What do you wish the candidates were actually...

What do you wish the candidates were actually talking about?

Dan Moulthrop
on Aug 31, 2012

The candidates and their surrogates are doing a great job sticking to their talking points and avoiding substance. Let's have a conversation about all the issues, solutions, policies and platform ideas they're not talking about but should. photo: flickr.com/cainandtoddbenson

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What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2014-11-01T09:33:24+00:00
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Peter Comings
on Sep 11, 2012
"Here is what a group of Westlake High School students had to say on the topic."
Dan Moulthrop
on Sep 05, 2012
"This column by Chris Evans from today's Plain Dealer reminds me of one of the issues I wish would..."
Peter Comings
on Sep 05, 2012
"And if you're not hearing a particular message from the Ds and Rs, are you hearing it from..."
Dan Moulthrop
on Sep 05, 2012
"Josh--thanks for bringing that up. Jill and Nancy have given you a lot to respond to, so I won't..."
Nancy Reeves
on Sep 04, 2012
"Josh, I have now found the comment you must be referring to which Senator Harkin made this..."
Nancy Reeves
on Sep 04, 2012
"Josh, The tweet was a description of Clint Eastwood's performance, and every source I can find..."
Jill Miller Zimon
on Sep 04, 2012
"Hey Josh - thanks for taking time to read & share your thoughts. Your caps and multiple..."
Josh Destardi
on Sep 04, 2012
"And to that tweet, which by the way originated from a United States Senator (Harkin), I say THIS:..."
Nancy Reeves
on Sep 01, 2012
"A tweet really captured it for me - "@jbouie This is a perfect representation of the campaign: an..."

Dan Moulthrop

Dan Moulthrop - 2014-11-01T09:33:24+00:00 - "The candidates and their surrogates are doing a great job sticking to their talking points and..."

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Dan Moulthrop
on Aug 31, 2012
"What do you wish the candidates were actually discussing? I've got a big list, some of which I..."
Dan Moulthrop
on Sep 05, 2012 - 10:28 am

This column by Chris Evans from today's Plain Dealer reminds me of one of the issues I wish would get honest, solutions-focused treatment from both sides. The words we use--gun control, second amendment--are so freighted, we've lost the ability to talk about the lives being lost because people who are lousy at making decisions and dealing with emotions have easy access to guns and bullets.   

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Aug 31, 2012 - 8:57 am

What do you wish the candidates were actually discussing?

I've got a big list, some of which I discussed in this recent column for the Avon Press, and I'll bring my thoughts on this in a little later. Right now, though, let's hear from you.

If you're undecided, what are the issues on which you'd really like to hear from the candidates, the issues that may help determine your vote?

If you're on the left or the right and have made up your mind, what are the issues that you wish we'd get to as a nation, rather than the slogans and rehearsed patter? 

 

Responses(8)

Nancy Reeves
on Sep 01, 2012

A tweet really captured it for me - "@jbouie This is a perfect representation of the campaign: an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama."

In order to avoid listening to the convention speeches on the ride home I have been listening to WNIR.  Mostly talk from whoever calls in, without much filter or research by the host. Two evenings they discussed the Affordable Care Act with people speaking with great authority about what was in the Affordable Care Act - well over 90% of it complete nonsense.

I am less concerned about which issues are discussed (although the Affordable Care Act is a crucial one for me) than I am that what we are discussing is real (rather than imaginary).

 
Josh Destardi
on Sep 04, 2012

And to that tweet, which by the way originated from a United States Senator (Harkin), I say THIS:

For the record, I spent a long several hours in April of 2008 watching the Democratic rules committee consistently coddle barack obama vs. Hillary Clinton.

I renounced my Democratic party ties at that point, but really...these comments "old angry white man" is not only ageist, but racist and vilifies an American legend who I believe wants nothing but good things for America.

This is evident in his Superbowl commercial and in his "let's spend a little more time leaving everyone else alone".  He has a right to choose political parties and in fact in 2012 THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE between democrats or republicans; 2008 taught me that hard lesson.

So I'd suggest politicians "spend a little more time" arguing for term limits for EVERY political office and "a little less time" picking on American legends.

It's bad form.

(To prove my point, it was perfectly fine for Dems when Clint filmed his Superbowl ad, but now he's suddenly an 'old angry white man'.  Racist and disgusting terminology.  Can't black folk be 'old and angry'????????? 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Sep 04, 2012

Hey Josh - thanks for taking time to read & share your thoughts. Your caps and multiple question marks tells me that this topic has really stirred you.

I'm curious to know what you mean by the DNC coddling the two final primary candidates. I actually don't recall April 2008 but I'm guessing my memory might get jogged if you do - was that around the whole Michigan and Florida delegates thing? Or something else?

Also, about term limits - I think that's just another way that voters end up abdicating their ability to have a say. They end up not paying attention except when the seat becomes open, otherwise, they're like "Oh, so and so is term-limited - we'll wait til then" since so often incumbency is an insurmountable advantage (though not always, as we're seeing more and more, and I think that's a really really good thing, because it means voters are paying attention).

I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other about what Harkin said - except maybe a smile at the thought that the average age of people in the political body in which he serves is something like 59 - not exactly spring chickens. Age is relative, obviously! (Remember when Henry Waxman of CA and John Dingell of MI were both vying for a leadership position in the House in 2008 - Waxman was 68 and Dingell was 82!)

 
Nancy Reeves
on Sep 04, 2012

Josh,

The tweet was a description of Clint Eastwood's performance, and every source I can find attributes it to the 10:10 PM August 30 tweet from Jamelle Bouie.  I have not been able to find any attribution to Senator Harkin (before or after that tweet).  (There was no reference in the tweet, or anything I said, to him being angry.)

At any rate, what I focused on is arguing with the imaginary - not who is doing the arguing.  What troubles me are false assertions, which are then used as the basis to convince people to vote against someone (or something).  Both sides are doing their fair share of it.  Because it impacts me personally - the lies about what is in the Affordable Care act are some of the lies I notice most - and they are part of the imaginary Barack Obama.

As to the Affordable Care Act I have heard the following whoppers just in the last week:

Whopper #1:  Another variation of the "death panels."  None of the proposed bills (or the final version) included "death panels." in any form.  A provision which allowed doctors to be paid for the full spectrum of end of life counseling when they provide it  was misconstrued as a panel deciding whether granny should live or die.  The issue being addressed by the bill was that people who wanted their doctors to discuss hospice, or pain control, or ceasing v. continuing extraordinary care often were denied access to that counseling because Medicare did not pay doctors for the time they spent providing that service.  The change was solely to permit doctors to be paid for a service many were already providing without compensation.  The new (also false) version is that in 2014 elderly patients will be denied major medical care, like chemo, unless they can obtain government approval in 2014.

Whopper #2:  As of 2014 small businesses will be required to provide insurance to their employees and will have to pay fines even if their employees have their own health insurance through private purchase or their spouse's plan.  Completely false. as to small businesses, and only partially true with respect to large businesses.  No business is required to provide insurance.  Large businesses will have to pay a fee to help cover the cost of tax credits claimed by their employees IF the large business does not provide affordable insurance AND AND their employees claim a tax credit.  Small businesses never have to pay this fee.

Whopper #3:  The Affordable Care Act has no cost reduction measures in it.  Again - false.  The ACA has numerous cost cutting provisions from fraud reduction, the implementation of preventative care (designed to catch illness while the cost of treating them is lower), requiring insurance company rebates if their profits are too high (the first $1.1 million in rebates were returned by August 1), bundling payments, and more outlined here.   

That is the context for why the tweet resonated wtih me.  My daughter's ability to afford health care for two chronic and costly conditions depends on key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (the right to insurance, and equity of premiums, and subsidies in the likely event she will be unable to work full time).  I'm willing to debate whether the ACA is good or not.  But what I am tired of is having to spend the first half, or more, of every discussion countering all of the imaginary provisions of the Affordable Care Act before we can even start talking about whether what is in there is a good plan or not.

Whether you agree or disagree with the Affordable Care Act, if the decision about whether to keep Barack Obama as President or replace him with Mitt Romney depends in part on the Affordable Care Act, that decision ought to be based in reality - not on the imaginary Obamacare or imaginary Barack Obama, or the imaginary Mitt Romney, for that matter.  There are enough legitimate differences of opinion about the real things and their proponents.  What I want (and what that tweet captures for me) is the need to debate what is real - not what is imaginary.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Sep 04, 2012

Josh,I have now found the comment you must be referring to which Senator Harkin made this morning:  “We’ve got our work cut out for us this week, folks, following the Republican convention,” Harkin said as the delegates dined on eggs, sausages and biscuits. “I mean, how are we ever going to match Clint Eastwood? I got to thinking he is the perfect icon for today’s Republican tea party: an old angry white man spewing incoherent nonsense.”The tweet I quoted (from a couple of days ago) described Barack Obama in the role Clint Eastwood chose to place him:  An imaginary figure, both literally and figuratively.  Eastwood's lack of coherence, at times during the speech, does raise flags for me, and the fact that it is being used as put-down or a joke is not something I find appropriate or funny.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Sep 05, 2012

Josh--thanks for bringing that up. Jill and Nancy have given you a lot to respond to, so I won't push the point. I will agree with you that the double standard employed with Clint (it's alright if he's on script on TV for the Dems, but not off script on stage for the Rs) is not really defensible. The incoherence that Nancy points to is just unfortunate. 

The question I really have for you is what do you wish you were hearing from the DNC or the RNC or the candidates themselves?

 
Peter Comings
on Sep 05, 2012

And if you're not hearing a particular message from the Ds and Rs, are you hearing it from someone else?

 
Peter Comings
on Sep 11, 2012

Here is what a group of Westlake High School students had to say on the topic.

 
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