"Elizabeth Warren Retreats From Medicare for All" Good for her campaign?

Hard to say.

It does make me more likely to vote for her, since it signals that she is willing to be pragmatic and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but still has the right goals in mind. But I’m probably not the audience she is aiming at.

In the primary I think it depends on the staying power of Sanders. If it evolves into a two person race of Biden vs Warren, I think it probably helps, since even with a moderated message, she is still the better choice for the activist left, and this softening of her views might make moderates less worried about voting for her. But if Sanders stays in, then she may find herself squeezed with activists seeing her as not a true believer and sticking with Sanders, while the moderates stick with Biden.

In the general election, anything she can do to shift to the middle will probably help her. After 2016, no liberal is going to decide to stay home out of spite just because the Democratic candidate is not radical enough. The way we lose is if the Republicans can portray the Democrat to be just as dangerous as Trump. Unfortunately, whether or not she moderates her tone, the Republicans will use previous sound bites paint her as a communist radical looking to abolish capitalism and turn us into Soviet Russia, so I’m not sure how much good it will do.

Repeating a little from what I said in the “Hee Haw …” thread but …

First - if this had been what she went with in the first place it would have been fine or at least not far from it. Her timeline is unrealistic but the idea that step one is to support the ACA, expand real Medicare (what we have now that people are most content with) as a buy-in option, and have some public buy-in option available to all, with step two giving a few years for those plans to simply outcompete the privates in the marketplace as consumers/voters see it is a better value, is a good one IMHO. The timeline is unrealistic in several ways … reality is that there would be just one or two year of experience with a plan which will without question have initial implementation hiccups before she says she’d move on “true MfA”, too soon for anyone to be convinced of anything … and it commits all of her battle of the first term to healthcare, which really is not the only or even single most pressing issue we face as a country and as a world leader. Yeah yeah we can do more than one thing at the same time but big battles take resources and attention both of which there is only so much of. Climate change matters more, for example, and many others at least as much.

Second, the damage is to a large degree done. Her all in embrace has shown how poor her judgement is, in many ways on many levels. Looking for a second merely tactically she made the bad choice to move as hard to revolutionary progressive as she could … but still failed to get Sanders core to leave him (they won’t) while pushing away all the less revolutionary progressives to center left folk who were coming to her as more electable than Biden (as Biden has … not been inspiring confidence). I’m in that group and I now see her as a much riskier choice than she was before this embrace. Tacking back now does not undo that. I now see Sanders as maybe a less risky choice than her and I see him as a very risky choice indeed.

Now maybe enough just haven’t been paying attention yet and she can successfully play this way to get there over time as a public option proves itself to the public as what she always intended, not as flipping around in response to perceived election needs? Not sure. Iowa has been paying attention and I think there at least this will end up having her now both lose some progressives to Sanders while not regaining any support that has gone to Buttigieg.

The question is if this will be perceived as fine-tuning the details of the plan or flip-flopping. If she can sell the former she is a better politician than I think she is.

I agree. A skillful politician will be able to message this as “Look, I haven’t changed my position, I meant this all along.” Let’s see if she can make this “retreat” appear more as a clarification. And it’s likely that, yes, the fact that not many people are actually paying much attention yet nationally may help her with this. I don’t think this is the ship-sinker many think it is.

Did I really believe that Warren, were she to win in 2020, would not compromise her UHC position when it finally came time to legislate and get it done? Did I fuck. Honestly, did anyone?

The problem being that there is plenty of pretty direct evidence of her arguing against those who supported policies closer to her new position. Her position wasn’t just buried as a platform statement on her campaign website with some mentions at campaign events. She dueled with other candidates about it indirectly through media statements. She argued with them during debates. Those candidates have every reason to bring it up when the bulk of voters are actually paying attention. Warren basically spoonfed them convenient video clips for their attack ads. As long as Sanders, is in the race he also has reason to attack her for abandoning Medicare For All.

I don’t think ignorance is going to help her much on this one.

If you have to ask, you probably didn’t.

This could be very disconcerting for the Warren crowd. They are very concerned about flip flops about healthcare. Very very concerned. At least when Buttigieg supposedly does it.

This will give the image that Warren is someone who flips on an issue based off of polling. How can you count on her to deliver something if she backs off just because it’s not popular at the time?

You responded to the one sentence I wrote that wasn’t phrased as a question. :wink:

So a politician panders when it seems productive and panders less when that seems productive. Seems typical.

Did anyone? Yes I am fairly confident that some believe the revolutionary progressive mindset that compromise is failure, better nothing than compromise, better to burn down the building than to compromise. These are the people on the Left who view Obama as a failure. Compromise means you did not fight hard enough is all.

Cynicism about promises to do the impossible is of course realistic. If all voters were realistic Sanders and Warren would not have the support they have. I don’t bank on voters being realistic. Support is often about hitting the right emotional connection notes, be it channelling anger or hope or other.

Making promises to deliver the impossible while demeaning those who come up with ambitious, still hard to pull off, but more possible plans (which I believe expansion of Medicare, a public option buy-in, as a next step, building and supporting a very successful first steps ACA, is) as just not willing to fight hard enough, because what we have now with the ACA is a dysfunctional and cruel thing, as just not having the guts to stand up for them, as supporting only Medicare for all who can afford it? (If you need me to find cites for her taking those stances I am pretty sure I can.)

And then when that message does not sell as well as you hoped tacking back to the positions you had derided? (Albeit with a tacked on impossible to deliver next step.)

It is a bad look. Again,* maybe* she can sell it.

As a Pete supporter that has been torched on Twitter by her nastiest trolls, I’m just making popcorn.

Good for her.

I doubt it’s bad for her campaign. People whose priority was Medicare For All didn’t have much of a reason to support her in the first place. One of the reasons it was a little vexing that she was becoming the avatar for all the funding/implementation conundrums (due to both some bad decisions on her campaign’s part, as well as weird media decisions like devoting every debate to non-presidential issues like the exact content of a congressional bill) was that she was never the definitely-do-M4A candidate. That was, always has been, and always will be Bernie. Warren avoided healthcare altogether for months, and made it clear that it was a secondary/tertiary issue after things like corruption.

This flip-flop is like going from “I will give every American a unicorn” to “I will give every American a pink pony.”

Some might think switching from magical characters to unfortunately dyed non-magical characters is a big plot swing. Others may not.

Either way, it’s a horse of a different color.

The problem with a flip based on the polls is that it is incoherent. She’s produced this huge plan, and couldn’t see the serious flaws with it? She couldn’t anticipate the criticism? But as soon as the polls look bad she abandons it? Does she not have any confidence in her work? Surely she has already considered the objections, given that they are obvious and not small matters. So either way, her judgement looks bad.

But this is just the first in a string of bad ideas. Her first serious proposal for the ‘Green New Deal’ to fight climate change is… A 182 billion dollar program to rebuild public housing. Because weather stripping and solar panels. A cynical use of climate change to push a left-wing agenda, which even Mother Jones called her out on.

Her tax policies are being ripped apart by economists on the left and right. Is she going to bail on that too? She needs those 70% tax rates, wealth taxes, and all her other revenue collection schemes to pay for even 10% of what she is promising.

The thing is, all of her ideas involve ‘radical restructuring’, because she’s a ‘tear it all down and rebuild it the right way’, person. Small changes on the margin are not her thing. But no one’s looking for a bleemin’ progressive revolution in 2020. The economy is roaring, unemployment is low, wages are rising for the middle class and billionaire wealth is declining. That’s not a formula for electing a revolutionary.

Cite? Or are you just speaking colorfully?