The Democratic debate

It’s dispiriting; the only bright spot is that the moderators are asking good questions and enforcing the rules pretty strictly. However, 15 seconds is not a long enough period to answer.

My second thought: I think that, if the average Democrat is watching this show, then both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have lost their possibility to be Presidential nominees. They are coming off as extremists, and the other Democrats, who are distancing themselves from this pair, smell blood, and are coming in for the kill. The pivotal issues are the views that Americans should be forced into a national healthcare system and whether illegal immigration should be illegal—i.e., a criminal act. Sanders and Warren (and some others) seem to favor completely open borders. And yet they claim that this will not incentivize illegal immigration. No candidate seems to realize that not all immigrants who claim asylum are really persecuted in their home countries versus seeking economic opportunities.

So far, there’s no candidate that I’m excited about, but of course I’ll vote for any of these Democrats over Trump.

It’s only halfway through the debate, but I’m weary and depressed.

Give your take below.

168 Comments

  1. Posted July 30, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Trump is going to get a second term. I am super-depressed. The Dems are idiots. Do NOT scare the voters with radical programs. Just offer sanity and civility. And they will come.

  2. sshort
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    This format isn’t a debate. I couldn’t do more than ten minutes. I’ll wait for the recap. Then cry myself to sleep.

  3. rickflick
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I was looking for the live stream and couldn’t seem to find it. Finally I found it, I think, and sat through 5 commercials on what was supposed to be a live program. That doesn’t make sense. I’ll wait for the recap.

  4. Meredith Buckley
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Same take as you. Wondering your thoughts on Pete?

    • Posted July 30, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      I think he’s the smartest of all the candidates but lacks experience. He needs to do something to distance himself from the pack, but I don’t know what that would be.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 30, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        He could come out of the closet and announce he’s a proud gay man — oh, wait, that would only distance him from the pack were he a Republican officeholder who hadn’t been busted on a morals rap first. 🙂

      • Jimbo
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

        Reply to his very first question in Chinese like Beto did in the last debate in Spanish. Lock in the Asian vote. Or find some other way to pander to minority demographics to get some votes while simultaneously alienating the majority of voters. The Dems are hopeless. Incorrigible and implacably uncharismatic.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

          ‘Spoze it’s no way to appeal to the demographic that voted for Trump solely ’cause they’re sick and goddamn tired of having to press 1 for English.

      • Hunt
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        Reenact A Chorus Line as a one man show?

        A joke, just a joke. Jeez.

    • eric
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      I started watching halfway through, and I thought he got practically no air time. Outside of this debate, I like him. If I were to judge him by this debate, I’d have to say he was a complete nothingburger.

      Sad to say, but Marianne Williams sounded better than most of the serious candidates. One of them needs to pull her in as a media consultant or speech writer after she drops from the race.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        She’d make a great ambassador to the duchy of Oprahdom — or maybe Tralfamadore. 🙂

  5. DW
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I thought the election was a pretty done deal when all of them raised their hand to giving free healthcare to illegal aliens. We haven’t even figured out how to pay for universal healthcare for all citizens. Providing free healthcare to anyone who hops the fence is lunacy.

    The democrats all seem to the focused on appeasing the twitterati, and that is a vanishingly small percentage of the populace.

    • eric
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      It’s not lunacy, its practicality. First, doctors and hospitals already have the obligation to treat anyone who comes into the emergency room. That isn’t going to change under single payer.

      Second, all the arguments re: preventative medicine vs. treatment apply just as much to illegal immigrants as citizens (i.e., it’s much cheaper to society, in the long term, to prevent rather than fix). So it’s going to be cheaper for you, the citizen, if hospitals prevent illegal immigrant medical problems rather than wait until they happen and treat them in the emergency room.

      Third, doctors and hospitals don’t want to, and ought not be, put in the position of immigration law enforcement. They don’t want to be checking peoples’ “papers” and making treatment judgments based on whether someone is carrying the right kind of ID card.

      I do think the dems need to offer a cogent immigration policy that actually controls the flow of immigration and gets away from the radical left idea of ‘let everyone in.’ They need to map out a path to citizenship or at least legal residence for the millions of illegal immigrants that have been living here for years, and acceptable rules for taking in or turning away new economic migrant applicants. That’s the way to get a handle on the number of illegal residents in our country, not denying those residents services that simply thrusts them further into poverty.

      • Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        Hi Eric. Good comments. But I am convinced that any candidate who doesn’t appease the likes of Ms AOC will be publicly pilloried as a Trump stand-in unless they argue for the melting of all borders.

      • darrelle
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        I agree with all your points.

      • Jim Danielson
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Hospitals are only required to stabilize the person to prevent immediate loss of life or limb (organs, etc) with emphasis on immediate.

        Many Americans are regularly turned away from hospitals because of inability to pay for problems that are not immediate life or limb threatening.

        Within that narrow definition, yes, hospitals are obligated to treat citizens and non citizens. (More than a few hospitals have ignored even this basic level of care, but it’s been based on ability to pay rather than citizenship.)

        Unfortunately debates (and twitter, TV news) can’t or won’t reflect nuance of policy, so we don’t really know what the candidates really meant. It’s like a bad poll answer that requires a lot of nuance but you can only answer yes or no.

      • DW
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        > It’s not lunacy, its practicality.

        So you are willing to pay for full cancer treatments for anyone who enters the country, legally or otherwise for the remainder of their natural life?

        Do you have any idea how much that would cost? Do you have any idea the amount of new healthcare infrastructure we would need to implement when the world learns that they can ship sick people en masse to the US for free? This summer, we’ve had more than 100,000 people PER MONTH sneak into the country. Do you have any idea how much that would grow if we put a sign on the door saying “Free healthcare”?

        Are you willing to give up your own medical care and that of your children while you pay for the medical treatments of the rest of the world?

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          DW

          “This summer, we’ve had more than 100,000 people PER MONTH sneak into the country”

          Where is this figure from DW? 100k people per month are getting past all your border controls & living freely without permission & papers in the USA? Including those who stay once their student visas etc expire is it really that many?

          I was also under the impression that the USA needs all the labour it can get to make up for an ageing population & this group of people & their children are net contributors to the economy [legals & illegals]. Am I wrong? It doesn’t square with your picture:

          “Are you willing to give up your own medical care and that of your children while you pay for the medical treatments of the rest of the world?”

          • Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

            That any nation needs population growth to manage a one-time bubble of retirees is a canard, and nothing more than a pyramid scheme, as that influx will one day also be a bubble.

            Immigrants as whole, even when including educated professionals, are a net burden on our economy. Uneducated, unskilled illegal immigrants have a decided net negative impact — except as a low-wage peasantry to serve the leftist elite.

            • Carl
              Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

              My great-great grandmother, her children, and grandchildren chain-migrated here in the early 20th century. Most did not speak English or have any formal education. The little wealth they had accumulated in Russia was confiscated by the tsar, prompting the journey. They supported themselves here with manual labor and by creating opportunities for themselves.

              My numerous generation consists almost entirely of college graduates, many with post graduate degrees. Along the way there were a dozen WWII combat veterans.

              Some burden.

              • rickflick
                Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

                That characterization of the immigrant journey has been, approximately, repeated tens of millions of times since the beginning of the US of A, despite the continuous rejection by nativists. It’s who we are.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

                Some people are always lookin’ to pull up the ladder behind ’em, Carl.

              • Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

                So, nothing’s changed over the past century?

              • rickflick
                Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

                Not much. The nativists are still with us.

              • Jim Swetnam
                Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

                Thank you Carl, this was well said and it goes for me too, family history and all.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

              [1] Bubbles:

              “That any nation needs population growth to manage a one-time bubble of retirees is a canard, and nothing more than a pyramid scheme, as that influx will one day also be a bubble”

              Any nation eh? There are a number of European nations [EU] being hollowed out of their next generation of earners, carers & builders of the future as their young move within the EU to better paying areas with prospects – these nations on the southern & eastern fringes are seeking population maintenance NOT population growth. There will be no recovery for such nations without intervention & meanwhile the bubble of vulnerable & old can just stew – that’s Matteconomics I guess – letting corrections occur naturally & bugger the pain.

              “Is Illegal Immigration an Economic Burden to America?” Here’s THE ARGUMENTS PRO & CON – I don’t think your assertion that it’s a net negative changes my opinion [my assertion] that’s it’s an economic net positive, but at least I’ve provided some ammo in the link for you to examine for leftist elitism. LOL

          • DW
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

            https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration

            The numbers from CPB. Over 100,000 apprehensions on the Southwest Border in March, April, May, and June of this year. (Numbers for July, of course, haven’t been posted yet) This figure does not include the number of people who managed to sneak in without getting caught.

            To reiterate, those numbers are ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. If more people are required to “make up for an aging population”, the answer is to increase LEGAL immigration. The United States is currently accepting over one million people per year in legal immigration. I don’t know if that number is optimal. But I do know that simply invited people to jump the fence is not the answer. There are millions of law abiding people across the world that would very much like to emigrate to the US. They are following the rules and waiting their turn. If we need more people, we should definitely be tapping that resource before allowing in people who have already demonstrated that they have no respect for our laws.

            https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/yearbook/2017/table1

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

              I thought so DW, but I had to check first – thanks for the links. What you’ve done is described a huge chunk of people who hand themselves in at the border in these terms:

              “more than 100,000 people PER MONTH sneak into the country”

              – it’s the Red Scare all over again! Your hyperbole is lamentable.

              The figures you are using are for APPREHENSIONS + INADMISSIONS Y2019:

              Mar: 104k
              Apr: 109k
              May: 144k
              Jun: 104k

              We can exclude the INADMISSIONS as most/all? of those have done none of the “sneak into the country” that I’m questioning you about. Now how many of the APPREHENSIONS have done naughty, naughty “sneak into the country? then? Here are the APPREHENSIONS Y2019 at the link you supplied:

              Feb: 67k
              Mar: 93k
              Apr: 99k
              May: 133k
              Jun: 95k

              Taking the bolded February figure as an example…

              65% of the apprehensions were family units or unaccompanied minors [UACs as they are charmingly called] & the DHS acknowledges that due to families & UACs TURNING THEMSELVES IN apprehensions overstate illegal entry. DHS quote:

              “…large share of recent apprehensions are UACs & asylum seekers who are routinely apprehended & therefore have no impact on the number of illegal entries”

              NO IMPACT. NO SNEAKY SNEAKY INTO THE COUNTRY.

              Forbes, May 7th, 2019:

              It’s clear many of those entering today, unlike individual men coming for work years ago, are not trying to evade U.S. authorities. “Families, mainly from Central America, continue to arrive in ever-larger groups in remote parts of the southwest,” reports the New York Times. “At least 70 such groups of 100 or more people have turned themselves in at Border Patrol stations that typically are staffed by only a handful of agents, often hours away from civilization.” And all of these & many more are classed as APPREHENSIONS.

              The whole situation is a bloody mess & rhetoric & exaggeration don’t help. A good start would be to stop calling living, breathing children UACs and giving these people the opportunity to keep clean [able to wash their clothes & themselves & their children & various hygiene products supplied gratis]. I would stop ‘metering’ too which is pretty heartless.

              America. On the subject of the handling of your southern land border, you are a disgrace.

              • DW
                Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

                I don’t buy they’re “turning themselves in”, I have no idea where you’re getting that, unless you’ve completely bought into the “they’re all just refugees who need asylum”. But for the sake of argument, let’s say you’re correct and they’re showing up at ports of entry and turning themselves in. Why does that matter? What does that change about my point.

                If you’ve decided to give free health care for life to all of these people who didn’t apply for entry, but simply barged in, what makes you think that every cancer patient in the world won’t immediately show up demanding treatment? And you’re not going to deport them, right? After all, they’re ill. That would be inhumane, right?

                So now you have to pay for their treatment. And that means that they’re taking up hospital beds that won’t be going to American citizens. You realize that hospitals are a finite resource, right? Where are you going to get the doctors and hospital beds?

                What about the massive numbers of HIV infected people in Africa? Are you willing to pay for their AZT treatments? (Did you know that last month, several hundred AFRICANS arrived at Southern border and demanded asylum?) Do you have any idea how much that would cost?

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted August 1, 2019 at 1:03 am | Permalink

                @DW It isn’t just they who claim they are turning themselves in – the authorities also say this is the case, but you are resistant to your little narrative being exploded for the scary monsters crap that it is! They are doing it because of the policy of metering instituted at the border. You must already know about metering right? Those two drowned souls in the news recently were metered I believe. Numerous people have been metered five, six, seven times before taking the option of crossing between border entries & then holding their hands up.

                Giving me the figures for those that are caught & claiming that figure as people who are sneaking in & adding to your healthcare load [& other in-country economic costs] is preposterous doubletalk DW. How many unapprehended people “PER MONTH” are really sneaking into your country DW? 1,000? 5,000? 10,000? It is my guess that you don’t know & you don’t care just so long as you can get “100,000” to fly with a strong tailwind of lies.

                It simply isn’t true that more than 100,000 people PER MONTH sneak into the country like some ’50s Chinese invasion burrowing up from the other side of the Earth [do you remember those scares?] & you know it. That is the point I’ve being chewing away at in this thread & know I’m satisfied that you are a dishonest interlocutor. You do your good points no favours by mixing in toxic misrepresentations & outright lies.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      We haven’t figured how to pay for a lot of things. Wait, yes we have, more borrowing.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 1, 2019 at 12:04 am | Permalink

        Tax the rich?

  6. Posted July 30, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I am watching the Rockies get plastered by the Dodgers and listening to the blabbering in the background. Pete is impressive but the whole spectacle is meaningless to me.

    • Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      I was at my local A league baseball game. I might catch night no. 2.

      I am a Klobuchar supporter but I didn’t hear how she did.

      • darrelle
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:08 am | Permalink

        I missed most of it. Tuned in for the last 30 minutes or so. Only heard Klobuchar speak perhaps 3 times. The format sucked so 3 times amounts to about 1 minute, with interruptions. Her closing speech, uninterrupted was, I thought pretty good. I like her too but hardly know her yet.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        I’m a Klobuchar fan, too. But as the Boss said, you can’t start a fire without a spark, and Amy ain’t shown her coruscating side yet.

      • Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        I support Klobuchar, too. She was a bit stiff but made a case for being both a progressive and a pragmatist who can win next November.

        She had one of the best lines of the night:
        “… what I don’t like about this argument right now, what I don’t like about it at all, is that we are more worried about winning an argument than winning an election.”

  7. Joe Dickinson
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I think I’m saying what you already said about a 15 second limit: the moderator is interfering much too often in the ability of a speaker to make a coherent point.

  8. Posted July 30, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ve already tipping Harris to be the nominee. only one in the group was willing to change a position to win more votes.

    • Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      My money originally was on Harris based on her rise through California Dem politics.

      Her problem now is how rapidly she switches her positions back and forth.

  9. enl
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I made it about 15 minutes. needed something to take my mind and cheer me up. Reran a life expectancy calculator, got more depressed and considered taking up smoking. Now I am watching cat videos from a rescue group.

    I am sad for our future.

  10. cbranch
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    I missed tonight’s debate but I’ll be watching tomorrow; anyway I’ve already decided to vote for Andrew Yang, regardless of how he does in this theater performance. He’s the one with evidence-based proposals to actually address problems.

    Take a look at his website (https://www.yang2020.com/policies/); he’s got concise but detailed descriptions of more than 100 policy positions, each with defined goals and statements about what he would do as president toward achieving them.

    If he doesn’t make it to the White House, I hope it’s not too much to ask that whoever does has proposals that are as wide-ranging and even half as well-articulated as these.

    Plus – of course all of us Democrats will vote for him if he becomes the nominee, but he also attracts Trump voters – remember, they will be voting too, whether we like it or not!

  11. Ken Pidcock
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Republicans would seem guaranteed the presidency unless they run out of bait, which doesn’t seem likely. Congressional races will be interesting to watch. When people actually consider whether their particular asshole deserves another shot…

    • rickflick
      Posted July 30, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Do you think the Dems have a chance to take the Senate?

      • darrelle
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:10 am | Permalink

        I do. If the “Senate Map” were as it is now and we were back in 2018 the Dems would retake the Senate. If the Dems can manage to turn out like they did in 2018 they’ll take it. It is definitely within the realm of possibility. Could fail too course.

        • Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

          Turn out is key. If fewer Dems had spent 2016 moaning about what a POS Hillary Clinton was, Trump would never have made the Whitehouse.

          This is what I can’t understand: We can outvote them, WTF?

          As the old saw goes: Dems want to fall in love. Republicans just want to win.

          • Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

            “If fewer Dems had spent 2016 moaning about what a POS Hillary Clinton was. . . .”

            Once I figured out that POS stood for “piece of shit” and not “point of sale” or “parent over shoulder,” I had to agree—that Hillary was one, not that the Dems should have spent less time moaning about it. 😊

            • Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

              I guess the whole purpose of this comment is to share your opinion that Clinton was a “piece of shit”. I don’t agree, but could you use less profane language here?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

                Prolly the same thing they told him at the seminary, too. 🙂

              • Posted August 1, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

                Actually, the whole point was that I really didn’t know what “POS” stood for and had to look it up. I probably should have written “Piece of s**t.” Sorry.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

          That is encouraging. Without the Senate, Moscow Mitch will put a freeze on legislation. A Democratic President will have his or her hands tied for at least 2 years. I think McConnell is as damaging to the fabric of the nation as DT. McConnell is so entrenched, his challenger, Amy McGrath, probably won’t defeat him. But, if she did…I’d be pleased as punch. Kentucky could save the nation.

          • darrelle
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            I would celebrate with a bottle of Macallan’s 15 year old if Mitch McConnell lost his Senate seat. Generally speaking hate has always seemed rather extreme to me and I rarely feel I dislike another human enough to warrant using the word. But it’s very clear to me that I fucking hate Mitch McConnell. I rank him as the worst person in the country. He beats Trump handily in my estimation.

            • merilee
              Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

              As Jon Stewart Would say in his turtle voice: ayup

              • darrelle
                Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

                LOL

                I miss Stewart. The best Mitch imitation ever. Pretty good at Lindsey Graham too.

              • merilee
                Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

                Lindsay fanning himself and saying i’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers.

              • merilee
                Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

                Trevor Noah does a good Trump though.

            • rickflick
              Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

              That Macallan’s sound real good to me right now.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been trying to get some serious reading done, but had CNN playing in the background. Around 9:20 or so I was watching when Elizabeth Warren hit John Delaney with a shot that had me doin’ my best imitation of Howard Cosell calling out “Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!”

    Twenty candidates over two nights is too unwieldy. Might be time for the Tim Ryans and the John Delaneys and the Hickenloopers and the Mother-earth Marianne Williamsons to take a powder.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      I think the next cycle will have a narrowed field. The narrower the better.

    • Carl
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:00 am | Permalink

      Ken, either your confirmation bias or my own is getting in the way of seeing things accurately. I think Delaney’s pointing out Warren positions that will turn off a great many voters (me for one) was dead on and an excellent reason to be running. Warren’s retort was ad hominem and unworthy of comparison with Ali’s memorable feat. Delaney was one of the few in this debate who rose in my estimation, though I agree his prospects are poor.

      • Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        Saw Delaney on Crossfire and was impressed. Seems Like a thoughtful, articulate legislator with reasoned
        Ideas. Never heard Of Him before the show.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        It was George Foreman who knocked Smokin’ Joe on his keister in that bout, Carl.

        Maybe it’s your confirmation bias for Ali showing. 🙂

        • Carl
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          You got me – anyway I’ll take your word for it. But it’s bad memory, not any form of bias. I’m a big fan of all four (Ali, Frazier, Foreman, and yes, even Cosell). As they say at a Night Watch funeral …

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, I’m a fan of all four, too, Carl — as long as we’re talkin’ about the affable George Foreman who made a comeback and flacked electric grills on tv, not the surly, brooding fella who faced Ali in Zaire.

            George Foreman went through the most dramatic metamorphosis since Gregor Samsa. 🙂

            • Carl
              Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

              You got me yet again, Gregor Clegain’s metamorphosis I would know, but had to look up Gregor Samsa.

              Foreman was truly awesome before Zaire. The way he demolished the Frazier and Norton when Ali had extreme difficulty with both led me to one of my few lost boxing bets. His long comeback after was perhaps the greatest in sport history, and as you say, the persona change was nearly as remarkable.

  13. jorgensen28ryan
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I’m asking this question because I am curious to what people think: what are you specifically looking for in a candidate that will excite you to vote for them? Is it a matter of these candidates having different policies, and if so, what?

    • rickflick
      Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think they would govern much differently from one another. I’m looking for someone who can beat DT, and who will have the best chance of uniting the country.

    • Adam M.
      Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Things I’d like to see in a candidate:

      Not beholden to corporations, lobbyists, or the wealthy; willing to raise taxes and close tax loop holes for the rich
      Will push hard for a public health care system for US citizens but not for illegal immigrants
      Will work to make environmental protections, especially pollution controls, more stringent
      Will agitate for the reform of our voting system so we can at least have approval voting or score voting, to allow the growth of third parties
      Will enforce current immigration law, including cracking down on the widespread H-1B visa abuse and employment of illegal immigrants that drive down wages for American workers. This requires a willingness to put society over business interests
      Will work towards a more merit-based immigration system and will work to eliminate birthright citizenship for the children of non-citizens
      Serious about cutting wasteful government spending such as our bloated military, failed programs like Head Start, etc. Balance the budget!
      Will invest wisely in infrastructure
      Will get us out of our pointless wars immediately, bring all the troops home, and not start any more pointless wars
      Will push for the acceptance of abortion, assisted suicide, and other progressive social reforms

      In some sense, a combination of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. ;-P

      • Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        I think your Venn diagram would eliminate almost all voters. 🙂

        I mostly agree but pick bones with:

        Repealing the 14th amendment to the US Constitution.

        Head start as a failure. (Do you have data on this?)

        Exactly which merits would you intend to allow into the USA? And why?

        These are sincere questions. Cheers.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        I read about Headstart some time ago and as I recall, results have been mixed. Gains made by minorities early on tend to diminish over time. However, it is still thought to be valuable, but perhaps not a sufficient means to improve long term achievement. Definitely not a failure.

    • Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Anyone who can beat Drumpf.

    • Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Aside from policy proposals that match my ideals? Someone who can win the swing states needed to defeat Trump.

      If I had my druthers, I would prefer to not replace one delusional/ unstable/ sociopathic individual in the White House with another. Unfortunately, the current Dem field has several of those.

      • Carl
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        I disagree strongly that many of the Democrat candidates are sociopaths.

        • Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          Delusional and/or unstable and/or sociopathic.

        • merilee
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          +many!

          • Carl
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

            Merilee and Matt,

            I learned from Johnny Carson that it’s not funny if you have to explain it, but my strong disagreement that many of the Democrat candidates are not sociopaths must be seen in the context of Matt’s statement that they are “delusional/ unstable/ sociopathic.”

            i.e.3 – 1 = 2.

  14. Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    What’s wrong with taxing the rich and Medicare for all? Sincerely interested in why the U.S. can’t have the same health benefits provided by most other developed countries. Between Citizen’s United and large monopolistic companies like Amazon dodging their tax burden, it seems fine to tax the 1% at 70 or 80% as used to be the norm.

    I generally agree with your fact based perspective. Can you share links or info explaining why you think Warren or Sanders aren’t viable? I think most are tired of reasonable but weak Dems who let the GOP push them around. It’s like the Dems are the smart nerds that GOP jocks shove into lockers. Maybe it’s why Berne is popular – He doesn’t seem to fit that stereotype.

    Perhaps I’m cynical, but I think the Dem candidate needs charisma and simple talking points that young lib voters support. Medicare for all is popular with all kinds of voters

    First post after many years of lurking, so please don’t hurt me too badly.

    • Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Young lib voters post to Twitter. They don’t vote, not in numbers like they should.

      Besides those voters tend to reside in CA, NY, and IL. We need voters in Wisconsin and Michigan to win because of the electoral college. Beating Trump by forty points instead thirty in California will results in exactly zero more electoral votes. Increasing Hillary votes by 10k in Michigan results in winning that state in 2016. 50k in PA and 50 k in WI and you won’t have Trump as president. Those are the people you need. Not the “woke”.

    • Adam M.
      Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      I got the impression that the key issue was that “Sanders and Warren (and some others) seem to favor completely open borders.”

      I think there’s nothing wrong with raising taxes and providing medical care to all Americans, but those candidates and others want to provide free medical care (and education IIRC) to all illegal immigrants. “How about fixing the problems facing Americans first??” is my thought, and I doubt I’m the only one.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 30, 2019 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        “completely open borders”

        I strongly doubt that. I think they are trying to signal their opposition to the current harsh treatment of immigrants and applicants for asylum. I’m sure they could be clearer though.

      • Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

        They don’t. Sanders’ position is actually to make illegal immigrants a less attractive source of cheap labour, but in real terms he’s for more border patrols and stricter requirements on H1-B visas.

        Warren’s position, decriminalisation, basically just means that if illegal immigrants are caught they get deported, but it is left to the civil rather than criminal courts – meaning that government doesn’t have the power to separate kids from their families the way it does currently.

      • Rita Prangle
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        From Eric’s comment above on providing medical care to illegal immigrants:

        “It’s not lunacy, its practicality. First, doctors and hospitals already have the obligation to treat anyone who comes into the emergency room. That isn’t going to change under single payer.

        Second, all the arguments re: preventative medicine vs. treatment apply just as much to illegal immigrants as citizens (i.e., it’s much cheaper to society, in the long term, to prevent rather than fix). So it’s going to be cheaper for you, the citizen, if hospitals prevent illegal immigrant medical problems rather than wait until they happen and treat them in the emergency room.

        Third, doctors and hospitals don’t want to, and ought not be, put in the position of immigration law enforcement. They don’t want to be checking peoples’ “papers” and making treatment judgments based on whether someone is carrying the right kind of ID card.

        I do think the dems need to offer a cogent immigration policy that actually controls the flow of immigration and gets away from the radical left idea of ‘let everyone in.’ They need to map out a path to citizenship or at least legal residence for the millions of illegal immigrants that have been living here for years, and acceptable rules for taking in or turning away new economic migrant applicants. That’s the way to get a handle on the number of illegal residents in our country, not denying those residents services that simply thrusts them further into poverty.”

        I agree with Eric, but the candidates need to EXPLAIN this to the voters, and I’m not sure how much can be said in 15 seconds.

        • darrelle
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

          Or if their rational explanations could win out over the sensationalized rallying cry of, “They want to make you pay for medical care for illegal immigrants!11!!(you know, those foreign rapists and murderers!)”

    • Roo
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      What’s wrong with taxing the rich and Medicare for all? Sincerely interested in why the U.S. can’t have the same health benefits provided by most other developed countries

      I think the biggest reason is that Americans would never agree to the restrictions placed on healthcare in countries with socialized medicine. (And ironically, I think that while the media is generally liberal and leans somewhat in favor of medicare for all now, they would also be the first out there presenting it as a dystopian horror story the minute people were denied various procedures. The expose stories would be endless.)

      The US is an incredibly individualistic country. In our healthcare, this means that individuals can wrack up astronomical costs for lifesaving procedures, pretty much knowing they will never be paid off. While people have many complaints about the current system, it does allow for that, regardless of one’s health status (age, end of life care vs. rehabilitative care, smoker status, obese vs. normal weight, etc.). So far as I know, this is not the case once a system is entirely socialized, and I think Americans would lose their collective minds once they realized this.

      In short, my answer is, “for cultural reasons”. A socialized system applied to an incredibly libertarian population is going to have some serious issues.

      • Jim Danielson
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        “In our healthcare, this means that individuals can wrack up astronomical costs for lifesaving procedures, pretty much knowing they will never be paid off.”

        Which means for the most part the system is largely socialized but does so in such an inefficient manner that it costs twice other systems while not providing care for a significant portion of the population.

        I would suggest the problem is not just cultural, it’s health care lobbyists and propaganda designed to misinform the public.

        • Roo
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          I would argue it does not, because right now hospitals are the one footing the bill for patients who don’t pay. You can love hospital administrations and CEOs with the enthusiasm of Ayn Rand or think they are evil incarnate – but the general point is the same – they are a different, capitalist-based system. Yes, there is some federal funding involved but a lot of it is private. Shifting to medicare for all would take away that capitalist element and leave the federal government responsible for the entire bill. Again, whether you think the machinations of big hospitals are clever or horrid, they’ve developed their own convoluted systems for dealing with the high amount of debt they take on. Socializing medicine would shift it to the government.

          • Jim Danielson
            Posted August 1, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

            Hospitals pass those costs on to those who can pay, including the insurance industry, those who pay cash, Medicare or tax write offs. They all pass the costs on. In the end the costs are distributed to the consumer and taxpayers.

            Economics 101.

            • rickflick
              Posted August 1, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

              That’s probably true. But what a screwed up system! And what about the enormous middleman problem? Billions of dollars being circulated from insurance payments to the service providers and indirectly to the destitute. And what kind of primary care is the emergency room? What happens to preventive maintenance? What a screwed up system!

      • darrelle
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        What restrictions are those? Can they be any worse than the restrictions the average USian already experiences? We in the US, or a sizable percentage anyway, are plain ignorant if not stupid about healthcare. But statistics over a long period of time all point in the same direction. Almost all other wealthy nations, and plenty of not-wealthy nations for that matter, do better than the US on healthcare from costs to outcomes.

        We are supposedly the bestest most awesome, most powerful nation on Earth, . . . and we can’t figure out how to do healthcare as good or better than all those other nations? Even with all those examples to study? We are barbarians.

        • Roo
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          Restrictions can include waitlists, especially for specialists; denial of care if you do not make certain lifestyle choices (stop smoking, lose weight, etc.); denial of end of life care that is not palliative (just try running that one by senior citizens, who tend to be a formidable voting block); and denial of care for rare, expensive ailments (Remember that cute Guinness Book of World Records postcard kid, Craig Shergold? His brain cancer was only terminal in Britain, after he became famous he was flown to the US for a successful experimental treatment in Virginia.)

          I’m not doling out moral advice on whether it’s better to save the many at the expense of the few or whether the individual represents the whole and should always be a primary concern. Such is the stuff of long philosophical debate. What I am saying, however, is that I think people would go nuts if you tried to impose such a system here. Then the federal government would either be demonized / voted out; or expected to provide the type of care that people get in a capitalist system, which would be financially untenable. There are pros and cons to both ways of doing things, but I don’t see Americans adjusting well to a socialized system.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        So Sarah Palin’s Obamacare “death panels”?

        • Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          I’m ok with that. Somebody has to cut costs somewhere. The spending we do in the last few months of life is obscene.

        • Roo
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          I wasn’t following politics during the Palin era, so I’m not familiar with this. But, I think I laid out my views relatively clearly above, you can agree or disagree with what I’ve said there.

  15. Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Six months ago I told people I thought Trump had a 55% chance at a second term. I’m thinking I was too low. I want to know what happened to Warren. She went from a fierce inquisitor of corporations to free health care for fence jumpers. Free college for everybody? How about ensuring that HS graduates are more functional first?

  16. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Democrats need to sweat the policy differences among their candidates all that much. US presidential elections involving an incumbent almost always boil down to a referendum on the incumbent’s first-term performance — as happened when voters turned James Earl Carter out of office do to the Iranian hostage crisis and general malaise, and as happened when they turned Poppy Bush out as an out-of-touch aristocrat during an economic recession (the only two incumbent US presidents to lose their bid for reelection during any of our lifetimes).

    Donald Trump’s performance in office has been horrid. Notwithstanding a churning economy (at least for some) he’s flat-lined with an approval rating of just 40-43%, and a disapproval rating of 10 to 15 points higher. No way in hell does he have a path to getting 50% of the vote in 2020.

    Given that circumstance, the key to Democratic victory is to avoid nominating another Hillary Clinton — which is to say, a candidate whose own approval rating Trump and his Republican attack-machine can drive even lower than his own through what’s undoubtedly going to be the ugliest, most-divisive, most-negative presidential campaign in modern American history. To avoid, that is, letting Donald Trump creep within cheating distance of victory again (as Mayor Pete put it in the debate tonight).

    That, and convincing voters in swing states not to throw their votes away on the likes of Jill Stein or Gary Johnson again.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      “due to” — I hate homonyms.

    • Carl
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      Though Buttigieg is young, he seems like the only one outside the no-hopers (Klobuchar possibly excepted) with maturity and toughness to prevent the rancorous campaign you predict. I can see him handling Trump insults with aplomb and making Trump look bad in contrast. He’s not going to convert the “Trump base” – nobody is. But where it counts he will win people over.

    • Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      And, as you know of course, Trump has done nothing for the economy except roil things with tariffs.

      I just updated this graph and it doesn’t look any different, except that the (necessary) flattening as the UR approaches its logical minimum has become more prominent.

      • darrelle
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        There you go again with the facts.
        🙂

  17. Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Marianne Williamson. Wow. What a flake.

    • Posted July 30, 2019 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Retract that. Sorry.

      • Deodand
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:05 am | Permalink

        Given that she’s an Anti-Vaxxer, I’d say the charge stands.

        This blog post says it all:

        “No, Marianne Williamson is definitely antivaccine. She can deny it all she wants, and she might fool those not familiar with antivaccine misinformation, pseudoscience, and logical fallacies, but she doesn’t fool me, and she doesn’t fool anyone who is familiar with the tactics and tropes of the antivaccine movement.”

        https://respectfulinsolence.com/2019/07/25/marianne-williamson-is-antivaccine/

        • Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          Yeah, you’re right. I retract my retraction.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 30, 2019 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      I thought she made a few good points. Not that I’m any kind of fan.

    • Carl
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      A lot of people probably had that reaction to Sanders and Harris as well.

  18. David L Jorling
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    During the post election coverage on MSNBC, Steve Kornacki had charts on 4 issues. Like medicare for all, decriminalizing illegal immigration, and two others. The majority of Dems supported all of them, some by big numbers. Then he compared where the general electorate stood, and a clear majority opposed each, by wide margins. If the Dems nominate any candidate that supports any of the “free stuff” proposed by progressives, Trump may win by a landslide.

    • eric
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Primaries are always about swinging wide (i.e. more left if you’re dem, more right if you’re GOP). Then whomever wins the candidacy will come back towards the middle for the general election run.

      At least, that’s the standard strategy. My completely uniformed guess is that Sanders won’t follow it, and Biden and Klobuchar don’t have to since they’re already in the middle, but most of the others will.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      How in the world does someone who lost the last popular election by nearly 3 million ballots, with just 46.1% of the vote, and whose popularity has NEVER been that high again since taking office — and for whom 52% of American voters now say they will absolutely never vote — have a path to a “landslide”?

      Could be he gets close to the same mid-40s number again, drives his Democratic opponent’s popularity down to near his own through constant attacks, and keeps it close enough that his hostile foreign friends can put him over the top in the electoral college again — but a “landslide”? No freakin’ way.

      Ain’t enough animus toward immigrants in this nation to accomplish that.

  19. merilee
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t find it all that depressing. nobody is a total moron-even Williamson have a couple of decent points but certainly not my fave. I actually like Elizabeth Warren more than I used to, but Mayor Pete is still my favorite. The new guy from Montana isn’t bad. Too tired to elaborate And apologize for my lousy left handed typing

    • darrelle
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:20 am | Permalink

      I agree. Not sure what all the negativity is about. Perhaps this is why the Dems lose so often. Their voting base is chronically depressed.

      • merilee
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

        ✔️

  20. Carl
    Posted July 30, 2019 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I will not vote for Sanders or Warren. I detest their positions. I suspect a lot of independents and Republicans who dislike Trump, may still vote for him given the alternative of one of these two. I could vote for Biden, but I think a serious stumble is in his future, and I hope it happens before he gets the nomination. I think that is highly probable.

    Buttigieg is head and shoulders above all the other candidates in intelligence and the way he speaks – calmly, forcefully, confidently, and logically. He would slaughter Trump in a head to head debate. I don’t like a lot of his policy proposals, but even in this aspect I like him better than most of the others. And maybe he’s smart enough to moderate some as time goes on.

    • Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      I did not watch but I am encouraged by your take on Buttigieg. To “slaughter” Trump in a debate, he (or anyone else) will have to have withering zingers for Trump’s bullshit.

      • Carl
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        How about intelligent, mature zingers?

        This one made me laugh out loud.

        Buttigieg is Mr. Smooth and won’t let Trump fluster him.

        Something to notice in the two “debates” so far is how Buttigieg avoided interrupting and looking desperate like so many of the others.

        • Carl
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          P.S. The great Zinger starts 38 seconds in.

          • rickflick
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

            He’s so smart and likeable.

        • merilee
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          I LOVED that Pete and Jimmy clip, especially his response to the Alfred E Newman picture saying that maybe he’s getting Trump to read a book.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          One thing: When he becomes president, what will be his nickname? Buttigieg is a bit awkward. President Pete doesn’t quite make the grade either. He’d need a handle.

          • Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

            Full name – Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg – so perhaps PPMB or PMB, in the JFK tradition.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      … I suspect a lot of independents and Republicans who dislike Trump, may still vote for him given the alternative of one of these two.

      If Trump wins another term, anyone fool enough to have voted for him will get just what they deserve: an orgy of corruption and rapacious self-enrichment the likes of which no western democracy has ever encountered before. With his bizarre and repugnant behavior, the Donald has pretty much shot his wad for the “Trump Brand” in any western democracy. His golf courses and businesses have emptied out; his name has been torn down from hotels and buildings.

      But he has cultivated friends in dictatorships around the world. A Donald Trump unleashed from even the need ever to run again for reelection will happily trade-off America’s best interests to such despots in exchange for present and future consideration, the Emoluments Clause be damned.

      People who vote for Donald Trump for a second term will learn the same hard lesson learned by graduates of “Trump University,” learned by early buyers at Trump’s bust-out condominium projects, learned by former business partners and subcontractors and employees he’s left holding the bag, learned by US banks that have lent him money, learned by the whole of Atlantic City, New Jersey, during his casino fiasco: Donald Trump is a stone-cold conman whose only allegiance in this world is to the greater wealth and fame of Donald John Trump.

      Hell, even Trump’s ostensible racism and xenophobia are largely a pose, a ruse to rope in the suckers for one last long con.

      • Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        As usual Ken – a very good summary of my thoughts.

      • Carl
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Agreed – in spades. I still won’t vote for Sanders or Warren.

        As bad as Trump is, it’s not clear to me these “democratic socialists” wouldn’t do more harm in the long run. I’m hoping my fellow registered Democrats surprise me and provide a more palatable choice.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          You must be kidding. A democratic socialist as president wouldn’t get very far with a divided congress, a divided populace, and a Supreme Court mostly picked by conservative think tanks. Bernie or Warren wouldn’t be able to advance socialism much farther than to reverse all of Trump’s executive orders.

          • Carl
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

            You may be right. That line of thought does provide escape from such an unattractive choice.

            Using that sort of logic, I once felt abortion rights were so secure that there was nothing to worry about in the blathering of various pundits and politicians.

        • Jim Swetnam
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          You despise Trump, yet still would not vote for Sanders or Warren if that was the only choice? Seriously, sir, you sound like part of the problem. As Ken said, and I paraphrase “On your own head be it.”

          • Carl
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

            I despise all three – at least as far as what they would like to do in the case of the two Democrats, no such qualification for Trump.

            I’m hoping to make other Democrats realize how distasteful a Sanders or Warren presidency would be to so many, those who might vote for Trump given that alternative. Help make Sanders or Warren the nominee then a second Trump term is on your head.

      • darrelle
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Ayup.

      • Randy Bessinger
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately, the rest of us who didn’t vote for him will be holding the bag.

  21. Jon Gallant
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    But when Bernie becomes President, not only will the planet become habitable, but we will all get free eyeglasses and hearing aids; all of health care, pharmaceuticals, and energy production will become non-profit; government jobs will be guaranteed for every applicant;
    and all student debts will be forgiven, and everybody will also be given a pony.

    Despite my own nostalgia for the YPSLs of yesteryear, I have to conclude that Bernie is starting to give utopia a bad name.

  22. Carl
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Ken, either your confirmation bias or my own is getting in the way of seeing things accurately. I think Delaney’s pointing out Warren positions that will turn off a great many voters (me for one) was dead on and an excellent reason to be running. Warren’s retort was ad hominem and unworthy of comparison with Ali’s memorable feat. Delaney was one of the few in this debate who rose in my estimation, though I agree his prospects are poor.

  23. Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    What’s wrong with a policy whereby people who illegally cross into America will only be prosecuted if they then try to take out private health insurance to cover their medical costs?

  24. Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    What’s wrong with a policy whereby people don’t have to repay college loans they were responsible for agreeing to when they were young adults, but will have to pay reparations for things their great-grandfathers did?

  25. Carl
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    …I think that, if the average Democrat is watching this show, then both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have lost their possibility to be Presidential nominees. …

    I sincerely hope you are right. If either does get the nomination, the average independent or Trump-hating Republican may decide Trump is the lesser evil.

    • Jim Swetnam
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Honestly, sir, I cannot imagine a Democratic candidate that would be worse than Trump. Bernie and Liz are not even in the same universe. This sounds like SDS, Socialism Derangement Syndrome.

      • Carl
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but is your thinking representative of independents or Republicans who don’t like Trump? Feel free to label their and my mental state while you enjoy Trump’s second term.

        • Jim Swetnam
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          We will never be able to win over everyone. If anyone can still consider voting for Trump after the last three years then I doubt that it is worth bending over backwards, wasting effort and resources, or compromising our own values to go after their votes. This is not “purity” speaking here, it’s practicality. At the moment, clearly just being not-Trump should be enough. If that’s not enough for you sir then by all means join the deplorables.

          Some time ago someone on this site posted a comment saying that they had voted for Trump. Was that you sir? If not please forgive the insult, my memory is full of holes these days.

          • Carl
            Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

            I did not vote for Trump. It’s unfortunate there are not more people here who did so we could understand how they think instead of imagining it. Not all of them are mindless goons.

            I am not talking about “winning over everybody” – I’m talking about winning over the possibles, it won’t take that many. It is not bending over backward to reject Sanders and Warren because they will likely insure a Trump reelection. It’s hubris to think being anti-Trump is enough to not vote for him. People didn’t realize how distasteful many found Clinton. It’s the same with Sanders and Warren and too many will choose Trump over either of them, or not vote at all.

  26. Richard
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    I hope Biden does well tonight, but I’m afraid he’s a choker. Maybe if enough people vote in the Democratic primary, the nominee will have a better chance of defeating that monster in the White House.

  27. Michael Fisher
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Scooby-Doo unmasks a Democratic candidate:

  28. Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Sanders and Warren (and some others) seem to favor completely open borders.

    Sanders actually doesn’t, and it was one of the issues used against him in his run against Clinton.

    One of the policies he supports is Visa reform, he sees the H1-B guest worker program as being a means of reducing American wages.

    He also supports increased border patrols, and ensuring that illegal immigrants get proper labour and union protections so that they aren’t used to drive down wages.

    Basically his approach is to hit the demand side of the immigration problem (Companies looking at immigrants as cheap and exploitable labour) rather than the supply side.

    Sure he’s in favour of making legal immigration easier and not breaking up families – but it isn’t exactly open borders that he’s calling for.

    • Posted July 31, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Alas, the right wing propaganda works, even on our esteemed host. What is painted as extreme left wing is fairly basic social democratic in most European countries. You can tell that by the focus on everything Sanders or AOC says, always nitpicking to find faults. But a Republican-lite like Biden, whose in the pocket of every lobby that bothers to throw money his direction are held up as “moderates”. Biden is no leader. The other countries might as well ask a random conservative backbencher in their own country to lead the way.

  29. Posted July 31, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    The pivotal issues are the views that Americans should be forced into a national healthcare system

    If you want universal healthcare, everybody has to be in it to make it affordable. You can’t have people opting out. Here in the UK, everybody who pays taxes pays taxes towards the NHS.

    I didn’t see the debate, but the above principle shouldn’t be controversial for anybody who supports universal healthcare.

    A related point is about whether people should be allowed private health insurance in addition to the national health insurance. Here, in the UK that is allowed. Personally, I can see no reason to ban it.

    and whether illegal immigration should be illegal—i.e., a criminal act. Sanders and Warren (and some others) seem to favor completely open borders. And yet they claim that this will not incentivize illegal immigration.

    Well if you have an easy way to get in legally, people are more likely to use it than get in illegally. One of the reasons why illegal immigration is on the rise is because people fear Trump closing the borer altogether. So they are coming in now while they still can.

    • eric
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      If you want universal healthcare, everybody has to be in it to make it affordable.

      I don’t think anyone or any candidate disagrees with you. Of course if medicare (or something like it) is offered to all, that’s going to have to be supported by the tax base – taxes that every citizen will end up paying. The policy difference/question is whether we should allow private health insurance plans separate from that, which you can optionally pay for. Sort of like retirement; everyone pays in to social security whether you like it or not, and it’s up to you whether you want to privately supplement that.

      That might seem like a no brainer (what could offering the option hurt?), but AIUI the argument Warren and Sanders make against it is that these insurance companies are predatory, and will end up suckering people into equivalent or worse care for much higher fees going mostly to middlemen. Thus the “medicare for all + private” system would actually result in higher medical costs for society than just medicare for all. I’m not sure I’m entirely on board with that argument but that is, AIUI, the argument they make.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        The feasible first step seems to be a “public option” that would allow people to opt-in to a public healthcare system like Medicare.

        That’s the fight many of us thought Barack Obama abandoned too quickly in his quixotic effort to garner Republican support for the Affordable Care Act — you know, the healthcare plan with coverage for preexisting conditions, the plan zero Republicans actually voted for, the plan Trump and his lackey attorney general have won an initial court decision to have declared unconstitutional?

      • Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        That seems like a good argument for regulating health insurance but not for banning people from having it as well as their universal coverage, if they want it.

  30. Historian
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Most of the candidates made a major mistake in answering questions. The extended discussion of healthcare illustrates this. Much time was spent attacking the healthcare plan of opponents while defending their own. The reality is that the details of these plans are meaningless. If and when Congress seriously considers a universal healthcare plan (which may not happen for decades), it will be the congressional leadership that decides the details, not the president, despite the impression given by some candidates that the president can initiate a new plan by dictum.

    The wise candidate would not get trapped into defending the details that may never be considered by Congress. Rather, the candidate should say something like this: “I support universal healthcare as a right, not a privilege. I will work with Congress as well as healthcare experts to develop a plan that the American people will embrace, one that is both comprehensive and affordable. This is in contrast to Donald Trump and the Republican Party that in their cruelty want to take healthcare away from millions.”

    Such an approach, as vague as it may sound, is based in reality. It’s based on an understanding that a final plan, if enacted, will probably look very different from the candidate’s proposal and that the plan will unquestionably contain many compromises. Even more importantly, such an approach is aspirational and inspirational. I doubt that many voters were moved by the bickering over details. JFK, Reagan, and even Trump (in a most perverse way) understood the power of words properly framed. I think that Mayor Pete and, yes, Marianne Williamson were the most inspirational and, therefore, probably most helped by the debate. The rest of the candidates were probably not hurt or helped by the debates, at least after the passage of the few weeks. Americans need to be provided an alternative to Trump and Trumpism by a Democratic message of hope for a better country. Most of the candidates failed to do this.

  31. GregZ
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    The debate format is terrible and precludes any meaningful discussion. The questions tonight could have come from the Koch Brothers. The candidates got lost in the weeds instead of keeping the Big Picture in mind. I still think Warren is the best of the bunch.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/07/cnns-democratic-debate-questions-were-embarrassing.html

  32. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I wonder, do people here at the site ever find a need for sleep. Or for that matter, anything other than being on line.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Warren Zevon’s got your answer right here, buddy:

      • Jim Danielson
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        And now Warren is permanently ‘asleep’ because he didn’t like doctors.

        There might be a lesson in there.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Yes, that’s pretty awful but I think I got it.

  33. Marta
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    There are few–very few–people of voting age who have not already decided who they will be voting for in 2020. They are either voting for Trump, or anyone else.

    In that regard, it matters not very much at all who won or lost last night’s debate, which will already be forgotten by lunchtime.

    There are eleventy-two more Democratic debates to go, and all of them can be characterized as election theater.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      I don’t think that is true if there is a turndown in the economy or a major international crisis.

      • Marta
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Trump can crash the economy or precipitate an international disaster (and arguably, is well on his way to accomplishing both) and neither event will change 2020’s outcome. His poll numbers don’t move no matter what he says or does, and the people who despise him wouldn’t vote for him if he dropped $100 bills out of a helicopter.

        • Randy Bessinger
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          Not withstanding a “block universe”,who did we vote for? Did Trump win a second term.

    • Jim Swetnam
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      You are forgetting the people who do not vote at all, a large and untapped portion of the population. The Republicans have already harvested all of the racists and idiots who used to stay home, what remains is the youth, many of them who are disappointed and tired of being ignored (or villified like AOC)by the Dems, and those who have just given up hope in the system entirely. Democrats used to be very good at giving people hope and a reason to vote. We need to do it again.

  34. Bruce Lilly
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I’m disappointed in the Democratic Party’s general direction, which appears to be an attempt to attract and appease Trump’s supporters, and in the press, which has to date avoided asking the most important questions which would enable voters like me to evaluate the candidates.

    Trump has made many promises to his supporters, but has only delivered on one promise. He promised to build a wall on the Southern border and to get Mexico to pay for it. Hasn’t happened and won’t happen. Likewise for his promise to “lock Hillary up”. He’s made promises about health care, but done the opposite of what he’s promised. The one thing that he (with help from Pence, McConnell, and others) has consistently delivered on is turning America from a Democracy into a theocracy. Supreme court justices that have overturned lower court rulings about blatant religious symbols on public land (maintained at taxpayer expense), draconian misogynist anti-choice laws aimed squarely at getting that supreme court to overturn Roe v. Wade, a “human rights panel” focusing on “natural law” aimed at denying rights to LGBTQ+ individuals, his “Muslim ban”, funnelling taxpayer funds away from public schools and into the hands of predominantly religious “private” schools, etc. Trump’s main supporters are single-issue voters, and that issue is turning America into a “Judeo-Christian” theocracy.

    Polls about top Democratic voter issues, focus in media questions about climate change and health care (while legitimate concerns given the presumption of a democracy) are moot if a theocracy is established in which many Americans are relegated to second-class- or non-citizen status.

    It’s time to get all candidates on record with the type of questions asked of then-President George W. Bush in a famous interview: “What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are Atheists?”, and “Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are Atheists?”. Even a simple no-brainer question such as “Do you accept the scientific consensus that humans have evolved over time through natural selection, with no divine intervention?” would no doubt separate candidates with a rational fact-based approach from those who rely on unsubstantiated claims.

    Much of the damage done by the Trump/Pence administration cannot easily be undone (e.g. lifetime court appointments). It is therefore urgent to replace Trump/Pence with an administration which will work hard to reverse as much of the damage as possible.

    That’s the primary issue that will motivate me to vote for a candidate. So far, Yang may be the closest to that among the Democrats (and Sanders may be the farthest, based on his record as mayor of Burlington). The number of Democratic candidates that litter their remarks with “god” talk is concerning; I’m unconvinced that they will do much, if anything, to reverse the trend to theocracy.

  35. Randy Bessinger
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I did not watch but with all the talk of paying for things, was there any questions about the deficit? If as Cheney says, it really doesn’t matter, I guess we can pay (or really not pay) for anything (like tax cuts). I for one still worry about it especially if we hit a significant downturn in the economy.

    • Randy Bessiinger
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      “were” there any questions

  36. darrelle
    Posted July 31, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I missed most of this one. Caught the last 30 or so minutes and the closing speeches. Based on what little I saw . . .

    Warren went down on my list. The debate format was pretty bad and had people talking all over each other and Warren was by far the worst culprit. It didn’t look good. She was constantly demanding the floor and trying to take it whether the moderators gave it to her or not, or whether or not the person who did have the floor was speaking or not. I appreciate energy, I really do, but she was ranging into manic. Something she shares with Bernie. I think Warren is an invaluable resource to have working in some high level government position. I believe she is sincere in her passion to make the US better and she has already done much good work to that end. But, at least at the moment, I don’t favor her as president.

    Mayor Pete stays high on my list. For all the same reasons that got him there. At the moment I’d be pretty happy with Mayor Pete for president.

    The author really surprised me. She said many things that really need to be said and said many of them pretty well. I still don’t think she is a serious candidate but, echoing someone above, the candidates who make the short list might want to consider her as a consultant on their campaign team. I wouldn’t be surprised if she sees the biggest, relative, bump out of this debate though I’d be very surprised if she ever becomes a serious contender.

    Bernie stays the same on my list, near the bottom. I still don’t have any confidence that he has any decent plans to make any of his rallying points actually happen. There are practical matters to consider. All I get from him is pep rally. But, maybe that’s what really works with US voters. Actually, I’m sure it is.

    I am still favorable towards Klobuchar, though I still need to learn much more about her. I hardly heard anything from her last night, but what I did hear was decent. I thought her closing speech was in the top 2 or 3 of the night.

    None of the others inspired me enough one way or the other to note anything about them. Well, perhaps the governor of Montana. What little I heard from him I was fine with and I appreciated him getting irritated by Warren when they argued about her “no first use” policy. I also admire someone who doesn’t let a speech impediment keep them from saying what they want to say.

    • Carl
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I watched it all, and find your assessment highly accurate (i.e., it agrees with mine).

    • merilee
      Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Did the Montana guy have a speech impediment? I didn’t notice. Only a bit of a drawl.He was a pleasant surprise to me.

      • darrelle
        Posted July 31, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        I could be mistaken but it did seem like he had a stutter, or something similar. It came out clearly during an exchange with Warren when he apparently got irritated with her. He also seemed to have a bit of trouble with whatever it is during his closing speech.

        • merilee
          Posted July 31, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          You sure it wasn’t his Montana twang🤓 i’ll pay attention next time. He was a little bit “down home”, but seemingly smart and I liked him.


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