SocraticGadfly: Hillary vs Bernie on #singlepayer, #gunnut; a draw, or a #clusterfuck (updated)

January 15, 2016

Hillary vs Bernie on #singlepayer, #gunnut; a draw, or a #clusterfuck (updated)

First, the health care side.

Shock me that Chelsea Clinton would drink deeply from mama-san's ruthlessness to utter a boatload of lies like this:
"Sen. Sanders wants to dismantle Obamacare, dismantle the CHIP program, dismantle Medicare, and dismantle private insurance," she said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. "I worry if we give Republicans Democratic permission to do that, we'll go back to an era -- before we had the Affordable Care Act -- that would strip millions and millions and millions of people off their health insurance."

Absolutely zero percent of that is true. And the lies she learned at the Knee of Mom, including that Sanders' plan is a worrisome revolution (it ain't, and sadly). Even the Weekly Standard, which on foreign policy is best buds of neocondom with Hillary Clinton, says she's lying.

Oh, if you think I think Hillary Clinton (or Chelsea) is lying on this, read Doug Henwood. But, per his exchange with Katha Pollit of The Nation, even non-Hillarybots who have a certain version of a feminist narrative locked in aren't changing their stances.

No word if defrauded Haiti is an inspired
or informed part of Monde du Clinton.
As for Chelsea Clinton?

But, given that Chelsea wrote an ersatz campaign bio book in place of Mommy Dearest doing one herself, and has no real experience outside of working for Chez Clinton again, none of this is shocking. People who know then have no problem saying this is politics "as usual." 

And, if that's "cynical" rather than "skeptical," I plead very guilty to being cynical about that.

As for the online lies of a faculty advisor to campus Republicans, one pretending to be a Hillary Clinton supporter, and one who was co-author of a book saying that readers would be "entertained" by tea party governors, the single-payer option is NOT "rare" among countries that have some sort of insurance coverage mandate.

Per this link, 16 countries have a full single-payer. Nine others have what it calls a "two-tier" system. That's where there's a single-payer model for catastrophic insurance, with individual purchase options for comprehensive coverage, or

Bernie's one portion of his idea of "Medicare for all" single payer did leave wiggle room, in that he wanted make the expansion of Medicare like Obamacare — state exchange-type systems, but a federal system as a backup.

To that, I say, why?

Every baby these days gets a Social Security number. Give each bambino a Medicare account at the same time, if you're going to expand Medicare. 


No need for state Medicare exchanges or anything like that.

Bernie's plans were too bureaucratic, which is a bit worrisome, since that's a charge conservatives who aren't even full wingnut fling around. And, it's a change hurled around in spades, and rightly so, at Clinton's 1993 "Hillarycare" as well as Obamacare. People hate American health insurance paperwork and bureaucracy, whether corporate or government.

The gun nut side of the coin?

Sorry, Bernie, but your defense of your support of giving gun manufacturers lawsuit immunity is weak as hell. If you think you'd like to revise the law today, why didn't you propose an amendment 10 years ago. And, really, how many small gun manufacturers do you know? Per that link, Sanders' claim that such a revision would include prosecuting gun makers in certain instances is already law, too.

Sanders now says he would support overturning that law. That said, his caveat for small gun sellers is a fig leaf just as it's always been, and his claimed 2005 — and ongoing — opposition to child gun locks is tone-deaf, indeed. Beyond that, announcing this the day of the third Democratic presidential debate you're being Just.Another.Politician.™

Here's the nut grafs:

Campaign aides said the decision was not a flip-flop, arguing that Sanders backed the 2005 law in part because of provisions that require child safety locks on guns and ban armor-piercing ammunition. 
"Those were important provisions that I did support," Sanders said in a statement.
 Umm, nice try, nice fail, at the caveating. And, actually, this makes things even worse.

It's an unsubtle flip-flop on the main portion of the bill, hidden behind remaining tone-deaf enough to publicly oppose child safety locks at the same time to have opposed the bill with many good things in it, like the trigger locks. (Fixed after an initial misread of his comments.)

Bernie, if you are going to Just.Another.Politician.™ — and you have been for decades — this is the big stage now. You have to be more subtle.

On the other hand, a Washington Post piece argues it's not out of the blue after all. It still seems like a bit out of the blue. I know that Clinton's desperation over polling free-fall has seized on this issue. But, it does come out of the blue. And, if you like it that much, the actual legislation as described here, why not cosponsor it with Sen. Blumenthal, especially if this isn't out of the blue? And, why the special worry, still, about mom-and-pop gun dealers? Can they not fulfill the law? Or do you think many gun laws still don't work that well? Why the claim that PLCAA does NOT need a full repeal, along with your plans to offer an amendment?

Per ThinkProgress, even small gun dealers can have issues with straw purchases, undercutting your would-be amendment.

As for this being a flip-flop or not? Sanders first said he was thinking about "revisiting" the issue about the time he ran for president. Sandy Hook and Aurora happened long before that. And Schiff has been pushing similar legislation since 2013.

You're a gun nut, at least within the Democratic Party, Bernie, as extensively documented. Anybody who supports pilots packing heat when most of them want nothing to do with that is a gun nut. Ditto on favoring and voting for loaded guns in National Parks, even if you're not the only Democrat to have done so.

And, with the caveat of "within the Democratic party," sorry, Brains, but I'll keep on disagreeing with you. Until Bernie gives a "clean" backing to the Schiff-Blumenthal bill, I'll stand by that.

You're also a warhawk, lusting after the F-35 and other military-industrial complex items, a drones-light guy on using them, and probably a harder-core Zionist than many know.

And, on the guns issue, you're being Just.Another.Politician.™

What's really sad is that the Democratic Party has tacked so far right, and has such a weak Presidential bench that a 1-note Johnny pale imitation of his real socialist self of 40 years ago actually scares Hillary Clinton.

For one thing, Bernie, if you were an actual socialist, on health care, you'd recognize our system is so hypercapitalist that even Medicare for all is not enough, and that ONLY a British-style National Health System will rein in costs. (Matt Yglesias, of all people, actually has some interesting thoughts on cost controls, noting that even Medicare plus all, if it actually held the line on rates, along with a single-ratepayer system, would do some cost controls. Would it be enough?)

At the same time, there's plenty of opportunity to not be a 1-noter, and to really address foreign policy issues. Hypercapitalism, Clinton Foundation style, and neoliberalism, Obama Administration style, have teamed up in foreign policy to apparently continue to foist corrupt government on Haiti. That's even as, to the degree the government isn't corrupt, many services in Haiti are actually delivered by NGOs (many of them neoliberal or corporatist ones), not the government itself.

There's the Honduras coup. There's our drones in Yemen making us a proxy for the Saudis. There's, erm, Palestine, if you'd be less of a Middle East warhawk, less of a Zionist, and actually dare to touch the third rail of foreign policy. There's plenty of foreign policy issues where you could break outside the current Democratic mold, if only you'd actually say something.

There's the fact that capitalist neoliberalism drives a lot of American foreign policy ... ties back in with your economic stances.

There's "free" trade vs. fair trade.

Given all of the above, with the understanding that for me, it applies only to the Democratic primary process and NOT the general election, I do, though, agree with the Nation endorsing Sanders over Clinton.

Diehard fans of both candidates can't detach from the idea that both of them are saints on their ideas. Neither is. That's why I support ideas first, candidates second.

1 comment:

paintedjaguar said...

"For one thing, Bernie, if you were an actual socialist, on health care, you'd recognize our system is so hypercapitalist that even Medicare for all is not enough, and that ONLY a British-style National Health System will rein in costs."

Preach it. I don't see a state-level reform working in this country either. For instance in spite of all the publicity, if one read the details of the abortive Vermont single-payer effort... it wasn't single-payer. And actually, neither is Medicare.