Its Warren, Sanders or Biden vs Trump – all the other Democrats are irrelevant Robert Reich Opin

Its Warren, Sanders or Biden vs Trump – all the other Democrats are irrelevant   Robert Reich   Opin


Its Warren, Sanders or Biden vs Trump – all the other Democrats are irrelevant Robert Reich Opin We need to hear how the frontrunners for the nomination would win a dirty election and we need focused debates – now We need to hear how the frontrunners for the nomination would win a dirty election and we need focused debates – now The Democratic nominee in 2020 will be Joe Biden, or Bernie Sanders. Everyone else is irrelevant. Dont get me wrong. The entire field is impressive. Every candidate in last weeks debate would make a far better president than the current inhabitant of the Oval Office. But lets get real. Biden, Warren, and Sanders each continue to garner around 20 percent in the polls while all others are in the single digit doldrums. The frontrunners also have the money and the organization. Yet eight Democrats have already qualified for the 20 November debate in the Atlanta area, including the senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, Mayor , the entrepreneur Andrew Yang and the billionaire Tom Steyer. By 13 November, the last date for meeting the Democratic National Committee criteria, I wouldnt be surprised if the former representative Beto ORourke, Senator Amy Klobuchar, the former housing secretary Juliían Castro and Representative Tulsi Gabbard were also on board. Trump has never stopped campaigning. His incendiary lies continue to reverberate This is nuts. Whats the point of another three hour marathon? With so many candidates, all we get are soundbites, gotchas and one liners. Perhaps someone in the second tier will be picked for vice president or will end up in the next presidents cabinet, or their exposure will help win a seat in the House or Senate, or a governorship. But this is not enough reason to continue this overly extended beauty contest. Support must consolidate soon. Time is wasting. Take out the holidays and by 20 November the caucuses and primaries will be only weeks away. The Iowa caucuses are on 3 February. If we were going into a normal general election, the huge field of wannabes wouldnt be a problem. But this wont be a normal election. These are not normal times. If you hadnt noticed, Donald Trump is not a normal president. Impeachment is sucking huge amounts of oxygen from the political air, and will continue to do so for months. Meanwhile, Trumps campaign is in full gear. His fundraising machinery – the Republican National Committee, Super Pacs, his official campaign – has raised more than dollar 736m. Thats more than any presidential candidate at this point in a campaign. Trump has never stopped campaigning. His incendiary lies continue to reverberate through Fox News, rightwing radio and social media. The larger the Democratic field, the harder it is for any single candidate or message to break through the cacophony. At the same time, second tier candidates are under growing pressure to take pot shots at the front runners – planting negative stories, poking holes in their plans, building themselves up at their expense. This may be rational for them but its irrational for the as a whole. The old saw that a nominee benefits from having to respond to many other candidates doesnt apply to this election. If you thought the swift boating of John Kerry in 2004 was outrageous, wait until Trump launches his aircraft carriers Trump will not be debating subtle differences between Medicare for All and Medicare for Those Who Want It. He will accuse the Democrat of being a communist, and worse. Its time to for Democrats to hunker down. The debaters on 20 November should be Biden, Warren and Sanders. Warren and Sanders should be given a chance to fully explain how their ideas differ. Biden needs to explain why he believes America should return to the politics we had before Trump, when that politics led to Trump. All three should have ample time to describe how theyd win over working class Americans who have been shafted for 40 years. They also need room to discuss how theyll create a multi racial, multi ethnic coalition to take power back for the bottom 90 percent , and how theyll get big money out of politics and restore our democracy. And they need to address how theyll take on Trumps malicious lies and anything goes tactics. If you thought George W Bushs swift boating of John Kerry in 2004 was outrageous, wait until Trump launches his aircraft carriers. Americans deserve a full opportunity to assess these three candidates and decide which should take on Trump. Its not too late for the DNC to tighten the rules for who gets to debate next. The stakes could not be higher. This will be the most important election in modern American history. We – not just Democrats but all Americans – cannot afford to blow it. Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of and . He is also a columnist for Guardian US

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