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Biden Signals How He Will Take On Warren And Sanders In Tomorrow's Debate.

Not that Warren and Sanders had not already figured this out, but CNN reports that Biden will obliquely criticize Warren — and IMO Sanders — with the line “We need more than plans” from the eventual Democratic nominee.  According to Biden, you need someone who knows how to get things done and has a proven track record of accomplishments, and he is the only one with that track record.

“I expect you'll see Biden echo an important point he made during last week' climate forum: we need more than plans, we need a President who can deliver progress on the most pressing issues facing Americans — which Joe Biden has proven he can throughout his career,” a Biden adviser said.

Just my opinion, but there are mutliple problems with this politcal strategy.  First up, while Joe Biden might be able to take some credit for things like the stimulus bill, the stimulus plan was insufficient for the damage the financial collapse had inflicted on the American economy.   Besides some design flaws — what bills don’t have design flaws?, critics of the stimulus plan said that it really needed to be doubled to have a signficant impact on the economy.  Republicans were able to use the still bad economic conditions in 2010 to win the midterms.

OK.  A mixed bag on that example for Joe Biden.  But here is an example highlighted by Senator Michael Bennet of CO from the first debate:  Biden’s role in the fiscal cliff negotiations.  Basically, McConnell and the other Republicans were using the upcoming debt limit vote to extort protection of Bush’s tax cuts and inflict economic austerity.  Democrats in the Senate wanted to try and hold the line on this.  However, Biden worked with Moscow Mitch and produced a “deal” that threw the Senate Democrats under the bus.


This was a very bad deal

Bennet, who was one of only two Senate Democrats to actually vote no on the deal, recalled it differently.

“The deal with Mitch McConnell was a complete victory for the Tea Party,” he said. “We had been running against this for 10 years. We lost that economic argument because that deal extended almost all those Bush tax cuts permanently and put in place the mindless cuts we still are dealing with today that are called the sequester. That was a great deal for Mitch McConnell and a terrible deal for America.”

To the best of my understanding at the time, much of the White House staff and the Senate leadership agreed with Bennet that the deal was bad. But some mix of nervous elements among red-state senators and in the White House decided to strike it, and once it was struck, few senators felt like being party poopers and voting no.

But not only was the deal kind of bad on the merits, it left Democrats tactically tied up throughout Obama’s second term. Democrats would find themselves proposing to do this or that and wanting to pay for it with higher taxes on the wealthy. Republicans wouldn’t go for that, and then little got done.

This had real consequences for any progressive legislation.  

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Next, there is no deal making with Moscow Mitch, at least not anymore.  House Democrats have passed all kinds of bills, and virtually all of them have been stillborn when they go to the Senate.  This is because Moscow Mitch loves being the Grim Reaper.  

Biden’s message is that he can find a way to get Moscow Mitch to make a deal.  Really?  From the guy who stole a SCOTUS seat from Obama?  Obama picked a moderate that had passed muster before in the Senate, only to see his nominee NEVER GET A HEARING.

Hey!  Wasn’t Biden Vice-President then?  I seem to recall that he was.  Where was all his deal making power when it came to getting Merrick Garland on the SCOTUS?

Yeah, I’m still a little pissed about that theft by Moscow Mitch.

Anyway, I have also argued that it is a seriously flawed strategy to say to the voters that Republicans and Democrats can work together when clearly they cannot.  We live in hyperpartisan times, and Republicans are not interested in working with Democrats.  The Democrats need to elect an leader who will unite Democrats and argue for complete Democratic control of the White House and Congress.  

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