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Can Joe Biden Sell ‘No We Can’t’?

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Can Joe Biden Sell ‘No We Can’t’?

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/democratic-primary-debate-joe-biden-865824/

The triumph of the progressives on night one of the Detroit debates portends trouble for the former vice president

 

The first night of the debate in Detroit turned conventional Democratic political dynamics on their ear. 

In the normal state of affairs, politicians calling for modest course corrections are given the presumption of virtuousness on the public stage, while candidates calling for transformation are forced to make the difficult case for change. 

But on the stage at the Fox theater Tuesday night, the candidates who had to fight to justify the righteousness of their path were not the tag-teaming progressives demanding sweeping changes — to health, tax and environmental policy. Rather it was the raft of milquetoast moderates, preaching caution and incrementalism, who had to defend themselves from challenges of being callous, cold hearted, and out of touch. The questions that hit home were not “how can we possibly afford these changes?” but rather, given the challenges Americans face, “how can we possibly afford more of the same?”

If this new dynamic holds for the second night of the debates, it promises to put Joe Biden — whose campaign promises a reversion to the path he helped chart with Barack Obama — on the defensive. Can the former vice president who once campaigned under the slogan “Yes We Can” explain to America why in fact we really can’t?

By luck of the draw, the first night debate stage was anchored by the two strongest change agents in the 2020 race, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Instead of attempting to differentiate themselves, one from the other, the duo locked arms, and made the fierce case for the agenda they agree on: Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and new taxes on the wealthiest. 

America has seen bold, visionary Democrats on the debate stage before. But even prominent ones — Jesse Jackson in 1988 comes to mind — had to go it alone, swimming upstream against a current of knowing and complacent voices, soberly explaining why it’s too much too soon.  

But the celebrity, charisma and moral clarity of Sanders and Warren — he leading with statistics (“49 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent”), she connecting with stories about Americans like ALS sufferer Ady Barkin (“This is somebody who has health insurance and is dying. And every month, he has about $9,000 in medical bills that his insurance company won’t cover”) — gave the pair unprecedented gravity on stage. 

Centrists had traveled to Detroit expecting to be rewarded for exposing the difficulty and expense of implementing the Sanders/Warren agenda. And they dutifully unleashed their sound bites. “Wishlist economics,” drawled Montana Governor Steve Bullock. “Impossible promises,” proclaimed millionaire former congressman John Delaney. “An evolution, not a revolution,” preached former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. But rather than connecting as clear-eyed truth tellers, these moderates presented instead as cowardly lions, afraid to stand up for struggling Americans in the face of a corporate-political complex built to grind them down. 

And they got savaged by candidates preaching fearlessness in the pursuit of a more just America. “I genuinely do not understand why anyone would go to all the trouble of running for president just to get up on this stage and talk about what’s not possible,” Warren said in a withering exchange with Delaney. Even love warrior Marianne Williamson pulled out the heavy artillery: “I almost wonder why you’re Democrats,” she said, addressing the moderates. “You seem to think there’s something wrong about using the instruments of government to help people.”

Pete Buttigieg, himself far from the most progressive on the stage, cleverly distanced himself from the sour, can’t do spirit of the Delaneyloopers by giving lie to the notion that centrism offers safe harbor in the face of Republican attacks. “If we embrace a far-left agenda they’re going to say we’re a bunch of crazy socialists,” Buttigieg said. “If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they’re going to do? They’re going to say we’re a bunch of crazy socialists,” he added. “So let’s just stand up for the right policy,” the millennial South Bend mayor insisted, “and go out there and defend it.”

The change agents in the race are appealing to what a charismatic young presidential candidate once referred to as the “fierce urgency of now.” And if the first debate night is any indication that fierce urgency is a mood, and that mood has gripped the Democratic electorate.

That spells trouble for one Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., who wants to run on America’s nostalgia for the eight years of sanity and stability under the Obama administration, while simultaneously tamping down on the Democratic base’s hopes for change. 

The setup for night two on the debate stage will be different. Biden creates his own gravity, and his top challenger, Kamala Harris, just this week tacked away from Sanders and Warren —  introducing a less sweeping path to Medicare for All that would transition to public health care more slowly and leave a greater role for private insurance. 

But Biden has others to worry about. The night also features capable, unapologetic progressives who can make the case for Democrats to deliver the full monte — including a member of the Obama cabinet. Julián Castro shined in his Miami debate performance by making a searing moral case for decriminalizing the act of illegal immigration. 

Though he’s not a star in the polls, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has proved himself a credible stand in for Bernie on the debate stage, insisting in Miami that the primaries are a “battle for the heart and soul of our party” and insisting that the Democrats are “supposed to be the party of working people… supposed to be for a 70 percent tax rate on the wealthy… supposed to be for free public college for our young people” and “supposed to break up big corporations when they’re not serving our democracy.”

Biden — the resurgent front-runner whose poll numbers have recovered fully from his face plant in the first debate — will face perhaps the trickiest communication challenge of his long and gaffe-filled career. Can he satisfy the base’s thirst for upheaval while staying true to his message that “nothing would fundamentally change” on his watch? 

Biden has some goods to deliver to those seeking change. His plan to close a sweetheart loophole that allows people to inherit assets while skipping out on taxes could raise a lot of revenue, as could his proposal to tax capital gains (i.e. investment earnings) as normal income. His plan to triple funding for struggling public schools also has heart. And the former vice president is uniquely positioned to talk up the Affordable Care Act as a sweeping achievement (a Big Bad wording Deal, if you will) that must be defended. But can he make the case without resorting to lazy fear-mongering about Medicare for All?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hopefully,

a sufficient number of Democrats realize that Republican voters are owned by the propagandists,

who are owned by the oligarchs.

Winning this election means stopping the march backward in time,

not necessarily hoping for ANY movement forward.

 

Biden will have a difficult time saying it in so many words,

but we need to hope that he can get the message across. 

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On 7/31/2019 at 3:01 PM, peter45 said:

Hopefully,

a sufficient number of Democrats realize that Republican voters are owned by the propagandists,

who are owned by the oligarchs.

Winning this election means stopping the march backward in time,

not necessarily hoping for ANY movement forward.

 

Biden will have a difficult time saying it in so many words,

but we need to hope that he can get the message across. 

Poor old Biden takes a lot of money from Wall Street, and big money Phrama corps. 

The land of cable news runs a lot of television adds for big pharma - so do all the 3 basic networks. 

That's money for ya. A lot of doe ray me. 

These long-term Congressional types, it isn't that they are old, that they've been there a long long time, or is it?

Why do you think they have been there for so long?

Kamala, why do you think this is?

Do you think this is?

 

What do they say in private? 

It's a matter of fact true, people don't trust their government like they used to.

See the message here is difficult because the two sides play off it differently.

But for far too long, both sides took the money and still do.

 

Peace!

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10 hours ago, TheOldBarn said:

Poor old Biden takes a lot of money from Wall Street, and big money Phrama corps. 

The land of cable news runs a lot of television adds for big pharma - so do all the 3 basic networks. 

That's money for ya. A lot of doe ray me. 

These long-term Congressional types, it isn't that they are old, that they've been there a long long time, or is it?

Why do you think they have been there for so long?

Kamala, why do you think this is?

Do you think this is?

 

What do they say in private? 

It's a matter of fact true, people don't trust their government like they used to.

See the message here is difficult because the two sides play off it differently.

But for far too long, both sides took the money and still do.

 

Peace!

I think that it is Thom Hartmann who has said something to the effect that the Democrats are a little less crooked than the Republicans.

 

No,

I would not expect Joe Biden to be the ideal POTUS,

just a little better than what we have now.

But,

Having been born during the Second World War,

and having watched possibly hundreds (maybe thousands) of war films from that era,

I think that I now understand how Germany came to be under Hitler's control.

 

I just don't share the feelings that a lot of others have,

about faith in my fellow man.

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Joe Biden To Millennials: ‘Don’t Tell Me How Bad It Is. Change It.’

Young people are facing a dark financial future, but the Democratic presidential candidate doesn’t want to hear it.
 

 

Former Vice President Joe Biden has a message for the millennial generation: Stop complaining.

 

The 2020 Democratic presidential contender stood by the skepticism he expressed last year when asked about young adults’ belief that they face outsize hurdles to secure housing and pay off debt. “I have no empathy for it. Give me a break,” Biden said in January 2018...

 

Biden drew some criticism the first time he went after millennials, more than a year before he announced his candidacy. Conservative New York Times opinion writer and climate denier Bret Stephens later sided with Biden in a column criticizing the millennial generation, which Stephens said specializes in “histrionic self-pity and moral self-righteousness.”

 

As HuffPost’s Michael Hobbes reported in 2017, there is a large amount of research and data that paints a bleak financial future for young people, many of whom are already reporting that they’re finding themselves priced out of the housing market.

 

Although Biden has consistently polled highest among the wide field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, his supporters skew older and more moderate.

 

At the forum, he went on to say, “I just don’t want people telling me on a college campus, ‘Oh, woe is me, I’ve got it so bad.’ … Come on.”

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On 8/3/2019 at 4:54 AM, peter45 said:

I think that it is Thom Hartmann who has said something to the effect that the Democrats are a little less crooked than the Republicans.

 

No,

I would not expect Joe Biden to be the ideal POTUS,

just a little better than what we have now.

But,

Having been born during the Second World War,

and having watched possibly hundreds (maybe thousands) of war films from that era,

I think that I now understand how Germany came to be under Hitler's control.

 

I just don't share the feelings that a lot of others have,

about faith in my fellow man.

whoa, wait a bit here for a second. First, being the youngest kid of ten, having a dad who fought in the second war, or WWII, and a good mom, I have older siblings same age as you.

I also understand what you mean that you don't share your feelings that others have, and that you hold your faith in your fellow man.

 

Look, I am talking completely about free markets, the way they are co opted with all the accoutrement of an oligarchy type fervor - and sure, I know who Thom Hartmann is, but I really have no way of knowing what he thinks, because I never listened to him, nor have I ever read anything he has written.

 

My grandfather comes from Ireland and becomes a writer and an editor for the Toledo Times after fighting in WWI. This was before he left my grandmother who kicked him out for making his secretary pregnant. My dad grew up with no dad. And then my dad left our family in the sixties when I was eight.

 

But I get it. I was lucky. I had older siblings who raised me and found their way into college. I did too. 

 

Are you telling me that Joe, who I like, knows something I don't?

 

First off, he's run for president twice already, and failed both times. I like Joe, but he's not the guy we need right now. Not even close. 

Not even close to being close.

 

Peace!

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15 hours ago, TheOldBarn said:

whoa, wait a bit here for a second. First, being the youngest kid of ten, having a dad who fought in the second war, or WWII, and a good mom, I have older siblings same age as you.

I also understand what you mean that you don't share your feelings that others have, and that you hold your faith in your fellow man.

 

Look, I am talking completely about free markets, the way they are co opted with all the accoutrement of an oligarchy type fervor - and sure, I know who Thom Hartmann is, but I really have no way of knowing what he thinks, because I never listened to him, nor have I ever read anything he has written.

 

My grandfather comes from Ireland and becomes a writer and an editor for the Toledo Times after fighting in WWI. This was before he left my grandmother who kicked him out for making his secretary pregnant. My dad grew up with no dad. And then my dad left our family in the sixties when I was eight.

 

But I get it. I was lucky. I had older siblings who raised me and found their way into college. I did too. 

 

Are you telling me that Joe, who I like, knows something I don't?

 

First off, he's run for president twice already, and failed both times. I like Joe, but he's not the guy we need right now. Not even close. 

Not even close to being close.

 

Peace!

I grew up in Chicago.

Parent's house was two doors down from a relative of the mayor.

I grew up watching political clout, and the neighbor wasn't even a city employee.

Couple others in the neighbor hood were recipients of clout.

I even received a few favors, even though I didn't perceive them as favors, at the time.

It is just "the way things were".

A couple relatives were in the political favor receiving line.

 

I am just saying that things are seldom what they are described to be, especially politics.

And that Joe may know what the real deal is.

And that what would be good for the country will be so misrepresented by the "conservatives" that Trump might be back in the White House.

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On 8/11/2019 at 2:35 PM, peter45 said:

I grew up in Chicago.

Parent's house was two doors down from a relative of the mayor.

I grew up watching political clout, and the neighbor wasn't even a city employee.

Couple others in the neighbor hood were recipients of clout.

I even received a few favors, even though I didn't perceive them as favors, at the time.

It is just "the way things were".

A couple relatives were in the political favor receiving line.

 

I am just saying that things are seldom what they are described to be, especially politics.

And that Joe may know what the real deal is.

And that what would be good for the country will be so misrepresented by the "conservatives" that Trump might be back in the White House.

Hey Peter45 - I have all the respect in the world for what you are saying. You've lived through a lot more than I have. What you have to say is extremely important to consider.

None of us like the huge craters of division that are being created by the right. In certain parts of this country it's all MEGA - and if you live in some of these places you are better off not saying anything. Kind of reminds you of what happened with Hitler. No matter how incredibly racist or fascist this guy behaves the group that supports him says nothing, they only applaud.

Gerald Ford, remember him? I liked Gerry Ford - a nice decent man. I also liked George Herbert Walker Bush. I didn't vote for him, but I had a deep respect for the man. 

That's important. (respect). That has got to be the very first step for any president to create if you have any hope for bipartisanship. Heck, a guy or gal might even say that yes, we do have a problem with inequality. And yes, gosh darn it, climate change is for real. 

 

Peace!

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