Impeachment and Post Debate Miscellany

It’s been a lot of politics this week.  Impeachment hearings and the debate last night.  There’s a bunch of stuff that I haven’t been able to share in other posts, so I figured I should throw out another bunch of nuggets.

  • I did my usual post debate viewing, reading and listening.  I put Mayor Pete at the top of my list of who did best in the debate.  I also noted that the top 3 (who were also the top 3 in some order of my last candidate ranking) were very close for me.  When I do my debate rankings, I actually put my thumb on the scale a little not to put Warren at the top.  I know I haven’t hidden the fact she’s my first choice.  I figure so that these posts don’t just look like a Warren love fest, when it’s close, I’ll put her down the list on my debate rankings.  Even with that, after having revisited my notes and some of the moments from the debate through podcasts and articles, I’d probably re-rank the top 3 as Warren, Booker, Buttigieg.  Looking back at his answers, he was smooth, but calorie free.  He mostly came out on top with attacks, but wasn’t completely unscathed.  The lack of experience thing and his lack of support in the African American community is going to bring him back to the pack, I think.  On the other hand, Warren was very good in several of her answers and didn’t get thrown off stride on Medicare for All.  She showed passion and emotion and weaved her theme into her answers very well.
  • I think we’re seeing the Democratic position coalescing around or near Mayor Pete’s plan of Medicare for All who want it.  Warren has adjusted her support of Medicare for All down from the Bernie position.  Biden in the debate last night described his plan in terms that made it sound like Mayor Pete’s plan.  For me, healthcare isn’t the top priority.  I’m happy with Medicare for All as an Overton window expander.  I am quite content with a plan that supports the ACA and adds a public option, as long as that public option is Medicare.  I see no need to create a new program when you’ve got Medicare sitting right there to be used.  And now you’ve got three of the top four candidates settling their plans right in that zone.  This is a good thing and should help the primary campaign go more smoothly from here on out.
  • Many of the Republicans in these impeachment hearings (Devin Nunes is doing this as I write) have focused on the fact that some Democrats have been calling for impeachment of Trump from day one.  To that, I say – so what.  If there was nothing there, Dems would be grousing and doing nothing.  They’re not exactly a picture of bravery in their politics.  No, Trump just went too far even for the cautious Democrats.  If he hadn’t committed his bribery and high crimes, he wouldn’t be here.  It’s his own fault.
  • So, evidently Trump tweeted today and called Dems human scum.  Hardly surprising that he calls anyone a name, even a group of millions of Americans.  But it brings to my mind the expectation that seems to exist that Democrats should strive for civility.  Sometimes even just civility for the sake of civility.  I try in my arguments and discussions to stick to the issues and not make it about the person with whom I’m speaking.  Even when that person resorts to Trumpian name-calling.  I think that’s a good rule of thumb.  Remember my rule – Be nice, help when you can.  If you can’t, at least don’t be a jerk.  So be nice.  But why is the onus to be nice on Democrats?  To be the “adults in the room?”  I’m not arguing that Dems should be mean and call people names like Donald Trump does.  But when it comes to politics.  To passing legislation.  To running campaigns.  I have less criticism for Dems who won’t compromise or who play hardball.  I’ll be happy when things change in this regard, but let them go first.  If Dems win the White House and both Houses of Congress, then forget the idea of trying to be bipartisan.  Use executive action and eliminate the filibuster.  Get stuff done.
  • I’m not a fan of Gabbard, but just as a practical matter, if you’re trying to win the nomination of the Democratic Party, you should try to win over, I don’t know, Democratic voters.  I mean, unless you’re not actually trying to win the Democratic nomination and your goal is something else.  The fact that she appears on Fox News so frequently can be a nice zinger for someone like Kamala Harris.  But if you’re trying to win over Democratic voters, it doesn’t take a heavy left-leaning partisan to understand that Democratic voters don’t watch Fox News and that Democrats are very likely to have a skeptical view of any candidate for the Democratic nomination who tries to appeal to a Fox News audience.

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