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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #70)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 04:20 PM

71. More of this loaded language.

 

The people I agree with are forthrightly advocating for their principles and explaining why the policies supported by opposing candidates are not as good.

The people I disagree with are trashing other Dems, which is counterproductive. Oh, and the people I disagree with are also sowing division and thereby helping the Republicans.

One question is whether the standard for a campaign in the primary should be "Don't say anything that the GOP can use in an attack ad in the general election." I don't agree with that standard. It's too restrictive of our debate.

If we were to adhere to that standard, however, it should be applied even-handedly, and it would constrain the establishment wing of the Democratic Party much more than the progressive wing. Consider this incident from the 2016 campaign:

Just a few days before the Iowa caucuses, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton stressed to voters in Des Moines just how unfeasible she considers her opponent Bernie Sanders' plan to pursue a single-payer health care system.

"I want you to understand why I am fighting so hard for the Affordable Care Act," she said at Grand View University after hearing from a woman who spoke about her daughter receiving cancer treatment thanks to the health care law. "I don't want it repealed, I don't want us to be thrown back into a terrible, terrible national debate. I don't want us to end up in gridlock. People can't wait!"

She added, "People who have health emergencies can't wait for us to have a theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass." {from "Hillary Clinton: Single-payer health care will 'never, ever' happen"}


If Bernie had won the nomination, this would have fit very nicely into a Republican attack ad painting Bernie as an irresponsible and impractical socialist dreamer, which would have been their main theme anyway. By contrast, I don't remember any GOP ads in the actual election that used Bernie's quotations to attack Hillary for not supporting single payer. I vaguely recall that there were some nonideological attack ads, using Bernie's criticisms of the nominating process. That's similar to the way McCain used Hillary's infamous "3:00 a.m. phone call" ad in a general-election attack ad against Obama.

So, in Hillary's statement about health care, was she sowing division and aiding Republicans? Was she trashing the progressives (Democrats and independents) who support single payer? Was she being counterproductive? My answer to all these questions is No. She was forthrightly advocating for her principles and explaining why the policies supported by opposing candidates are not as good. (She's open to the charge of making a straw-man argument by implying that Bernie wanted to repeal the ACA, thereby leaving millions of people uninsured, before enacting single payer. He said no such thing. But that's a separate issue.) Although I disagree with what she said, it's perfectly proper for a candidate in a primary to argue about such policy differences. It's at least as proper now, in the comparative lull between elections.

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SunSeeker Aug 2017 OP
4now Aug 2017 #1
riversedge Aug 2017 #54
shanny Aug 2017 #63
lapucelle Aug 2017 #102
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zentrum Aug 2017 #5
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #7
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SunSeeker Aug 2017 #70
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