The Questions the Democrats Must Answer


You out there, watching the debates, by all accounts you have been left with more questions than answers… on the streets of Detroit, online and on my radio show, from all across this country democrats and voters seeking better, pepper me with the same questions, and I put them now to those on the debate stage these past two nights, because they are for them to answer…

First, do you get what this election is about? Here is a hint…(listen) another hint: it wont be “most detailed health care plan” wins. This President has made it painfully obvious that he isn’t here to compare plans… he said he won’t release his health care plan until after the 2020 election. Medicare for all as an issue for voters — take a look at this poll…so am I arguing plans don’t matter? Of course not. Plans matter but not as much as connecting with people on the concern and anxiety that drives the need for a plan to fix it.

Are plans as compelling as “feeling people’s pain?” You know like Clinton… like Obama… they were not detailed plan guys… remember the vision thing?

Next… when you did decide to attack a president… why was it Obama? Almost more so… than the one you will face…the one you all call a criminal and a pathological liar. President Obama is the only one of you who matches this President in party popularity… he actually beats Trump…what do you gain by going at him? Do you think you weaken Biden enough to justify how much you piss off democrats and empower this President to use the same attacks against whichever of you comes through?

And when you were not going at Obama you were going at each other…in ways that brought you down and gave an opening to your opponent. Candidates attacking Biden for deportations. Trump smiles. All of these implicit and explicit accusations that Biden has issues with race. Trump smiles. Of course the issue in so many manifestations matters.

The question is: are you using it where and when it counts? If not, are you risking that by the time one of you gets to confront this President about his clear and present problems with division, the people you need to convince will be sick of hearing it? And are you allowing him to point the finger back at his accuser and say either: you accuse everyone of this or that your own said the same thing about you? Are you architecting with your salvos now something that will enable this save later?

And what was the percentage in this attack line from Senator Gillibrand…? It got the Senator’s attention…and of course empowering women matters, but did it really elevate her or the problem? Does anyone think Biden who is married to a PhD who works is somehow about women staying in the kitchen? You really need clarification from a parsed 1981 op-ed? At the cost of giving another arrow to someone whom you say you want to target as a misogynist?

You must answer these questions…because the debates did not. Do we know a little bit more or better now how you each size up? Perhaps…but do the people you want to lead, to serve….did you give them a reason to believe that you offer something better versus more of the same?

The answers mean everything, and there is a country that is desperate for the right response. Who has it?