Friday, February 1st, 2008

2G2K Circus :: What We Learned

Hey yall, Ferentz is taking a break from the circus for a moment. Let me jot just a few notes on last night’s debate…

First off, 5pm in Cali is the wrong time. I recognize East Coast runs this, but who’s got the delegates next Tuesday? RRRRaaaah.

Leaving aside the aesthetics of debate performance, I dug the attention to issues this time.

On health care, Hillary has the better case, and the better program. That’s it.

The question from Minnesota on immigration’s effects on African American urban joblessness knocked me out of my chair. For 40 years, virtually no deep discussion of racial justice and then this? It’s a testament to how much of a break this election is from the past. But also a troubling testament to how flat the discussion remains.

For the record, I thought Obama’s answer correctly complicated the question. And it was viscerally heartening to hear him denounce scapegoating. The more Hillary spoke about immigration, the more she revealed how far she and mainstream of both parties have to go on the real issues.

Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama, a dream ticket? Errr. I don’t know. What do you think?

posted by @ 11:16 am | 7 Comments

7 Responses to “2G2K Circus :: What We Learned”

  1. w&w says:

    I have a hard time imagining either Clinton or Obama accepting veep status at this point. The dream ticket for me is more like Obama-Richardson or Obama-Sibelius!

  2. Zentronix says:

    Sibelius? Haha! Ain’t he dead?

    Tupac and Biggie–that’s the dream ticket.

  3. w&w says:

    He is. She’s not.

  4. Zentronix says:

    Ohhhh! Much different. Nothing’s the matter with Kansas.

  5. Paula says:

    HRC better on health care? Based on what? The mandate business?

    Ezra Klein @ The American Prospect has digital reams on his blog re mandates. He is *for* them, but the extent of flame-age suggests that the issue is entirely up in the air.

    In any case, I find the haranguing over what appears to be versions of the same plan kind of weird. They both stress affordability, but still use the existing infrastructure of premiums and deductibles. Of course, on the nitty gritty, I’m no policy wonk so for all I know the devil is in the details, but until HRC outlines exactly how that mandate will be enforced I see no real difference.

    The only way we cover everyone is with single-payer, and Kucinich was the only one who endorsed that plan. In the meantime, I see no reason why Obama has to kill his political chances by baiting Republicans who want one more reason to paint him as a crypto-socialist.

    Obama’s answer on immigration threw me for a loop. I never expected a national pol to lay out the problems of the meta on in the immigration debate. I wonder how badly he will lose because of his answer.

  6. Zentronix says:

    Paula, now you sound like the worrier! Do you mean lose tomorrow? Far as I know, the electorate here in Cali is still potentially a quarter Latino, and make up most of the growth in potential voters over the past decade. (Asian Americans are the other group, and we’re now overwhelmingly an immigrant population.)

    But why I’m really writing is to ask if you’d unpack the health debate for me from your perspective a little more. Sure, they’re close in comparison to the Reeps, who talk (only) about lowering costs without actually proposing anything concrete about doing so. (Kinda like Mitt Romney’s promise to bring jobs back to Michigan…through supply-side economics.)

    To me, Hillary’s soundbite about fighting for the principle of universal health care sounds right. Whatever the details come down to, that’s the important paradigm shift to make–since single-payer is politically off the table–isn’t it? If you’ve moved the paradigm, you’ve changed the terms of the debate.

    The soundbite is powerful because it actually makes Obama sound as if he’s furiously triangulating when he’s forced to explain his (somewhat tortured) reasoning about people who don’t want coverage.

    But that’s what I’m hearing. What are you thinking?

  7. Paula says:

    What I’m thinking is that the other side and some pro-business, anti-gov’t intervention moderate Dems are going to categorically refuse mandates, using that as an excuse not to pass any reform at all. To my mind, it’s HRC’s who’s cutting herself off at the knees, not Obama.

    Also, there’s something vaguely unsettling about getting the insurance industry wrapped into federal law if we do start to make a change towards a Medicare-for-all type plan. On some level, the kinds of pricing they have now will be presented as the majority of a limited set of options for legislators who want to tap into the existing models of health care providers.

    Like I said, this is based on a layman’s reading of the actual policies (which I find really hard to tell apart).

    Two threads on the issue

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