When candidates asked about an important issue find themselves unwilling or unable to give a shorter and clearer answer than Joe Biden, they have a problem.
Both Senators Clinton and Obama have a problem this week.
Senator Dodd has drawn a line in the sand and promised to filibuster any bill that gives retroactive immunity to telecoms companies who conspired with government agents to spy on us illegally. (Leave aside the question of whether the sloppy language also retrospectively immunizes illegal black bag jobs.)
Asked if he would support Dodd's filibuster, Joe Biden, a notoriously long-winded speaker, gave the following extended answer, which I quote in full:
Compare that to Clinton and Obama's game playing, per Glenn Greenwald.
Update: Sen. Obama has come up with a clear statement:
“To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.”
That’s what’s so frustrating about most politicians (repubs, dems, just all in general) is they give such broadly worded plans full of double speak that they really never end up saying anything.
How great would it be if they actually had to come up with actual detailed plans and present them to the public? That would allow us to make such an easier choice than the way people make choices now such as ‘well he/she looked good in the debate’ which I think we’ve seen has nothing to do with running a country and more to do with being as vague as possible.
-I plan to implement a national health insurance program that will cover (people earning a certain amount or whatever other criteria they want to come up with) and I plan to pay for it by (increased tax here or decreased expenditure there)
-My plan to fix social security is ________________
-I plan to address our oil independence by ______________
For example with social security they’re so happy to say they plan to fix it but they don’t have a plan for how they’re going to accomplish that. I think the American public when presented with the facts would realize the program is unsustainable as it currently works. Presumably the plans to fix it would have some sort of variation among reducing benefits, increasing the social security tax, changing eligibility age or working to move away from the program altogether.
Basically with every issue it’d be nice to hear someone say X is broken and needs to be fixed. It will require some sort of sacrifice to do so but we’ll be better in the long run and here’s my plan to do that.
Pipe dream I know, but I can wish.
Actually, on health care, several of the Democratic candidates have put forward quite detailed plans.