No, Warren and Sanders Are Not the Same

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  • #191051

    • Total Posts: 4,430

    Los Angeles Times opinion writer Rich Benjamin pushed the bias further by saying, “any perception of fatigue and frailty can undercut his effectiveness in competing for the nomination and in the dogfight against Trump if he does beat the rest of the Democratic field.” Benjamin demanded that it was time for “Bernie and his bros”—using a sexist, racist and discredited smear that assumes Sanders’ supporters are mostly pig-headed white men—“to get behind Elizabeth Warren.” In fact, men and women are roughly evenly split among Sanders’ supporters, and people of color are more likely than whites to back him.

    Benjamin is echoing a sentiment that has been gaining traction: that Warren is a good enough emulation of Sanders and has adopted enough of his progressive policy proposals for Sanders’ supporters to unreservedly support her. But while a Warren nomination would certainly be a strong sign of progress, particularly in the era of Donald Trump, there are serious distinctions between Sanders and Warren that should not be dismissed.

    For example, on health care, although they both back the idea of a “Medicare for All” plan, Warren and Sanders do not take identical positions. Health care is the most important issue for the American electorate. During Tuesday’s Democratic presidential candidate debate, Warren repeatedly avoided admitting that backing a Medicare for All plan would mean that taxes would go up across the board. She sidestepped questions twice, saying, “I will not sign a bill into law that raises their costs, because costs are what people care about.”

    But in fact, people care about getting the health care they need more than anything. According to a new poll released on the same day as the debate, “Fifty-six percent of Americans think providing access to affordable health care coverage for all Americans is the responsibility of the federal government, and two-thirds favor the creation of a national, government-administered health insurance plan similar to Medicare that would be available to all Americans.” writer Tara Golshan explained that although Warren has endorsed Sanders’ health care plan, “she speaks about Medicare-for-all more in terms of expanding public options for health care, rather than eliminating private insurance altogether.”

    Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

  • #191259

    • Total Posts: 3,510

    TAXES. Oh dear! She can’t say the word because she’s what used to be called a ‘pussy’. I’m sure her handlers have drilled into her that you don’t mention the “T” word. Reminds me of “Read my lips. No new taxes”

  • #191316

    • Total Posts: 1,336

    Warren’s inability to talk about raising taxes proves she’s still a Republican at heart.

  • #192232

    • Total Posts: 4,430

    Means Testing: Sanders vs. Warren on the Single Most Important Policy Idea for Progressive Success

    But means testing is a phony progressivism and a crucial tactic promoted by the right to eliminate social welfare programs that could benefit the population. We can understand why corporate Democrats like Biden or Buttigieg or Harris advocate means testing; the corporate wing of the Democratic Party warmed to means testing in the 1980s and it began to be embraced as a legitimate device in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. It is now a common approach for that crowd.

    So when someone as ostensibly progressive as Warren does the same it demonstrates just how pervasive right-wing ideology has been internalized in our politics.

    Why do I call this a right-wing idea? Because as soon as means-testing is accepted on principle and introduced for a program, it begs the logical question of why not extend it to other similar social programs? So if means testing free public college tuition is such a great idea, then why not have well-to-do parents pay tuition for their children in public high schools and middle schools and elementary schools? Why not bill only the rich when they drive on any public roads or use public libraries or parks or restrooms? Why not charge them for using the police or fire departments? Where exactly do you draw the line? That is a slippery slope toward privatization and elimination of government functions.

    Why is that the case? Because when programs are universal it is much harder for the enemies of those programs to attack them as welfare giveaways to the poor, and an unfair burden on those who are more successful. Note that it is almost always the wealthy and privileged and very rarely the poor or working-class that drive the push for means testing. That alone should demonstrate how phony this is as a progressive issue.

    Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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