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Thursday, February 21, 2008

LiveBlogging the Democratic Debate

posted by on February 21 at 16:55 PM

Hello again. Schmader is nursing a cold at his place and I’m nursing a beer at Amy Kate’s place. In just a few minutes, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will begin their second one-on-one debate, this time in Texas. As always, send us your comments through the liveblogging widget. If they’re worthy, Schmader will drop them into the liveblog in progress.

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What's the deal with no posting any of my live blog comments Eli?

It appears you were being intentionally discriminatory with those posts you allowed and didn't allow.

It is not really a live blog if you censor the posts to fit your tastes.

Just sayin.

Reality Check

Posted by Reality Check | February 21, 2008 7:35 PM

Can somebody defend Hillary's health care policy?

To me she is wrong to compare her mandate to Social Security and Medicare because those programs are single payer, without out requiring people to go buy insurance from a private for-profit third party.

The only analogy I see is car insurance, where lots of people buy uninsured motorist coverage because in spite of the penalties, many refuse to buy mandated insurance.

So aren't we back to saying it's carrot vs. stick? Rather than a real difference in the number of people not covered by the plans?

Posted by elenchos | February 21, 2008 8:42 PM

Hey Reality Check: Eli wasn't moderating comments, I was, and there was nothing personal in my not posting any of your comments. Live-blogging is an imprecise science, and something of a clusterfuck, but I made an effort to make sure all views were represented. (Still, the people who express a given view first and/or best often get the nod.) Don't take it personally, thank you for playing, come again.

Posted by David Schmader | February 21, 2008 10:09 PM


I think the way we defend Hillary's health care plan is that 1) Some people who can afford it won't buy it without a mandate and that's trouble and 2) Whatever you start with will be whittled down by opposition to something less ambitious, so it's good to start with a big idea.

I think it's a bad idea, especially if you look at the problems with the healthcare mandate in Massachusetts. It was good that Obama mentioned this tonight.

Posted by V | February 21, 2008 11:44 PM

Best comment: "The United States should declare English as the ONLY language."

Posted by Chris in Tampa | February 22, 2008 2:06 AM

My point is that I don't see how Hillary's health care is a bigger idea than Obama's.

Calling it a "mandate" doesn't change the fact that some people will not spend the money to buy it. The mandate part is just that you find them and bust them for it, by making them pay a fine. It's exactly like car insurance, and lots and lots of people take their chances and don't buy car insurance.

Whereas giving people a tax break if they do buy it is a carrot. Not buying it means you miss out on that. Yet some people will still not buy it.

I don't see how either is bigger or more ambitious. It's just a question of how many people will choose to not buy. And that depends on the size of the carrot or the stick.

Or am I still missing something?

Posted by elenchos | February 22, 2008 8:23 AM

@3 Thanks for the reply David.

It helps knowing how the process works.

My bad.

Posted by Reality Check | February 22, 2008 8:59 AM

Reality Check-

The thought of you sitting at your keyboard, typing furiously and growing progressively more angry as your comments are ignored one after the other, brings a warmth to my heart that *totally* makes up for any depression that I'm feeling at my candidate's imploding campaign.



Posted by Big Sven | February 22, 2008 9:27 AM

I think Hillary knows that she could never pass that kind of mandate, but wants to go in with that mentality-- something the Republicans will despise-- to get a plan similar to Obama's through. She wants to fight the Republicans for it and eventually "compromise" in exchange for the votes to pass it. I don't think that's worked for her in the past, but it's worked for some.

Obama wants to go in with the plan as he thinks it could pass-- and not just that, but as he thinks it could pass with bipartisan support. The healthcare crisis is affecting everyone's constituents, who will rarely complain about a tax break or an offer of care (although of course the hardcore NO NEW TAXES EVER types are out). He often says in his book that he wants 60 or 70 percent, not 49 or 51.

We'll see.

Posted by V | February 22, 2008 2:04 PM

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