Cooper: When the rubber meets the road

Cooper: When the rubber meets the road

July 24th, 2019 by Clint Cooper in Opinion Free Press

Former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, now wishes he would not have resigned his seat over sexual assault allegations in 2018. (Tom Brenner/The New York Times)

Photo by TOM BRENNER

At least three 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have learned in recent days that it's one thing to promise pie in the sky but another to deliver on it.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, realized his $15 minimum wage plan doesn't work so well for his campaign staff. Former Vice President Joe Biden admitted he couldn't repeat the lie his boss did in promising that health care consumers could keep their doctors under his plan. And Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, felt heat when it was revealed her crowning #MeToo moment left some of her far left colleagues with heartburn.

Beginning in May, some Sanders staffers quietly began pointing out the hypocrisy of trying to sell the public on a uniform $15 minimum wage when they weren't receiving such an amount. However, Sanders' campaign staff disagreed and dismissed the demand until a field worker recently spilled the beans to The Washington Post.

Privately, according to reports, the senator fumed that some jobs weren't worth $15 an hour, which certainly was true for the workers, who were a small step above volunteers. He also whined that "people are going outside of the process and going to the media. That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it's improper."

Except, of course, when they're telling on big corporations.

On Tuesday, though, Sanders relented and said he'd pay his field organizers $15 an hour, but he also cut the the number of hours a week they could work.

Throughout the country, $15 minimum wage opponents were saying, "Told ya."

Biden, happy to defend former President Barack Obama's lies about consumers keeping their health plan and their doctor when the Affordable Care Act was rolled out almost a decade ago, realized his plan would no more let them do that than the former president's did.

"Well look," he told the Washington Examiner, "I can't promise — I can promise them that if in fact the private insurance they have is kept by their company, they keep whoever that plan allows. That's all I can promise."

Biden's plan, unlike the Medicare for All plans of many other candidates, wants to build on what became known as Obamacare but add a "public health insurance option" that functions similar to Medicare and Medicaid.

His plan is estimated to cost $750 billion over the first 10 years compared to a sticker price of $30 million to $40 million for Medicare for All plans.

But before the plan was announced last week, Biden told AARP voters in Iowa, "If you like your health care plan, your employer-based plan, you can keep it," and "if you like your private insurance, you can keep it."

The Affordable Care Act never could allow such, which Obama knew when he said it, because many of the then-current plans didn't meet the program's strict guidelines. And, so, eventually, millions of consumer plans were canceled.

Meanwhile, Gillibrand, currently at 0.6% in the polls, was swarmed by media outlets after former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, and a number of senators recently told the New Yorker they regretted Franken's decision to resign after sexual abuse charges were made against him in early 2018.

"Oh, yeah," Franken said when asked if he regretted his decision. "Absolutely."

Suggesting he step down without getting all the facts is "one of the biggest mistakes I've made" in 45 years in the Senate, said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

"If there's one decision I've made that I would take back," said former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, "it's the decision to call for his resignation."

Well, sniffed Gillibrand, it was Franken's decision to step down.

No doubt it was, but she — in the midst of assorted #MeToo allegations across the country — was the first lawmaker to step out and suggest he resign before the Senate Select Committee on Ethics could make a judgment on his status.

"It's his decision and his alone whether to wait out his ethics committee hearing, whether to wait for his next election," she said. "The decision I made was whether or not to carry his water and stay silent. And given eight allegations, two since he was senator, and the eighth one being a congressional staffer, I couldn't stay silent."

In losing Franken, Democrats lost a particularly vicious barb for President Donald Trump, and even a potential 2020 opponent. The former "Saturday Night Live" comedian was never shy about expressing his opinion — whether it had any truth in it or not — while his replacement, a reliable Democrat nonetheless, is less candid with her comments.

As the campaign rolls on, it won't be surprising to see other 2020 Democratic hopefuls come face to face with the reality of their stances and suddenly learn how to backpedal.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315
Email: webeditor@timesfreepress.com


Loading...