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Even Liberal WaPo says Warren and Sanders proposals don’t “meet a baseline degree of factual plausibility”

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Mocks Warren’s debate line: “Why go to the trouble of running for president to promote ideas that can’t work?”

The second round of Democrat presidential debates have caused even more clown car chaos for a party clearly struggling to find its footing.

Not only was the second round of debates a ratings failure for CNN, but the candidates on night one were called out for being too extreme by their own party and the candidates on night two assailed Obama. Both the extremism and the attacks on Obama have stirred leftists to respond.

Perhaps one of the more interesting responses was from the Washington Post‘s editorial board. The title of their op-ed was a direct swipe at Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): “Why go to the trouble of running for president to promote ideas that can’t work?“.

While Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was busy shouting at everyone and no one, Warren was busily condescending and sniding her way further into unlikability.

WaPo’s editorial board writes:

“I DON’T understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Tuesday night, in the most notable zinger of July’s Democratic presidential primary debate. “I get a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the other major candidate on the field’s left wing, piled on.

This got us thinking about some big ideas in U.S history. Like, say, amending the Constitution to outlaw liquor. Or sending half a million troops into Vietnam. Or passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy in a time of massive deficits.

Ambition is essential, in other words, but not sufficient. The country faces big challenges, such as economic inequality and climate change, that call for creative solutions. They also call for wisdom, honesty and even a bit of modesty about government’s limitations. Having embraced President Barack Obama’s “no drama” approach to governing, often defined by the philosophy “don’t do stupid s—,” it would be odd if Democrats suddenly embraced ideological grandiosity as a prerequisite for service in the Oval Office.

Apparently unimpressed with Warren’s and Sanders’ “big ideas” devoid of “factual plausibility,” WaPo’s board continues:

That means, first, that proposals should meet a baseline degree of factual plausibility — a bar that, for example, the Medicare-for-all plan that Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren favor does not clear. Ms. Warren’s Tuesday night zinger was aimed at former congressman John Delaney (Md.), who had pointed out correctly that the numbers behind the proposal simply do not compute. . . . .

. . . . The next president should have a vision of progress for the nation that is expansive and inspiring. It also should be grounded in mathematical and political reality.

This appears to be a theme over at WaPo where one writer urges Warren and Sanders to embrace “progressive pragmatism” instead of  retreating into the “demagoguery of the left” before also targeting Warren’s “what I don’t understand” line.

What I don’t understand is why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States simply to ignore questions about real-world realities and promise fights without explaining how to win them. Reality is not going to bend to a new shape come 2021 just because a President Sanders shouts at it or a President Warren fights with it.

In an op-ed entitled “Sanders and Warren got crushed on health care, finally,” Stephen Stromberg goes for the jugular.

[A]rguments about what will sell in a general election are only so compelling. It is not just that the Sanders-Warren platform is out of step with the middle of the country; it is that it is bad on the merits. The knockout blow came when the health-care plan at the center of their agenda failed to withstand the scrutiny of the other candidates.

. . . . Sanders and Warren marshaled two arguments. First, they accused their critics of repeating Republican talking points, which is not a policy argument at all.

Their other defense was only marginally more substantive: that insurance companies are bad, profit in the health-care sector is bad, and health-care bureaucracy is bad. “Why does every doctor, why does every hospital have to fill out so many complicated forms?” Warren asked. “It’s because it gives insurance companies a chance to say no and to push that cost back on the patients.”

Of course, doctors and hospitals would still have to fill out forms under Sanders’s plan, just like they do now under Medicare. It’s just that they would exclusively bill the government. And the government would still deny care that some people wanted, because if it didn’t, the country would spend unsustainable amounts of money. Every system requires trade-offs, a simple fact that Sanders and Warren refuse to admit.


Stromberg, like the WaPo editorial board, blasted both Warren and Sanders for their flippant dismissal of very real concerns about their proposals.

Their promise to End All The Bad Things is a fiction unbefitting the serious debate about health-care policy that the rest of the Democratic field is engaged in. Universal health care can work. Single-payer can work. Just not the way Sanders and Warren promise.

. . . . If there were any justice in politics, Delaney would be rising in the polls and Sanders and Warren would be relegated to the fringe.

Former Rep. John Delaney (D-NJ), to whom Stromberg refers, was very effective in making the case against the fantasy agenda of Warren and Sanders.

Delaney has continued his attack on the party’s extremist leading candidates:

These will all be used by Republicans against all the Democrats who have endorsed Medicare for all and other radical proposals.



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