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Tue Feb 12, 2019, 09:33 AM

Let Centrists unite with the Left for a change

The entire country can't be united in the foreseeable future. The madness on the right needs to be quarantined in an isolation ward until that infection runs its course.

The status quo in America over the last several decades has resulted in the Super Rich vacuuming up all of our nation's new wealth. Income inequality has gone through the roof. Our infrastructure has crumbled. Our deficits have exploded. Retirement savings for typical Americans have dwindled. Our health care costs have risen.

And now racism is rearing it's ugly head once again, stage center, in what once was called "polite society." That tends to happen when people are fearful and those fears are flamed by those who profit from people pitted against each other. Most Americans know our nation is on the "wrong track" even if the stock market is still thriving. So called prosperity is paper thin for the overwhelming majority of us, and the specter of our next Recession has begun to haunt us all.

The Right in America is either crazed or cravenly self serving. The Center is complicit in this trickle up economy. Let the Left lead now and maybe, just maybe, American capitalism can once again be saved from itself, like it once was in 1932.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 09:36 AM

1. Exactly. And there is one Senator from Minnesota not yet getting the message.

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Response to manor321 (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 09:52 AM

2. I'm keeping an open mind on her for now

There's a spectrum of the center left. Our next leader can emerge from anywhere on it, IMO. The key will be recognizing the coalition of ideas that must be forged at this point in our history, and governing firmly from within it regardless of where that candidate originally sat on that spectrum to begin with.

Wining is the first prerequisite. In terms of choosing our next Presidential candidate, their relative electoral strength is a valid criteria, as long as they can embrace the direction our nation must now take.

edited to add: Right now though I'm most drawn toward Warren, Harris, and Brown.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 10:04 AM

3. Sorry, but our farther left is mainstream these days,

they just don't know it, mistaking antagonism to mainstream for different principles and goals. But they literally don't claim a single goal or value that haven't been widely accepted among liberals for decades.

Sure, America has genuine farther leftists, with beliefs that are not common among mainstream Democrats and who see Sanders etcetera as mostly just variations within the mainstream, but they're too few and moribund to make themselves noticed these days.

In any case, what happened heading toward 2015 is that Democrats discovered the truth about each other -- that everyone else wanted MORE too. We'd been wanting bigger, farther reaching goals and strong statements of liberal principles for a long time.

But before then pollsters, deliberately and/or incompetently, had been asking wrong questions for a long time. They seriously undercounted and reported those of liberal and progressive ideology (requiring self-identification in an era when they knew liberal was a "dirty word", and their questions also seriously undermeasured commitment to Democratic ideals. And so they kept reporting, and ambitions were scaled back to what our party leaders, most of whom ARE very strong progressive liberals themselves, thought their voters would empower them to achieve.

Then suddenly, as I experienced it at the time, response mainly to the actions of "mainstream," "establishment" Elizabeth Warren astonished them and us by revealing how we really felt. Whether actually directly from that or, more likely, some bigger synergy it was part of because the time had come, all of a sudden I saw that I was far from alone in what I wanted, or in my happy, relieved excitement at the response to what she was achieving and calling for.

It was tragic that Senator Warren felt she shouldn't run for president, at least through the primary. I believe she'd go back and make a different choice if she could.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 10:16 AM

4. We can call it a mindset

I pretty much agree with your larger point. While there is a true centrist faction of Democratic leaders, they are now in a clear minority. They were more powerful as recently as 2008, when Senators like Baucus, Bayh, and Lieberman held more sway within our caucus.

In some ways I see our divide now breaking down more along the lines of Liberals who are looking straight ahead vs Liberals who keep looking over their Right shoulder out of fear they might slip out of step with America.

It wasn't long ago that the mere phrase "Medicare for All" was much more controversial among Democratic leaders. Not because they had much in the way of ideological resistance to it, but out of concern that Americans weren't "ready" for that progressive a stance. Same thing for pushing for a livable wage rather than merely a more nominal increase in the minimum wage. There are other examples.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 11:01 AM

6. The problem with the various medicare for all plans is NOT

at all that they're too "progressive," though. That's simply not true and a grave insult to people who've fought for years to make good, affordable universal healthcare happen. All those at the top of the Democratic Party who did, notably including Hillary and Nancy Pelosi, who will both go down in the history books (but not Sanders), are strong progressive liberals who are committed to true universal and affordable healthcare. No one exceeds their goals for the nation.

The ACA as passed was meant to cover far more people from the beginning, but the Republicans managed to set that back. Notably, it was supposed to have a single-payer option that all observers believed would ultimately substantially dominate American healthcare options. I.e., almost every would choose it. That's why that bastard Lieberman and the rest of the Republicans made killing it their biggest and most implacable goal.

They at least had an anti-government ideology behind that. No so BOTH of the left wing and right wing populist leaders, who knew how desperate people were and lied to magnify fears and suspicions about government to gain personal power. They both deceived their followers about the worth of the ACA and denied advances to come, and both claimed it must be destroyed right then to make way for something better and cheaper.

That our national healthcare system still stands in spite of efforts by both to turn people against it is due to its own excellence, strong support by consumers and business who are glad of it even in its unfinished state, and of course the ferocious battles to protect it by our Democrats.

Regarding what is more progressive, what would make "Mfa" plans genuinely more progressive than Medicare or the ACA would be removing for-profit providers from the system and going socialist like the VA. But we know that not only is that not doable right now, but please note -- most MfA supporters currently, astonishingly, want to destroy the VA and move our veterans into one giant government-controlled for-profit system that everyone has to belong to, no choice. !!! A facile image of understandable simplicity isn't progressive, it's extremist and would be both harmful to vets and profoundly disrespectful of the rights of the people to choose.

Btw, the VA is the best and most cost effective healthcare system by far in our nation, mostly just needs adequate funding for once, and directors who aren't committed to destroying it. To dismantle it would be so shockingly regressive that the Republican Party is already all in and out ahead with that goal.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 12:05 PM

8. Excellent perspective.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 12:38 PM

10. I respect your strong committment to universal highly affordable health care

I know that is the goal of almost all of our Democratic leaders past and present (though a few here and there may have been compromised to some extent by contributions from the private insurance industry.)

You and I (and others as well) disagree about the contribution Senator Sanders has made to this overall movement. I find it to be positive. I only note that because of your specific reference to him above. We don't have to agree on Sanders to agree on the progress our nation needs.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 10:53 AM

5. If it takes a Bill Clinton or a Barack Obama to win in 2020 I'll take it.

Congress writes all legislation anyway.

Winning is the only thing that matters.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 11:34 AM

7. Vox has good articles about the various Mfa plans

that everyone should read. Not all Mfa's are equal by any means.

We read Democrats’ 8 plans for universal health care. Here’s how they work.
https://www.vox.com/2018/12/13/18103087/medicare-for-all-single-payer-democrats-sanders-jayapal

Is employer-sponsored insurance really a good deal for workers? Company insurance is deeply entrenched and poses a big challenge to Medicare-for-all — but costs for those plans are on the rise.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/12/14/18117917/medicare-for-all-explained-health-insurance-deductibles

The “pleasant ambiguity” of Medicare-for-all in 2018, explained: Are we talking about single-payer health care or something else?
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/7/2/17468448/medicare-for-all-single-payer-health-care-2018-elections

As someone who's on Medicare, the last thing I want for everyone is to regress from the ACA to what I have now. Whatever comes next must be more affordable for all, 70% coverage plus deductibles, etc., will NOT do!, and must include the many advances and higher standards in healthcare support and delivery already achieved through the ACA which Medicare does not contain.

Not that I'm afraid all but some of the blue-dog Democrats won't be fully committed to just that. It's really starting to look as if the next, incremental stage of healthcare revolution begun with the ACA could be styled as "Mfa." There's really not much difference in what we'd see at our end; different labels, coverages expanded as they would be under the ACA, but both would still use for-profit providers and venders until we changed some of that.

Which means that, under any name, many of the dedicated and brilliant people who created and fought for the ACA, will be fully involved to make sure what comes next is what we need, and they always intended, it to be. Including able to withstand attempts to destroy it by having it declared unconstitutional. That may be a reason for rolling the ACA under Medicare, if there was legal protection or opportunity to gain.

However, realize that opponents absolutely would use the opportunity of transition to a new system to make that transition to something less, not more. Many Americans on both right and left have now been talked into the idea of having congress make the ACA better by replacing it. Just a vote in the house and then the senate if things don't go our way in 2020, and it could all be wiped out.

Further, and far larger, the anti-government right, always very wealthy and always with us, is determined to destroy Medicare itself by having all such programs interpreted as unconstitutional. This battle will continue under any name until a definitive victory by either side. Then it will start all over again. That battle is why it took over 70 years to get the ACA passed.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 12:07 PM

9. Great idea but, money.

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Response to jalan48 (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 02:27 PM

12. Whatever one may otherwise think of Bernie Sanders...

He raised tons of money through small online donations, setting records in the process. When average Americans see light at the end of the tunnel of under representation, and believe that there are politicians willing to step up and fight for ourinterests over big money, we can step up also.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 03:01 PM

13. I'm a big Bernie fan. My comment was about big money in our own party. I think these folks will

work behind the scenes to counter the popular resolve. That doesn't make them bad, they are simply looking out for their own self interests-lower tax rates. It's easier to support social issues because it doesn't affect the bottom line.

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Response to jalan48 (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 07:59 PM

14. Big money will always try to buy politicians

Given that our nation functions as a two party system, those shopping for political favors always know what doors to knock on with campaign contributions and the like. Many give to both party's candidates. Why not? Often it only buys them a chance to be heard out personally by whoever they contribute to on whatever matter concerns them, but that is more than 99% of us can count on.

On the whole Democrats are far less susceptible to big money influence peddling than Republicans, but no party is immune. Agreed, we have to get money out of politics to the extent humanly possible.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 12:39 PM

11. Fuckin' A!

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