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Sat Aug 12, 2017, 01:05 AM

The Bernie Bros and sisters are coming to Republicans' rescue

By Dana Milbank (Washington Post)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-bernie-bros-and-sisters-are-coming-to-the-republicans-rescue/2017/08/11/caacbad0-7e9f-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-b%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.ea73dd40681c
...
President Trump is woefully unpopular, feuding with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and other Republicans. The GOP can’t manage to repeal Obamacare or do much of anything. Voters say they’d like Democrats to run Congress.

But here come the Bernie Bros and sisters to the Republicans’ rescue: They’re sowing division in the Democratic Party and attempting to enact a purge of the ideologically impure — just the sort of thing that made the Republican Party the ungovernable mess it is today.

Bernie Sanders’s advisers are promoting a “litmus test” under which Democrats who don’t swear to implement single-payer health care would be booted from the party in primaries. Sanders pollster Ben Tulchin penned an op-ed with a colleague under the headline “Universal health care is the new litmus test for Democrats.” Nina Turner, head of the Sanders group Our Revolution, told Politico this week that “there’s something wrong with” Democrats who won’t “unequivocally” embrace “Medicare-for-all.”
...
But to force Democrats to take some kind of single-payer purity oath would set back the cause. Democrats need to pick up 24 seats to take control of the House, yet there are only 23 Republicans in districts won by Clinton — and only eight of those were won by President Barack Obama in 2012. There are a dozen Democrats in districts Trump won. In such swing districts, it would be suicidal to pledge support for something Republicans will brand as socialism.
...

----------------------------------------------

Dear potential alerter:

This WaPo opinion piece is not an attack on Democratic public figures or groups, it is a criticism of STRATEGY regarding how best to win back Congress and get to universal health coverage. Much more facts and reasoning are presented at the link, but I am limited to 4 paragraphs in the OP. If you think Dana Milbank is wrong, please present your case in a reply so that we can have a substantive discussion on this important issue.

SunSeeker

115 replies, 8060 views

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Reply The Bernie Bros and sisters are coming to Republicans' rescue (Original post)
SunSeeker Aug 12 OP
4now Aug 12 #1
riversedge Aug 12 #54
shanny Aug 12 #63
lapucelle Aug 14 #102
NBachers Aug 12 #2
NanceGreggs Aug 12 #3
Lithos Aug 12 #4
zentrum Aug 12 #5
SunSeeker Aug 12 #7
zentrum Aug 13 #90
SunSeeker Aug 13 #91
apcalc Aug 14 #104
GulfCoast66 Aug 13 #94
zentrum Aug 14 #95
apcalc Aug 14 #107
lapucelle Aug 14 #106
ornotna Aug 12 #6
SunSeeker Aug 12 #9
ornotna Aug 12 #12
KPN Aug 12 #39
KPN Aug 12 #38
Warpy Aug 12 #56
murielm99 Aug 12 #8
SunSeeker Aug 12 #11
KPN Aug 12 #40
SunSeeker Aug 12 #58
KPN Aug 12 #76
SunSeeker Aug 12 #79
Ghost Dog Aug 12 #85
KPN Aug 12 #87
KPN Aug 12 #89
Doug the Dem Aug 12 #10
JI7 Aug 12 #13
Vetteguy Aug 12 #14
Tarheel_Dem Aug 12 #17
Tarheel_Dem Aug 12 #15
GoneOffShore Aug 12 #16
SunSeeker Aug 12 #18
Vetteguy Aug 12 #22
Jim Lane Aug 12 #19
Vetteguy Aug 12 #23
Jim Lane Aug 12 #37
SunSeeker Aug 12 #49
Jim Lane Aug 12 #51
SunSeeker Aug 12 #55
Jim Lane Aug 12 #59
SunSeeker Aug 12 #61
Jim Lane Aug 12 #65
SunSeeker Aug 12 #70
Jim Lane Aug 12 #71
SunSeeker Aug 12 #72
Jim Lane Aug 12 #75
SunSeeker Aug 12 #80
Jim Lane Aug 12 #81
SunSeeker Aug 12 #82
Jim Lane Aug 12 #83
SunSeeker Aug 12 #84
Jim Lane Aug 12 #86
SunSeeker Aug 13 #93
SunSeeker Aug 12 #29
Jim Lane Aug 12 #36
KPN Aug 12 #41
SunSeeker Aug 12 #53
Jim Lane Aug 12 #60
SunSeeker Aug 12 #62
Jim Lane Aug 12 #67
KPN Aug 12 #73
SunSeeker Aug 12 #74
KPN Aug 12 #77
SunSeeker Aug 12 #78
Tarheel_Dem Aug 14 #103
Jim Lane Aug 14 #108
Tarheel_Dem Aug 15 #109
Jim Lane Aug 15 #111
Tarheel_Dem Aug 15 #112
Jim Lane Aug 15 #113
SunSeeker Aug 12 #46
femmedem Aug 14 #105
Ninsianna Aug 14 #96
Jim Lane Aug 14 #97
Ninsianna Aug 14 #98
Jim Lane Aug 14 #99
Ninsianna Aug 14 #100
Jim Lane Aug 15 #110
LovesPNW Aug 14 #101
pansypoo53219 Aug 12 #20
SunSeeker Aug 12 #21
KPN Aug 12 #42
Indepatriot Aug 12 #24
Vetteguy Aug 12 #27
TeamPooka Aug 12 #25
delisen Aug 12 #30
TeamPooka Aug 12 #45
delisen Aug 12 #66
KPN Aug 12 #43
Post removed Aug 12 #26
Vetteguy Aug 12 #28
NurseJackie Aug 12 #31
Trust Buster Aug 12 #32
KPN Aug 12 #44
GaryCnf Aug 12 #33
SunSeeker Aug 12 #48
GaryCnf Aug 12 #50
SunSeeker Aug 12 #57
GaryCnf Aug 12 #64
SunSeeker Aug 12 #68
GaryCnf Aug 12 #69
mcar Aug 12 #34
SunSeeker Aug 12 #47
JHan Aug 12 #35
LineReply .
LovesPNW Aug 12 #52
bobalew Aug 12 #88
SunSeeker Aug 13 #92
Gothmog Aug 15 #114
rock Aug 15 #115

Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 01:10 AM

1. Lets see if we are smart or not.

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Response to 4now (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:40 PM

54. Yes, lets be smart Dems and not fall for purity tests.

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Response to riversedge (Reply #54)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:20 PM

63. Yeah.

Like women's rights. And civil rights. And the environment. And health care. Stupid shit like that.

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Response to shanny (Reply #63)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:38 PM

102. No. Actually this isn't like any of those things.

Single payer is a method of implementing a universal health care system. Intelligent people should be willing to discuss the best means of implementing a policy.

Even on the medicare for all side, there are differences of opinion concerning exactly how such a system would best work.

http://www.medicareforall.org/pages/HR676_and_S915

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 01:31 AM

2. Kicked and Recommended

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 01:54 AM

3. K & R!!!


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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:06 AM

4. meh

This is as stupid as stupid gets...

Lets move from being 3d and real into a 1d space.

L-

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:14 AM

5. Hardly.

Dems need to articulate a strong, progressive, inter-sectional populism of our own. Now is the time for single payer and it's going to need every ounce of solidarity. Bernie's positive rating in the country is at 75%. He's our most trusted politician. Now is the time. Glad he's there and mounting the fight, which can save millions of lives.

Imagine of we had the health care that every other industrialized country has. The litmus test is not just for the Party--it's for the health of the country. And we will have the country's support for this. Go for it Bernie!

(BTW--There's an analysis on Salon of Macron's precipitous plunge in the polls and it's because he's a centrist, against the extreme right of Le Pen. France wants a more progressive fight for unions and the middle class. They suggest that the Dems would do well to learn from this and embrace Bernie and his non-centrist ways. I agree.)

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Response to zentrum (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:22 AM

7. Obamacare saved tens of thousands of lives, including my brother's.

Last edited Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:55 AM - Edit history (2)

Our progressive message for the midterms should be to expand subsidies so that coverage is more affordable.

Bernie may be the most trusted politician, but he was unable to get single payer implemented in his home state of Vermont, the bluest of blue states.

As noted at the link:

A Pew Research Center poll in June found that while a majority of Democrats (52 percent) favor single-payer health care, only 33 percent of the public does overall. A Kaiser Health Tracking poll in June had better results: 53 percent of the public favored single-payer coverage. But Kaiser found that opinions were “malleable,” and that if, for example, respondents heard single-payer coverage would increase taxes, a majority opposed it. Also, midterm voters are older, and that group is hostile to “Medicare for All.”

If recent trends continue, and particularly if Republicans undermine Obamacare without an adequate replacement, the time for single-payer will come, and soon. But the litmus test distracts Democrats from protecting Obamacare, diminishes their chances of retaking the House and chops up the party over something that has zero chance of becoming law under Trump.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-bernie-bros-and-sisters-are-coming-to-the-republicans-rescue/2017/08/11/caacbad0-7e9f-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-b%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.ea73dd40681c

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 12:01 AM

90. Well, sure...

...if it gets framed as "raising your taxes" without explaining how yearly expenses for an individual or family will, in fact, go down because whatever taxes are paid will be less than insurance, co-pays and uncovered illnesses.

The problem with Obamacare is it's still way too expensive and costs are going up for it because it's till health care for profit. Single payer short circuits all this.

We'll get some of our best educators, and explainers out there---like Warren---to explain the above points and how taxes don't have to go up for the average family but will go up for the highest earners.

No doubt we have a hell of a fight on our hands and we'd have to be relentless about this. But women would come over easily single payer once explained to them--they really need help for themselves and their kids.

Respectfully disagree---this is the moment because of the fear and chaos created by Trump. Something bold and populist would work better than the paradigm of Obamacare, which was always highly problematic and has been (wrongfully) tarnished.

There's an opening---and it should be seized.

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Response to zentrum (Reply #90)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 01:00 AM

91. If it's just a matter of framing, why couldn't they do it in Vermont?

There is no state more receptive to the explanation that the taxes will be less than the current healthcare costs than Vermont. But when they came up with the costs and determined that it required a 12% tax hike, every politician, including Bernie, clammed up.

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Response to zentrum (Reply #90)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:58 PM

104. Women may just not come so easily

Once they realize single payer does not include funding for Abortions, as in Hyde Amendment

Can that be fixed? Of course . But it must be included up front.

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Response to zentrum (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 07:52 PM

94. We should aspire fo health care like Germany

And reject single payer. Certainly not Medicare for all because it will sink the party. Americans in the districts we need to win do not believe in single payer.

So I will not be in solidarity with the push for Medicare for all not single payer.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #94)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 02:33 AM

95. That would be great too.

Wonderful to have Medicare for all.

Because they're the same thing. Single payer is medicare for all. Streamlined, not for profit etc.

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Response to zentrum (Reply #95)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 10:02 PM

107. It is similar.

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Response to zentrum (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:59 PM

106. Single payer supporters should get behind Rep. Conyers Medicare for All bill.

It's been introduced over a dozen times, and was introduced again in January 2017. It currently has 116 Democratic co-sponsors.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/676

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:17 AM

6. Is this the same Dana Milbank

that voted for McCain in 2000, Chuck Hagel in 2004 and Bloomberg in 2008? The same Milbank that KO refused to let back on his show back in 2008 because of an article he wrote about Barack Obama? Haha! Okay,sure.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/30/iwashington-posti-fans-ou_n_115861.html,

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Response to ornotna (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:43 AM

9. Milbank apparently votes a write-in for presidential elections.

Milbank has stated that his "policy" on presidential general elections is to vote for the best candidate who is not on the ballot. He voted for John McCain in 2000, Chuck Hagelin 2004, and Michael Bloomberg in 2008. He has explained that his approach allows him to "go through the exercise of who would be a good president" while avoiding committing to one candidate or another in the race.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dana_Milbank

But I posted this for the substance of the article, not because I have any particular affinity for the author, which I do not.

Is there anything of substance you disagree with regarding his reasoning in the article?

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #9)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:56 AM

12. I disagree with the author and his "policy"

I can't take anything he says seriously. He's a know fabricator for his version of the truth.

You keep running with it though. Anything to keep those embers hot.

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Response to ornotna (Reply #12)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 12:52 PM

39. Yup.

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Response to ornotna (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 12:51 PM

38. My thoughts exactly. Milbank likes to present as though he is objective,

but he's hardly that. Why would I take heed from anything he hyperbolizes?

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Response to ornotna (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:50 PM

56. It is. He's a conservative with all the deeply held convictions of a noodle

and I've noticed policy bores him, which is why he focuses on pejoratives like "Bernie bros."

He exemplifies the Eleanor Roosevelt quote about how great minds discuss ideas, mediocre minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:37 AM

8. The Berniebros may be trying

to sow division, but I don't think they are getting very far. IRL, most people have moved on long ago. Voters who supported BS went on to vote for Hillary.

As for saying that BS is the most trusted politician? I don't believe that, either. Most people simply don't care. They don't care about this purity test crap, either. They want to get rid of 45, avoid nuclear war, keep their jobs, etc. etc. Bernie is not on their radar. Get out and talk to some people. You will see. A small number of people on the internet make a big fuss about Bernie, while everyone else is busy with their lives.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:50 AM

11. True.

As noted in the article:

...Candidates backed by Our Revolution have lost 31 races in 2017 and won 16 — and the victories include “Portland Community College Director, Zone 5” and “South Fulton (Ga.) City Council 6.”

Candidates endorsed by Sanders have struggled in high-profile races. Rep.Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) lost the DNC chairman race (he was appointed deputy chairman). Sanders-backed Tom Perriello lost the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Virginia, and a Sanders campaign official was blown out in a California congressional primary . Neither did the Sanders magic get the job done for Democrats in special congressional elections in Kansas, Georgia or Montana, and his candidate lost the Omaha mayoral race....


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-bernie-bros-and-sisters-are-coming-to-the-republicans-rescue/2017/08/11/caacbad0-7e9f-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-b%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.ae23f9b00a49

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #11)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 01:01 PM

40. How have candidates backed by the DNC, the DCCC done over the past 8 years?

Stop spreading the false stuff about "extreme leftists" are trying to sow division in the party. What is considered extreme left today was simply center left 35 years ago. The people who react to criticism of the party's past and establishment leadership are the ones who are "sowing division".

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Response to KPN (Reply #40)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:57 PM

58. It is wrong to say I am spreading "false stuff."

Last edited Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:53 PM - Edit history (1)

I am not calling anyone an "extreme leftist." I do not think single payer is an "extreme left" idea. Going directly for single payer and demanding all Dem candidates take that position will hurt Dems in swing states. This is a discussion about strategy, how best to get to universal coverage and win back Congress.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #58)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 04:56 PM

76. No but Milbanks does when he uses

the term "leftists" broadly. Just the use of that term alone is divisive. I am a long-standing progressive and I share most of the views Bernie espouses and always have. I'm also a long standing registered Democrat (going on 46 years) and share much of Bernie's critique of the Democratic Party. For 25+ -- going on 30 -- years now the Democratic Party has somehow been successful at giving labor supporting progressives the message to STFU. ... What do we have to show from that on the labor/economic front? Not to mention election failures at every level. Time to change.

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Response to KPN (Reply #76)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 06:02 PM

79. This thread is about strategy.

Dems support labor and unions, and universal healthcare coverage.

I don't think maligning the Democratic Party is the best strategy for winning the midterms and getting universal coverage.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #79)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 10:27 PM

85. 'Berniebros" malign the Democratic Party?

Or is it constructive, strategic criticism?

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #85)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 11:21 PM

87. Thank you.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #79)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 11:36 PM

89. With all due respect, when the strategy

Last edited Sun Aug 13, 2017, 08:13 AM - Edit history (1)

is to continue the same fundamental strategy (threading the needle, triangulating, incrementalism, realism/pragmatism as opposed to quote-unquote "idealism" (how rhetorically demeaning!), it isn't about strategy at all from my perspective. It's what they call doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Why would we do that?

Some may think the Dem Party has and does support labor, unions and universal health care coverage, but that's irrelevant. The Party has "supported" those things my entire life, but what have been the results. How are working families doing economically today compared to the past? How are unions doing today as compared to the past? It's about results, it's about accomplishments, it's about following through on what you said you supported and, most importantly, it's about being trusted to do so. It's not about why we can't or why we couldn't. Explaining our shortfallings, saying "we want to/we tried but the Republicans ...." hasn't engendered more votes, more electoral wins or a larger party. We need to wise up before it's too late. Frankly, I wonder if it's not too late already.

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:48 AM

10. I Say NOTHING!

 

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:58 AM

13. these people are trolls. they may use sanders name but their only goal is trolling and to help

republicans.

nina turner is most likely on the putin payroll also.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #13)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:04 AM

14. Don't believe that about Turner

 

but she is a glory hound looking for press

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Response to JI7 (Reply #13)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:15 AM

17. Ding! Ding! Ding! Nina Turner fronts for anyone willing to give her money. She lost her race for..

OH Sec of State, so why should anyone take campaign advice from her?

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:10 AM

15. I agree with Dana. n/t

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:12 AM

16. And despite your disclaimer at the bottom, this was just alerted on.

Something about not fighting the last election.

As this is clearly about winning the NEXT election, someone has a bug about the analysis.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #16)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:15 AM

18. Thanks. We really need to decide on the best strategy to win the midterms.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #16)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:42 AM

22. Someone alerted this?

 

Why it is a recent article and opinion of another writer. Whats going on here at Democratic Underground this seems like safe space mentality.

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:23 AM

19. Actually, Pelosi and Hoyer are coming to the Republicans' rescue.

The majority of the Democrats in the House have joined as co-sponsors of Conyers's bill for single payer. But Pelosi and Hoyer, nominally the leaders, are resisting it. Thus they are sowing division in the Democratic Party.

See how silly this is? There actually are internal disagreements about policy. If you want to, you can pick one side (the one you agree with of course) as the default, and say that anyone who disagrees with you is sowing division and thereby helping the Republicans.

BTW, some of the people who denounce "litmus tests" and "purity" were among those who criticized Bernie because he endorsed a Nebraska candidate who, in his critics' eyes, was insufficiently pure on the subject of reproductive rights. That's another illustration of the hypocrisy of these calls for unity above all else. The people who express such vehement horror about division within the party always mean that the division could and should be ended easily -- "Everyone just agrees with me and then we'll have unity."

The funny thing is that so many people take time out from these denunciations of "divisiveness" to point out, with great moral superiority, how the Republicans all march in lockstep, as opposed to the Democrats who of course are entitled to use their brains instead of just taking orders from On High.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #19)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:44 AM

23. They are Democrats while the others aren't

 

your analogy is faulty.

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Response to Vetteguy (Reply #23)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 12:14 PM

37. The majority of the House DEMOCRATS are cosponsoring HR 676.

A minority, including Pelosi and Hoyer, are not.

In the case of such an internal disagreement, there's no logical basis for saying that the majority are being divisive. Anyone who sincerely believes that unity is the single most important thing (I don't) should be condemning the House Democrats who are not cosponsors.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #37)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:27 PM

49. The majority of House Dems have not signed on to a tax to pay for it.

Vermont's experience suggests they never will.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #49)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:38 PM

51. You're trying to dodge the basic point.

There is division among Democrats as to the merits of this bill. You're free to criticize it all you want. That doesn't change the fact that a majority of the House Democrats disagree with you. Is it your view that those 117 Democrats are sowing division and helping the Republicans?

The specifics of this bill are less important. It's obvious that it won't be enacted in this Congress. The cosponsors are saying, in general terms, that they will sign on to tax increases (described in the "Funding" section) to pay for it, or at least some of it. Actual enactment of single payer will require some combination of tax rate increases, increases in tax revenues resulting from better health, shifts of funding from other health programs (such as Medicaid, which will be obviated), recapture of private-sector expenses that are obviated, cuts in some non-health programs (notably the military), and deficit financing. When there's a majority for single payer, those details will be worked out through the normal political process.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #51)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:46 PM

55. No, I am not. The specifics of how to pay for single payer is VERY important.

There was a majority that supported single payer in Vermont. Their legislature passed their version of HR 676. But when it came to the real nitty gritty, to come up with a tax figure to pay for it, everyone went running for the hills and single payer died in Vermont.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #55)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:02 PM

59. I note you didn't answer my question about the charge in your OP.

Is it your view that those 117 Democrats are sowing division and "are coming to Republicans' rescue" because they're cosponsoring a bill you don't approve of?

I agree that the specifics of the bill will be very important. Although you mention only funding, there's also room for disagreement about what the program will look like. We casually say that every other industrialized country has single payer, but there are significant differences between, for example, the Canadian and UK systems.

We need to have a sensible public debate about health care policy, including working out these single-payer details and also including consideration of alternatives such as building on the ACA (what you refer to in your #46). That process is hindered, not helped, when people like Milbank act as if Democratic unity is the only important goal and that it's those nefarious "Bernie Bros" who are undermining that goal.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #59)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:16 PM

61. Those 117 Dems are NOT demanding a single payer litmus test for all Dem midterm candidates.

So the answer is no.

I am glad we agree that we need to have a sensible public debate about health care policy. Demanding a single payer litmus test of Dem midterm candidates in swing states, which is what Our Revolution appears to be doing, is counterproductive.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #61)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:39 PM

65. Our Revolution is perfectly free to decide whom to endorse.

Emily's List endorses only candidates who support reproductive rights. Is that counterproductive?

The way we have a sensible public debate about any policy is, not entirely but to a great extent, through election campaigns. That's when lots of people who don't read DU every day start paying attention. Advocates of single payer or any other policy can say, "We won't support any candidate who doesn't pass our litmus test." If that means a contested Democratic primary, fine, that's how the process works.

I note that you and others use terms like "demanding". I've often seen on DU that the progressives are trying to "dictate" policy or "take over" the party. These are all loaded terms that turn out to mean "advocating for a position I don't support." When Hillary Clinton said that single payer would "never, ever happen," I didn't take that to be an unreasonable "demand" on her part, even though I disagreed. She was just weighing in or her side of the debate. The same is true of the people on the other side of the debate.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #65)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:51 PM

70. They don't just endorse, they trash the centrist Dem.

That is counterproductive in swing states. They say things like that the centrist Dem is bought by Wall Street, special interests, corrupt, not for the people, etc. That is very damaging to the candidate when it comes to the GE; the GOP runs attack ads using their quotes.

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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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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #71)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 04:32 PM

72. It is one thing to argue the merits of a policy, it is another to say a Dem is bought by Wall Street

This thread is not about relitigating 2016. This is about winning in 2018.

I assume you agree that attacking Dem 2018 candidates as bought by Wall Street, or puppets of special interests, etc., providing ready made GOP attack ads, is counterproductive.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #72)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 04:53 PM

75. It's not as clear as you seem to think

You write:

I assume you agree that attacking Dem 2018 candidates as bought by Wall Street, or puppets of special interests, etc., providing ready made GOP attack ads, is counterproductive.


Scenario: Progressive Dem candidate calls for reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. Establishment Dem candidate disagrees (as some of them, from Hillary on down, have). Progressive Dem candidate says that Establishment Dem candidate is bought by (or, more plausibly, too cozy with) Wall Street. Establishment Dem candidate wins the primary.

Is there much risk that the Republican candidate will run an attack ad on this issue? The odds are that the Republican not only opposes reinstating Glass-Steagall but favors repealing Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, along with nerfing the SEC and CFTC -- and, for good measure, receives substantial contributions from Wall Street. By contrast, if Establishment Dem criticizes Progressive Dem as an enemy of the free-market system that made America great, and Progressive Dem wins the nomination, the GOP attack ad is much more ready-made.

The fact is that any disagreement among the Democrats could conceivably end up aiding the Republicans, if only by influencing some of the loser's supporters to stay home in November. On the one hand, Democrats (centrists and progressives) should bear that in mind during the primary, and avoid unduly harsh rhetoric. On the other hand, campaigning in the primary can't be confined to pictures of the candidate with his or her spouse, photogenic children, and the family dog. There are disagreements about policy. Airing them during the primary is proper, even if it might help the Republicans. There's unfortunately no bright-line test for what's acceptable.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #75)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 06:10 PM

80. Maligning and misrepresenting Dems as "Establishment Dems" is not the best strategy. nt

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #80)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 08:20 PM

81. But maligning and misrepresenting Dems as "Bernie Bros" IS the best strategy?

I ask because you posted an OP that used that phrase, and you didn't express your disapproval of it. I'll just plagiarize your pre-emptive defense: My post "is not an attack on Democratic public figures or groups, it is a criticism of STRATEGY...."

(Please don't respond with the startling revelation that Bernie Sanders isn't a Democrat. The excerpt you selected bashes Nina Turner, who was elected to the state legislature as a Democrat, who ran for Secretary of State as a Democrat,

The fact is that there are divisions within the Democratic Party. There aren't precisely two clearly defined factions, so "Establishment Dem" and "Progressive Dem" are oversimplifications, but they're useful shorthand terms. We commonly talk about "left" and "right" although those terms are also oversimplifications. You yourself have used the phrase "swing states" even though, as I'm sure you know, there aren't just blue states, red states, and swing states; there are gradations and complications.

I use the term "establishment" for one faction because it's the one in control of the DNC and most of the state parties. It's intended to be descriptive, not maligning. Those people are generally more conservative than the other ("progressive" faction but I assume you'd object even more strongly to calling them the conservative faction.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #81)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 09:34 PM

82. "Establishment Dems" is a "useful term" only for Republicans.

It plays into their propaganda against us.

Again, this thread is about strategy.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #82)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 10:10 PM

83. Fine, tell me what term you want.

The alternative I mentioned is "conservative" but even though it's accurate (they're more conservative than the other faction) it would presumably prompt objections.

The media sometimes go with "moderate" but I object to that. To me, "moderate" means someone who talks reasonably, writes op-eds, etc., instead of driving a car into a crowd. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Manchin are all moderate.

One possibility would be "centrist" but the accuracy of that isn't clear, plus which it also might be seen as "maligning" by the people being described.

I explained why I consider "establishment" to be accurate and neutrally descriptive. I don't mean it as maligning. I'd love to be a member of a Democratic Party in which the establishment (DNC, Congressional leadership, etc.) consisted of progressives who pushed single-payer health care, sharply progressive income tax reform, halving the military budget, etc. Maybe someday we will be the establishment but right now we're not.

Until we get that majority, "progressive" is the best term for our faction. The term used in your OP -- "Bernie Bros" -- is clearly maligning, is clearly a term that's useful to Republicans, and isn't even accurate in its insinuations.

Throughout these threads there's an undercurrent of denial. The people who delight in bashing the "Bernie Bros" never expressly admit that there are factional divisions within the Democratic Party, as is of course inevitable in any party that's a big tent. In some of the posts I find an implicit suggestion that there is one Democratic Party position and that anyone articulating a different position is sowing division and helping the Republicans. I think that's false. For those of us who think it's false, there needs to be a quick and easy way to discuss the factions. "Clinton faction" and "Sanders/Warren" faction is excessively personalizing the disagreement. So, if your answer is that there shouldn't be any term for the readily identifiable factions within the party, then we'll just have to disagree.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #83)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 10:19 PM

84. Dems. Why is it so important for you to label people? Regardless, this thread is about strategy.

And you've basically stopped talking about that, so there is no point in continuing this conversation with you.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #84)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 11:21 PM

86. OK, so you're attacking "Bernie Bros" but insisting that everyone else must say only "Dems"

I'm not going to take any more hypocritical lectures on civility from you. Your strategy is to smear anyone who disagrees with you. The one point we agree on is that there's no point in continuing this conversation.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #86)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 01:15 AM

93. I'm not attacking anyone, I'm questioning Our Revolution's single payer strategy.

Bye.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #19)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 04:10 AM

29. It is not a "bill for single payer." It is merely a "Pledge."

The pledge reads in pertinent part that the House member will:

Stand up for Medicare for All in any public appearances and statements addressing our country's healthcare crisis.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/28/house-progressives-call-members-congress-sign-single-payer-pledge

That is very different than signing on to a bill that actually implements single payer with the necessary taxes to pay for it. Even though single payer is cheaper overall, it still requires substantial tax increases to pay for it, something politicians know is toxic to their careers. Single payer died in Vermont when no one wanted to introduce legislation to raise taxes 12% (a bargain!) on the middle class to pay for it. And that was in the bluest of blue states.

A nonbinding pledge of support for single payer is very different from cosponsoring an actual bill that implements single payer with the necessary taxes. A majority of House Dems have not done that.

As noted in that Common Dreams article on Conyers' Pledge, although support for single payer has grown in recent years, a Pew Research poll taken a month ago found that only 33 percent of Americans support single payer.

The midterm electorate is older and more conservative to boot.

How is pushing single payer in the midterms a good strategy for Dems? 

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #29)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 12:11 PM

36. The point is that there's division in the party about the subject.

You've introduced the subject of this proposed pledge, which I wasn't aware of. I was talking about the bill, Conyers's HR676, which currently has 116 cosponsors, a majority of the House Dems -- but not including Pelosi and Hoyer. Therefore, there's an internal division, with the leadership disagreeing with the majority of the caucus.

Incidentally, the bill does provide for tax increases, but only in general terms. At thirteen pages long (as displayed in LibreOffice), it's in between a one-paragraph pledge and the full text (presumably several hundred pages or maybe a couple thousand) that will eventually be enacted for full implementation. Even this bill, however, could probably be enacted as is (without specific tax increases). I don't share the intermittent Republican fetish about not increasing the deficit. (I call it intermittent because they set it aside whenever they want to give big tax cuts to their paymasters.)

You advance an argument for saying that support for single payer isn't all that great an idea. You're perfectly free to make that argument. My point is not (except sarcastically, for rhetorical purposes) to accuse you or people who agree with you of sowing division or helping Republicans. I'm just objecting to the way that such a charge is being leveled against the progressives.

It's the same deal with regard to midterm strategy. Opinions differ. Let each side make its case, without being accused of disloyalty or of helping Republicans.

My personal opinion on midterm strategy is that pushing for single payer is a good strategy in some states and districts but not in others. The roster of Democratic candidates for the Senate next year will likely include both Joe Manchin and Elizabeth Warren. It's not necessary that the two of them, along with Sherrod Brown and Joe Donnelly and a couple dozen other candidates, hash out a common platform that they'll all run on.

It's also worth noting, from that same Pew poll, that the movement is in the progressives' direction:

Among those who see a government responsibility to provide health coverage for all, more now say it should be provided through a single health insurance system run by the government, rather than through a mix of private companies and government programs. Overall, 33% of the public now favors such a “single payer” approach to health insurance, up 5 percentage points since January and 12 points since 2014. Democrats – especially liberal Democrats – are much more supportive of this approach than they were even at the start of this year. {from "Public support for ‘single payer’ health coverage grows, driven by Democrats" {emphasis added}}


One reason that change has occurred is that people, including elected officials and candidates, have been pushing single payer. There's sometimes a tradeoff between catering to public opinion as it now stands (so as to maximize the chance of getting elected) and speaking out in favor of good policy (so as to move public opinion).

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #36)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 01:12 PM

41. Good post! Thank you for taking the time to express such well-reasoned thinking on this.

Single-payer is not a toxic concept everywhere. Our message as a party should simply be affordable health care access and coverage for all, and leave the specifics to the local candidates. The goal is to capture more seats in the mid-term and the WH in 2020, possibly the House and Senate by then. Even with that, single payer may not be politically achievable, but neither will health care for all if our starting point for the legislative process continues to be incrementalism.

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Response to KPN (Reply #41)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:40 PM

53. You can't "leave the specifics to local candidates."

Dems need to decide how to proceed as a party. Universal healthcare, that healthcare a right, is already of the Dem party platform.
http://www.pnhp.org/news/2016/august/republican-and-democratic-platforms-on-health-care

The question is how do we get there. And Dems need to do it together.

If politicians in blue states say Dems will implement single payer in one fell swoop, the GOP will use that against Dems in swing states.

We need to decide which strategy we're going with.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #53)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:11 PM

60. Your call for Democratic lockstep is both impractical and unnecessary.

You write:

The question is how do we get there. And Dems need to do it together.

If politicians in blue states say Dems will implement single payer in one fell swoop, the GOP will use that against Dems in swing states.

We need to decide which strategy we're going with.


If I'm misinterpreting you, please correct me, but what this says to me is: There must be a specific comprehensive proposal, covering all necessary details (and therefore probably at least hundreds of pages long), and then it must be endorsed by Joe Manchin, Elizabeth Warren, and everyone in between, not to mention all the House candidates from Wyoming to the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

I call it impractical because there's no way to achieve that kind of unanimity. I call it unnecessary because it ignores the actual workings of the legislative process. To take the example most nearly to hand, that's not how the ACA was enacted.

As Mario Cuomo said, we campaign in poetry but we govern in prose.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #60)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:18 PM

62. It is Our Revolution who is demanding lockstep fealty on single payer.

Worse, they are doing it in swing states. That is counterproductive.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #62)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:42 PM

67. See my response in #65. (n/t)

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #53)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 04:34 PM

73. Well if you demand specifics,

Single payer. But I disagree with your whole premise. One of the reasons we find ourselves where we are as a party is our own timidity/consistent under-reaching in my view. What we been doing since McGovern.

That extends to the tax argument you make as well. Our message needs to include how pocket books for every American will benefit. Let's stop functioning from a position of fear (and I don't buy the notion that it's reality not fear. I'm 66 and watched my parents generation all move from D to I or even R because of trying to thread a needle rather than being aggressively for something in plain spoken straight-forward language. Sell f'ing single payer for once!

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Response to KPN (Reply #73)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 04:42 PM

74. It is easy to sell single payer. It is not easy to sell a tax on the middle class.

Even Bernie wouldn't do in blue Vermont.

That is why it appears the best strategy for universal coverage appears to be doing it in steps. First we fix Obamacare, then we add a public option.

There are plenty of issues for Dems to take a blunt stand on, these being key:

Tax the rich to create infrastructure jobs.
No cuts to Social Security.
No cuts to Medicaid.
No cuts to Medicare.
...

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #74)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 05:13 PM

77. Then let's work harder at selling the

benefits to pocketbooks. Sell the damn bottom line for crying out loud. It's not rocket science.

Or, as I said to begin with, stick with the generalities -- universal/access for all -- and go from there once in a position to legislate. .... Anyone who isn't for single payer isn't a real progressive and really doesn't fit the traditional values of the Democratic Party. That's my view.

Re: no cuts to Medicare/aid, SS -- there's nothing new there. Infrastructure/jobs -- same thing -- we've given lip service to jobs for decades.

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Response to KPN (Reply #77)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 05:41 PM

78. Only REPUBLICANS "have given lip service to jobs for decades."

Jesus.

THIS is why we lose elections. Fratricide.



Obama tried to get a Trillion dollar infrastructure plan through paid for by taxes on the wealthy but it was blocked by Republicans. He ended up compromising, because he cared more about getting something to help the country than purity.

Speaking "in generalities" on healthcare makes us sound like we're hiding something. That is what Trump does. Dems need a specific plan. Universal healthcare may not be rocket science, but it is not easy. Even Bernie won't push a reasonable 12% tax to pay for single payer. So, we need another strategy.

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Response to KPN (Reply #41)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:53 PM

103. Jim L might have a point if any of Bernie's handpicked candidates had actually won with his....

strategy. I'm hoping "the establishment" won't follow in his footsteps for running successful midterm campaigns.

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Response to Tarheel_Dem (Reply #103)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 11:37 PM

108. As opposed to the astonishing successes of the current Party leadership?

It's an oft-quoted statistic that, over the past eight or nine years, Democrats have lost a net of something like 900 elected offices, mostly in state legislatures. Was that Bernie's fault?

In the Georgia special election, Jon Ossoff opposed single payer and supported tax cuts for business. He lost. Was that Bernie's fault?

As a side note, it's amusing that DU's tireless bash-Bernie brigade was howling that Bernie should have campaigned for Ossoff, even though Ossoff chose to position himself on the more conservative side of the Democratic spectrum. So, let me get this straight, the Georgia loss was Bernie's fault because he handpicked a candidate who disagreed with him on key issues, and also because Bernie, who's so far to the left that the party establishment should ignore him in planning for the midterms, nevertheless could have swung the election in a Republican district by campaigning there? Forgive me if I got some of that wrong. It's hard to keep up with all the Bernie-bashing around here.

BTW, I'm not aware of any races this year that featured "Bernie's handpicked candidates". I hadn't heard that before. I don't suppose you happen to have a link? My impression has been that the candidates emerged through the normal local processes. Ossoff, for example, "was endorsed by prominent figures such as Congressmen Hank Johnson and John Lewis, and state House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams." (per Ossoff's Wikipedia bio) He got into the runoff because he placed in the top two in a jungle primary, not because Bernie was exercising his Rasputin-like control of the Georgia electorate. In Montana, Rob Quist was nominated (on the fourth ballot) at a state party convention. As we saw from the behavior of the superdelegates in 2016, the party establishment is overwhelmingly hostile to Bernie, so it's not clear to me how he could foist his supposed "handpicked candidates" on the Democratic Party in Kansas or South Carolina, either.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #108)

Tue Aug 15, 2017, 12:09 AM

109. Are you saying there haven't been any Democratic victories since the '16 election? If so....

you are absolutely wrong. There have indeed been victories, just not ones endorsed by Sanders. Google is your friend.

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Response to Tarheel_Dem (Reply #109)

Tue Aug 15, 2017, 12:39 AM

111. Uh, no, I wasn't saying anything like that.

I spelled out what I was saying. I cited the losses over the past eight or nine years.

In this year's special elections for Congress, every seat has been won by the same party that won it in 2016. That's mostly Republicans, because the elections were to replace Trump appointees. In those districts the Republicans won whether or not Bernie endorsed the Democrat.

In the California special election, I'm not aware that Bernie made any endorsement. The organization he founded, Our Revolution, did make an endorsement. It endorsed Jimmy Gomez. He won. (No link for that -- I'm sure your buddies at Google can confirm it for you if you don't happen to remember that election.)

I'm not clear what your conclusion is. Maybe it's the good old triangulation approach? The Democrats need to reject anything remotely progressive, take a hard turn to the right, and go after those Third Way votes? Manchin/Heitkamp 2020!

BTW, you might want to rethink your devotion to Google. A couple years ago, someone on DU turned me on to duckduckgo.com, a search engine that doesn't track you. The FBI or the NSA can't get your search history from the company because the company doesn't have your search history. I made the switch when Obama was President. It's even more compelling with the federal government in the hands of Dorito Mussolini.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #111)

Tue Aug 15, 2017, 12:52 AM

112. I'm glad we agree that I was right.

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Response to Tarheel_Dem (Reply #112)

Tue Aug 15, 2017, 01:35 AM

113. I really *hope* you're kidding.

Or I suppose I could say I'm glad we agree that I was right about the losses over the last eight or nine years, when the party has been firmly in the control of people who disdain Bernie Sanders.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #36)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:13 PM

46. HR 676 does not set a tax to fund it. That is how Vermont single payer died.

I am very familiar with HR 676. Ten years ago I went on Zazzle.com and made my own "Yes on HR 676" bumper sticker and proudly put it on my car. Then, after seeing single payer efforts fail in Vermont, and most recently in California, I realized we can't just enact single payer in one fell swoop.

Like the Vermont single payer law that Bernie pushed and that passed the Vermont legislature, HR 676 simply authorizes the legislature to come up with a tax figure to pay for it: "Instituting a modest and progressive excise tax on payroll and self-employment income." And therein lies the rub. No legislature has the guts to do that, not even the bluest of blue legislatures like the Vermont legislature. No politician, not even Bernie, had the guts to advocate for a 12% tax, a reasonable amount, to pay for Vermont's single payer.

It has become obvious to me that the best strategy to institute single payer is to institute it in steps, by beefing up Obamacare and putting in a public option.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #36)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:58 PM

105. Just popping in to say how much I've enjoyed reading your posts in this thread.

Some of the best laid out arguments I've seen here in a while.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #19)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 04:42 AM

96. "insufficiently pure"?

Heath Mello was pushing far right wing bills that threatened women's lives.


It's hypocrisy to pretend to be liberal and to pretend to be for human rights while endorsing a guy who wrote bills that specifically denied them.

He was literally to the right of the Republican, marching in lockstep with the terrorists who were seeking to raise an already high maternal mortality rate even higher, by denying medical care to women, several different bills. If unity is the goal, backing far right wing nut jobs who seek to kill women in numerous ways is a pretty idiotic way to go about it, but that tour showed that it wasn't ever about unity. Marching in lockstep with Republicans in regard to women's basic human rights is really just taking orders from on high, when those orders are from an organization that has no principles and seeks only to join with the Ted Cruzes of the world to attack Democrats and women.

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Response to Ninsianna (Reply #96)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 07:26 AM

97. My point is the hypocrisy of decrying "divisiveness" but doing so *selectively*

In your post, you're criticizing a Democrat on grounds of public policy, specifically reproductive rights. Does that mean you're "sowing division in the Democratic Party"? Does it mean you're "coming to Republicans' rescue"? No, it does not. It's perfectly valid for you to advance substantive arguments about why this Democrat is in error and shouldn't be supported. The quoted language from the OP would be wrong as applied to you.

Criticizing Democrats on grounds of public policy, specifically single-payer health care, is just as valid. The Democrats who oppose single payer can also make their case. That's the political process.

It's hypocritical for anyone to agree with the OP's attack on those nefarious "Bernie Bros and sisters" on the ground that they're criticizing Democrats, but then to turn around and criticize Democrats.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #97)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 04:01 PM

98. My point is that the hypocrisy was from the people doing all the dividing, and the outrage

being selective.

In my post I'm criticizing a far right wing extremist who was violating everything the Democrats have ever fought for, but which certain non-Democrats vociferously promoted, despite the actual base voicing their disapproval. Sowing division in the Democratic party by outsiders who keep throwing out the basic human rights of Democrats is what was happening.

When outsiders are doing the work of Republicans, attacking Democratic values and the stating outright that any right winger is open for support while seeking to take over the party, it means that it's valid criticism of what these people are doing.

This is misapplication of that term, and it's wrong applied to me and this argument, but it's valid as the OP, and the article it links to is using it. They're stating outright what they're doing and why, and they're upset about being called out for it?

This false equivalence with the position that human rights are negotiable when they're women's rights is simply fallacious. You erred there in making your invalid comparison. The people who are being criticized are open with their goals to dividing the party unless they get their way, and their support of Republicans, and they've been using Right Wing talking points to do so, it's simply not factual to deny that the OP accurately called out what they're doing.

Democrats want universal coverage, they're not adamant on single payer only and they don't have to be. That's a litmus test that's utterly ridiculous. A bunch of people who don't know the first thing about Healthcare or how it works, are glomming onto a slogan used by a non-Democrat without any clue. This has already divided the party and installed Trump in power, and they're seeking to misinform more people and using the Right's playbook to do it.

If only the people screeching "Medicare for all or I'm going to Bern it down" has the capacity, education, or understanding to follow complex discussion about how healthcare works. They've demonstrated that they are not. How about if the Single Payer folks make THEIR case, and present a workable plan instead of stunt bills that are not fleshed out at all, thought through at all, and which are presented in soundbytes to manipulate and divide people?

If no valid bill based on sound, thought through public policy is offered, and at no point has one been, this is just a stunt, and it's very much doing the Republican's work and is very much about being divisive in a way that we've already seen.

It's hypocritical to make false equivalences and to do the thing one is being accused of, and to pretend it's not accurate when the only issue seems to be the umbrage over the terms used which don't paint the instigators in a flattering light.

They are attacking Democrats, that has been their only goal and they are doing the Republican's work, and they are indeed guilty of what they're being accused of, sorry if the truth hurts.

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Response to Ninsianna (Reply #98)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 08:19 PM

99. Sorry, but you're exhibiting the same double standard as the OP.

You write, "The people who are being criticized are open with their goals to dividing the party unless they get their way...." Here's the point that everyone making that charge doesn't want to admit: They aren't dividing the party because the party is already divided. There are differences within the Democratic Party on many issues, such as single payer, the TPP, and, yes, even reproductive rights.

You say that you're "criticizing a far right wing extremist...." I'll note in passing that, in Heath Mello's last few years in the state legislature, he "voted with Planned Parenthood 100 percent of the time," according to this article in Common Dreams.

If you want to denounce him anyway based on his earlier votes, you certainly have the right to express your opinion. But let's not overlook the facts about the intra-party dispute. You write that "certain non-Democrats vociferously promoted" him, and that it was these "outsiders" who were "{s}owing division in the Democratic party...." The Democratic rally in Omaha, at which Heath Mello was one of the candidates and at which Bernie Sanders appeared, also featured a speech by Jane Kleeb, the head of the Nebraska Democratic Party. Tom Perez, the Chair of the DNC, had been scheduled to speak, but he was replaced by Keith Ellison, the Deputy Chair. {Source}

Whether to condemn Kleeb, Perez, and Ellison is a matter of opinion. Admitting that they are party INsiders is undeniable fact. In the same vein, next year's roster of Democratic candidates for the Senate is very likely to include Bob Casey (D- yes I said D-PA), who has publicly stated his support for overturning Roe v. Wade.

There are some people who will "Bern it down" if by that you mean that they'll refuse to vote for a Democrat who opposes single payer. There are also some people who'll refuse to vote for a Democrat who opposes reproductive rights. You disagree with the first group about single payer, so you apparently think that they're sowing division and helping the Republicans. By contrast, you agree with the people in the second group, so you claim that somehow they're not sowing division.

Some Democrats argue that Mello's past votes were so heinous as to disqualify him from support. Well, guess what, some Democrats feel the same way about a current refusal to support single payer, even if there's no bill that meets your standards. For my part, I'm not afraid of debate. I reject an attempted forced orthodoxy that, in the name of party unity, tries to stifle either side of either of these questions.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #99)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:22 PM

100. But I am not, and I've explained the false equivalency you're trying to engage in here.

If you're going to defend Heath Mello, you might wish to reference his actual voting record, which sought to deny telemedicine, required transvaginal ultrasounds, and a 20 week ban. This is perhaps why it's better to do one's own research than to rely on unreliable sources with a clear bias, the actual votes don't back up your points.

Yes, facts should be viewed in context, shouldn't they? Here's Planned Parenthood on that 100% rating, [link:https://rewire.news/article/2017/04/21/planned-parenthood-nebraska-never-gave-heath-mello-100-percent-rating/|

Yes, Jane Kleeb has an interesting right wing history herself, quite the divisive force herself, facts matter, as does history and she's also on board with the anti-choicers, and sits on the board of an outside group that seeks to support Republicans, so perhaps look at all of the facts not just the ones you like.

This issue was well researched and hotly debated here and the facts don't support your stance. Not on Mello, not on Kleeb. The type of divisive nonsense on that non-unity tour and the silence of the main backers while their supposed colleague was being disrespected also spoke volumes.

Can you please direct me to the bills that Casey has authored to target abortion, or Roe? Also, why are Mello's actual sponsored legislation from 2010 ancient history but statements of opinion from 2006, which aren't reflected in the legislative record relevant? That is what hypocrisy and double standards are, in case you wondered what qualified.

There are people actively seeking to sow division by introducing false equivalence, outright hypocrisy and double standards that are utterly ridiculous to attack and divide Democrats. They keep stating that their aim is to destroy the party if it does not remake itself in their image, though they're also pretty vocal about not being Democrats and supporting Republicans.

What I've been saying is that Single Payer, one path to Universal Healthcare coverage is not equivalent to human rights. By the way, Single Payer would make abortion impossible to access due to the Hyde amendment that people keep forgetting exists.

It wasn't just Mello's votes that were the issue, it was the legislation he sponsored, sort of different things. Even if it was just his votes against Planned Parenthood that some non-Democrats keep lying about, that's not as vile as what he himself wrote, sponsored and tried to make law.

Debate requires some sort of honesty, some facts and some knowledge of what's being discussed, deliberate and repeated failure to meet that standard and dedication to the fallacy of false equivalence doesn't cut it.

Are you for or against human rights for all people in the U.S. or not? That is a legitimate litmus test. Are you for or against this one non-fleshed out policy that is all slogan and nothing more, that is not. No equivalency at all, the premise fails. The facts don't support the argument. This fallacy is trying to create a forced orthodoxy while rejecting facts that make it clear that it's all about division and purity testing of slogans.




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Response to Ninsianna (Reply #100)

Tue Aug 15, 2017, 12:21 AM

110. You say "false equivalence" because you refuse to respect other Democrats' views

Let's digress to Mello for a moment. You assert that he wanted to require transvaginal ultrasounds. The Common Dreams article that I linked said that the report to that effect (in that beacon of progressive truth, The Wall Street Journal) was false. I trust Common Dreams more than The Wall Street Journal, but I'm not inclined to research the matter further. I guess I could try to establish exactly what position he took, as well as his opponent's position, as well as what influence the Mayor of Omaha could have on the issue, but I'm not going to. Refighting the Omaha mayoral race is pretty pointless.

As another digression, you state reasons for disliking Jane Kleeb. The issue is not her overall merits. The issue, in the context of this thread, is whether she's one of those "outsiders" and "non-Democrats" whom you castigated in #98. The fact is that she's the state party chair. Maybe you wouldn't have voted for her for that position, but your personal disapproval doesn't convert the state Democratic Party chair into a non-Democrat or an outsider.

The reason these are digressions is that the heart of my post wasn't to defend Heath Mello. It was to defend the right of Democrats to criticize him -- along with the right of Democrats to criticize opponents of single payer. By contrast, your basic point is still the same: Criticizing Democrats who disagree with you is fine, but criticizing Democrats who agree with you is sowing division and helping Republicans. That's an unjustifiable attempt to suppress intraparty debate.

You ask, "Are you for or against human rights for all people in the U.S. or not? That is a legitimate litmus test." My answer is that I'm for it but I don't treat it as a litmus test. That's why, when I lived in New York, I voted for Hillary Clinton for Senate even though she was opposing marriage equality and insisting that marriage was a sacred bond between a man and a woman. I believed then and believe now in human rights for all people, including LGBT people. Although Clinton failed that test, she was still better than her Republican opponent. In that Senate race and in the 2016 race for President, I voted for a more progressive Democrat in the primary but voted for Clinton in the general election. I understand the views of those who made human rights or the Iraq War or something else a litmus test, but I don't agree with them.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #99)

Mon Aug 14, 2017, 09:36 PM

101. Thanks for all that!

 

You rock, Jim. I haven't the time to argue this lately, but I could not have been as effective and efficient as you have been here.

Well done, and thanks.

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:36 AM

20. get RID of the DC consultants and talk to humans. better deal??? how bout FAIR DEAL?

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Response to pansypoo53219 (Reply #20)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:38 AM

21. I like that.

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Response to pansypoo53219 (Reply #20)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 01:12 PM

42. Excellent!

Sound's like Bernie!

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:54 AM

24. Perhaps all of us Bernie Bros

could pitch in and buy the DNC a map that includes the Rust Belt. They couldn't seem to find it last time around,,,,

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Response to Indepatriot (Reply #24)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:56 AM

27. Interesting talking point very familiar.

 

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:55 AM

25. So universal healthcare is a litmus test but women's choice and freedom isn't?

Please

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #25)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 04:45 AM

30. Medicare for All & Universal Healthcare are not the same thing

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Response to delisen (Reply #30)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 01:45 PM

45. Straw man deflection debate point. Thanks for playing.

It's not about language. It's about issues.

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #45)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:41 PM

66. So we're supposed to throw out logic? No thanks.

It is about language. Without defining the terms you create confusion and waste time.

Is that what you are striving for?

Medicare for all is one of many approaches to achieve universal healthcare coverage.

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #25)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 01:16 PM

43. +1111!

Funny how that works.

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #26)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:58 AM

28. This is a site for Democrats

 

who are you speaking for?

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 04:59 AM

31. Dana Milbank nailed it.

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 08:23 AM

32. I will never surrender to the far Left extremists.......NEVER !!!!!!!

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Response to Trust Buster (Reply #32)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 01:17 PM

44. Huh? What the heck does that mean?

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 08:31 AM

33. I'm sorry

I would just love to join in what has become a cottage industry in some circles, but Mr. Milbank's opinion is near ludicrous and clearly designed to foster division in our party.

His argument appears to be that single payer is so hated by Trump voters - apparently even more than it is hated by some Democrats - that it will be branded by them as "socialism" and we will fail to get them to switch to our side.

For this to be correct, you would have to accept that those same TRUMP VOTERS would not hate "Obamacare" - the Affordable Care Act - would not brand it as socialism and would consider switching their vote to, say, a Jim Justice.



No Trump voter who gives a F about healthcare policy is going to vote for a "Obamacare-supporting" Democrat who wouldn't also vote for a "Single-Payer-supporting" Democrat.

Oh wait a second, I get it. What Mr. Milbank is really saying is that if we run candidates who support policies favored by Senator Sanders - even if those policies are supported by Democratic Party leaders - those Democrats who STILL blame Sanders for our loss in 2016 will be so disloyal to our Party that they will not fight or vote for anyone from the Sanders wing.

I sure hope that isn't the case.

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Response to GaryCnf (Reply #33)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:23 PM

48. There ARE Trump voters that support Obamacare.

As found in a July 21, 2017 Rasmussen poll:
Eleven percent (11%) of voters who Strongly Approve of President Trump’s job performance like Obamacare,...

 http://m.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/health_care_law_jul21

That is more than enough to swing a midterm election.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #48)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:36 PM

50. Rasmussen?

Okay, fine, Rasmussen it is . . .

1/10th of the voters who strongly approve of Trump like Obamacare (but of those how many wouldn't also like single payer - yea, you forgot that part, but, once again, let's go with 1/10 would accept Obamacare but wouldn't accept single payer because it's your hypothetical)

So in a state (and I'll be generous because not every 2016 Trump voter still "strongly supports" Trump) where Trump won by over 40%, flipping 4% (1/10) by sticking with Manchin will make a difference?

I'm not sure that adds up.

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Response to GaryCnf (Reply #50)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:50 PM

57. Trump won by a total of 72,000 votes in three swing states.

Flipping 4% changes results in states like that.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #57)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:36 PM

64. First, let me apologize for the numbers

I got confused with another string about Joe Manchin (and even then my math was wrong, but that's another story).

Let's see if I can say something just a tad more responsive to your post.

It's one thing to say that 10% (that 4% was wrong, even in West Virginia, sorry again) of Trump supporters might accept Obamacare (though there is no proof and only rhetoric they wouldn't also accept single payer, I am still willing to accept that premise). It is another to say that they are potential Democratic Party votes, or, in other words, that they are votes which might swing an election.

Even if we don't ""scare them off" with "socialist" ideas like single payer, what issue is out there which will attract someone who voted for Trump in the first place to vote for any Democrat?

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Response to GaryCnf (Reply #64)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:45 PM

68. NO cuts to SS, Medicare, Medicare; raise taxes on the rich to pay for infrastructure jobs.

These are all things Trump also said he wanted during his campaign. Now it is clear he was lying. How many will that peel off? I'm guessing 11% based on that Rasmussen poll, a Republican leaning poll (so it may be more).

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #68)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 03:47 PM

69. You know something

I will not fault your optimism.

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 09:54 AM

34. This is a powerful critique and well worth considering

The fact that it's from Milbank makes me

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Response to mcar (Reply #34)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:16 PM

47. Indeed.. I had the same reaction. nt

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 10:00 AM

35. K & R.

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:39 PM

52. .

 

.

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 11:26 PM

88. Instead of posting this idiot diatribe to

Divide and conquer, perhaps you should Listen to Elizabeth Warren on Netroots nation, now, instead. A move to the middle is NOT progressive, or should I just start posting my spaghetti sauce recipe? Bernies people are part of the Democratic tribe as much as Hillary's. LEARN HOW to Get Along with each other, CHILDREN!

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Response to bobalew (Reply #88)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 01:08 AM

92. It is Our Revolution's single payer litmus test that is divisive.

This piece talks about the best way to get to universal coverage. A move to expand Obamacare and add a public option is quite progressive.

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Tue Aug 15, 2017, 01:44 AM

114. Great editorial

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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Tue Aug 15, 2017, 09:20 AM

115. Do I have to repeat my post again?

You do not need a "litmus test", in fact, it is counter productive and too complicated.

Two questions:

Q1. Who will you vote for in the Democratic primary?
A1. The (Democratic) candidate that comes closest to representing your views. Of course, this means that you:
1) will need to list the issues that you find important and
2) prioritize them!

Q2. Who will you vote for in the general?
A2. The Democrat.

It is that simple.

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