The Democratic Debate Brought To You By Max Bialystock: The DNC Engineers A Flop In Latest Debate Scheduling

For months, critics and candidates have been publicly denouncing what they view as open favoritism of the Democratic National Committee (and particularly DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz) toward Hillary Clinton. Even DNC members have objected to the role of the DNC and the view that it is trying to guarantee that Clinton is the nominee. One of the most commonly cited (and commonly accepted) examples are the small number of debates scheduled by the DNC at hours that guarantee the least exposure for Clinton. That criticism is likely to become deafening this Sunday when the key debate before the Iowa caucus will be scheduled not only on a Sunday night but in direct conflict with the NFL playoffs and the new episode of Downton Abbey. Our house is a typical example of the obvious dilemma. My wife is a Downton Abbey fan and, as you know, I am a football fan. The result? The debate might as well have been held by the DNC on Mars. It is a schedule that only Max Bialystock could truly love. [Update: despite virtual universal derision over the scheduling of the debates,  Wasserman Schultz went public today and claimed that the schedule was actually designed to “maximize” exposure.  This type of statement only magnifies the view that party leaders and some politicians have such a low opinion of voters that it borders on open contempt.  How would scheduling a debate on a Sunday night in conflict with two of the biggest television draws maximize viewership — putting aside the refusal to allow more debates as demanded by two of the three candidates and many voters? Indeed, if she was implausibly trying for the largest audience, she is grossly negligent as the low ratings have proven.]

Despite this bizarre and overt effort to minimize audiences, any effort to shield Clinton is failing if recent polls are an indicator. Clinton is falling in the polls much as she did in 2008 and the bias of the DNC is resonating with the base.

What is curious to me is that I thought Clinton was doing quite well in debates and recent interviews. The clumsiness that we saw earlier seems to have been largely removed. In other words, she really does not need the help from the DNC. Indeed, all of this weird minimalist scheduling is simply reaffirming the view of her critics that she is an establishment insider and that there is no real choice being allowed voters.

The scheduling on Sunday is also playing into GOP critics like Sen. Ted Cruz who observed that “They keep scheduling the Democratic debates at like 2 a.m. on Alaska PBS. It’s almost like they don’t want anybody to see their candidates for president.”

I find all of this fascinating to watch (or not watch in the case of the Democratic debates) because it seems so counterproductive and damaging to both the Clinton campaign and the DNC. The conventional wisdom has long been that parties want as many people to watch debates as possible. Conversely, this seems engineered to be a flop like the DNC version of “The Producers”

In the end, when the low ratings roll in, the DNC could always quote Downton Abbey with a sense of satisfaction: “We were a show that flopped”

128 thoughts on “The Democratic Debate Brought To You By Max Bialystock: The DNC Engineers A Flop In Latest Debate Scheduling”

  1. @tnash80hotmailcom: ” I may well have overstated the average GDP growth rate of the Obama administration, as well. It may not AVERAGE the 2% number I used.”

    .My back of the envelop, overall number for the Obama years was around 1.2%, while growth for the good years – end of recession to date – was roughly 1.6%. At least there is economic growth, and jobs are being created, albeit at a low rate.

    So what could account for slow growth and the jobless recovery? Globalization, secular stagnation, inequality, what else? So far we have lots of ideas and controversy, but no clear answers.

  2. Anyone reading these comments can fact check the assertion that that Reagan spurt was “at the beginning, then the economy tanked”.
    I will concede that any partisan hack can make up a homebrew definition of recessions, etc. And I have seen this done repeatedly by the same sanctimious partison hack who seems to feel that he’s free to invent his own set of facts to tell us “Democrats good, Republicans BAD”.
    There is a certaian consistency demonstrated, and I suppose a great deal of comfort derived from, repeated spouting one’s one set of “facts”.
    For the record, anyone interested in actual facts can can check to see if the Reagan years started out strong for the ecomony, then tanked.
    All historical economic data indicate that exactly the opposite occurred, but I’m reluctant to disabuse partisan hacks of their tightly held fantacies.

  3. Bigfatmike

    You might add that growth in Reagan’s 8 years was at the beginning and then the economy tanked. He stated as much on TV. You can’t lower taxes/revenue and raise spending/arming up and expect ends to meet. Reagan created a recession that started in his second term and pretty much doomed Bush Sr. Clinton rode the tech wave and left a surplus but the little brush repeated the Reagan concept and left a mess for Obama. Obama’s increase in the debt is nothing compared to the little cowboy’s when you take it as a percentage increase. But all that doesn’t matter cuz if you hate someone you hate someone.

    Obama’s legacy will continue after he is gone in normalization of foreign affairs, transfer of responsibility to defeat ISIS to Muslim countries. Etc. Let’s not forget who created the catastrophe. Has anyone heard from the idiot lately? Does anyone want to hear from him? No one, not even his brother.

    1. I didn’t think that brushing aside a minor threat from “a JV team” like ISIS would require farming out the job to the fractured Islamic counties.
      It seems that if Obama, his genius NS Advisor Susan Rice, Arab Spring architechs like Obama/Hillary/Rice had properly evaluated and responded to thteats, that the JV Team issue need nit be passed to the subsequent administration or an Arab “alliance”.
      IF a Republican wins in the presidency, then repeat the mantra…….it’s all Obama’s fault.
      Even if a Republican president screws up miserably on future ISIS-related policy, just copy the patisan hacks’ mantra, and hold the GOP blameless.

  4. Baghdad Bob, meet Sgt Preston of the Yukon. Sgt Preston is the type of guy you PRAY doesn’t sit next to you on a plane or in a bar.

    NOTHING has been a better “recruiting video for ISIS” than our pussy prez “waxing” women and children w/ reckless and cowardly drone attacks. NOTHING!

  5. Obama will go down even worse than Carter, both feckless in foreign policy and domestic.

  6. I can see that there was shift back to self-defination of “recession”, and again saw the statement about Reagan leaving behind a terrible recession.
    I’m not going to try to correct the recird again…..been there, done that.
    But I’d rather allow myself the same leeway that a blindly partisan hack repeatedly gives himself, and just make up my own home brew defination of a recession.
    So Obama has left us with nothing but an 8 year recession. If 5-6% GDP growth over a multiyear period is viewed as an 8 year recession under Reagan, then certainly the 2% growth under Obama is indeed a severe recession…probably a deression.
    Worst since the FDR depression.

    1. ” If 5-6% GDP growth over a multiyear period is viewed as an 8 year recession under Reagan, then certainly the 2% growth under Obama is indeed a severe recession…probably a deression.”

      Where are you getting 5 to 6 percent growth during the Reagan years?

      A quick check at the St Louis FED shows real GDP on 012089 about 8.7 trillion and real GDP on 012081 of about 6.6 trillion dollars. That is about 31% growth over 8 years (8.7/6.6=1.31).

      Working with powers (1 + r)^8 = 1.31 gives annual compounded growth of roughly 3.5% – not bad for a mature industrial economy – but no where near 5 to 6%.

      Is it possible the 5 to 6% growth rate mixes in inflation?

      1. bigfatmike…..I think that 3.5% average GDP growth during the Reagan administration is accurate. I think that 1984 was the peak year of growth, at about 7% GDP growth.
        There were additionally a few years of 4%+ GDP growth during the reagan years, but not the 5-6% years (excluding 1984) that I had mistakenly remembered.
        The 3.5% AVERAGE growth factors in the negative GDP numbers in the the early c. 1981-1982 Reagan years, and brings down the average. In my opinion, that early recession was a “double-dip recession” of the c.1979-1980 recession.
        So my previous statement of “5-6%” growth is not accurate. With the execption of the 7% growth in ’84, we had a few years of 4+ % growth under Reagan.
        I was rusty on those numbers, and had previously used better numbers to refute a claim made that Reagan “gave us 8 years of recession”. That is nonsense, as is the claim made previously today that the early Reagan years saw some growth, then the remainder of those years saw recession.
        If anything, the opposite was true.

        1. @tnash80hotmailcom:

          I think you remarks are pretty close to what seemed to be the case when I looked at the chart for real GDP.

          The low point of the economy and the height of unemployment occurred at the end of the recession, roughly, 4th quarter 1982, with unemployment at nearly 11% and GDP approximately 6.5 trillion. After that GDP rises and unemployment falls – with the usual up and down squiggles you see in most economic data.

          A striking difference in that economy and today’s economy is the jobless recovery. If you look at the early 1980’s recession, unemployment has a clear, near symmetrical peak: July 1981 unemployment at 7.2% took off rising to 10.8% in December 1982, then declining to 7.2% June 1984.

          In contrast to that recession, unemployment rose rapidly from about 5% December 2007 to a peak of 10% October 2009 and then started a long slow decline. Unemployment, currently at 5.5% – 6 years after the end of the recession – , has yet to reach pre recession levels. That ought to trouble everybody – regardless of political view.

          Not only that, today’s unemployment rates are held down by declines in the civilian labor force participation rate. We have strong evidence that the CLFPR has declined not just because of retiring baby boomers but also because working age people have dropped out of the labor force – discouraged by years of fruitless job search. This is a great, national tragedy that will reduce economic growth and lower our standard of living for decades to come.

          1. BFM writes, “Unemployment, currently at 5.5% – 6 years after the end of the recession – , has yet to reach pre recession levels. That ought to trouble everybody – regardless of political view. . . . ”

            Anybody know how much of the reduction in unemployment to “5.5%” is due to the military-industrial complex? Do I get to blame it on the war economy as I so desire?

      2. Bigfatmike…..I may well have overstated the average GDP growth rate of the Obama administration, as well. It may not AVERAGE the 2% number I used.
        Post recession, the 2% GDP number is probably accurate, throwing out the worst couple of GDP years from the 8 years of Obama.
        By using that same standard, the non-recession/post recovery Reagan years MIGHT have averaged 5-6%. I’d have to average out those years, excluding the early ’80s recession in Reagan’s administration.

        1. “By using that same standard, the non-recession/post recovery Reagan years MIGHT have averaged 5-6%”

          My quick and dirty number for the Reagan good years was just a small fraction under 5%.

          The question is how much credit do presidents really deserve for economic performance. If you think a president greatly changed economic policy during a recession it might make sense to look at only the good years to evaluate the results of the policy changes. On the other hand if we are just making political talking points then why shouldn’t presidents held accountable for all the years in office.

          I think there is a pretty good argument that presidents usually have little influence on economic performance. Consider, some of the main levers to control the economy include monetary policy, fiscal policy, tax rates and trade policy.

          Presidents don’t control monetary policy. They have little influence on fiscal and tax policy except with the cooperation of congress. Trade policy is set by long term international agreements.

          We give presidents much credit for economic performance. But it seems to me that results – good or bad – must be shared with a much larger cast of actors.

  7. Paul, or should I say Trump, Rubio, Cruz, etc fodder.

    How Obama’s Policies Increased the Debt

    However, there were some other events that Obama faced, just like every President, over which he had no control. There was less Federal income, thanks to decreased tax receipts during the recession and to the Bush tax cuts. At the same time, the cost of Social Security, Medicare and other mandatory spending continued to increase. The War on Terror, although technically over, was still being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The third, and smallest, method is how much debt was added thanks to Obama’s specific policies. The largest contribution was the Obama tax cuts, which were an extension of the Bush tax cuts. These added $858 billion to the debt in 2011 and 2012.

    The next largest was the ARRA, which added $787 billion between 2009-2012. It cut taxes, extended unemployment benefits, and funded job-creating public works projects. Both were attempts to stimulate the economy after the 2008 financial crisis

    Also, Obama increased military spending to around $800 billion a year, on average. In fact, his security budget request of $895 billion in FY 2011 set a new record. Even though troops were withdrawn from Iraq in 2012, and Osama bin Laden was eliminated in 2011, Obama requested $851 billion for security spending in his FY 2013 budget. That was more than in his first year in office. Although Obama abandoned the phrase “War on Terror,” he spent $602 billion — almost as much as the $850 billion Bush spent in eight years.

    What about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? It didn’t add anything to the debt in Obama’s first term. That’s because most of its costs occurred starting in 2014, after the health insurance exchanges were set up, and coverage was extended to more low-income people. In fact, tax increases will offset costs to the tune of $104 billion between 2010-2019. For more, see Obamacare Costs.

    Congress and Obama also negotiated the sequestration budget cuts. When these were subtracted from these costs, Obama’s debt contribution was $983 billion between 2009-2017. (Source: WSJ, Ezra Klein, Doing the Math on Obama’s Deficits, January 31, 2014) Article updated January 7, 2015

    Ya sees what ya wants ta see and ya believes what ya wants ta believe.

    Obama will go down in history as one of the greatest American Presidents, in spite of the rampant ignorance and destructive Republican carnival.

    1. issac – it is going to be a fight between Carter and Obama as to who was the worst modern President.

      1. Paul, there’s no question that the worst modern president was 43. He hadn’t a clue.

        “I believe that human beings and fish can co-exist peacefully.” <= not even close to cognition.

    2. Issac writes, “Obama will go down in history as one of the greatest American Presidents . . .”

      I’ll give him the fact that he’s gotten unemployment down to ~5%, but that’s about all he’s done if he can even take credit for that.

      He bailed out Wall Street, he bailed out Detroit’s elite, he assassinated Libya’s Ghadaffi and caused complete upheaval along the southern and easter rim of the Mediterranean, he funded the attempted overthrow of al-Assad and the actual overthrow of the democratically elected Ukrainian government leading to annexation of the Crimean (triggering what may be a cold war), he assassinated Osama bin Laden without constitutional authority, he stood by while Bibi mowed the lawn in Gaza while we hand him $8,000,000.00 per day, he held indefinitely in detention Guantanamo those he has no evidence to convict, he’s caused likely thousands of civilian deaths through violation of sovereign countries’ airspace with drones, he’s called data-mining a “minor inconvenience,” his ICE agents routinely violate the privacy with full-body searches of persons crossing the border, and he supports the TPP and other so-called free trade agreements which take jobs away from our middle class and crushes labor associations in favor of the corporate tyrants you rant about. .

      But you go ahead and label him the greatest president ever. It’s absolutely mind-boggling that you’d offer such an idea. It’s nonsensical.

  8. stevegroen

    While other more intelligent countries such as Germany, Denmark, etc pay their workers more, with better benefits, and the government, labor, and corporate work together to keep the workers in the country with labor and environmental laws.

    The problem isn’t too much government. The problem is the dysfunction of the three parts because corporate owns government. All the manufacturing that has been outsourced was done so for top end gains, not the best interests of the American people, the people who built the corporations and then were left holding the bag.

    It’s not a question of who should rule it’s a question of how all three should rule. Today, in the US, the global corporate interests, which do relatively nothing for the average American, rule. So sad, so sad. So pathetic, so pathetic. So treasonous, so treasonous.

  9. Both sides agree on gun control regardless of the semantics: regulation, control, restrictions, etc. Both sides agree that if someone commits a crime, armed or otherwise, gets caught, goes to prison, gets out after consorting with criminals and honing his or her craft, they should not have access to firearms. This means, of course, that those who are identified by both sides as not having this god given right to ‘bear arms’ need to be identified or put on a list. This necessitates a verification as to the person applying for a weapon and their name being or not being on the list. Both sides are in agreement but this is where the two sides start to split apart.

    The rational side believes in the 2nd amendment but with restrictions: who’s permitted, how to verify, and education

    The irrational side believes in the 2nd amendment with restrictions but no restrictions because and this is where they leave the beam.

    So, let’s go back to some cannot ‘bear arms’. Both sides would not want to have people who have fed their greed, need, or wants using the threats provided by firearms able to access a firearm. Now, let’s take a look at the terrorists. If a person threatened to use force with firearms or bombs to state their political, religious, or personal points, or if they went so far as to use a firearm then they would, both sides would agree, be placed on a list of people who should not have access to weapons, if they weren’t placed in jail as well.

    So, what about the terrorists in Oregon who have taken up arms to support their own political/personal beliefs which include the use of government land/our land. It only follows that after they are subdued, and they should be subdued, because they used arms to terrorize the people, they should never be allowed to access firearms again, including after they get out of jail. Or cuz you hate the government and like cowboys, this is alright. Can of worms.

  10. Jim, You will never get the time and energy spent trying to have an intellectually honest discussion w/ Sgt. Preston of the Yukon.

  11. Neil: I’m so sorry they’ve done this to you! That rant was priceless, or rather worthless. You gotta know that both parties are two heads of the same beast. Good God, there are still people as deluded as you who don’t know that. Sorry, it’s a bit shocking. Don’t worry, I’m not going to waste time trying to deprogram you. I’ll let the others bang THEIR heads against a wall.

  12. I should have said REPUBLICAN not Republic bashers but let’s face it. You guys are Republic bashers as well. All hail The State!!! Our new God.

  13. Barkindog “They are humans walking in those boots and the RepubliCons want more wars and wars forever.”

    YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. Does anyone ever watch the videos I post? Because if you had watched the video I posted showing how there is no difference between Hillary (everyone’s favorite Progressive Democrat) and the GOP stance on the war in Syria you, Isaac and other deluded knee jerk Republic bashers wouldn’t be making such woefully ignorant statements. You can take a horse to water…. And NO I am not a Republican.

  14. Jim22

    Don’t ever be sorry for your opinion. However, make certain when you respond that you respond apples to apples. Socialism, or the inclusion of more people in the consuming pool is what made this country great. Without the people to make the stuff there would not be stuff to sell. Without the people to buy the stuff there would be no reason to make the stuff. Those geniuses that organize and fund the process are like batteries in a flashlight; they can be replaced. The machine is the people, including the education, stability, and continuity all provided by governments, or the wishes of the people.

    Governments are living things and must be kept alive and trimmed from time to time. The most needed judicious trimming right now is the military. Our military is way, way over sized and designed to fight wars that are impossible to fight anymore. Viet Nam, Afghanistan-both USSR and USA, and Iraq have proved that. The most effective military of the day, today and tomorrow, is the rapidly deployed strike force oriented with air support and intelligence. A billion dollars a bomber is absolute stupidity and the money would be better spent divided between education and more efficient ways of killing the enemy; there will always be an enemy, besides us. The technology and readiness derived from an extensive and advanced rapid strike force infrastructure could easily and rapidly be expanded if need be.

    The problems with the US can be fixed with a judicious pruning: tax reform to repatriate corporate wealth, closing loopholes where there is really no benefit-when a millionaire loses the opportunity to avoid paying taxes then so what, transferring tax breaks into more beneficial and future energy sources, raising taxes on gasoline to pay for infrastructure, providing jobs and wealth-even with gas at $4 a gal an extra .20 would not make or break anyone, mandating mpg levels that would advance automobile technology-not pulling a Reagan and allowing SUVs to skate, etc…..

  15. Regardless of all the mindless inflamatory prattle from ‘Humpty Trumpty’ & the other greasy jerks of the GOP scrambling to pander to the whacko-right –I’ll cheerfully go with the party (& whomever it picks to lead it) that has continued to create –in the face of mindless negative non-productive opposition-an admittedly slow but solid growth back from the horrendous financial mess of the disastrous Repug-Bush led years!
    Who in their right mind would vote to bring back that creepy old bunch of negative, bilious white men of the GOP/ and the younger freaks of the T-party????? Time to use their own ‘just say NO’ against the self-serving party of 2 wars (both unpaid for) & rampant greed-mongering tax-breaks for the ultra-wealthy (also un-paid for!) For those chosen few they revived Reagans same old useless trickle-down bullcrap claiming it would stimulate American jobs whereas in fact they avidly attempted to block saving US jobs & took the $$$ & ran to hide it from taxes & invest it in our competitors nations overseas,
    The totally screwed up Grand Old Party (were once but nevermore) including it’s loud-mouthed fake-Christians dragged this country down -both economically & ethically & morally!
    Having NEVER voted for ONE of them when they were a far more dignified reasonable work-across-the-aisle party -with the way theyve now disintegrated (ever since the God-awful Newt Gingrich led-days) into the party of self-serving greed, negativity, bigotry & demagoguery I NEVER will!!!!

    1. Neil – I guess the campaign has begun. Obama has added 5 trillion to our national debt. You show your ignorance when you say there were two wars, there was only one with a cease-fire. The first half of the war was paid for by our allies. You clearly are hoping the cankles lady will not get arrest and/or convicted before the election.
      The question is: Who do you work for? The DNC or Hillary? almost the same thing.

  16. Isaac, Sorry, your wrong. A large govt. regulating people to death did not make this country great. Inventors, monopolies, capitalism, property ownership, discrimination and most importantly, a small govt. are what made this country great. The decline over the years you are seeing is due to an ever increase in govt. involvement/size where it wasn’t needed. I could care less which side wins, they both want to expand govt.

  17. I have been here on several occasions since your World War One. WWI as you like to praise it. America is dumb about warfare. You allow yourselves to be tools of the Woodrow Wilson’s of the world who promise to make the World Safe For Democracy. Now, both parties are not the same. All three last night were against War in the muddle east. They were not against joining with others to stomp some terrorists down but they were not the Lindsey Graham yakkers who preach “boots on the ground”. Yes, it is like preachers. The Republican candidates all wish to put your kid on the ground, on his back dead on the ground, so that they can make money for your military industrial complex. I have probably been here longer than most of you and I might remind you of Ike. His last warning when he left office was of The Military Industrial Complex. He knew. For some of you, “Ike” was Dwight David Eisenhower who was your President from 1952 to 1960 and he stayed out of Nam. The next chump was afraid to be called “soft on Communism” by the Republcans and so he got you into Vietnam. “And its one, two, three, What Are We Fightin For? Dont ask me I dont give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam.” etc.

  18. I’m starting to think Isaac is a plant/troll/government shill…too many main stream talking points. Either that or he’s just really brainwashed. Isaac you gotta wake up, dude!!! They’re f*cking with your mind…

  19. Isaac; Why oh why do I bother posting these superlative videos when the people who need to watch them the most, don’t?

    “Take the time to review statistics and facts covering the past sixty odd years….” Sorry, I am not going to waste my engaging in a statistics war. I’ll leave that to the many left brain dominant types on this site. All I know is that both parties SUCK. I don’t need statistics to prove it.

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