January 18, 2016

#DemDebate overview and lead-in; Clinton and petard-hoisting; #singlepayer and guns

In the wake of Sunday night's last Democratic debate before the Iowa caucuses is this good piece from the New York Times.

Takeaway No. 1 is near the bottom. That's that Clinton is not regretting scheduling more debates against Bernie Sanders than the three we've had.

Does this mean that Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz should now be facing fire from both campaigns?

Takeaway No. 2 is that she thinks she should have attacked him more earlier. Rather than sending out Chelsea the Attack Dog, I guess, in what's been a hugely panned (including by me) set of lies about Sanders' stance on single-payer health care.

Takeaway No. 3 comes from a second piece. Clintonista attack dog David Brock is pushing the idea that Sanders might be hiding something medically.

Apparently, the bluntness with which he's doing this has Clinton's own campaign chairman concerned:
There you go.

That said, given that Bernie is already older than Ronald Reagan was when elected to his second term, I wouldn't mind seeing some medical records myself.

Of course, I wouldn't mind seeing Hillary's, as well. Per this:
That may be why Podesta is telling Brock to "chill out."

Friend Brains has this preview take on the debate.

As for the debate? Small sample size, but Politico says Sanders kicked butt with South Carolinians in the first hour. Note: Of the 30 sampled, 14 are African American. After the debate was done, the rest of the chattering class agreed that Sanders won.

I thought Bernie mopped the floor with Hillary on anything related to health care. Clinton claimed that Obamacare gave us "a path to universal health care." Yep, and Sanders wants to take us the rest of the way there and you don't.

I thought he scored good points on Iran, with the perfect timing of Iran releasing several American Sunday. I think Clinton is wrong with her "crush ISIS" ideas. That's not how counterterrorism works, and it's a call to be a warhawk.

I think his comment about banksters' speaking fees nailed her. I think O'Malley had a good assist on the "new Glass-Steagall" issue. As for Hillary Clinton invoking Barney Frank and the Dodd-Frank bill? Barney's been a neolib in the banksters' bathtub for decades.

I do think Sanders didn't really explain how Sunday's flip-flop on his 2005 vote in favor of gun maker lawsuit immunity wasn't a flip-flop. And, he didn't really explain why he changed his position other than Sunday being the third Democratic debate. On the other hand, a Washington Post piece argues it's not out of the blue after all.

The fact that Sanders has a D-minus rating is a fig leaf. It speaks of the NRA above all. And, Howard Dean may have had an A rating, but he was more of a suck-up and less liberal overall.

Yes, Bernie may be getting better, but, with nuancing it to within the Democratic Party, per NBC's debate coverage, I'll disagree with Brains and say that Bernie is, or has been, a gun nut.

I'll also disagree with his take on Clinton on the housing crisis, while we're there. The housing bubble is more complex than a lot of people would like to make it. For people who bought second houses as investment vehicles, or who "churned" a first house every 2-3 years on a liar's loan, I don't feel that sympathetic, assuming they knew what they were doing.

I can attack the banksters' alphabet soup of housing derivatives, and did repeatedly at the time the bubble burst. I can also attack people who willingly jumped on the speculative gravy train.

For my pre-debate thoughts on guns and health care, go here.

To tie these issues together, Clinton and her surrogates, and Hillarybots among voters, keep saying "we can't do single payer, because Congress won't pass it." Well, the same argument applies to gun control, right? So, do we give up on that as well?

Apparently, such a point of view has infiltrated the punditocracy, judging by this Bloomberg View piece.  And the ideas behind it are being latched onto as defensively by some Hillarybots as Clinton herself was defensive enough last week to send out Chelsea the Attack Dog.

Someone on Facebook (his posting is "public," therefore I don't violate my Facebook ethics rules) posted a link to that with comment, then cited "Syria" and "ISIS" as non-incremental change as his first comment on the thread below his post. With well-poisoning like, that, GFY. Especially if, as a 20-something in Iran, you're naive enough, misinformed enough or whatever to think that Middle East turmoil equivocates to "non-incremental change" in an established democracy.

As for the spat about Obama being weak or whatever? Clinton can wrap herself in Dear Leader's flag all she wants, but he WAS weak on the Great Recession, starting with the hiring of Tim Geithner as his Treasury Secretary.

And, Clinton was way wrong on the online privacy issue.

The Guardian's live-blog has more insights.

And, "Brooklyn" aside, I do think Sanders could stand to work with a speech coach or something. He does come off as too often yelling or similar. That said, when he's in a one-on-one video interview, his voice is much more nuanced. And, he could work on better "presentation" in general. A good example?

He and Clinton have the same position on reparations for slavery, but Bernie gives a blunt "no" while Hillary gives nearly the same answer, more smoothly, and makes it look like "yes."

That Mediate piece is right on other things, too. Bernie's 1-note trumpet isn't good enough on all minority issues.

Look, Sanders: Income inequality has nothing to do with red states gutting voting rights. And, many a poor white individual supports such moves even more than rich whites.

Finally, let's remember it wasn't a two-person debate. I thought Martin O'Malley was more lively than in the first and second debates.

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