ChrisWeigant.com

Debate Advice For Hillary And Bernie

[ Posted Monday, January 18th, 2016 – 18:27 UTC ]

So we had the fourth Democratic debate last night, and I suppose we should all be thankful that Debbie Wasserman Schultz didn't somehow manage to schedule it to compete with one of football's playoff games. I wouldn't be surprised if the debate had a pretty low viewership, appearing as it did on a Sunday night during a three-day weekend, but those who did manage to catch it saw a much more high-spirited contest between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton than we've previously seen.

I'm not a big fan of declaring who "won" and "lost" debates, and I actually thought both candidates furthered their cause with a particular emphasis towards appealing to South Carolina and minority voters. That was one bar for the debate, and both candidates cleared it pretty easily. Oh, I should insert the obligatory mention that Martin O'Malley was also on the stage, even though he has no chance whatsoever of winning. Below are my debate reactions, complete with advice to both viable candidates on how to improve their performance for the next time around.

 

Hillary Clinton

Hillary has a tough argument to make, at least for 2016. He basic position might be summed up as "the politics of the possible." But "Let's just settle! Don't dream big!" is not much of a crowd-pleasing slogan. This is her essential problem, in a very volatile election year.

However, Hillary Clinton's campaign is smarter than some progressives now might think. There are a lot of Democrats out there who are already afraid to dream big. "Look where it got us last time," they say, "with all those oversold promises of hope and change." This, combined with "Bernie will never get any of his ideas through Congress," is indeed a powerful message to practical voters. Hillary's basic argument is one of pragmatism, which is a very solid position for her to take (considering her own and her husband's political history). When Republicans control Congress (even just the House), it is nearly impossible to pass any truly revolutionary or even progressive changes. This sounds pessimistic, but lots of voters see it as being more realistic than hoping for the pie-in-the-sky of Bernie Sanders's platform.

Hillary Clinton did raise this issue during last night's debate, but she's going to have to make this case even more explicitly. The best line she had last night in this regard was to remind Bernie that even with a House and Senate under complete control by Democrats, they weren't even able to get the "public option" voted on during the health care debate. That's a sobering reminder for a lot of voters of the frustration of dealing with Congress -- even when their own party overwhelmingly controls it.

As I said, this isn't exactly an inspirational message. In a year where a large portion of the electorate on both sides of the aisle is calling for fundamental change in Washington, Clinton is making the case that for all that lofty talk of revolutionary change, when the next president is sworn in, Congress will still remain. Even if the Democrats win the White House again and provide some strong down-ballot coattails, it's more than likely that Republicans will still control the House of Representatives. This means that Paul Ryan (or his successor) is likely going to have to be a party to any negotiations over new legislation. So hoping for fundamental change means, almost inevitably, that you're going to be disappointed with the actual results.

Hillary needs to make this one of her core arguments against Bernie, even more so than she did last night. The most interesting thing Hillary's now doing is to (as one pundit put it) "wrap herself in Obama." I actually do give Clinton a lot of credit for her full-throated defense of Obama's record and legacy, which (in the larger sense) is a rebuke of how Democrats ran for office in 2010 and 2014. Defend Obamacare (Hillary is telling the rest of the party), defend and praise Obama's record in general, and remind everyone why they voted for him in the first place. If Obama's approval with the public goes up, it will benefit Democrats all up and down the ballot next year.

This isn't exactly a new strategy for a politician running to replace a president of their own party, of course. It's really just "Politics 101," in fact. But it is a lot better strategy than Democrats attempted in Obama's two off-year elections -- where they essentially ran from his record rather than running on his record. Clinton is positioning herself as a continuation of the Obama agenda, with promises to make his achievements better (mostly by tinkering around the edges). However, she goes too far when she tries to paint Sanders as someone who would willingly dismantle and destroy what Obama has achieved -- Democratic voters are smarter than she is assuming, and they're likely just not going to buy that line of attack (since it is so disingenuous to begin with).

Instead, Clinton should spin her incrementalist nature as being a positive thing. As I mentioned, there are plenty of Democratic voters out there who do agree with many of Bernie's issues, but who also feel that he's promising them too much. They want to dream big, they really do -- but they also don't want to be massively disappointed. For now, this means they'll probably vote for Hillary, whose platform does seem a lot more do-able. Hillary should play this up both on the campaign and during the debates. "We can do this!" she should proudly proclaim. "This is not some pipe dream of a new Utopia!" might also work. Anything that reinforces "this is both possible and achievable, even with a Republican House" and plants doubts about Bernie Sanders being able to deliver on any of his lofty promises could work to her benefit. Her final summation of this strategy might be: "Let's build on the Obama legacy, and make it even better!"

 

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders has finally broken through the media's previous silence about his campaign. What a difference a few good polls make, eh? Sanders's campaign has been what the pundits have been talking about (on the Democratic side) for the past week, and most pundits today have already coalesced around the "Bernie won the debate" storyline. This is what Bernie (and Bernie supporters) have been clamoring for all along, so now we're going to see how much good it does his campaign efforts.

Bernie was a lot better last night than he was in the previous debates. He's making his basic case in much more varied ways, rather than simply repeating the same line over and over again (I don't think he actually said "millionaires and billionaires" once last night, but I admit I could be wrong -- I wasn't counting, or anything). He's doing a much better job of not letting Clinton define his positions for him, and a much better job of pointing out where Clinton's spin veers off into the unbelievable.

Bernie's challenge is almost exactly the same one Barack Obama faced, when running against Hillary Clinton -- giving the voters enough optimism to actually believe that they can let themselves dream big. The true test of this will be beyond Iowa and New Hampshire, because even if Bernie beats Hillary in the early contests, he's still got a lot of voters elsewhere to convince that "Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders" is a very real possibility -- and not some fanciful fantasy story that could never actually happen. Obama managed to successfully do this, but it remains to be seen whether Sanders can do the same.

There's a very good reason why Hillary Clinton is making such a big deal out of gun control, of course -- because that's the only real issue on which she can position herself to Bernie's left. It's the only thing she can honestly say "I'm more progressive than him" about, and she knows it. Sanders managed to deflect much of this attack by shifting gears on the liability immunity issue (I was surprised Clinton didn't use the term "flip-flop" last night, because she was endlessly repeating it Sunday morning in multiple interviews). Sanders may be slightly vulnerable on gun control, but Clinton is vulnerable to this type of attack on just about everything else.

On several issues -- the minimum wage, health care, free public college tuition for all (to name just three) -- Clinton is not only to the right of Sanders, she's actually using Republican arguments to make her case. "Too high a minimum wage kills jobs," for instance. Bernie tried to point this out last night, but he needs to make this much more explicit. I was surprised that Sanders missed a big opportunity to throw Clinton's own words back in her face on the health care issue. Here's a quote from Hillary during the 2008 campaign, expressing her outrage (her word) that Barack Obama would try to fearmonger voters about her health care plan:

[It is] not only wrong, but it is undermining core Democratic principles. Since when do Democrats attack one another on universal health care? I thought we were trying to realize Harry Truman's dream. I thought this campaign finally gave us an opportunity to put together a coalition to achieve universal health care. This is wrong and every Democrat should be outraged because this is the kind of attack that not only undermines core Democratic values, but gives aid and comfort to the very special interests and their allies in the Republican Party who are against doing what we want to do for America. So shame on you, Barack Obama. It is time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public. That's what I expect from you.

Sanders should have read that, word for word, to Hillary last night and then calmly asked her when she changed her mind about this sort of tactic.

Beyond pointing out Hillary's Republican arguments, Bernie should absolutely hammer Clinton on how, when she talks about compromising and do-able achievements, she always seems to move towards the Republican position. The best example of this is the family leave issue. Bernie's right when he points out that he already supports an existing bill in the Senate to provide family leave, and that the costs would be minimal ("$1.61 per week") to working families. Clinton, almost echoing Grover Norquist, has taken a very hard line: no new taxes for "the middle class" (which both she and Bernie astonishingly define as any single individual making up to $250,000 a year -- not exactly what I think of when I think of the "middle class," but that's a side issue). Bernie could point this out by offering Clinton a tough choice: "If you were elected president next year and Congress passed the exact same version of family leave that I am now supporting in the Senate, would you sign it or would you veto it?"

This paints Clinton into a corner. She has three possible options: refuse to answer the question, say she'd veto it because it raises taxes on the middle class, or say she'd sign it. If she tried to punt, Bernie could just repeat "Sign it or veto it?" over and over until she was forced to answer it. If she said she'd sign it, then it means that her promise not to raise middle class taxes isn't as firm as she'd like us to believe. If she said she'd veto it, then Bernie could knock it out of the park: "So you talk about what is achievable through Congress, but only when compromise means moving towards the Republican position -- when faced with a choice where you'd have to compromise towards the Democratic Party's consensus position, you would veto legislation that could make millions of families' lives better -- just to keep your conservative pledge on taxes?"

There are other issues where Sanders could make exactly the same point, but this is the most poignant one, since both he and Clinton say they're for the same goal (a family leave policy), but differ on the mechanics of enacting that goal. Clinton would either have to remain true to the goal (and compromise her tactics) or stay true to her tactics (and miss the chance to achieve her goal). Either way, it would point out the inherent centrism (and aversion to progressivism) behind Clinton's mantle of practicality and pragmatism.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

85 Comments on “Debate Advice For Hillary And Bernie”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    I have heard that Senator Sanders is not "presidential" and, therefore, I assume that means he has no chance of winning the Democratic nomination or that, if he does, he can't win the general.

    Would you concur with that assessment?

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Senator Sanders was making one point over and over again during the debate Sunday night and argued that it was the fundamental issue that needed to be addressed before Democrats could hope to make progress on any number of issues. It's a point that one of our fellow commenters here, Don Harris, has been making and so have people like former Senator Hart and even Barack Obama spoke to it during his final SOTU address.

    And that is the proposition that the fundamental challenge to democracy itself is the influence of big money on the political process and that until that is properly removed as an obstacle to governing in the public interest very little progress can be made on any of the issues that most Americans care about.

    My advice to Hillary is to take on this issue as her own and build a coalition with Americans of both parties who believe in real campaign finance reform and work towards eliminating the need for elective office holders to spend the bulk of their waking hours on fundraising for their campaigns.

    This may take nothing short of a major shift in the makeup of the Supreme Court but there must be other ways to begin to move forward on this ...

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Normally, I don't like to nit-pick or go with a "grammar/spelling lame" but it's my understanding that you appreciate that.. :D

    . He basic position might be summed up as "the politics of the possible."

    Forgot the 'r'... :D

    Hillary needs to make this one of her core arguments against Bernie, even more so than she did last night. The most interesting thing Hillary's now doing is to (as one pundit put it) "wrap herself in Obama." I actually do give Clinton a lot of credit for her full-throated defense of Obama's record and legacy, which (in the larger sense) is a rebuke of how Democrats ran for office in 2010 and 2014. Defend Obamacare (Hillary is telling the rest of the party), defend and praise Obama's record in general, and remind everyone why they voted for him in the first place. If Obama's approval with the public goes up, it will benefit Democrats all up and down the ballot next year.

    That's a BIG "if", my friend.. :D Obama's numbers are going down, remember??

    But the biggest problem with Hillary selling herself as Obama's third term is that the American People have OVERWHELMINGLY (over 70%) and EXPLICITLY stated that they DON'T WANT an Obama third term! (Aside to Joshua... pppfffffffttttttttttt :D heh)

    So, if Hillary tries to sell herself as Obama's third term, the American people won't buy it and she will lose...

    There's a very good reason why Hillary Clinton is making such a big deal out of gun control, of course -- because that's the only real issue on which she can position herself to Bernie's left.

    That's another reason why Hillary will lose... Gun Control is a dead issue. Only the most rabid anti-gun fanatic believes that a gun ban is possible..

    Liz,

    And that is the proposition that the fundamental challenge to democracy itself is the influence of big money on the political process and that until that is properly removed as an obstacle to governing in the public interest very little progress can be made on any of the issues that most Americans care about.

    You won't see that happen in any meaningful way, either by Democrats or Republicans..

    Democrats have too much invested in the status quo to allow anything to be done about it.. They only pay lip service to the idea just to get the sheeple to vote for them...

    Republicans just don't give a flying frak and don't even bother with lip service.. At least the GOP is honest about their attitude...

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Bernie wants to win South Carolina, it's really easy to do..

    Just run a campaign ad with Bill Clinton saying, over and over, "Com'on! A few years ago this guy would have been carrying our luggage!"

    South Carolina would feel The Bern then, I can tell you.. :D

    "Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!"
    -Louis Tulley, GHOSTBUSTERS

    :D

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's a BIG "if", my friend.. :D Obama's numbers are going down, remember??

    Put another way...

    At NO TIME, in the history of this country, has a Party retained the White House when the incumbents approval rating has been below 50%..

    Never... Not once... Ever....

    "Yea, well.. History is going to change. "
    -Michael J Fox, BACK TO THE FUTURE

    :D

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    At NO TIME, in the history of this country, has a Party retained the White House when the incumbents approval rating has been below 50%..

    Ooops...

    At NO TIME, in the history of this country, has a Party retained the White House when the incumbent's approval rating has been below 50%..

    My bust... :D

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller- thanks for the mention. I may not always be commenting, but I do follow the conversation.
    The argument about what is doable and what is not achievable is something to be considered. But Obama in 2008 and Bernie Sanders and even Trump have shown that in this election that many things that were not considered doable have been done and can be done.
    And even if it can only be started in 2016, removing the Big Money from our electoral process is something that HAS to be done so we should be try whatever it takes whether it seems possible or not.
    Bernie supporters have shown that small contributions can work. Why not also apply this strategy with congressional and senatorial candidates ?
    There is a group of celebrities and organizations called Democracy Spring that is planning on holding a protest on April 2. They are not only willing to protest, they are asking for some people to risk arrest as well as protest to focus attention on the problem of money in politics.
    I sent them information on Voucher Vendetta (www.vouchervendetta.org) explaining how the celebrities and organizations of Democracy Spring also supporting this campaign financing approach could achieve much of their goal in the 2016 elections. I have not yet received a reply as to why they would not support solving the problem NOW in addition to the legislative efforts they support that will not achieve anything for years.
    Just the support of the celebrities and organizations of Democracy Spring could get enough citizens to participate to make this approach effective in 2016. Just the support of current Bernie supporters alone could do the same. Dare to dream the impossible and imagine what could be accomplished if both Democracy Spring and Bernie supporters added participation in Voucher vendetta to their agenda for the 2016 elections.
    Then make a small effort to realize the dream. Contact Bernie supporters, Democracy Spring and the organizations of Democracy Spring and urge them to support Voucher Vendetta.
    Conventional wisdom has so far ruled the day on this idea as in the old saying "You can lead a horse to water- but you can't make him drink".
    All I can say in response is to paraphrase Kramer from Seinfeld "Are these pretzels making you thirsty ?"

  8. [8] 
    TheStig wrote:

    This column is the best summary of the Charleston "debate" I've seen to date. I completely agree with CW's overall assessment of the outcome:

    ...both candidates furthered their cause with a particular emphasis towards appealing to South Carolina and minority voters..."

    "Hillary Clinton's campaign is smarter than some progressives now might think."

    The above is consistent with CW's spot-on analysis of the best mid game strategies for H. and B. Both campaigns ought post these put these rules on the wall in big block letters"

    Camp Clinton:

    C1. "When Republicans control Congress (even just the House), it is nearly impossible to pass any truly revolutionary or even progressive changes...This paints Clinton into a corner."

    C2. "Defend Obamacare ...defend and praise Obama's record in general, and remind everyone why they voted for him in the first place...Politics 101"

    C3. "Clinton should spin her incrementalist nature as being a positive thing."

    Camp Sanders

    S1. "Bernie Sanders has finally broken through the media's previous silence about his campaign."

    S2. "Bernie's challenge is almost exactly the same one Barack Obama faced, when running against Hillary Clinton -- giving the voters enough optimism to actually believe that they can let themselves dream big."

    S3. "Bernie should absolutely hammer Clinton on how, when she talks about compromising and do-able achievements, she always seems to move towards the Republican position.

    I would only add my take that the objectives driving the strategies of Clinton and Sanders campaign are very different.

    Clinton's strategy is to win the nomination and go on to win the general election, period.

    Sanders' primary objective is to drive Clinton more towards the center. He may feel that this actually enhances the chances of her winning (with bigger coat tails) or he may not. Winning the nomination is a secondary "target of opportunity" that is possible, but fairly unlikely. This is fully consistent with Sanders' Senatorial career-he doesn't initiate legislation, he modifies other politicians legislation to make it more progressive.

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Conventional wisdom has so far ruled the day on this idea as in the old saying "You can lead a horse to water- but you can't make him drink".
    All I can say in response is to paraphrase Kramer from Seinfeld "Are these pretzels making you thirsty ?"

    Kudos on the allusion.. :D

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don,

    The reason why your ideas won't work is because Party Loyalty takes precedence over ANY OTHER CONSIDERATION...

    Donald Trumps candidacy is the EPITOME... The textbook definition of EXACTLY what you describe...

    And yet, in spite of that, Trump is vilified on a daily, sometimes HOURLY basis...

    The *ONLY* thing that matters is the '-D' or '-R' that is after the person's name..

    ANY other consideration is a distant, a far distant second..

    PARTY UBER ALLES...

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don,

    Don't get me wrong. You deserve massive accolades for your efforts..

    The mere fact that you mention Trump in a positive light w/o any of the normal Left Wingery affectations that pass for "enlightened" and "meaningful" discussions indicates to a political agnostic such as myself that you do, in fact, get it..

    But yours is a single rational voice in a sea of Left Wingery and Right Wingery hysteria...

    But, as I said.. Kudos for trying...

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Stop your futile attempts to change the meaning of words. I won't tolerate any longer!

  13. [13] 
    Bleyd wrote:

    Seems like Clinton wants to just take Obama's "Change we can believe in" slogan and alter it slightly to "Change we can implement".

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale- We may not always agree but I appreciate your recognizing and respecting my efforts.
    But I do have to point out that any positive reference to Trump was purely by accident.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Stop your futile attempts to change the meaning of words. I won't tolerate any longer!

    For example???

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    But I do have to point out that any positive reference to Trump was purely by accident.

    Oh, I realize that.. :D

    But the fact that you can do it without your tongue turning to fire....

    "If the Evil One speaks those words, his tongue will surely turn to fire!!"
    -Cloud William, STAR TREK

    :D

    ... indicates that you can look past the '-D'/'-R' phenomena.. :D

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You know precisely what I am talking about, Michale, as it has been your MO from the get go. I'm sick and tired of it!

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    You know precisely what I am talking about, Michale, as it has been your MO from the get go. I'm sick and tired of it!

    By all means, point it out and we can discuss it...

    What could possibly be more fair than that??

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    You know precisely what I am talking about, Michale, as it has been your MO from the get go.

    And your MO is to ignore anything bad about the Left Wingery...

    But you won't find me complaining about it.. Well, not about you specifically.. :D

    We debate with the partners we have, not with the partners we would like to have... :D That's my motto...

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    How can we have an enlightened discussion about anything if you equate that with an echo chamber when the two are actually exact opposites?

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    How can we have an enlightened discussion about anything if you equate that with an echo chamber when the two are actually exact opposites?

    The two are exact opposites in theory only...

    In practice, here in Weigantia, they are identical..

    Because we can never have a discussion or debate on any aspect of politics if that aspect casts the Obama Administration or Democrats in general in a bad light. Only discussions that treat Obama and the Democrats as pure angels are "enlightened discussions"...

    Our discussion in the last FTP on racism is a perfect example..

    Everyone was all in when discussing Trump's alleged (and unproven) racism... When the issue of DEMOCRATS and THEIR racism was brought up.... All of the sudden it became an unenlightened discussion that was, apparently, beneath the discussion participants...

    No one wants to discuss the BAD aspects of the Democrat Party and the Obama administration..... Such discussions are "un-enlightened" discussions..

    Isn't that the very definition of an "echo chamber"???

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, honestly..

    What do you call a discussion where FACTS are "pedantic" and unwelcome???

    A day in the life of a typical Weigantian... :D

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You have extremely poor analytical skills insofar as your description of discussion here.

    You want to discuss nothing but the bad aspects of Democrats, Republicans and God knows what else.

    I'm here to discuss the issues and the future of US policy, foreign and domestic. So far, I have been unable to have such a discussion with you turning into something else altogether.

    The problem is that CW.com is not really the best site to engage in your idea of an enlightened discussion and yet, that is mostly what we get here.

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So far, I have been unable to have such a discussion with you turning into something else altogether.

    Meant to say WITHOUT you turning it into ...

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    You want to discuss nothing but the bad aspects of Democrats, Republicans and God knows what else.

    Not at all.. I often point to GOOD things coming from the Right *AND* the Left..

    But ya'all want to discuss nothing but the bad aspects of Republicans ONLY...

    I'm here to discuss the issues and the future of US policy, foreign and domestic. So far, I have been unable to have such a discussion with you turning into something else altogether.

    Probably because the starting point of ANY discussion here is "OBAMA GOOD REPUBLICANS TERRORISTS" and then branches off from there..

    If you can admit that Democrats aren't ALL good and Republicans aren't ALL bad, THEN... and only then... could we have an "enlightened" discussion..

    But no one here can admit that...

    Can anyone here admit that Donald Trump might ACTUALLY be a good POTUS for this country??

    Nope.. No one can...

    So how is ANY enlightened discussion even possible???

    Until anyone here can admit that they MIGHT be wrong about Democrats and Republicans.... well, I can't see how any enlightened discussion is possible...

    The problem is that CW.com is not really the best site to engage in your idea of an enlightened discussion and yet, that is mostly what we get here.

    My idea of enlightened discussion begins with the idea that there really isn't much difference between Democrats and Republicans..

    THAT is the objective and reality-based foundation of my position...

    But ya'all can't come to grips with the idea that Democrats MIGHT be frakin' things up and Republicans MIGHT actually be doing good for the country...

    Until ya'all can get to that point, then I have to agree with you..

    No "enlightened" discussion is possible...

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me give you a perfect example of what I am talking about..

    Do you think it's a good idea to have APPLE quit shipping all it's labor for it's products and build them here in the US instead??

    Don't you think that's a good idea??

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sounds like a good idea to me.

    Why isn't Apple doing that?

    Is there a role for the US government in ensuring that Apple does that?

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sounds like a good idea to me.

    So.. You agree with Donald Trump.....

    Trump: Apple should build 'their damn things' in US
    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/19/trump-apple-should-build-their-damn-things-in-us.html

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't like Trump's approach to issues like these. He doesn't talk specifics because he probably thinks all he has to do go get companies and countries to do what he wants is to give them an ultimatum.

    The world does not work that way.

    I see you didn't answer my questions ...

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't think Trump knows the first thing about how to manage the US-China relations because he hasn't said anything yet or produced any policy paper detailing how he would deal with China.

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't like Trump's approach to issues like these.

    But you DO agree with Trump that APPLE should make their products in the US with US workers...

    Right??

    I see you didn't answer my questions ...

    Yea, I did to you what is always done to me. Ignoring questions that don't serve my agenda...

    But I felt like crap doing it so I'll answer.. :D

    According to the APPLE Chief Executive, Tim Cook, the tax code in the US sucks purple panther piss for large corporations and that's why he has to ship the labor for his country overseas...

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The problem with Trump is that he says WHAT he would do as president but he doesn't say HOW he would get it done. He doesn't seem to understand the complexity of international relationships.

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't think Trump knows the first thing about how to manage the US-China relations because he hasn't said anything yet or produced any policy paper detailing how he would deal with China.

    But we're not talking about US CHINA relations..

    We're talking about whether or not Trump is right insofar that APPLE should make their products here in the US....

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    According to the APPLE Chief Executive, Tim Cook, the tax code in the US sucks purple panther piss for large corporations and that's why he has to ship the labor for his country overseas...

    So, why doesn't the US Congress do anything about that. Or, are they currently considering legislation to change the tax code?

    I mean, this has been a problem for a long time. I don't understand why various Congresses and administrations don't work together on an issue like this to encourage US companies to do the right thing ...

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, this has been a problem for a long time. I don't understand why various Congresses and administrations don't work together on an issue like this to encourage US companies to do the right thing ...

    Probably because it's not politically possible to give more consideration/incentives to large corporations..

    Large corporations are the devil's spawn, don'tcha know.. :D

    But regardless of that, do you see how we can have fun and meaningful discussions if we start with the idea that Republicans are NOT terrorists and actually CAN have good ideas???

    We started with an idea that both you and Trump agree on and viola....

    Instant Meaningful Discussion.. Just Add Political Agnosticity.. An old word I just made up... :D

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let's try to do that more often, Michale!

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Horse walks into a bar... The bartender asks, "Why the long face?"

    :D

    heh

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's try to do that more often, Michale!

    Agreed...

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Excellent!

    Until Chris's next piece, then ...

  40. [40] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    But you DO agree with Trump that APPLE should make their products in the US with US workers...

    I certainly don't agree that Trump should try and force apple to bring the jobs back to the US...

    According to the APPLE Chief Executive, Tim Cook, the tax code in the US sucks purple panther piss for large corporations and that's why he has to ship the labor for his country overseas...

    This is such a gross over simplification that it borders on bullshit. Tax is one reason but far from the only one.

    Lets turn this around, would you like Apple to make it's products in the US if it meant much higher prices? (Or swap apple out with the hardware maker of products you actually buy)...

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Lets turn this around, would you like Apple to make it's products in the US if it meant much higher prices? (Or swap apple out with the hardware maker of products you actually buy)...

    That's an excellent point, Bashi, which I was going to mention. But, then I thought ... what could be done to change that part of the equation that would make it just as profitable for Apple to make their product at home as it is to make in China.

    Is this where free and fair trade agreements come in. China is not part of the TPP for many good reasons. Will there come a day when labour costs in China are comparable to those in the US?

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    You have written about - and I'm not sure I'm saying this right - how eliminating the cap on earnings for Social Security premiums can make that program solvent.

    Have any of the Democrat presidential candidates talked about this?

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    I certainly don't agree that Trump should try and force apple to bring the jobs back to the US...

    Really??

    Yet you would agree that the government should FORCE Corporations to be more progressive..

    How is that any different??

    This is such a gross over simplification that it borders on bullshit. Tax is one reason but far from the only one.

    Hay, I just paraphrased Tim Cook.. You have a beef with that, blame him...

    Lets turn this around, would you like Apple to make it's products in the US if it meant much higher prices?

    I don't have a dog in that hunt so I am not one to ask..

    I was asking the question from the context of jobs for American workers..

    But overall you proved my point perfectly, Bashi..

    People like the idea of forcing Apple to bring their labor back to the United States..

    Right up to the point that they find out that TRUMP had that idea..

    NOW, all of the sudden, it's a bad idea.. :D

    Funny, iddn't it.. :D

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    I certainly don't agree that Trump should try and force apple to bring the jobs back to the US...

    So, what you are saying is that government shouldn't FORCE corporations to do anything...

    Right?? :D

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Hay, I just paraphrased Tim Cook.. You have a beef with that, blame him...

    You paraphrased a small part of what Cook said. As usual, I blame your lack of reading skills...

    Yet you would agree that the government should FORCE Corporations to be more progressive..

    Would I?

    I don't have a dog in that hunt so I am not one to ask..

    Hence the part you conveniently left out of the quote. Would you have gotten that huge TV you were boasting about around Christmas if it had cost three times as much? Was it made in the USA?

    Everyone likes to pick on apple because they are the big dog but how many electronic items in your shop are made in the USA? How many are made in China?

    People like the idea of forcing Apple to bring their labor back to the United States..

    Certainly not by force. Sounds a bit too unconstitutional to me..

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Funny, iddn't it.. :D

    "Ya know what? I think it IS funny.. It's a hoot...."
    -Tony Stark, AVENGERS - AGE OF ULTRON

    :D

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    So, what you are saying is that government shouldn't FORCE corporations to do anything...

    I said no such thing.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    You paraphrased a small part of what Cook said. As usual, I blame your lack of reading skills...

    And, as usual, I blame your cherry picking of only the facts that suit yer agenda..

    What's yer point? :D

    Certainly not by force. Sounds a bit too unconstitutional to me..

    Really?? Government regulation is pure naked unadulterated FORCE....

    So, NOW you are claiming that Government Regulation is unconstitutional??

    Why, Bashi! Yer a Trumpkin!!! Nice ta have you out of the closet.. :D heh

    Everyone likes to pick on apple because they are the big dog but how many electronic items in your shop are made in the USA? How many are made in China?

    And a corporate sympathizer to boot!!!

    Who would have thunked it!!??? Shirley not I...

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, what you are saying is that government shouldn't FORCE corporations to do anything...

    I said no such thing.

    Uh.. you just did..

    "Certainly not by force. Sounds a bit too unconstitutional to me.."

    Are you schizophrenic today???

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't have a dog in that hunt so I am not one to ask..

    Hence the part you conveniently left out of the quote. Would you have gotten that huge TV you were boasting about around Christmas if it had cost three times as much? Was it made in the USA?

    I was talking about APPLE... I wouldn't be caught DEAD with an IPHONE, hence I don't have a dog in the hunt if APPLE raises it's prices...

    But, golly gee, I never seen you defend the Corporate 1%'ers with such passion... :D

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    Are you Bashi's evil twin??? :D

    Michale

  52. [52] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    And, as usual, I blame your cherry picking of only the facts that suit yer agenda..

    Yawn. The old cut and paste response? I mentioned there were many factors. You chose a single one. Who is really cherry picking?

    Really?? Government regulation is pure naked unadulterated FORCE....

    So, NOW you are claiming that Government Regulation is unconstitutional??

    Double yawn. If you are going to run both sides of an argument, is there really any reason for anyone else to participate?

    And a corporate sympathizer to boot!!!

    Avoiding the question, eh? Where was your new TV made and would you have gotten it if it cost three times as much?

    Why, Bashi! Yer a Trumpkin!!! Nice ta have you out of the closet.. :D heh

    What are you blathering about now?

  53. [53] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Uh.. you just did..

    Bullshit. Back it up. It's on this page so it should be easy for even you to point it out...

  54. [54] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    But, golly gee, I never seen you defend the Corporate 1%'ers with such passion... :D

    Still blathering, eh?

    You are a true Trump supporter...

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bullshit. Back it up. It's on this page so it should be easy for even you to point it out...

    One of us is too drunk to be posting.. :D

    You said: "I certainly don't agree that Trump should try and force apple to bring the jobs back to the US..."

    Then *I* said: "So, what you are saying is that government shouldn't FORCE corporations to do anything...

    Then YOU said: "I said no such thing"

    So, which is it??

    Government should FORCE corporations to do something??

    Or Government SHOULDN'T force corporations to do something..

    Make up yer mind...

    Or, go my route and have another beer.. :D

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Government should FORCE corporations to do something??

    Or Government SHOULDN'T force corporations to do something..

    Oh!!! Oh wait!!! Oh!!! Oh!!! I got it..

    Government SHOULD force corporations to do things that further the Left Wingery agenda...

    But Government should NOT force corporations to do things that DOESN'T further the Left Wingery agenda...

    That's it, right!!???? :D

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    Still blathering, eh?

    You are a true Trump supporter...

    Actually, as you well know, I can't vote in the Primaries... Ergo, I am not supporting anyone...

    But I have to admit..

    I LOVE the way Trump get's ya'all's panties in a twist...

    I really love that.. :D

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Aren't you supposed to be on vacation? Maybe we should all just stop responding to you until you are back and force you too "enjoy" that cruise :D

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, regardless.. I think it's great if government would force corporations to move their overseas jobs here to the US...

    Apparently, those who don't agree are nothing but corporate shills who just want to enrich the 1% at the expense of middle class Americans...

    WOW... Never thought I could accurately say that around here, eh!!??? :D

    But seriously, this little experiment has been a smashing success..

    I throw an idea out there that sounds pretty reasonable and get a positive response...

    Once the idea is revealed to be a TRUMP idea, then all hell breaks loose and the Left Wingery comes outta the woodwork to denounce the heretofore good idea...

    "Mission accomplished!"
    -Rod, STARGATE ATLANTIS

    :D

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    Aren't you supposed to be on vacation? Maybe we should all just stop responding to you until you are back and force you too "enjoy" that cruise :D

    OK, now I know it's you who have had one tee meeny martoonies.. :D

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2016/01/08/ftp373/#comment-68462

    I have been back for over a week now...

    Try and keep up... :D

    Michale

  61. [61] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I have been back for over a week now...

    What can I say, when you are on a hysterical streak, I tend to give your posts the ol' bla, bla, bla, scroll, scroll, scroll. You have become so repetitive that I rarely miss anything, case in point excepted...

  62. [62] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Well, regardless.. I think it's great if government would force corporations to move their overseas jobs here to the US...

    Define "force"...

  63. [63] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    nobody's talking about sanders' biggest challenge, which is that he's not all that camera friendly. we'd all like to think that the electorate is issue-based and carefully considers all the candidates' strengths and weaknesses before deciding.

    i'd like that, but that s**t ain't the case.
    jules winfield (samuel l. jackson)~ pulp fiction

    the fact is, obama's vote in both elections was bolstered big-time by the fact that the guy looks like a hollywood star. bernie, not so much. unless you count christopher lloyd in back to the future...

    http://img.wonkette.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/bernie-700x700.jpg

    JL

  64. [64] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    whoops, quotation slip-up. the correct pulp fiction quote is:

    Now I'd like that. But that s**t ain't the truth. The truth is… you're the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.

  65. [65] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I think the biggest problem of Trump's apple statement is just how ignorant it is. Does Trump understand how iphones are built? Yes, china does the assembly. It manufactures many of the simpler parts. The glass, processors and some of the other complex chips like GPS, cell receivers and accelerometers are manufactured in America, Korea, Japan, Israel, Taiwan and a few countries in Europe. Should Israel be prevented from being a parts provider? The others? Mac pro's are assembled in Texas, and the main processors in Intel plants in various parts of the US. Not to mention all the jobs Apple has created with the whole app economy and stores...

    Also, ask yourself this: where is Trump branded merchandise made? Why is he not leading by example?

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    What can I say, when you are on a hysterical streak, I tend to give your posts the ol' bla, bla, bla, scroll, scroll, scroll. You have become so repetitive that I rarely miss anything, case in point excepted...

    So, in other words, you just assume you know what I am going to say and respond accordingly..

    Isn't that what you accuse me of with the links I post?? :D

    Yes, china does the assembly.

    And THAT is the problem.. Why can't APPLE have the assembly in the US??

    Because they would have to pay a LIVING WAGE instead of pennies for slave labor..

    You SUPPORT slave labor, Bashi??? :D

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Define "force"...

    Government Regulation..

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    So, in other words, you just assume you know what I am going to say and respond accordingly..

    Actually, I assume I know what copy and paste points make up your hysterical tear and choose to ignore it. If I respond, you can rest assured I have read the post and any linked articles.

    Isn't that what you accuse me of with the links I post?? :D

    No. Generally you make a point based on an link bait headline which is contradicted about two thirds in to the article you link to but have failed to read. Bit of a difference there...

    And THAT is the problem.. Why can't APPLE have the assembly in the US??

    Because they would have to pay a LIVING WAGE instead of pennies for slave labor..

    In US prices, yes it would be under market value for labor. In china, Foxxcon jobs pay well comparatively speaking and get many more applications than jobs available.

    You SUPPORT slave labor, Bashi??? :D

    Do you? I ask again, how many electronic items in your shop are made in china? You can profit off Chinese "slave" labor but other businesses can't? Or only Apple? Are you still in to Xboxs? If so, any reason you are not calling for Microsoft to bring that assembly to the US?

    Define "force"...

    Government Regulation..

    Is this regulation only about Apple or are you calling for the end of free trade?

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is this regulation only about Apple or are you calling for the end of free trade?

    Are you defending Free Trade??

    My how the worm has turned.. :D

    Bashi is protecting the rights of evil corporations, wants to impose slave labor, forget about a living wage and is defending free trade..

    I'll have to remember this conversation. :D

    Michale

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    In US prices, yes it would be under market value for labor. In china, Foxxcon jobs pay well comparatively speaking and get many more applications than jobs available.

    So, you are defending slave labor.. Er, excuse me. You are defending "decent pay" slave labor..

    WHO ARE YOU!! And what have you done with Bashi!!! :D

    I'll be sure and remember that you said that, as long as the slavers pay the higher end of the slave labor pay scale (they pay 8 cents an hour instead of the normal 3 cents an hour) then THAT is acceptable..

    :D

    But, as usual, you totally miss the point to push an unpopular agenda...

    American companies should bring those jobs to America for Americans...

    Isn't that the argument that progressives make??

    Yes it is...

    Isn't that the argument that Donald Trump is making..

    Yes it is...

    So, Donald Trump and Progressives are on the same page in this regard..

    And that just chap's ya'all's arse, now doesn't it?? :D

    For the record, I agree with you. While such a plan sounds good as a political sound bite and as red meat to throw to the hystericals, it wouldn't be workable in the reality of the hear and now..

    My only goal in bringing this up was to show that what would normally be a "good idea" for progressives is suddenly a HORRIBLE idea when progressives find out that the "good idea" came from the mouth of Donald Trump..

    Thereby proving, once again, that it's only the almighty '-D'/'-R' that matters...

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    For the record, I agree with you. While such a plan sounds good as a political sound bite and as red meat to throw to the hystericals, it wouldn't be workable in the reality of the hear and now..

    And the reason it wouldn't be workable is that corporations, even EVIL corporations, have rights and shouldn't be FORCED to do things that are anathema to the freedoms we enjoy as Americans..

    So, I completely agree with you Bashi. Forcing corporations to do things like bring home labor is not the answer..

    Trump is wrong in that regard...

    So are the progressives...

    Michale

  72. [72] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Are you defending Free Trade??

    Are you? Notice that sentence ended with a question mark and not a period...

    Isn't that the argument that progressives make??

    I have yet to see progressives or anyone else from either side of the political spectrum make the argument that companies should be forced to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. Trump seems to be unique here. Both sides give "bring back manufacturing jobs" lip service during elections but the plans are always vague and do not include compulsion.

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apparently you have heard of the BRING JOBS HOME act, eh??

    Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) said that the bill "would end senseless tax breaks for outsourcers" and "would end the absurd practice of American taxpayers bankrolling the outsourcing of their very own jobs."[2]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bring_Jobs_Home_Act

    By ending the tax breaks, Congress would FORCE corporations to bring the jobs back to the US...

    Like I said, we are in complete agreement on the issue, so no worries.. :D

    Michale

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    By requiring that all corporations which are incorporated within the United States to pay their workers $7.25 an hour (or the foreign currency equivalent), this initiative would severely dampen the incentive to outsource; while these corporations would still be able to utilize the lesser worker protection regulations and safety standards of the country which they outsource to, they would still need to pay their foreign workers higher wages if they wished to be incorporated within the USA. If this requirement were to be enacted, corporations would be forced to choose between three options:

    Corporations would be FORCED...

    I agree, a global minimum wage would destroy outsourcing, and stabilize job markets internationally, not to mention force corporations to play a little more fairly.

    FORCE corporations..

    Well.... I am glad there aren't any progressives who are advocating FORCING corporations to do anything.. :D

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    By ending the tax breaks, Congress would FORCE corporations to bring the jobs back to the US...

    By ending a single, one time tax deduction of relocation expenses when moving facilities over seas. Not exactly what I would consider "force"...

    According to your link:

    the Senate voted to advance the bill for consideration in a vote of 93-7.

    Yup, both sides give the issue lip service...

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    Both sides give "bring back manufacturing jobs" lip service during elections but the plans are always vague and do not include compulsion.

    Apparently, the "lip service" DOES include "compulsion"..

    But, it's a moot point. We are in complete agreement.. :D

    I know, I know.. That hurts... But there it is...

    Michale

  77. [77] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Apparently, the "lip service" DOES include "compulsion"..

    Really? Where? Your quote from a source so obscure that you can't post it's source?

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wikipedia is "obscure"?? Who knew.. :D

    I don't know what you are trying to prove, Bashi..

    WE ARE IN AGREEMENT...

    Why does that hurt you so??? :D

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/01/hillary-clinton-debate-iowa-sanders

    Looks like CNN has just given a big mighty FRAK U!! to the DNC and is giving Hillary another shot at Bernie...

    1000 quatloos says that Bernie wipes the floor with Hillary...

    AGAIN... :D

    Michale

  80. [80] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Wikipedia is "obscure"?? Who knew.. :D

    Going in to obtuse mode? I responded to the wikipedia article by pointing out that the "force" is the elimination of a minor tax deduction. No compulsion at all...

  81. [81] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    Running a bit late on this one, but the part about Hillary saying they couldn't even get the public option voted on when Dems controlled both houses of Congress is pure nonsense... revisionism.

    Obama took the public option off the table in a backroom deal with the insurers.
    Kind of hard to get a vote when the president capitulates on his own legislation before a vote can occur.

    So, basically, Hillary was lying... and not making a valid point in any way.

    If Obama had wanted a vote on the public option, there would have been one.
    (and with a little arm twisting of a certain sniveling Senator with little arms, it would have passed too)

    A

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, basically, Hillary was lying...

    SHOCKING!!! SHOCKING I tell you!!!! :D

    1000 quatloos says you'll support Hillary if she, by some miracle, get's the nomination.. :D

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    altohone wrote:

    Micha

    Your delusions are expected, and pathetic.

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    But you didn't deny the wager.. :D

    Michale

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, as you yourself have stated..

    Silence Gives Assent..

    HOISTED by yer own Picard!! :D

    Michale

Comments for this article are closed.