Tonight’s Democratic debate could be just what the doctor ordered: a ”public negotiation between Biden & Sanders”, as the Washington Post opines below.
The Wise People say the Democrats’ nomination race is over; and we huddled masses in the peanut gallery know they’re never wrong, right?
But anyway, if the race is not anymore about who gets the nod, then what’s the debate for?
My answer is simple: it’s about the winning coalition, stupid.
When the Democrats gain the White House, it’s because they build (& rebuild & rebuild) an effective coalition out of their fractious factions.
And this year, the spotlight is now on two of those: Bernie & the VEEP. I’ll pass by the VEEP issue here (tho if you must know, my top three names for the slot are: Stacey Abrams, Stacey Abrams, and Stacey Abrams) , because this is a day to talk about Bernie.
If Biden’s to be the one, then how does he bring in the largest portion of Bernie’s legions — and with them their enthusiasm? Biden will need both to beat 45.
Simple: Biden has to make a deal. He has to offer Bernie enough to get and keep him on board.
Biden loudly touts his long experience in legislative dealmaking. But if you look close, an awful lot of his bigger deals involve big bankers, credit card moguls, and other oligarchs that Bernie has crusaded against for so long. (Not to mention bankruptcy restrictions, draconian crime bills, terrible pointless wars, and such. So who’s perfect?)
Anyway, the issue now, in tonight’s two-man face-off, is: can Biden offer a good enough deal to bring in the working stiffs, the uninsured, Latinos, young people and all the other outsiders Bernie has championed?
I don’t know, which is what makes the debate both important and intriguing. But I think I do know what a good enough deal might look like. Here’s are five top items on my list:
– If not Medicare For All, it better mean Medicare (& Medicaid) for a lot more.
-If not free public college tuition, how about a whole lot less for tuition?
– If not a $15 minimum wage, how about $14.95?
– If not writing off student loan debt, how about restoring the escape hatches Obama quietly put in, and then some.
– And how about a pledge to keep the Neocons and their blood-stained fingers away from the levers of power in defense and national security?
These are not in priority order, and I realize others will highlight different items
Which is fine. That’s what negotiations are for. If Bernie has to settle for half a loaf in this campaign, which slices can he get? Which slices will Biden offer? Peanut butter or jelly?
Come this evening, let the carving begin. And let’s hope Biden knows how much is riding on it: if he can’t rebuild an effective coalition, come November the whole Democratic campaign will be burnt toast.
Post: “Sanders spoke in what his campaign billed as a “fireside chat” from his home in Vermont on Saturday night. Seated near a wood-burning stove next to his campaign manager Faiz Shakir, the senator ticked through the questions he said he planned to ask Biden, echoing his comments from a news conference earlier in the week.
“Joe has been part of the establishment for a very long time. Joe, what role have you played in trying to make sure we end this massive level of income and wealth inequality?” Sanders said, adding that he would also press Biden over his support from wealthy donors.
In effect, the debate might serve as a kind of public negotiation between Biden, who has taken a significant lead in the race, and Sanders.”