Prepping for the debates

Prim Rose

(CNN)As 10 Democratic contenders take the stage this Thursday night for the next presidential debate, the most important question they'll face is one the moderators probably won't ask.

Eric H. Holder Jr.Their judgment, experience, and positions on key issues are all important for primary voters to consider—and of course defeating Donald Trump and ending his corrupt administration must remain a top priority. But with polls suggesting, at this early stage, that victory could potentially be within reach for virtually any candidate, when I tune in this Thursday, the most important question on my mind will be which Democrat is the most effective advocate not only for her or himself, but for the record, vision and values of the Democratic Party of today and years past.In other words: which candidate deserves to be not just our nominee in 2020, but our leader for the next generation?The most recent round of debates, in July, was filled with missed opportunities to answer this question. Many candidates spent too much time in the weeds, developing "gotcha" moments or straining to draw personal or policy distinctions—at once testing viewers' patience and missing the forest for the trees.This is not to suggest that the many differences between candidates are insignificant. But voters don't tune in to prime-time debates to watch hours of wonkish hair-splitting. They—we—are hungry for someone to present an affirmative vision for America, post-Trump.

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Which is why Democrats, having been granted three hours of national airtime to show the American people what we stand for, can ill-afford to squander this opportunity on minor disagreements. Airing significant, substantive contrasts is, as always, important—but candidates would do well to remember that the contrast that matters most is the one between Democrats' hopeful, inclusive agenda and the divisive, self-destructive, special interest-driven record of the Trump administration.Unfortunately, there were moments during the last round of debates that played into Republican attempts to muddy this crystal-clear distinction. Invited to compare President Trump's appalling deportation and family separation policy to deportations under President Obama, in whose administration I served as US Attorney General,more than one Democrat took the bait.Any critique of our most recent President is, of course, fair game—even if (as I tweeted that night, and as my friend Denis McDonough argued in the Washington Post) it doesn't amount to a sound political strategy or a good use of precious speaking time during a debate. The trouble is that—in failing to firmly reject the premise that Obama's policy was in any way comparable to Trump's—our own candidates helped perpetuate the Republican lie that the Obama administration's good-faith actions under a broken immigration system were somehow equivalent to Trump's policy of intentional cruelty: deterring asylum-seekers by breaking their families apart and keeping children in cages.If Democrats are to have any hope of winning next fall, we need our presidential contenders to do better. Falling short of our policy ideals is not the same as affirmatively and deliberately harming innocent families, and it's counterproductive—even offensive—to suggest otherwise

What matters in 2020 is not what a given candidate might've done in Obama's shoes nearly a decade ago, given the benefit of hindsight and without any of the political, policy, and legal constraints Obama actually faced. What matters is whether we can count on our nominee to effectively lead the nation today—and manage an executive branch Trump has nearly reduced to ruins—by building upon, rather than denigrating, the record of achievement established by Obama and other Democratic presidents as far back as FDR.It's a record in which every Democrat should take pride—and upon which our next standard-bearer must campaign, rather than attack by accepting as real Republican talking points.After all, ours is the party of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act—all of which we've fought hard to protect against Republican efforts to tear down over decades.Ours is the party that helped rally the world to fight climate change—and that values, secures, and strengthens the kinds of international agreements that these new Republicans shred for purely political and corrupt economic reasons, sowing global instability, rattling our most important alliances and emboldening dictators in the process.Where Republicans stand for voter suppression and gerrymandering that allows politicians to pick their voters (rather than the other way around), Democrats support voting rights and fair elections. Where Republicans support minor changes to the criminal justice system, Democrats support the broad changes that are required to make the system more just.

We fight for racial and religious equality, for civil rights and LGBT rights, and for common sense immigration policy and gun safety laws. And we'd never tolerate racist rhetoric from a president who traffics in xenophobia and draws enthusiastic praise from avowed white supremacists and Nazis—let alone enact policies that discriminate against immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ Americans, women and so many others.Advocating hard for the broader Democratic agenda that is rooted in our history as a party should be our candidates' major focus on Thursday night.


During the debate and as the 2020 race continues, I invite my fellow primary voters to seek out and support the candidate who's proudest to run on our party's extraordinary record, who lays out the most compelling vision for building upon it, and who's willing to fight for the progressive, inclusive values that underlie so much of the history that we've made together.

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cattyles

I agree. Prim Rose, did you email this to the contenders? :-)

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Prim Rose

We fight for racial and religious equality, for civil rights and LGBT rights, and for common sense immigration policy and gun safety laws. And we'd never tolerate racist rhetoric from a president who traffics in xenophobia and draws enthusiastic praise from avowed white supremacists and Nazis—let alone enact policies that discriminate against immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ Americans, women and so many others.Advocating hard for the broader Democratic agenda that is rooted in our history as a party should be our candidates' major focus on Thursday night.

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heri _ cles

It makes no sense to continue propping up what is left of the ACA other than the pre-existing conditions law.....which is still rather sketchy (difficult if not impossible for an individual to enforce in court against a health insurance company.) In addition, the Supreme Court might take the ACA down if the right case gets before them. So why mess around? It is now time for new leadership to take the next step - expand Medicare and end the employer based health insurance system.



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Prim Rose

Record of achievement established by Obama and other Democratic presidents as far back as FDR.It's a record in which every Democrat should take pride—and upon which our next standard-bearer must campaign, rather than attack by accepting as real Republican talking points.After all, ours is the party of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act—all of which we've fought hard to protect against Republican efforts to tear down over decades.Ours is the party that helped rally the world to fight climate change—and that values, secures, and strengthens the kinds of international agreements that these new Republicans shred for purely political and corrupt economic reasons, sowing global instability, rattling our most important alliances and emboldening dictators in the process.

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catkinZ8a

Pocahontas has been asking for advice from Crooked Hillary.

Warren using Clinton as confidant in potential face-off with Trump

by Caitlin Yilek | September 07, 2019 01:53 PM


Elizabeth Warren has quietly turned to Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential primary heats up.

The Massachusetts senator, one of more than a dozen Democrats running for president, has remained in contact with the 2016 Democratic nominee, NBC reported Saturday.

Both camps have kept quiet about what the two women have discussed and how many times they have spoken since their previously reported conversation around the time Warren, 70, launched her presidential bid.

A person close to Clinton, 71, said the contact between the two has been “substantial enough to merit attention.”

Warren has been polling in the top tier alongside former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Clinton’s support in the primary could help her win over voters who backed her in the 2016 primary against Sanders.

For now, Warren has done little to publicly connect herself to Clinton, who lost in a stunning defeat to President Trump and who was accused of being too centrist by Sanders supporters.

The 2020 candidate said earlier this year she would have accepted an offer from Clinton to become her 2016 running mate. Warren was interviewed for the slot, but Clinton ended up picking Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine instead.


https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/elizabeth-warren-using-hillary-clinton-as-confidant-in-potential-face-off-with-trump

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