On the April 20, 2016 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:
The day is 4/20 and it is the traditional day of weed smokers everywhere. I will give some commentary on what I feel about the prohibition of marijuana and what our country should do about it.
But for most of the show I will be discussing the several issues pertaining to the 2016 primary elections, specifically why I believe Bernie Sanders will be unable to win the superdelegates that he would need to obtain the nomination of the Democratic Party.
Those issues, headlines, tweet of the week, and more at 8pm Central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.
Remember, if you want to help support the podcast please contribute at the Liberal Dan Radio GoFundMe page.
On the March 9, 2016 episode of Liberal Dan Radio I will be continuing the discussion of the 2016 Presidential Election. I will touch on the big events that have happened recently but I will be focusing on the issues that are arising between the liberal camps and why I think that could ultimately spell doom in the general election. I will also be taking your calls.
So tune in at 8pm Central for Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.
Remember, you can help support the podcast by supporting the Liberal Dan Radio GoFundMe page.
Bernie Sanders has some very popular ideas when it comes to health coverage in this country. A lot of people on the left would like to see a “Medicare for all” where people’s taxes would pay for everyone to be covered regardless of income. This would eliminate the profit motive that many feel keep millions of Americans from becoming insured. I am not opposed to this idea in principle. I have also seen how the insurance companies have harmed individuals with their unethical business practices. Moving to the system that Senator Sanders is suggesting would help to eliminate that as well.
Hillary Clinton would rather us take a different approach to get universal coverage, in part because of the hurdles that would have to be cleared to reach Sanders goal vs hers. Back in President Obama’s first term the passage of Obamacare was a major fight. Part of that fight included giving up the “public option” in HR 3200 that would have allowed people to buy into a public health plan (like Medicare) on a sliding scale based on their ability to pay. The mechanisms for this were labelled “death panels” and HR 3200 was poisoned for the Senate version which sought universal coverage though more of a patchwork of Medicaid and subsidies.
Fighting that fight was difficult and could only be done because for a brief period of time the Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate. The GOP could not stop the ultimate bill from being passed. The end result is we have an infrastructure in place that can handle the specifics of the Affordable Care Act. Can we afford to tear down that infrastructure and build a new one meant to handle what would be needed to implement the Sanders plan? Is it even mathematically possible for his plan to pass at all? The Democrats would need major swings in both houses, something that is exceedingly difficult in the House because of gerrymandering.
This is not to say that a hard fight is not one worth fighting. However, it is about keeping our feet grounded in reality while we advocate for the issues and candidates we support. It is unrealistic to believe that a President Sanders would be able to implement Medicare for all in his first term and he would likely be required to propose amendments to the Affordable Care Act to make any improvements to the law. Of course, this is the primary season and politicians say what their ideals are now and then temper their campaigning to be closer to reality when the general election rolls around.
There is a common theme going around Democratic circles that the Democratic Party would be stronger in the 2016 general election if some other candidates enter the race. The Boston Globe even suggested that Elizabeth Warren should run despite her statements to the contrary.
But is this the case? Should Warren run? I could see myself at some point voting for a candidate Warren. She is a very strong advocate on income inequality and does not need a wordsmith in presenting her words to the American public. Would her candidacy help the Democratic Party gain momentum and become stronger for a general election. History does show us that the Democrats can win after a long primary. President Obama won after a long fought primary with Hillary Clinton.
However, President Obama also won reelection without any primary fight. That should be enough proof in and of itself that a primary challenger is not needed to help a party win an election.
In fact, sometimes a primary challenger can harm a party. Jimmy Carter was rather unpopular in 1980. Having Ted Kennedy in the election did nothing to help the Democratic Party win the 1980 election against Ronald Reagan.
The last two examples are incumbents running. So why do I bring them up? We won’t have an incumbent in 2016, this is true. However, Hillary Clinton comes with so much popularity that she almost gets to be treated as if she was an incumbent in spirit even if not in reality. The GOP will likely have to run against Hillary Clinton as if she was an incumbent and as such they will have to spend less time focusing on what makes them the (supposedly) better choice. This helps Hillary. If Hillary gets an opponent in the primary that spends time slinging barbs at her, it is possible that this could help the GOP in the general election as well.
So what does this mean? Should we just blindly follow Hillary without question? Absolutely not. If a good candidate comes along and can make a compelling argument as to why he or she is a better choice than Hillary Clinton I may very well vote for him or her (well, that is if Louisiana has enough money to actually hold a primary and if I choose to change from a no party registration). But we should also not blindly support having an opponent to Hillary Clinton if doing so harms the future nominee.
In short, be careful what you wish for. It could come back to bite you in the ass.