Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tonight's #DemDebate

Lot of chances to watch the fur fly.  Let's read Vox's executive advance summary:

The next Democratic debate is on Sunday, January 17, at (8 pm Central). The debate will take place in Charleston, South Carolina, and air on NBC. A free online live stream will be available to all on NBC's YouTube channel
Like the last debate, this one will feature all three of the remaining Democratic candidates: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley. It will be the fourth of just six debates that Democrats are planning. And, like the last two debates, it will take place on the weekend (a three-day weekend, in this case) — when fewer people are expected to watch.

No DWS response to her many critics about this, and it's too late for her to provide one that addresses it.  I have seen no defense of this ridiculous and somewhat dictatorial action by the DNC chair from Clinton supporters.  If someone else has, please point me to it.

For much of 2015, it appeared Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic nomination without too much trouble. 
Not any more: Bernie Sanders has been surging in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote. He's been leading in the Granite State for most of the past few months, but his Iowa momentum is more recent — and the unique dynamics of the caucuses could give him an advantage over Clinton.

Reverb Press reveals Bernie's hurdle in Iowa: university is under way, and college students, one of the most critical vertebra in his campaign's backbone, may not be able to fully participate.

So Clinton is now faced with the possibility that she could lose both of the first two states to vote — something that would be hugely embarrassing for the supposedly inevitable Democratic nominee. It's unclear whether Sanders' success in Iowa and New Hampshire will translate to other states, but it's obvious Clinton has gotten nervous: this week her campaign started lashing out at Sanders's support for a single-payer health care system — using attacks that many commentators dubbed misleading. Expect a great deal of discussion on the candidates' health care positions at the debate. 
Another topic that will surely be discussed is electability. With the Republican nomination contest lurching so far to the right, many Democrats are anxious to nominate a candidate that will ensure their party keeps the White House this November. And some believe that Sanders — a "democratic socialist" who holds far-left views on several issues — wouldn't be able to win.

Clinton's campaign has been running ads suggesting she's the only candidate who can stop the GOP, while Sanders has responded by saying early polls show him doing better than she would. So it's likely that electability will be hotly debated on Sunday.

Robert Reich has Bernie's rebuttals to these. And here's the twelve most effective TV ads so far in the campaign, as judged by Business Insider (take note of who dominates).

Finally, there's the core issue motivating Sanders's campaign and indeed his entire political career — his desire to check the power of the super-wealthy and corporations. Sanders has been laser-focused on this for decades, while Clinton has been much more of an ordinary mainstream Democrat — willing to push for policies that improve people's lives, but also eager to win the business community to her side. 
In a recent ad, Sanders said there are "two Democratic visions for regulating Wall Street," and that "one says it's okay to take millions from big banks and then tell him what to do." So expect a serious debate around whether Clinton is too close to the wealthy. 
As for the other candidate in the race — Martin O'Malley, who's way far back in last place — this may be the last time we see him in a debate. If polls of Iowa are anywhere close to accurate, he'll perform so poorly there that it's difficult to imagine him continuing his campaign. Vox's Matthew Yglesias has argued that O'Malley should be taken more seriously — so this may be the last chance for that to happen.

There will also be some sparring over gun safety and Sanders has already revised his position on gun manufacturer immunity in response to his critics on that.  Take an afternoon nap in order to stay up late and watch the whole thing, despite what Wasserman Schultz would prefer.

Here's more debate prep if you like.

-- GOP chair Reince Priebus would rather his party's nominee square off with Hillary than with Bernie.  His reasoning is faulty -- he predictably believes the Republican could win against either one -- but his conclusion is sound.

-- Clinton's questionable assault on Sanders' still-to-be-announced national health care revisions (even Ted thought it unseemly) gets called 'rotten'.  Actually it was Clinton herself labeled a 'rotten candidate'.  It's the WaPo's RWNJ Jennifer Rubin, but still ...

-- Howard Dean's blinding hypocrisy on single-payer further trashes her reputation with progressives in the Democratic Party on the topic of healthcare.  Clinton's various surrogates, from Chelsea to Dean to Joel Benenson are serving her poorly, and that includes the odious David Brock, who was Tweeted to "chill out" by none other than Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.  So one thing we should expect not to be debated this evening is the candidates' medical records.

-- Eight reasons for worry in the Clinton camp, all of them barely within or completely outside her ability to control or even influence.

-- In what could have been its own post, my personal outrage of the week against Clinton is this 2007 video of her blaming the victims for the Great Financial Crisis of 2008.  To be clear: there's plenty enough responsibility lacking in those folks who were just not credit-worthy enough to buy a home, and who simply never held the old-school value of high personal reputation (that's why they had bad credit to begin with).  Caveat emptor and all that.  But let's not dodge placing the fault for global financial apocalypse where it properly lies: with the unscrupulous mortgage lenders, the incompetent or malfeasant securitization of subprime loans rated AAA by the industry's so-called watchdogs, and the government handouts extended to the likes of Jamie Dimon (who then declined to stimulate the country's moribund economy by lending the money out) when their stinking chickens eventually came home to roost.

If you still don't get it, go watch The Big Short again, or read this.


Gadfly said...

See my update on my Friday piece, with Bernie's new flip-flop on gun suits. What's worse, a subtle Just.Another,Politician, like Clinton, or an unsubtle one, like Sanders?

Gadfly said...

On the housing bubble, though she could have put it more subtly, and noted that the housing bubble started because of growing income inequality, nonetheless, unless one was poor enough to really not understand what was up, I think Clinton is at least partially right.

When I was in the Metromess, I heard someone in line at a store say he had a house "purchased" on a so-called "liar's loan," and he explicitly said he was treating it like a large apartment.

PDiddie said...

We're beginning to disagree more and more often.

I think your continued characterization of Sanders as a "gun nut" is getting to be a little unhinged. Gun culture is never going to revised in this country in our lifetimes -- to the extent that would perhaps mollify your disgust, anyway -- and any progress will incremental at best. Frothing ad hominem isn't helping.

W/r/t to Clinton being partially correct, she's much less than halfway there. That's not good enough, and is made worse by all of the money she's taken from Wall Street.

Seven million working families lost their homes, and one numbnuts in D-FW who figured out how to game the system does not make her one quarter-inch closer to being accurate.

Gadfly said...

Well, a "gun nut" within the Democratic Party. I'll caveat it that way.

On the housing bubble, we'll disagree more, without me agreeing with Clinton.

A lot of people were buying second homes as investments and other things, in addition to what I just mentioned.

Do I feel sorry for people who bought homes as speculative investments while knowing what they were doing? Not tremendously.

PDiddie said...

I don't think he's a gun nut, He's a gun advocate, too much so for my comfort level as I have previously indicated, but that's a small disagreement I can stop having.

"A lot of people" -- how many? what percentage?

I married a mortgage lender, and I can say without equivocation that if, during the time period that the housing bubble overinflated, anyone bought a second home on credit -- for any reason be it spec or vacay or WTF-ever, and irrespective of their FICO score -- then they are far more stupid than they are wealthy, and they would have to be pretty fucking wealthy even at a time when mortgage lenders were playing fast and loose with the mortgagee income declarations.

That's another analogy so far from reality that it's a digression far, far off the topic and the point.