Except for the hard-core revolutionaries, of course).

*I think this move was going to happen anyway, but, as the OP suggested, the coronavirus health crisis probably “primed the pump.”

Last edited by JKellyMap; 05-20-2020 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:31 AM
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Why are you still holding on to the idea that policy positions are the most important thing for a president. I want a president that actually governs like a sane person.
So do I, but you'll have to excuse me for wanting a bit more than that. Given that there was nobody on the Dem side with a realistic chance of winning the nomination who wasn't going to govern like a sane person, policy positions mattered a great deal among that group of potential nominees.

Llike it or not, a new President's agenda is pretty much going to define the agenda of his party's Congressional caucus. So, for instance, a nominee that wants to go big on addressing global warming is to be strongly preferred, AFAIAC, over one who gives lip service to it, but it's clearly just one of many priorities to them.

And generally Presidents try to do the things they said, as candidates, that they were going to try to do as President. But they're only going to get but so far down the list. So you have to consider the candidate's policy priorities as well as just his positions.

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Old 05-20-2020, 09:35 AM
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It's not that they dropped out too soon, but that the crisis they (possibly) needed to propel their ideas happened too late. The primary schedule being what it was, and the election results going the way they did, made their drop-outs inevitable.

Trust me, if UBI or MFA becomes overwhelming popular due to Coronavirus, and the Democrats hold the House and take back the Senate on the back of a popular liberal groundswell in support of those ideas, Joe Biden will not be the one to hold them back.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
I truly have a hard time trying to decide who is more toxic to the body politic...your ilk or MAGA types.

You'd think it is obvious but it's not when you look at it.
Right now. Right here. That is enough of that.

Refight the primaries if you must. But you will not insult or accuse other posters like this again.

I hope that's clear.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:02 AM
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Why are you still holding on to the idea that policy positions are the most important thing for a president. I want a president that actually governs like a sane person....
Yes. (Although it seems exaggerated to claim that Sanders or Warren wouldn't have governed like a sane person.)

If it's true that response to the pandemic will be a left-ward shift in the Party's (and the Nation's) policy stances, then those shifts can occur regardless of the candidates. If voters are moving leftward, figure that Congresspeople will be moving leftward also.

Will Biden be "dragging his feet"? He'd moved his healthcare proposals significantly leftward even before the pandemic. When elected he will be surrounded by progressive people. Even if he does provide some common-sense restraint on the speed of the (inevitable?) leftward lurch, that may be a good thing.

The important thing is to rally around and elect Biden and other Democrats in November. What's with all the moaning and whingeing from "progressives"? Is it more fun to whinge than to work together? Please serve America and the Democratic Party. Please don't work, even indirectly, to promote the interests of GOP and Kremlin.

On this topic, I'd ask OP: I didn't know you were a "progressive" or Bernie supporter. What is your emotional reaction to your own OP?
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:14 AM
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I'm as liberal as they come, but neither Sanders nor Warren could have won in November. I'll gladly take half a loaf with Biden rather than face the end of democracy if Dolt45 wins a second term. I don't think the problem with the pandemic response wasn't the lack of single payer, it was the lack of supplies, equipment, staff, and facilities.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:15 AM
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If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I don’t sense a seismic change in a desire for radical health care reform. All I see are Warren and Bernie people wanting to refight the primaries.
There is also the persistent belief that just if a progressive candidate could be elected as president, they would be able to sweep their magic wand and make all of their cause célèbres occur as a matter of course, which will come as a shock to Barack Obama who struggled to pass the least worse health care act he could possibly negotiate with Congress and who never managed to shut down the Guantanamo Bay Detention Detention Camp despite trying to do so throughout his eight years in office. The notion that Bernie Sanders is going to "break up the banks" by invoking executive authority is laughable, and while I was personally a supporter of Elizabeth Warren she may be better off in the Senate, especially if it flips to Democratic control where she can push her detailed policy positions into legislation rather than constantly fighting with the Supreme Court and dealing with the foreign policy mess left by decades of indifferent and inconsistent international relations and the now decades-long "War on Terror" that has alienated many strategic allies. I laugh at the notion of her accepting a VP nomination because it would be a complete waste of everyones' time to stick her in that largely worthless role.

Biden is a perfectly serviceable nominee that has an excellent chance at besting Donald Trump as long as he can stop massaging womens' shoulders and manage to not trip over his own tongue, and he is both pragmatic and fungible enough to nominate some progressive members in his cabinet and champion health care and employment reforms if they seem to be popular with the public. I would not describe him as energetic or innovative but at this point just being fundamentally competent and responsive is a giant improvement over the current denizen (and better than Bernie who would spend his term just fighting with everyone even in his 'own' party because that is basically his métier), and if nothing else is a placeholder for a better Democratic nominee in 2024.

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Old 05-20-2020, 10:26 AM
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On this topic, I'd ask OP: I didn't know you were a "progressive" or Bernie supporter. What is your emotional reaction to your own OP?

I'm by and large conservative, but do favor some progressive causes such as single-payer, universal basic income (albeit in limited form,) etc. As I see it, most of the beneficial policies are to be found on the fringes. Centrists give you an unhappy middle.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:28 AM
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I also think that Biden will have better 'legs' than Sander or Warren would have. I can see more Democratic Senators getting elected if Biden is that the top of the ticket. Remember in 2018, the 'flips' which gave the House to the Democrats were from GOP Congresspeople to moderate Democrat Congresspeople.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:36 AM
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Will Biden be "dragging his feet"? He'd moved his healthcare proposals significantly leftward even before the pandemic. When elected he will be surrounded by progressive people. Even if he does provide some common-sense restraint on the speed of the (inevitable?) leftward lurch, that may be a good thing.[/I][/B]
This paragraph is really what it's all about. Biden will be for M4A when he feels the country can get there and not before. He's an incrementalist and a political survivor. He sure ain't gonna bet his future - and the party's future - on something that isn't a proven winner. He went through the ACA legislative process and, I'll bet, doesn't want to again.

For those who say it's already a proven winner? I'd want to see the numbers and cross tabs by age. If a majority of people want M4A but most of that majority are 18-35 I'd be pretty doubtful. Remember, it ain't about majority of citizens. It's about majority of voters.

If everyone voted for Bernie who said they would he'd be the nominee right now. Want to play the game and have representation? Vote.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:59 AM
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For those who say it's already a proven winner? I'd want to see the numbers and cross tabs by age. If a majority of people want M4A but most of that majority are 18-35 I'd be pretty doubtful. Remember, it ain't about majority of citizens. It's about majority of voters.
I recall a number of polls in the primaries that showed a majority of people said they approved of Medicare 4 All. But that support cratered when they were asked about a Medicare 4 All that banned private insurance. At some level there was a confusion over what the program meant. It seems a lot of people may have assumed M4A was simply something like a public option. Or it was like current Medicare, that covers some, but not all, and if you want, you can get supplemental private insurance to cover the rest.

There is a bit of trepidation over making major change that quickly I think, and having someone who can move incrementally is likely a better winning strategy.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:31 AM
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I have considerable for Velocity's point of view, but.... Oh well, Stranger said it better than I could so I will recommend rereading his post.

Even the emaciated form of health care that is the ACA is in serious danger of being outlawed by SCOTUS. The fact that they delayed their decision until after the election makes me think that that is what they are about to do. Put one more ultra-conservative on the court and social security could follow. The problem isn't getting the president behind the progressaive (which I call social democratic) agenda but getting congress and the courts to agree.

I think Biden will get behind making Medicare open to all, just not compulsory for all. But people might realize that employer provided med insurance is maybe not all it's cracked up to be if it can be taken away from you in an instant. The people who have just lost their jobs can probably not afford to continue paying for the wonderful insurance until they get another--if they get another within 18 months. I expect that if Medicare open to all materializes, employers will slowly (or maybe quickly) abandon their health plans, providing money to pay into Medicare. If congress gives Medicare the right to negotiate prices, I expect the whole thing will end up cheaper all around. Of course, all the medical coders will need unemployment.

No president, no matter how progressive can just snap his fingers and get his agenda done. Do you recall how hard it was to get ACA through the senate when the Dems led 60-40? Of course they needed to break the filibuster so 60 votes. I suspect the filibuster will finally disappear and good riddance. But it still looks like the best the Dems can hope for is 51-49 and that is not guaranteed.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:46 AM
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If everyone voted for Bernie who said they would he'd be the nominee right now.


I don't think this is remotely true, and am curious what your logic is here. If it were true, I'd expect that the pattern we would have seen would be Sanders leading in the "All Adults" poll and then "suprisingly" losing in the actual primary. What we actual saw was Sanders losing in the polls, and then Sanders losing in the primaries.

Last edited by Do Not Taunt; 05-20-2020 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:59 AM
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I still feel that Biden is more electable than Sanders. But I agree that might no longer have been an issue. Trump is failing so badly that he's reaching the point that any Democratic nominee could beat him.

Looking ahead, I don't think a public health care system is going to be the big progressive issue next year. The problems we've had during this crisis were the result of a failure in political leadership not basic healthcare. I think the big issue will be economic recovery; we're going to need some New Deal like programs to get the economy moving again. And we're going to need to pay for all the money we've spent and we're going to have to spend for this.

Progressives need to stop trying to take Biden down and start working with him. Biden may not be a dream candidate but he had a strong record in Congress of shepherding bills through the system and getting them enacted as laws.
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:10 PM
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Why are you still holding on to the idea that policy positions are the most important thing for a president. I want a president that actually governs like a sane person. While Biden wasn't my first choice, he will bring sanity back to the white house. Give me a president that appoints smart, qualified people and listens to experts before making decisions. Bernie Sanders has never come close to enacting universal health care in 30 years in congress. If he were president he wouldn't miraculously get it done. If Sanders and the Democrats can actually get a bill through congress, I guarantee you that Biden, or any other Democrat, would sign it.
Very true. While volunteering on the Pete campaign, I talked with many voters who were Pete/Warren supporters or Warren/Pete supporters. They liked the wonkish approach to politics even though Pete and Warren’s policy positions weren’t identical.

I often gathered ballot access signatures with an Amy supporter and she frequently mentioned Amy/Warren and Warren/Amy voters because they really wanted a woman nominee even with the different policies.

And yes, while Biden will have his hands full and won’t be shouting from the mountain top about health care reform. But, he’ll certainly get behind it if something gains momentum in Congress. During all that debate time about fantasy health care policies, I wish Biden had brought up that he had a front row view of the bloodbath for the ACA. It’s not just as simple as just saying M4A polls well and thus it’ll be enacted immediately upon putting the hand on the Bible like it’s a Harry Potter spell.
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:38 PM
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And yes, while Biden will have his hands full and won’t be shouting from the mountain top about health care reform. But, he’ll certainly get behind it if something gains momentum in Congress. During all that debate time about fantasy health care policies, I wish Biden had brought up that he had a front row view of the bloodbath for the ACA. It’s not just as simple as just saying M4A polls well and thus it’ll be enacted immediately upon putting the hand on the Bible like it’s a Harry Potter spell.
Biden was also there for Bill Clinton's push for healthcare reform. The failure to pass anything was partially responsible for the 1994 mid-term debacle, which was probably the biggest shift in congressional politics in modern times.
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:45 PM
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Biden is a perfectly serviceable nominee that has an excellent chance at besting Donald Trump as long as he can stop massaging womens' shoulders and manage to not trip over his own tongue
This llama is a perfectly serviceable horse that has an excellent chance of winning the Kentucky Derby as long as he can manage to stop being a llama and be a horse instead.
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:01 PM
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Why are you still holding on to the idea that policy positions are the most important thing for a president. I want a president that actually governs like a sane person. While Biden wasn't my first choice, he will bring sanity back to the white house. Give me a president that appoints smart, qualified people and listens to experts before making decisions. Bernie Sanders has never come close to enacting universal health care in 30 years in congress. If he were president he wouldn't miraculously get it done. If Sanders and the Democrats can actually get a bill through congress, I guarantee you that Biden, or any other Democrat, would sign it.
Yes, this. Look, The President is not a dictator, trumps wishes notwithstanding. If Sanders was the president, he'd be no closer to getting his health plan enacted than he does now. Biden has a plausible and possible way towards some sort of UHC, something that could possibly get thru Congress. Even if the GOP retains a tiny majority in the Senate, Biden has a decent chance of getting a couple Republican senators to cross the aisle. Not to mention his Veep can break ties.

As 'wonderful" as Bernies plan was- it was never gonna pass Congress, Covid or no. In fact, if it did get passed, the mass chaos that would occur during the lead in period would be worse for America during this crisis- altho admittedly later on, when it all shook out the health plan would be magnificent.
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:50 AM
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Even the emaciated form of health care that is the ACA is in serious danger of being outlawed by SCOTUS. The fact that they delayed their decision until after the election makes me think that that is what they are about to do. Put one more ultra-conservative on the court and social security could follow. The problem isn't getting the president behind the progressaive (which I call social democratic) agenda but getting congress and the courts to agree.
The only reason the ACA was problematic in the courts was because of a national mandate that a person buy a product was incompatible with the Commerce Clause. All of the Justices (except for maybe Clarence Thomas) wouldn't have a problem with a nationally paid health care system, and definitely not social security.

But I want to push back at the OP's premise. It's one thing to say that you support a bunch of government spending as an emergency measure in the middle of a national, indeed world-wide, disaster. It is another thing altogether to say that people would support that as a matter of course in normal times.

So I'm not sure how a change of timing would have helped Bernie.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:22 AM
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Based on recent overtures from the Biden camp to the Progressive wing to more or less reshape the party platform* and overall direction as the campaign really gets going now (according to reports from reputable sources), I’d say both sides may get their cake and eat it, too. (Except for the hard-core revolutionaries, of course).

*I think this move was going to happen anyway, but, as the OP suggested, the coronavirus health crisis probably “primed the pump.”
.

Today’s 538 chat is about this.
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