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Old 6th January 2021, 07:52 AM   #1
Horatius
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Okay Democrats, it's time to put up or shut up

In the spirit of bi-partisanship (from abroad, anyways), it's time for a new version of my not-quite-four-years-old thread.


Waking up to the news that it appears the Democrats have won both the Georgia run-off elections, this means that, for the next two years at least, they have control of all of Congress and the Presidency. After 6 years of obstinate refusal by Moscow Mitch to even consider any legislation passed by the Democratic House, the Dems are finally in position to pass laws to make their agenda a reality.

So now's the time to do it, and do it fast. We all know mid-term elections are usually considered to be a referendum on the sitting President and the party in power, so that's the time limit you have to work with. You need to pass enough major legislation, soon enough, that at least some of the 74 million people who still voted for Trump will be willing to switch to voting Democrat in 2022.

So, Democrats, what's the plan? What's the priority? We need specifics, please!
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Old 6th January 2021, 07:56 AM   #2
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It will not happen quickly and some things just won't happen. There are "blue dogs" in the Senate that will stand in the way of any quick, progressive growth.
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Old 6th January 2021, 07:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
It will not happen quickly and some things just won't happen. There are "blue dogs" in the Senate that will stand in the way of any quick, progressive growth.


That's not a plan, that's a complaint. Part of a plan would be how to deal with those problems. What policies would be possible, and most benefit the American people, while also being visibly beneficial, so that at least some current Republican voters can see that their lives have been improved by the Democratic Party?
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:00 AM   #4
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The Dems are already getting distracted eating each other alive and whining about which Demographic sub-category gets credit for this for them to do anything about the entire other party in the middle of an attempted coup.

Nobody does circular firing squads like the Democrats.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The Dems are already getting distracted eating each other alive and whining about which Demographic sub-category gets credit for this for them to do anything about the entire other party in the middle of an attempted coup.

Nobody does circular firing squads like the Democrats.


That is my fear, yes, hence the call to put up. They have an opportunity here, but it's an opportunity that would be depressingly easy to waste.

But if you're not even going to try to succeed, what was the point in even working to get elected? If the Dems are doomed to failure, you might as well let the Republicans destroy everything so we can get on with that post-apocalyptic waltz we all so want to dance.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:07 AM   #6
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Shame on Ezra Klein for stealing what I wanted to say about this:

The key question now is whether congressional Democrats facing purple or red electorates learned the lesson of 2010: You win reelection by delivering real benefits to people fast, not by shrinking and slowing bills that would improve lives in a performance of moderation.
And, to add: Simple, visible benefits. Don’t submerge the state.

https://twitter.com/ezraklein/status...87201711587329
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:07 AM   #7
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1. Meet with Joe Manchin
2.
3. Profit
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
That is my fear, yes, hence the call to put up. They have an opportunity here, but it's an opportunity that would be depressingly easy to waste.

But if you're not even going to try to succeed, what was the point in even working to get elected? If the Dems are doomed to failure, you might as well let the Republicans destroy everything so we can get on with that post-apocalyptic waltz we all so want to dance.
Again I know that "Jesus another patch of ice? Just turn into the skid already so we can finally crash, total the car, and get a new one" is the popular zeitgeist of the age right now in Progressive circles.

But for me even the disorganized herd of cats that is the Democratic Party will do far more good than the Republicans and that, coupled with at least things not getting intentionally getting worse on purpose for a couple of years, is enough to keep me going.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:09 AM   #9
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It's kind of interesting that this would even be asked with a new president and new congressional majority. Obviously, the plan would be to implement what Joe Biden ran on. the problem is that Joe Biden's primary appeal was "I am not Donald Trump." It doesn't really define a legislative agenda.

And maybe that's ok. Maybe we don't really need sweeping changes at this point.

Personally, I would like to see some sort of fiscal responsibility, but I don't see that happening in the near term.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:12 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
It's kind of interesting that this would even be asked with a new president and new congressional majority. Obviously, the plan would be to implement what Joe Biden ran on. the problem is that Joe Biden's primary appeal was "I am not Donald Trump." It doesn't really define a legislative agenda.

And maybe that's ok. Maybe we don't really need sweeping changes at this point.

Personally, I would like to see some sort of fiscal responsibility, but I don't see that happening in the near term.
But he didn’t - look at his website: https://joebiden.com/joes-vision/
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
So, Democrats, what's the plan? What's the priority? We need specifics, please!
Personally, I'd like to see HR1 make a comeback, along w/ comprehensive pandemic relief for those who don't get to telecommute.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:17 AM   #12
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Step 1 of the Biden administration should be: grant statehood to Puerto Rico (and possibly Washington DC). Not only is it the morally right thing to do (a part of the country with millions of citizens deserves representation), it will likely support Democratic politicians, at least for a few election cycles.

As you pointed out, the midterms are coming up, and although we'd like to dance on the republican grave, they can come back. The Democrat's chance to get a few more congressional seats (as well some electoral college votes) will help keep the GOP at bay, giving them more leeway to act in the future.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Personally, I'd like to see HR1 make a comeback, along w/ comprehensive pandemic relief for those who don't get to telecommute.
Is it not on his website? I read quite a bit about his Covid plans but it was a few weeks ago and I can’t remember if it had a specific policy that covers that?
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:22 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But he didn’t - look at his website: https://joebiden.com/joes-vision/
Oh, I understand that he had plans, but I don't think those plans were really in the forefront of voters' minds. This election wasn't some sort of mandate to do anything in particular. I don't see a bunch of congressmen getting together to work on the legislation to pass the sweeping changes Joe campaigned on, the way things often happen with new presidents.

I think his primary campaign goal was, "Will you shut up, man?"

Even things like repealing a portion of the Trump tax cuts I can see being shelved temporarily as a bad idea until life returns to normal in a post pandemic world.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
It's kind of interesting that this would even be asked with a new president and new congressional majority. Obviously, the plan would be to implement what Joe Biden ran on. the problem is that Joe Biden's primary appeal was "I am not Donald Trump." It doesn't really define a legislative agenda.

Well, that's one of the big problems with the US system of government, as we've seen many times before: a President alone cannot do anything, they need allies in both the House and the Senate who will support a common agenda. So figuring out who those allies are dictates the agenda, or the agenda dictates the allies. Until you know who won what, it's hard to make specific plans.

But now we know who the players are, so it's time to start defining what the game is.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:23 AM   #16
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//I'm numbering these but of course a lot of them can be done concurrently and I'm not actually saying X can't happen until Y is completely finished...//

1. A top down review of the government to see exactly how much Trump has screwed it up. I'm serious. Change all the locks, redo all the passwords, update all the forms. Get his stench off of it. The last thing we need is for Trump to have left behind a bunch of festering embers that are going to be popping into random brushfires for the next few years.
2. A pandemic relief bill and support for a quicker rollout of the vaccine bill.
3. Nulling and voiding all of Trump's Executive Actions.
4. Rejoining Paris.
5. Statehood pushes for DC, Puerto Rico, and other American state not state limbos. And yes as I said if that means giving Puerto Rico a "You're either a state or a totally independent country" ultimatum, so be it.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:29 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Oh, I understand that he had plans, but I don't think those plans were really in the forefront of voters' minds. This election wasn't some sort of mandate to do anything in particular. I don't see a bunch of congressmen getting together to work on the legislation to pass the sweeping changes Joe campaigned on, the way things often happen with new presidents.

I think his primary campaign goal was, "Will you shut up, man?"

Even things like repealing a portion of the Trump tax cuts I can see being shelved temporarily as a bad idea until life returns to normal in a post pandemic world.
Hang on a moment- you said “he” campaigned on “not Trump” that may have been the message the media ran with but it wasn’t what he campaigned on, he had policies and goals outlined and tried to speak about them often. I even saw and heard that over here.

In this case it is a case of kill the messenger not the sender!

You can’t blame your ignorance on what he was campaigning for when all it took to find out was a visit to his website.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Step 1 of the Biden administration should be: grant statehood to Puerto Rico (and possibly Washington DC). Not only is it the morally right thing to do (a part of the country with millions of citizens deserves representation), it will likely support Democratic politicians, at least for a few election cycles.

As you pointed out, the midterms are coming up, and although we'd like to dance on the republican grave, they can come back. The Democrat's chance to get a few more congressional seats (as well some electoral college votes) will help keep the GOP at bay, giving them more leeway to act in the future.
You're skipping steps...

1. Convince Joe Manchin to support elimination of filibuster
2. Eliminate filibuster
3. Grant statehood

Regrettably, all plans need to consider post #7.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Well, that's one of the big problems with the US system of government, as we've seen many times before: a President alone cannot do anything, they need allies in both the House and the Senate who will support a common agenda. So figuring out who those allies are dictates the agenda, or the agenda dictates the allies. Until you know who won what, it's hard to make specific plans.

But now we know who the players are, so it's time to start defining what the game is.
True.

Even though there was no sweeping mandate for change, or specific changes at the front of the Democratic electoral agenda, two years from now voters will be wondering what was done, so Biden and the congress need to come up with something so they will have some sort of record to run on next time.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:43 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Hang on a moment- you said “he” campaigned on “not Trump”...*snip*
This all glosses over the fact that in order for him to "not be Trump", by default he would have goals, and plans on how to achieve them. Having them is almost the #1 step in "not being Trump".
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:45 AM   #21
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Senate rules still mean 60 votes to move legislation.

My pessimistic prediction is we'll have 4 years of very little happening. At best, a "signature legislation" that people are lukewarm or hostile to. It will be contentious, hostile, and hyperbolic...over nothing.

People's frustration with the nonexistent inertia of government will pull that "strong leader who can get it done" urge and we've set the table for the next Trump.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:47 AM   #22
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This also probably just me but...

Beyond policy, beyond politics, beyond any one specific goal... get rid of passing laws being this weird Wizard Duel of archaic rules and procedures you so much of it is based on childish procedural tricks.

No filibusters, no riders, no other "Oh well you see the Rules of the Senate say that if a law isn't passed on the 4th full moon of the year and it falls on a Tuesday then the law gets decided the Boy Scouts..." nonsense.

A streamlined law making process that the public can understand.

If you don't want a law passed, fine that's your right (and your responsibility) as a lawmaker. But goddamn own it. Kill it with your own bare hands and own it. Don't let it passively die in some convoluted web of archaic procedural hoops.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:47 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
True.

Even though there was no sweeping mandate for change, or specific changes at the front of the Democratic electoral agenda, two years from now voters will be wondering what was done, so Biden and the congress need to come up with something so they will have some sort of record to run on next time.
Read the website buddy. He has "something". In fact, he has a bunch of "somethings" and plans on how to get there. Is there a reason you're refusing to do that?
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:47 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Senate rules still mean 60 votes to move legislation.


...snip...
Is that a rule or something that’s always been accepted as the way it is?
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:49 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
This also probably just me but...

Beyond policy, beyond politics, beyond any one specific goal... get rid of passing laws being this weird Wizard Duel of archaic rules and procedures where you so much of it is based on childish procedural tricks.

No filibusters, no riders, no other "Oh well you see the Rules of the Senate say that if a law isn't passed on the 4th full moon of the year if it falls on a Tuesday then the law gets decided the Boy Scouts..." nonsense.

A streamlined law making process that the public can understand.
This is one thing that's always gotten me. If the Republicans have the majority, Dems can't get anything done. If the Dems have the majority, they still won't be able to get anything done. I wish the Dems always seemed to have the power that the GOP does in all facets.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:50 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Is that a rule or something that’s always been accepted as the way it is?
It's a senate rule than can be changed with a simple majority, and which cannot be fillibustered.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:50 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Is that a rule or something that’s always been accepted as the way it is?
The only time 60 is needed is to overcome a filibuster. Unfortunately, the filibuster is used with frequency by the minority.

ETA: Even with that being the case, it doesn't change the fact that Biden's cabinet will get approved, if there are judicial spots that need to be filled, they'll get called and approved, etc. There are tons of positives. Just being able to bring legislation at will is monumental.
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:55 AM   #28
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The main thing I would like to see is like JoeMorgue, votes actually taking place with Reps forced to actually.. ya know, vote. If the progressive wish list is fulfilled in total though, I would be worried. If progressives could push one major piece of legislation through, what would it be though? How about the more center segment of Dems?
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:57 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
The main thing I would like to see is like JoeMorgue, votes actually taking place with Reps forced to actually.. ya know, vote. If the progressive wish list is fulfilled in total though, I would be worried. If progressives could push one major piece of legislation through, what would it be though? How about the more center segment of Dems?
Which of Biden’s policies/goals worry you?
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Old 6th January 2021, 08:59 AM   #30
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Student debt needs to be forgiven. Taxes need to be rewritten so that the wealthy pay more. I'd like to see home office tax breaks restored.
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Old 6th January 2021, 09:00 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Read the website buddy. He has "something". In fact, he has a bunch of "somethings" and plans on how to get there. Is there a reason you're refusing to do that?
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Old 6th January 2021, 09:01 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Step 1 of the Biden administration should be: grant statehood to Puerto Rico (and possibly Washington DC). Not only is it the morally right thing to do (a part of the country with millions of citizens deserves representation), it will likely support Democratic politicians, at least for a few election cycles.

As you pointed out, the midterms are coming up, and although we'd like to dance on the republican grave, they can come back. The Democrat's chance to get a few more congressional seats (as well some electoral college votes) will help keep the GOP at bay, giving them more leeway to act in the future.
Step 1) Puerto Rico has to vote for statehood. That has been the sticking point before.
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Old 6th January 2021, 09:02 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Step 1) Puerto Rico has to vote for statehood. That has been the sticking point before.
They did. It was on the ballot on November 3rd. It won, narrowly.
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Old 6th January 2021, 09:03 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
Student debt needs to be forgiven. Taxes need to be rewritten so that the wealthy pay more. I'd like to see home office tax breaks restored.
These can probably be done using "reconciliation".
Maybe lowering the age for Medicare too.

HR1, DC and Puerto Rico statehood, probably not.
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Old 6th January 2021, 09:07 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
The main thing I would like to see is like JoeMorgue, votes actually taking place with Reps forced to actually.. ya know, vote. If the progressive wish list is fulfilled in total though, I would be worried. If progressives could push one major piece of legislation through, what would it be though? How about the more center segment of Dems?
The only bills the Dems ever get through are centrist. Look at Obamacare, it was basically a Republican plan. The progressives have started making noise, and with the younger generation taking hold (Ossoff will be the youngest Democrat Senator or something crazy?) like AOC, and the squad. I don't know if center is going to work. I hope they definitely push this country as far left as possible. Even us out with the world a bit more.
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Old 6th January 2021, 09:15 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
If progressives could push one major piece of legislation through, what would it be though? How about the more center segment of Dems?


I'd go for a "Medicare for Most" type of plan. Medicare for all is probably a non-starter, but even expanding coverage significantly could have the biggest impact on the most people.

The first time a Trump voter goes to the ER, worried more about the cost than their health, and is told that the visit won't cost them a penny out of pocket, has to have an impact on at least some of them. Even getting 1% of them to come to their senses could secure the Democrats victory in 2022.
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Old 6th January 2021, 09:21 AM   #37
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Biden and the Dems ONLY have to do better than Trump and the GOP-radicals.
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Old 6th January 2021, 09:22 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Biden and the Dems ONLY have to do better than Trump and the GOP-radicals.
Mmm no. I expect significantly more.

Medicare for most would definitely qualify. Progress on student loans, and justice reform would be critically high on my list as well.
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Old 6th January 2021, 09:23 AM   #39
ponderingturtle
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
I'd go for a "Medicare for Most" type of plan. Medicare for all is probably a non-starter, but even expanding coverage significantly could have the biggest impact on the most people.

The first time a Trump voter goes to the ER, worried more about the cost than their health, and is told that the visit won't cost them a penny out of pocket, has to have an impact on at least some of them. Even getting 1% of them to come to their senses could secure the Democrats victory in 2022.
But it isn't like they would see the connection like being for the ACA and hating Obamacare.
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Old 6th January 2021, 09:30 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Biden and the Dems ONLY have to do better than Trump and the GOP-radicals.
No, they don't. They have to do better than Trump and the GOP radicals told their supporters they did.

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