Krystal Ball defends praise of Yang: I am not 'a Russian plant'
Saagar Enjeti rips Harris's 'empty promises'
Opinion by: Saagar Enjeti
Last night America saw the empty promises of neoliberal centrism on full display in the embarrassing performance of Kamala Harris. Harris more so than any other candidate demonstrated the poll tested bankruptcy that represents her wing of the party.
Lets begin with healthcare. Now i have complicated feelings about medicare for all and on this show you've seen me ask experts quite a few questions about it. But one thing i'm reasonably certain of after last night's debate is that Kamala Harris's position on healthcare has entirely nothing to do with policy and everything to do with how it faired in poll tests.
It takes a lot of gumption to falsely claim you've supported medicare for all from the very beginning. But more so, almost nobody can figure out exactly what the hell she was saying was actually in the plan itself. Thats the same thing we saw from Harris's other brethren in the race. Pete Buttigieg says Medicare For All who want it, Joe Biden says Medicare for choice, Beto says medicare for America, Andrew Yang says....1000 dollars a month.
One thing I learned about politics in 2016 was that simplicity matters. Lots of GOP candidates were tough on immigration but they talked endlessly about changes to law when trump one-upped them all with a simple phrase: Build the wall. Medicare for all is quite similar its a simple signal to voters that you believe healthcare is a human right.
Harris showed her bankruptcy again on the issue of trade. Just listen to her turn herself into a pretzel on whether she would keep trump's tariffs on China and how she thinks about the issue:
"We have to hold China accountable. They steal our products, including our intellectual property, they dump substandard products into our economy. They need to be held accountable."
Harris's answer was perfectly emblematic of those given by Pete Buttigieg, Biden and other centrists. They all said they wanted to take on china, they all noted that the tariffs weren't great but wouldn't necessarily leave them out, and then they all said some version of "but I certainly won't be like drumpf"
Only Warren and Bernie offered a coherent contrast with Trump on trade while accepting that our trading relationship is broken. Warren building on her plan that i praised here said she would center America's trading relationships around how much it helps the American worker, and not how it helps the American corporation.
Bernie sanders correctly noted that from the very beginning he predicted that NAFTA and normalized trading relations with China was a boon to American corporations and an utter disaster for American manufacturing workers. Both candidates share with president trump the acknowledgement that America's trading policy has destroyed a way of life. Just think about how candidates like Biden, Harris, or Buttigieg would get destroyed by trump on these issues in a debate.
Finally lets talk about Kamala's horrendous canned, inauthentic, and t-shirt prepared lines.
I have barely any words for that one, it is one of the most cringeworthy moments on the national stage i've ever witnessed. Up there with "trumped up trickle down"
Being good at politics requires having a good ideology and its bankruptcy was on full display last night.