ChrisWeigant.com

Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages

[ Posted Thursday, July 20th, 2017 – 16:44 UTC ]

Democrats seem to be almost ready to unveil their messaging for the 2018 election cycle. Ever since the disastrous 2016 election, they've been regrouping and trying to figure out a way forward. They did not launch a formal examination of what went wrong last year (unlike Republicans in 2013, there has been no "post-mortem" or "autopsy" document from the Democrats), instead they have focused on tightening up their message to move forward next year. The Washington Post just ran a preview of the Democratic strategizing, and reports that Democrats will be rolling out the whole thing next Monday.

The Post apparently didn't get to see the full document, which likely means the leak was intentional, meant to raise interest in whatever will be unveiled next week. So they couldn't accurately say what will be in it, but they did provide an interesting overview of the direction Democrats intend to head towards:

As important as what's in it is what's not. Democrats jettisoned social and foreign policy issues for this exercise, eschewing the identity politics and box-checking that has plagued Democratic campaigns in the past, most recently Hillary Clinton's. This will be purely an economic message.

They also resisted invitations to steer the party toward the center (as pollster Mark Penn advised) or in a more progressive agenda. This is meant to be a populist manifesto that doesn't conform to the left/right debate but instead aims to align Democrats with ordinary, middle-class Americans fighting powerful special interests.

Titled "A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages," it is expected to have many Democratic staples -- tax increases on the rich, affordable college, infrastructure spending, higher wages, job training, paid family leave and the like -- and a few new ones.

Hashed out over several months by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), and Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), Cheri Bustos (Ill.) and David Cicilline (R.I.), it will be outlined Monday with a few sample proposals, to be followed in the coming weeks by more proposals, some to be introduced as legislation and some to be offered as Contract With America-style promises that a Democratic Congress would implement. Schumer told me in December that Democrats would have "five, six sharp-edged [policies] that can be described in five words," although it sounds as if the plan hasn't come out quite so lean.

This is, obviously, just a teaser. And a fairly nebulous teaser at that. Let's break it down, one tease at a time. Obviously, we'll all be able to more accurately assess the platform when it is made public, but since this is all we've got to go on for the moment, let's see what is being said about it.

The first things mentioned are what won't appear. Democrats will "jettison" social issues, foreign policy issues, identity politics, and box-checking, in favor of a "purely economic message." This is probably a good idea, at least for the moment. Democrats may not have the luxury of ignoring foreign policy, though, if some crisis or another crops up in the heat of the election. But then, this will be a foundational document for the party, meaning it can be built on later if additions are necessary. It also will be a document all Democrats can get behind, meaning individual candidates can offer up their own personal stance on issues it does not cover. That's actually a good thing -- building in flexibility for wildly different types of Democratic candidate.

The problem, however, of ignoring all the "box-checking" is that the groups whose boxes will not be checked may be seriously annoyed. The Democratic Party has always been an exercise in cat-herding, so we might hear some yowling as a direct result of being ignored. Bernie Sanders, for instance, in the earliest days of his campaign, tried to run on a purely populist economic message, but got roundly criticized for doing so. Now, individual House and Senate candidates might not face the same level of pressure from all the box-checking groups, but they also might get more local complaints.

I'm hoping that second paragraph was the writer's interpretation rather than directly leaked talking points. First off, let's all avoid the term "populist manifesto," shall we? Manifesto is a loaded word with some seriously negative overtones, so it's best just to avoid it altogether. Not conforming to the left/right debate and fighting for ordinary middle-class Americans certainly sounds like a good thing, but it remains to be seen what it will translate into. You can try to avoid the left/right debate all you want, but the political chattering class is inevitably going to grade it on that scale anyway, whether you want them to or not.

According to the article, the Democratic Party's not going to head in a centrist direction or a progressive direction, but instead in a populist direction. That may not be entirely possible, since any step towards populism is generally a step at least somewhat towards progressives and away from centrists. That's if you define "centrist" as "beholden to Wall Street," which (at this point) seems pretty accurate, at least in the Democratic Party. There are plenty of areas where progressives and populists don't see eye-to-eye, but there are more similarities between their agendas than the centrist agenda of people like (shudder) Mark Penn.

The only solid leak in the entire article is the new subtitles Democrats have now attached to their already-revealed slogan: "A Better Deal." This will now additionally mean: "Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages." As slogans go, that's not a bad one. I might have used the simpler "Better Pay" rather than "Better Wages," but that's a minor quibble. All three items -- skills, jobs, wages -- are indeed middle-class work values that are hard to argue with.

There's a fairly large contradiction in the author's take on the Democratic Party, which is revealed in the article's final condescending line, which accuses Democrats of doing "a really good job of keeping [their agenda] under wraps." Contrast that with the list of "many Democratic staples." You can't have it both ways -- either nobody knows what the Democrats stand for, or everybody knows exactly what the Democrats want to do. Pick one or the other.

The list of staples is a good one, though. Once again, they all focus on helping middle-class America and helping people get into the middle-class in the first place. But what will the "few new ones" turn out to be? Again, a tease, since we won't know until Monday. Let's hope they're innovative and wildly popular ideas (such as all the other Democratic staples listed).

In the final paragraph, we learn that even Monday's rollout will be somewhat of a tease itself, as the platform is obviously still a work in progress. "To be followed in the coming weeks by more proposals" seems designed to leave lots of room for later additions, to put it mildly. Or perhaps it is just all part of the rollout campaign strategy, and they've already agreed on what the later proposals will consist of. It's impossible to tell, at this point.

Chuck Schumer's goal seems a worthy one. Think: bumperstickers. Those who scoff at sloganeering and sound bites are the same ones who lose elections with 18-point plans "on our website, that anyone can read." Pithy isn't a bad thing, even for Democrats. Having a song sheet that everyone sings from (using exactly the same notes) is a powerful way to get a core message across that actually reaches and resonates with the public. They'll never take the time to look at your website unless they are drawn in by snappy slogans, to put it another way. Some may find this crass, but it doesn't make it any less true. Five or six sharp-edged talking points "that can be described in five words" is indeed a worthy goal to shoot for.

All around, "A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages" seems like a giant step in the right direction. Democrats may be on the brink of refocusing and rededicating the party to the interests of a lot of voters that have drifted away from them. It is a positive message, it shows what Democrats' core values are, and it could definitely convince voters that the party stands for something, and not just against Donald Trump and the Republican Congress.

Midterm elections are always a referendum on the sitting president. Always. This is so true that members of the "out" party don't even need to make a big deal of it to get elected. The voters already know it, they don't need to be hammered over the head with it. In a year's time, when the midterm campaign really gets rolling, the mountain of unkept Trump promises will be apparent to all. The disappointment will already exist. Trump voters having second thoughts and/or regrets won't need to be reminded of the failures, they'll already know all about them. Democrats offering a better deal to them means they can vote for something positive, to send a message of their disappointment. Chanting "Russia, Russia, Russia!" isn't going to change any Trump voter's mind, because they'll already be disillusioned with Trump (possibly for very different reasons). So even though the Post article was just a peek into the Democrats' new strategy, it certainly seems like Democrats have already learned this lesson. Offer the voters something positive, because everyone likes voting for something new, not just against something that obviously isn't working.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

52 Comments on “Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages”

  1. [1] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "The first things mentioned are what won't appear."
    "...in favor of "a purely economic message.""

    What won't appear is the one issue that would make anything else they promise worth consideration- a commitment to small contribution candidates.
    Without that it doesn't matter whether they present a progressive, centrist, populist or any other direction and the purely economic message will just be more promises they have no intention of keeping.

    "We'll be able to more accurately assess the platform when it is made public, but since this is all we've got to go on for the moment, let's see what is being said about it."

    It's not even done yet and won't be ready for a few weeks so why bother to talk about it? This seems like a perfect time to talk about One Demand that IS ready right now. Why do you continue to fall for the Democrats bullshit?

    "...individual candidates can offer their own personal stances on issues it doesn't cover. That's actually a good thing- building in flexibility for wildly different types of Democratic candidate."

    One Demand has one demand and therefore flexibility for wildly different types of candidates from ALL parties and also independents.

    What happened to "Amen to all of that?"

    Don't let the Democrats manipulate you with this cheap attempt to fill the summer months with useless speculation. Beat them to the punch by filling the slow news summer months with articles about One Demand and other groups that are proposing worthwhile approaches. This will expose the Democratic release as the bullshit it will most likely be or possibly even force them to actually offer something worthwhile.

  2. [2] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Don,

    What makes a politician that only accepts small donations more honest than those that accept any sized donations?

    Without that it doesn't matter whether they present a progressive, centrist, populist or any other direction and the purely economic message will just be more promises they have no intention of keeping.

    Seriously, how can you claim that a candidate who accepts donations larger than what you are comfortable with is dishonest and cannot be trusted based solely on that factor?

    Wouldn't it make sense that a candidate having to appease a much larger number of individuals in order to secure the amount of donations needed to run a campaign is more likely to make promises that they won't be able to keep?

    What prevents your candidates from accepting the gifts from lobbyists or being bought by corporations once they are in office?

    Honesty and integrity are not determined by the size of a donation the person accepts and your claim to the contrary only serves to discredit your movement.

  3. [3] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don,

    Taking the most excellent point of LWYH (well done, sir) in [2] above and adding a few more questions for you to ponder:

    * What if there was a candidate who refused to take any campaign contributions at all? Not just give it lip service like the current Liar-in-Chief who is the "debt king" (Trump's own description) but actually refused to take ANY contributions in order to fund their campaign... examples being Michael Bloomberg, Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. Would the fact that these candidates took zero campaign contributions make them the most honest and/or possessing the most integrity?

    * In anticipation of your answer to the questions above, must this ideal candidate of yours also be of modest means AND refuse to take only small campaign contributions... making your "One Demand" be more like "Two Demands"?

    Thanks for answering... I hope. :)

  4. [4] 
    michale wrote:

    Democrats seem to be almost ready to unveil their messaging for the 2018 election cycle.

    I thought they already unveiled their 2018 message..

    "Have you seen the other guys!!"

    and

    "TRUMP!! RUSSIA!! TRUMP!! RUSSIA!! TRUMP!! RUSSIA!! TRUMP!! RUSSIA!! TRUMP!! RUSSIA!!

    :D

    "It's funny because it's true... "
    -Homer Simpson

    :D

  5. [5] 
    michale wrote:

    Russ,

    What makes a politician that only accepts small donations more honest than those that accept any sized donations?

    They '-D' after their name...

    At least, according to ya'all....

    Honesty and integrity are not determined by the size of a donation the person accepts and your claim to the contrary only serves to discredit your movement.

    I'll remind you of that the next time ya'all whine and complain about big money in elections... :D

  6. [6] 
    michale wrote:

    The first things mentioned are what won't appear. Democrats will "jettison" social issues, foreign policy issues, identity politics, and box-checking, in favor of a "purely economic message." This is probably a good idea, at least for the moment.

    Huh???

    I have been saying this since even BEFORE the election and NO ONE told me that it was a "good idea"... :D

    Democrats need to get rid of identity politics if they want to win elections..

    It's nice to see that the Democrat Party has finally agreed with me on that.. :D

    Not conforming to the left/right debate and fighting for ordinary middle-class Americans certainly sounds like a good thing, but it remains to be seen what it will translate into.

    Given the Democrat Party's history of trying to "relate" to "ordinary middle-class Americans"...... :D

    A free clue for Dumbocrats..

    Don't attack them and call them names..

    That's if you define "centrist" as "beholden to Wall Street," which (at this point) seems pretty accurate, at least in the Democratic Party.

    Once again, something I have been saying for YEARS now and am always resoundingly attacked for it.. :D

    Chanting "Russia, Russia, Russia!" isn't going to change any Trump voter's mind, because they'll already be disillusioned with Trump (possibly for very different reasons). So even though the Post article was just a peek into the Democrats' new strategy, it certainly seems like Democrats have already learned this lesson. Offer the voters something positive, because everyone likes voting for something new, not just against something that obviously isn't working.

    You assume that WaPoop is accurate in it's leaks..

    That is a very dangerous assumption to make..

    We'll know Monday.. :D

  7. [7] 
    michale wrote:

    Chanting "Russia, Russia, Russia!" isn't going to change any Trump voter's mind, because they'll already be disillusioned with Trump (possibly for very different reasons).

    Here's the point about President Trump that ya'all don't get..

    With enemies like the President has, he doesn't NEED any friends. :D

  8. [8] 
    michale wrote:

    Victoria,

    So the right-wing rags have already started writing the articles that paint Kamala Harris as a loose woman.

    Nope, they are just relaying the facts on Harris sleeping her way up the ladder and her times as a mistress to various married men..

    If that makes her a "loose woman" in your book, I accept your designation..

    But it's an old story.. Dumbocrats never had any use for morals or integrity.. :D

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen, Kick-

    He who pays the piper calls the tune.

    Of course there is no guarantee that every small contribution candidate will keep their promises.
    The only guarantee is that candidates that take Big Money (or spend their own Big Money) will represent the Big Money contributors.

    It does take money to run a campaign. Where that money comes from determines what the candidate will do if they are elected. If a small contribution candidate breaks their promises then they do not get re-elected.

    Honesty and integrity ARE determined by where the candidate gets their money. In order to represent average citizens a candidate's campaign must be financed by average citizens.

    He who pays the piper calls the tune.

  10. [10] 
    michale wrote:

    The only guarantee is that candidates that take Big Money (or spend their own Big Money) will represent the Big Money contributors.

    Yep... Yep... Yep....

    Something that Weigantians constantly accuse Right Wingers of, but DEFEND Left Wingers who do it...

  11. [11] 
    michale wrote:

    Don,

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/our-self-interested-senators-1500592123

    Here ya go... :D Don't say I never give ya anything. :D

  12. [12] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    human beings are complex creatures. some will be corrupt no matter where the money comes from, some will have integrity no matter where the money comes from, and some will have values but compromise them for a better chance to maintain their office.

    all that said, the legislator to lobbyist pipeline has a lot more impact than the wealth of campaign contributors.

    JL

  13. [13] 
    michale wrote:

    all that said, the legislator to lobbyist pipeline has a lot more impact than the wealth of campaign contributors.

    Apples and orangutans..

    Lobbyists enter the picture *AFTER* the campaign is won..

    But the funny thing is.... WHO pays the lobbyists??

    The wealthy campaign contributors...

    :D

  14. [14] 
    michale wrote:

    The problem the Democrats have is that they are completely and utterly broke.. :D

    Under the leadership of former Obama official Tom Perez, a new FEC report reveals the DNC finished the month of June $3.3 million in debt.

    They’re broke. Just like their policies.
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/07/rough-financial-shape-new-fec-report-shows-dnc-finished-june-3-3-million-debt/

    :D

    I guess "Have you seen the other guys!?" is the best it's gonna get.. :D

  15. [15] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @m,

    you misunderstand. the trouble is that former legislators are offered lucrative lobbying positions by the firms that lobbied them. every congress critter knows that if they play ball with lobbyists while they are in office the firm will offer them a big money job after they leave office. that form of legalized corruption has nothing to do with large or small campaign contributions.

    JL

  16. [16] 
    michale wrote:

    JL,

    But I think the point Don is trying to make is that BIG MONEY is the root of all the problems..

    Sure, there are very isolated possibilities, whereas someone who gets BIG MONEY can still maintain their integrity... And someone who JUST relies on small dollar donations goes rogue..

    But, by and large, BIG MONEY is the problem..

    Something we ALL can agree on..

    The problem arises when the majority of ya'all don't hold your candidates to the standard that ya'all espouse...

  17. [17] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    nypoet-
    Michale hit on the key- holding the candidates to the standard we espouse.
    If you start out with candidates that are willing to take Big Money to be elected it is consistent for them to take Big Money by becoming a lobbyist after leaving office. The rule rather than the exception.
    If you start with a candidate that refused the Big Money to get elected the chances of them selling out after they leave office are the exception rather than the rule.
    If you vote for Big Money candidates you will get Big Money legislators.
    If you vote against the Big Money candidates, including writing in your own name if no small contribution candidates are on the ballot, then you will be able to elect small contribution candidates and/or create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidates enabling you to elect small contribution candidates in future elections.
    This is better than not voting. It is also better than continuing to validate the Big Money candidates with your votes when they have sold you out before you even vote for them and will guarantee more Big Money candidates in future elections.

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Based on the preliminary roll out courtesy of WaPo the evolving Democratic strategy appears to be:

    Look White Without Looking Overtly Racist.

    The target group is voters in the 45 and up age demographic - who were in the work force, or grew up during the 1950's thru 1970's. People with direct experience of a time when jobs paid well, and education, housing, health care and energy were relatively much more affordable. If you are in this demographic, you are likely to feel economically marginalized, and this includes a lot people of color.

  19. [19] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Full disclosure-
    I have technically spent some Big Money from a small inheritance to set up and advertise One Demand. But this is chump change by Big Money standards. In fact, the entire inheritance is chump change by Big Money standards.
    But when One Demand finally catches on it will be funded entirely with small contributions, the same standard set for candidates.
    The reason for this is that the first obligation of One Demand is to fund small contribution candidates. This is why the participants will send their small contributions directly to the candidates rather than through One Demand. This also gives the participants control rather than the organization.
    Those that want to do more will be the ones that send contributions to One Demand.

  20. [20] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Following up after accidentally hitting the submit button in 18:

    This basically a Democratic dog whistle tuned to white hearing. Trump's key demographic is meant to hear: "Trump is a fraud, he's throwing more water in your sinking boat. People of color are meant to hear: "A rising tide floats all the boats, first things first, things won't get more equal until we get off the reef."

  21. [21] 
    michale wrote:

    Don,

    Michale hit on the key- holding the candidates to the standard we espouse.

    Yer REALLY lookin' to be a human pinata around here, ain'tcha?? :D

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Don Harris-

    Why did you re-brand Voucher Vendetta (which pops near the top in a Google search) as OneDemand (which doesn't)?

    I admire your altruism to wager any part of a small inheritance on high-in-the-food chain political reform. Wouldn't it make more sense, expected value wise, to invest the money in the Power Ball lotto (or such like) in hopes of using your winnings to build a much more effective reform movement?

  23. [23] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale-
    Just giving credit where credit is due.
    And you seem to be having fun being a pinata so I figured I give it a try.

  24. [24] 
    michale wrote:

    And you seem to be having fun being a pinata so I figured I give it a try.

    Touche' :D

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Voucher Vendetta did not catch on. On the advice from commenters here (did you miss those discussions?) and some others the name was changed to one more descriptive and positive and less antagonistic.
    Powerball is plan B. But that has proven to be just another example of how government can't do anything right. I have played the right numbers in every drawing for years and every time they get the numbers wrong.

  26. [26] 
    michale wrote:

    And you seem to be having fun being a pinata

    I am at that.. :D

  27. [27] 
    michale wrote:

    Powerball is plan B. But that has proven to be just another example of how government can't do anything right. I have played the right numbers in every drawing for years and every time they get the numbers wrong.

    Hehehehehe

    Now THAT was funny!!! :D

  28. [28] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Don

    If you vote against the Big Money candidates, including writing in your own name if no small contribution candidates are on the ballot, then you will be able to elect small contribution candidates and/or create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidates enabling you to elect small contribution candidates in future elections.

    Are you going to assume that anyone that writes in a candidate is taking a stand for small contribution candidates? How, exactly, does writing in my name on the ballot demonstrate a demand for anything???

    What prevents someone from forming a SuperPAC on behalf of one of your OnDemand candidates, even if the candidate objects to it? If my company sees you as representing the same goals that we do, does my running ads supporting you violate your rules?

    I have technically spent some Big Money from a small inheritance to set up and advertise One Demand. But this is chump change by Big Money standards. In fact, the entire inheritance is chump change by Big Money standards.

    But how can this be?! According to you, anyone that accepts even "chump change by Big Money standards" cannot be trusted. NEWS FLASH: One Demand sold out! This is what happens when you cannot live up to the demand you expect others to adhere to!

  29. [29] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Don,

    In order to represent average citizens a candidate's campaign must be financed by average citizens.

    I believe what you meant to say was:

    In order to represent average citizens a candidate's campaign must ONLY be financed by average citizens who are not allowed to offer more financial support than the bare minimum to someone they believe in?

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen-
    The purpose of the website is for citizens to register prior to voting the commitment to voting for small contribution candidates or writing their own name if no small contribution candidates are available. They will also be able to register after they vote how they voted if they choose to do so.
    So if a percentage of citizens in a district is registered and about the same amount of voters in that district write in their own name this will help verify why.
    Candidates and Superpacs are not allowed to coordinate- even though some candidates do without suffering any discipline from the FEC. It is up to the participants to decide if the candidate(s) they are supporting are coordinating with a Superpac. But a candidate that is not coordinating with a Superpac has no control over what a Superpac does.
    The current 200 dollar aggregate contribution limit per campaign (200 primary, 200 general) is a starting point and is not set in stone. It states on the website that the participants will be able to change the limits if they want to.

  31. [31] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen-
    And yes, it is a bit hypocritical to spend a small amount of Big Money to get One Demand started.
    But I thought you guys were all about settling for less than perfect. :D
    But settling for less than perfect doesn't mean you have to always settle for less than adequate.

  32. [32] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    Getting back to my original post, since you have not yet instituted Thursday Action Points, how about dedicating one week in the slow news month of August to alternatives to the CMPs and groups such as One Demand, Our Revolution, Draft Bernie for a People's Party, etc.
    Think of it as SHARK WEEK on whatever channel does that.

  33. [33] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    A fairly quiet week in Trumplandia. Looks like it may be the week that it became real to the White House, though.

    I'm not predicting it, but I wouldn't be surprised if Don Jr. did not appear next week.

    All this echoing of the "pardons" hysteria, added into the Mueller references and inquiry into conflicts is headlines bait. It's hardly nefarious nor predictive.

    For the first time, events and leaks indicate that the lawyers are starting to do what a solid defense team should do. Among those things are making sure there are no thumbs on the scale on the prosecution's side. And also, advising the client about his jeopardy and his rights.

  34. [34] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I think Treasury just fined Rex Tillerson of State, in absentia, for wantonly disregarding US trade sanctions against Russia. The Trump dynasty is getting as weird as quantum mechanics.

  35. [35] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Just as I was about to declare the weekend, this:

    https://www.budget.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Background%20on%20Byrd%20Rule%20decisions_7.211.pdf

    It's about that pesky 60 vote deal.

  36. [36] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    It's a bad link above, what with escaped characters, etc.

    It was released by Bernie Sanders office; its the Byrd Rule decisions, which effectively saw the limbs off for the conservatives.

  37. [37] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen-
    After considering your point about The Big Money I put into One Demand (10-15 thousand since 2015) it does appear it is inconsistent to hold the candidates to a different standard.
    But the reality is that it does take more than 200 dollars to start a campaign. That is the reason the exception was made to invest my own money for start-up.
    So I will be updating the conditions to allow for a candidate to use their own money and/or collect up to 50 thousand dollars for start-up money in contributions above the 200 dollar limit. This limit will also be subject to change if the participants so desire.

  38. [38] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    What are we going to do with you?
    Messaging is all this is... platitudes not policy.
    "A big step in the right direction" my foot.

    And, while TS probably isn't wrong with his dog whistle comment above, there is more that needs to be said.

    Taking foreign policy off the table is an admission that the Dems will continue to maintain the failed status quo on foreign policy... a status quo which guarantees excessive spending on military interventionism that makes it impossible to fund needed domestic priorities.

    As for their focused economic message-

    Higher taxes on the rich- higher how, higher where, and for what?
    Will the revenue be dedicated to infrastructure and "affordable" (not free) college? Or will it be for tax cuts on businesses (like Obama wanted) and increased military spending?

    Better jobs- how?

    Better skills- this is an admission by Dems that they will maintain their support for the bipartisan corporatist policies which have hollowed out the US economy by offshoring millions of good jobs, and that their "solution" for all of the Americans who are suffering from those policies will continue to be retraining... a mythical premise where the working class will be offered some classes to learn new things for either jobs that don't exist where they live or for the jobs that will be offshored next.

    These job training programs have a track record of failure.
    It is lip service.
    A plan to claim they are helping while doing less than is necessary, throwing those workers to the wolves, which will then allow the politicians to turn around and blame all who fail for the failure they made likely.

    Better wages- This sounds like a ringing endorsement for not embracing the Fight For $15.

    Better gets repeated three times, and yet "Better than Trump" was a failure.
    I get wanting to give an encouraging spin, but that choice of words just sounds like impending doom to me.

    Let's hope the plan is better than the preview.

    -
    -

    Thanks for your responses under Is Resisting Trump Enough

    16

    "As for Iraq and Syria, my language of being prepared to deal with it means in essence not getting caught by surprise the way we did with the growth of ISIS."

    Um, no actually.
    Being prepared to deal with it means intervention.
    Your choice of language does not seem to be implying that the US needs a cogent press release ready to go.

    Again, Iraq and Syria are not our property.
    They are sovereign nations.
    The US is not entitled to meddle in their control over their own countries... and I would hope that all the focus on the Russia meddling in the US stuff would make it clear that a blatantly hypocritical stance for the Middle East remains problematic.
    We don't like it or accept it, right?

    Our track record of making things worse, not better, is clear.
    We need to stop.

    And, for the record, not only were we aware that US armed and trained "moderate" rebels in Syria were joining ISIS or whatever they were calling themselves at the time, we were also aware that our "allies" like Saudi Arabia were funding them too.
    That "caught by surprise" bit actually amounts to historical revisionism by omission. We may have been surprised that the US policy went so badly awry, but we were aware.

    -
    -

    15

    "Reality-based is reality-based."
    "As for my idea of compromise, here you go"

    I'm sorry, but your reality is a fantasy.
    The public option isn't even supported by the Wall Street coddling corporate Democrats.
    Repubs will NEVER support it.

    I did watch the NewsHour Bernie bit.
    I think you're confusing good politics with reality there.
    Not only is the public option outside the realm of reality with the current Congress, but so is reducing prescription drug prices.
    Bernie was clever in having an answer ready for the "What can you work with Repubs on?" question, but I seriously doubt he actually believes they would support either effort.
    He used Trump's empty campaign promise in order to pretend it is possible, but it was Repubs (with the help of corporate Dems) who made it illegal for Medicare to negotiate with pharma companies.
    Most Dems are in their pocket, but Repubs bought their suits.
    That is our current reality.

    As far as the "compromise" bill that is actually possible to pass, see what Chuck Schumer and Neera Tanden from CAP (the DLC "progressive" thinkish tank) had to say
    - they want Dems to support Republican efforts to give billions more in subsidies to the price gouging health insurance companies in order to "stabilize" the insurance markets and actually do what they were supposed to do under Obamacare, but weaseled out of by withdrawing from whole markets in order to create monopolies for the sole remaining insurer who could then raise prices without fears of any competition.
    Any bets on whether they'll take the money and find new loopholes?
    Is helping Repubs to pass that going to help Dems win back voters?
    No.

    Compare-

    We stopped Republicans from passing disastrous legislation that only 16% of Americans supported which would have kicked 32 million people off their health insurance while doubling prices people pay, all while destroying Medicare and giving massive tax cuts to the rich.

    to

    We worked with Republicans to give exploitive health insurance companies billions more in subsidies.

    Which of those makes the better campaign ad for Dems in 2018?

    So, why are you supporting the idea of Dems backing a compromise bill?
    Or, were you revoking support for a compromise unless it includes a public option?

    "What changes do you think could be passed with the current Congress?"

    I already answered that... NONE that would be good for most Americans.

    It is better politics and policy for Dems to prevent any "fixes", or let the Repubs and Trump have a victory that would distract from the massive disaster that was DonTcare.

    That's assuming that Dems want to win some elections of course.

    A

  39. [39] 
    altohone wrote:

    Don
    37

    Don't change your policies because someone equates putting your own money towards a good cause with the corrupting influence of Big Money.

    The comparison isn't valid.

    A

  40. [40] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Altohone-
    It was the inconsistency of holding candidates to a different standard than myself and recognizing the reality that it does take more than 200 dollars to start a campaign that inspired the change.
    While it won't impress the party team players this is seeking to and improving a shortcoming. Like changing the name.
    It is also why I appreciate their comments even when I don't agree with them or they make invalid comparisons, statements or assertions.

  41. [41] 
    altohone wrote:

    Don

    I don't think it's an inconsistency.
    You aren't running for office.

    And the problems with self funded campaigns by the rich are very different too.

    But whatever.

    A

  42. [42] 
    altohone wrote:

    Don

    BTW, here's an interview with a candidate for the 4th district in NJ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3s2INSZnSA0

    What do you think?

    A

  43. [43] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Don,

    The point I was attempting to make was just how unfair it was making such a rigid and utterly foolish statement that anyone who accepts more than $200 in donations CANNOT BE TRUSTED TO KEEP THEIR WORD!

    Do you not see how damaging promoting that view is? Your intentions are noble, and please know that I don't believe for a second that you have "sold out".

    But I think nypoet22 really said it best when he told Michale:

    you misunderstand. the trouble is that former legislators are offered lucrative lobbying positions by the firms that lobbied them. every congress critter knows that if they play ball with lobbyists while they are in office the firm will offer them a big money job after they leave office. that form of legalized corruption has nothing to do with large or small campaign contributions.

  44. [44] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen-
    Sorry. I think I said it best in my reply to that in comment 17.
    And apparently I am not alone if you watch the link provided by Altohone in comment 45.
    Maybe it's a Jersey thing.

  45. [45] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Altohone-
    Thanks for the link. Guess I should have gone to the shore more often, maybe I would have heard of this guy sooner.

  46. [46] 
    michale wrote:

    But I think nypoet22 really said it best when he told Michale:

    you misunderstand. the trouble is that former legislators are offered lucrative lobbying positions by the firms that lobbied them. every congress critter knows that if they play ball with lobbyists while they are in office the firm will offer them a big money job after they leave office. that form of legalized corruption has nothing to do with large or small campaign contributions.

    Yes, JL said it best..

    He is comparing Apples and Orangutans and THAT says ya'all's lack of argument best.. :D

    Don is talking about electing quality candidates..

    JL is talking about the corrupt candidates AFTER they leave office..

    But BIG MONEY is the common thread that binds those two concepts together..

    Get rid of BIG MONEY and you eliminate BOTH problems.

    Ya'all's problem is that ya'all WANT big money for YOUR candidates, but don't want to let your opponents have any big money..

    In short, ya'all are FOR big money ir AGAINST big money, depending on whether it's a '-D' or a '-R' who is getting the big money...

  47. [47] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    so... are they apples and orangutans, or are they bound together by a common thread? those two statements contradict each other.

    my point was that the "big money" has a lot more influence on legislators than just funding their election campaigns. the real issue is corruption endemic in the system (both D's and R's), and on that front there's a lot more to deal with than just campaign finance. given that both parties are part of a corrupt system, i still have yet to see any proposals that i believe would actually be effective at fighting this problem.

    given that we're stuck with a big money system anyway, and have been for centuries, i'd rather support a party that tries to get the government to help people get healthcare instead of let them get sick and die without it.

    JL

  48. [48] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    8

    Nope, they are just relaying the facts on Harris sleeping her way up the ladder and her times as a mistress to various married men..

    If that makes her a "loose woman" in your book, I accept your designation..

    It wasn't my "designation," it was that of the right-wing rag you posted, and you naturally believe it because it fits your worldview.

    But it's an old story.. Dumbocrats never had any use for morals or integrity.. :D

    But since you're an admitted player yourself and have no integrity either, don't you fit your own frequent argument of having no moral authority to speak of? <-- Rhetorical question.

    And still, there's simply no one the Democrats could run that could big a bigger whore than Donald Trump. :)

  49. [49] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don
    9

    Thanks for answering, Don. You make some very good points.

    Honesty and integrity ARE determined by where the candidate gets their money. In order to represent average citizens a candidate's campaign must be financed by average citizens.

    I think a step in the right direction would be a law that required every candidate for federal office to release to the public their most recent tax returns for at minimum the most recent 5 years... preferably 10 years. :)

  50. [50] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    Thank you for acknowledging the point.
    While the tax return proposal may be sincere as well as a dig on Trump, it does kind if illustrate the problem with passing laws to fix problems with our political system- who is going to pass the laws?
    If you need, for example, to pass a law to make it possible to make small contribution candidates competitive with Big Money candidates then you first have to elect the small contribution candidates because the Big Money legislators will not pass those laws. The best you will get from the Big Money legislators will superficial ineffective laws filled with loopholes that undermine the law.
    This is why I believe One Demand is the way to go because it can be implemented under existing laws.

  51. [51] 
    michale wrote:

    JL,

    so... are they apples and orangutans, or are they bound together by a common thread? those two statements contradict each other.

    If I take and apple and an orangutan and tie them together with a string, they are STILL just an apple and an orangutan and they ARE connected by a common thread.. Literally..

    my point was that the "big money" has a lot more influence on legislators than just funding their election campaigns.

    Yes, it does.. But Don is commenting on campaigns.. Once he is successful with getting BIG MONEY out of campaigns he will move on to the lobbyist issue which is completely separate from the issue of campaigns..

    given that we're stuck with a big money system anyway,

    We're only "stuck with it" because ya'all *ALLOW* yourselves to be "stuck with it" and attack people like Don who refuse to play the victim/fool...

    and have been for centuries, i'd rather support a party that tries to get the government to help people get healthcare instead of let them get sick and die without it.

    Fine... Then Dumbocrats should quit bitching and moaning about something they tacitly accept and approve of in pursuit of a higher "ideal"..

  52. [52] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don
    50

    Thank you for acknowledging the point.

    Welcome.

    While the tax return proposal may be sincere as well as a dig on Trump, it does kind if illustrate the problem with passing laws to fix problems with our political system- who is going to pass the laws?

    This type of tax reform bill was actually recent legislation in New York and New Jersey (passed and vetoed by Chris Christie), and I believe it was introduced on the federal level in the House... where I believe it still sits languishing. So you do indeed have a point there. :)

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