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Fri Feb 14, 2020, 11:19 AM

There's no point in fighting Democratic candidates are wasting their time -- and hurting their chanc

There's no point in fighting Democratic candidates are wasting their time -- and hurting their chance
Democratic candidates are wasting their time — and hurting their chances — bickering over policies they’ll never get to implement.

It was a sight to behold: a former vice president, two senators and a former mayor on a stage in New Hampshire a week ago, arguing over the impossible. Would Sen. Bernie Sanders deliver Medicare-for-all immediately, as he promised to do? Would doing so double the federal budget, as former vice president Joe Biden countered? Should they maybe go with Medicare-for-all-who-want-it, as former mayor Pete Buttigieg suggested? It didn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but he has said it would put the United States on a “glide path” to something he called “a Medicare-for-all environment.” And what of the fact, raised by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, that Buttigieg tweeted a pledge two years ago to “indubitably” support Medicare-for-all?

Given what actually happens in the nation’s capital these days, the men and women on the stage may as well have been arguing over the price of unicorn at the local market and how they’d cook it. Set against the current political backdrop, the elaborate policy debates among the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination (Will college be free for everyone, or for everyone but the rich kids? Would a tax on wealth over $50 million be a flat tax or a progressive tax?) feel increasingly delusional.

t’s not just because President Trump, an incumbent in a strong economy, stands a good chance of winning a second term. Even if one of the Democratic candidates were to beat him in November, they would become president, not emperor. As such, they’d have to deal with the Senate, an institution where fast and sweeping legislation is difficult to pass in any scenario, to say nothing of one dominated by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Using tactics that push the limits of what’s acceptable, he has transformed the chamber from the “cooling saucer” the framers envisioned to a Sub-Zero freezer, a place where 300 bills passed by House Democrats don’t even merit debate, let alone votes, even with the insurance policy of Trump’s veto.

It’s healthy to debate policy, but Democrats aren’t doing it in a vacuum. Research shows that contentious primaries hamper a party’s performance in the general election. Candidates are bickering about blue-sky proposals — with Sanders supporters destroying backsliders, Biden invoking segregationists to insist that legislative compromise works and Buttigieg going after Biden for his vote to invade Iraq 17 years ago — but they’re having a semantic argument. The stalemate moots their differences. The next Democratic president will be lucky to seat a Supreme Court nominee. In a climate of such vicious and total partisan obstruction, the only real issue is electability.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/02/14/democrats-are-wasting-time-fighting-over-policies-senate-will-never-pass/?arc404=true

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Reply There's no point in fighting Democratic candidates are wasting their time -- and hurting their chanc (Original post)
usaf-vet Feb 2020 OP
TwilightZone Feb 2020 #1
Zorro Feb 2020 #3
usaf-vet Feb 2020 #2

Response to usaf-vet (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 11:32 AM

1. "Research shows that contentious primaries hamper"

In 1980, Carter's loss probably had more to do with Iran than the primary, which was no doubt contentious.

On the R side, the Reagan Bush primary was very contentious (Voodoo economics). Reagan won in November with Bush as his VP.

In 2004, the primary was very contentious, but is it a primary factor in why Kerry lost? Swiftboating comes to mind.

The Obama Clinton primary in 2008 was one of the most contentious in memory. Obama won and Clinton became his SoS.

In 2016, the problem was not necessarily the primary. It was arguably the aftermath.

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Response to TwilightZone (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 11:36 AM

3. Ted Kennedy's challenge to Carter also contributed to his loss

Chappaquiddick doomed Kennedy's chances to ever become president, yet it did not stop him from excoriating Carter during the primaries because he wasn't "progressive" enough. Thus we ended up with Reagan.

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Response to usaf-vet (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 11:32 AM

2. I tried to make this very argument a few days ago. With less detail but same basic point.

Article's summary: Democratic candidates are wasting their time — and hurting their chances — bickering over policies they’ll never get to implement.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1287&pid=516250

My summary: I don't see how any of the programs the other Democratic candidates propose would stand any chance of getting passed with McTurtle in the Senate and Trump in the White House.

FIRST, BEAT Trump.

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