Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
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Paul Krugman: Biden and Sanders, Behaving Badly
A bad-faith debate over health care coverage.
Health care was a key factor in Democrats’ victory in the 2018 midterm elections, and it should be a big plus in 2020 as well. The shared Democratic position — that every legal resident should have access to affordable care, regardless of income or health status — is immensely popular. The de facto Republican position — that we should go back to a situation in which those whose jobs don’t come with health benefits, or who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions, can’t get insurance — is so unpopular that G.O.P. candidates consistently lie about their own proposals.
But right now, two of the major contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, are having an ugly argument about health care that could hurt the party’s chances. There are real, important differences between the two men’s policy proposals, and it’s fine to point that out. What’s not fine is the name-calling and false assertions. Both men are behaving badly. And for their party’s sake, and their country’s, they need to stop it.
Let’s back up. There are, broadly speaking, two ways a country can try to achieve universal health insurance. One is single-payer: The government simply pays the bills. The other retains a role for private insurance but relies on a combination of regulations and subsidies to ensure that everyone gets covered.
Charles M. Blow: Denying Racism Supports It
Refusing to address and acknowledge the prejudices in our country is a big part of the problem.
When did we arrive at the point where applying the words racist and racism was more radioactive than actually doing and saying racist things and demonstrating oneself to be a racist?
How is it that America insists on knowledge of the unknowable — what lurks in the heart — in order to assign the appellation?
Why are so many Americans insisting that racism requires conscious, malicious intent in order for the title to be earned?
Last week, much of America wrestled with whether to label the president racist after he published racist tweets about four congresswomen of color, demonstrating once again in the most overt terms that he is indeed a racist.
And yet many, including those in the media, struggled with whether or not to label his tweet, and by extension Donald Trump himself, as racist.