Aug 12 2018
11:12 am

The segment started with some "yes or no" questions...

• Did Russia meddle in the 2016 election? Hoyos: Likely. Burchett: Yes, they meddle in everything.

• Do you favor a President Trump style wall across the Mexico border? Burchett: Yes. Hoyos: No.

• Should President Trump continue direct talks with North Korea? Hoyos: Yes. Burchett: Yes.

• Is global warming real and an overall threat to our planet? Burchett: Conditionally. Hoyos: Absolutely yes.

• Does former EPA director Scott Pruitt deserve praise for rolling back environmental regulations, especially those tied to stricter fuel emissions? Hoyos: No. Burchett: Yes.

• Would you support Sen. Lamar Alexander's plan to pay for the maintenance backlog in national parks through profits from harvesting natural resources on federal land? Burchett: Yes. Hoyos: Yes.

• Will the President's recent tariff policies on steel and other goods help the Tennessee economy in the long run? Hoyos: No. Burchett: No.

• Do you support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution? Burchett: Yes. Hoyos: Yes.

• Do you support increasing the age younger generations are eligible for Social Security to help reduce the strain on the budget? Hoyos: No. Burchett: No.

• Is basic health care a fundamental right for all U.S. citizens? Burchett: No. Hoyos: Conditional.

• Should Medicare and Medicaid be expanded to include more people? Hoyos: Yes. Burchett: No. Can't afford it.

• Should military veterans be able to see any doctor they choose or that they need without restriction? Burchett: Yes. Hoyos: Yes.

• Will you self-impose a term limit of twelve years? Hoyos: Yes. Burchett: I'll vote for it. But no, I'm not. (Supports term limits, but says there needs to be a law.)

• In the interest of transparency, would you consider publishing a public calendar of everyone you meet formally in your office in Washington or here in the district? Hoyos: Yes. Burchett: Yes.

• Was Congressman Jimmy Duncan right to vote against the invasion of Iraq? Hoyos: Yes. Burchett: I'd say yes.

• Is the Mueller investigation a witch hunt? Burchett: Yes. Hoyos: No.

• Does the President tweet too much? Hoyos: Absolutely. Burchett: I love Twitter. No.

• Was the Citizens United case by the Supreme Court good for politics? Hoyos: No. Burchett: Conditionally. I think you ought to have to say where the money comes from.

Follow up on yes/no questions that the candidate would like to expand on?

Hoyos: On healthcare, shore up the Affordable Care Act, lower age of Medicare, see if that works, with a premium, we should offer it to everybody. We should make sure health care is affordable and accessible for all people.

Burchett: Concerned about health care, too, but if you offer it to everyone it's a $36 trillion bill. If you double all personal and corporate income tax over the next ten years we still wouldn't have it paid for. I'd like people to have health care, but at what cost?

Burchett: On campaign finance reform, in my primary race there was a lot of outside money, attack pieces where nobody knows where they came from, needs to be disclosed. Citizens United put corporations on the same footing as unions.

Hoyos: We have decided to not take any PAC money. Asks Burchett if he will take PAC money. Burchett says yes, and he'll even take a donation from Renee. Hoyos says and that will be disclosed.

Follow up about global warming, Burchett's "conditional" response:

Burchett: Believes it is real, doesn't know that we are causing it. American public always pays the cost (for regulation). Other countries don't honor treaties, we shouldn't have to pay for it. Burchett is concerned about the environment, he's an organic gardener. His neighbor, a Democrat, uses weed killer. He uses goats.

Hoyos: In the 80s we knew everything we needed to know about global warming but we didn't act. China is now the leader in solar panel production. There's opportunity for jobs in renewable energy. Need to address the problem now and move away from fossil fuels.

Question about the national debt:

Hoyos says keep spending where it is now and look for other sources of revenue. One way is to put the military on a diet. Another way is to have Medicare, Medicaid and the VA form a block to negotiate pharmaceutical prices.

Burchett says our military is in other countries to protect oil prices. Money could be better spent here on developing alternative energy sources.

Question to Burchett, what is Trump doing wrong?

Burchett understands the way he communicates but it causes a lot of "rough." He's a different kind of elected official, but hesitant to criticize because of the boom in the economy, negotiations with North Korea, job growth is spectacular, reduction in taxes. One thing both parties is doing wrong is we've got to reduce the debt.

Question to Hoyos, what is Trump doing right?

Hoyos says he's gotten a lot of people off the bench. Getting more people in the community involved, more activism, higher voter turnout. Exposing cracks in our government. Government didn't break in November 2016, Trump is just the logical conclusion to the effort to dismantle government.

Follow up on why they both oppose raising the age to qualify for Social Security:

Hoyos says lifting the cap on social security payroll taxes would make Social Security solvent forever.

Burchett says we have made a commitment to the American public and we should honor that commitment. The problem with these programs is that initially they seem like they would fund and work but greedy legislators see a pot of money and they take it. In general. It's a trust issue.

What is the first issue you would attack day one in office?

Hoyos says health care. Murray Alexander bill that stalled out in the Senate has a lot of solutions and we could have a mirror of that in the House.

Burchett says energy independence. Leverage ORNL technology and brainpower to get us back to an energy efficient economy. The reason our military is overseas is oil prices. Hoyos: not every country. Burchett: yeah it is.

Question to Burchett about veterans, and why that wouldn't be his first priority?

Burchett: That's something I ran on. Congressman Phil Roe has done a great job, though, starting to do what I asked, allowing veterans to go to their own doctors and pharmacies. Talks about veteran suicides, says making them call an 800 number and stay on hold for 30 minutes is pathetic.

Question to both candidates: What committees would you seek to get on?

Hoyos says, well, we don't get to choose, but I'd like Energy and Environment.

Burchett says the committee system is corrupt in both parties. You have to raise money to donate to your party to get on the committees you want. That needs to change. Doesn't know what committees he might get but will fight it out. Hoyos says to Burchett he could use all that PAC money to get a committee assignment. Burchett said yeah, but it doesn't work that way.

Question to both candidates: Is there an issue that you think will dominate over then next 80 days that you think will separate you from your opponent?

Burchett:Responsible government spending will separate the two of us. I've had a history as county mayor of the county paying down debt. All the programs people propose are great and make you feel good but you've got to raise taxes to do that and that will cripple this country. All this health care is going to cost and we have to figure out how we're going to pay for it. Putting it on the backs of working people once again is not going to work.

Hoyos: Health care is the number one issue. When I go out to the district that's what people tell me they're concerned about. Its unaffordable and inaccessible. And to say we're not going to raise taxes even a tiny bit to keep people off the street and keep veterans from underneath bridges because they can't afford health care is untenable.

bizgrrl's picture

Hoyos did a great job. It's

Hoyos did a great job. It's easy to see why she should replace Duncan.

R. Neal's picture

Regarding Burchett's

Regarding Burchett's assertion that health care for all would cost taxpayers $36 trillion, that sounds like a Fox News talking point.

I'm guessing that number is derived from our annual U.S. per capita health care spending of roughly $10,000 times the population of 360 million. (Edit as per comment below: over ten years).

That's how much WE ARE ALREADY SPENDING. Single payer, Medicare for all, or whatever you want to call it doesn't increase the amount we spend on health care. It just changes how it's collected and paid. In fact, it could LOWER that amount through efficiencies and eliminating insurance company overhead and profits.

And it wouldn't have to mean more taxes. It would be paid for by premiums (just like Medicare is now) and existing payroll taxes. It would mean, however, that the costs are spread around with more equity and justice.

JaHu's picture

I'm glad you mentioned that.

I'm glad you mentioned that. I didn't know the exact figures but that also crossed my mind when he said it.
We also have the same problem with the military which will be our downfall.

fischbobber's picture

The number

3.6 trillion a year is what Americans currently spend on healthcare. The Kochs recently funded a study that estimated Bernie Sanders medicare for all, over ten years, would cost 34 trillion over ten years. Based on current projection annual spending on healthcare will rise to 5.5 trillion per annum in ten years. That means savings by going to Sanders plan of universal healthcare will save Americans between 2 and 12 trillion dollars a years. Hoyos should have known this.

R. Neal's picture


Thanks, previous comment clarified.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Hoyos said she could support

Hoyos said she could support something like the Alexander - Murray bill. That kind of legislation would require compromise from both sides, something that has not been done recently. Of course, a single payer plan would make the most sense but it does not stand a chance under the current political climate. I hope with a new Congress in January incremental steps will begin to get passed that will get us on the way to single payer in the near future. Burchett wants to take care of our veterans and I applaud him for that commitment, but for everybody else he says your wealth should buy your health. If you cannot afford decent healthcare he seems to be saying that is too bad because that is the capitalist way. Under his plan lots of people have to suffer and die because they are not lucky enough to inherit money or fortunate enough to find a good paying job that has health benefits. He has been fortunate and had good health insurance while serving in elected office. If elected to Congress he will continue to have good health care provided by the taxpayers and he does not seem to care about the millions of Americans that go without decent healthcare as long as we take care of him.

Rachel's picture

You mean that

You mean that Alexander-Murray bill that Lamar promised us would be a great Christmas present last year?

JaHu's picture

I used to be ok with

I used to be ok with Burchett, but he seems to have been steered in the wrong direction politcally. He's currently become almost obnoxious in his political views lately.

Mike Daugherty's picture

I think that was the bill she

I think that was the bill she mentioned on the Sunday program. I do not agree with Alexander on much but this was probably at least a starting point on a serious discussion between Dems and Republicans. I have not read what was in the bill but I am only guessing that if Murray was a co-sponsor there had to be a little substance to the bill. I believe that taking incremental steps toward everyone being fully covered is better than nothing. We need to be working toward a goal of decent healthcare for everybody. Demanding all or nothing will end up being nothing for the millions of Americans that are desperate for decent care.

jbr's picture

For someone that is so money

For someone that is so money focused, surprised Tim backs the wall. Even if you are for it, it doesn't seem financially viable. $21 Billion or whatever it would cost seems like it would give greater return somewhere.

I think I agree with both of them on Social Security.

I don't think either of them have as a good handle on healthcare as I would like. Tim in particular gave a surprisingly uninformed answer. It doesn't seem like he has studied on it at all.

Burchett's answer on Mueller investigation was pretty bad.

I get impression from Burchett there is military, and oil, and these other things I have to deal with some.

I would like to see more probing questions on healthcare.

Ask Burchett what he thinks of EPA

Somebody's picture

"All this health care is

"All this health care is going to cost and we have to figure out how we're going to pay for it. Putting it on the backs of working people once again is not going to work."

I wonder who Mr. Burchett thinks is bearing the costs right now of working people not having sufficient access to affordable healthcare?

Mike Daugherty's picture

His healthcare has been paid

His healthcare has been paid for by the taxes of hard working people. Why does he think he should be privileged and have the best healthcare while millions of those hard working people that pay for his healthcare have no healthcare themselves?

fischbobber's picture

Sanders plan

Bernie Sanders plan will cost between 32 and 34 trillion dollars over the next ten years according to the Koch brothers. Over the same period of time our present system will cost between 45 and 49 trillion dollars. These costs represent the same care paid for by the same people. The difference is that the former number represents costs managed by the government (again Koch Brother numbers) , and the latter is what costs will be if we leave healthcare in the private sector.

I like Tim, but his policies suck and he fucked up by jumping on the Trump train. Let's stick to the issues.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Let's stick to the issues?

Let's stick to the issues? Are you drunk? You are usually reasonable but with that statement and the language I have to think you are. The issue is healthcare and your buddy Tim is wrong on this issue. He was interviewed on WVLT's 11 o'clock news after his primary victory and among the issues he discussed was healthcare. In that brief interview he said that he favored a capitalist healthcare system. Of course, he has also stated that it would be too expensive for the government to make decent healthcare available to millions of Americans. As a state representative and as County Mayor taxpayers paid for his healthcare. If he is elected to Congress he will receive $174,000 a year and healthcare benefits. His healthcare needs will continue to be taken care of by hard working Americans. He has no problem letting people suffer and die because they do not have the same care provided to him. Like most Republicans he thinks that your wealth should buy your health. He does not understand that Americans pay more per capita than any other country on healthcare and we still have tens of millions that do not get adequate care. His plan to continue making insurance and drug companies rich at the expense of everyone else is very wrong. Having a single payer plan would save money. Many of the people paying taxes to pay his salary and healthcare do not have decent healthcare themselves. I am glad you like him. I have lots of friends and family that will vote for Tim and other Republicans. They will vote against their own interests. I will still love all of them but I will pray for them and hope that one day they will see the light!

fischbobber's picture

All right then.

Forget about sticking to the issues and go ahead making trashing Tim the centerpiece of the campaign. I suppose if Ms. Hoyos is comfortable with rolling around in the mud with the rest of the political pigs, then that is her choice. I was under the impression that she was trying to win, but certainly drawing awareness in a futile election campaign for the sole purpose of saying,"Look there. I told you so." has its merits too.

But I would be remiss to not point out that Tim should have the same access to healthcare as every other American .Do you want the focus to be on dragging him down, or raising up those that lack adequate coverage? Tim is weak on the issues, however, if you think the best tactic is to attack him personally, I will yield to your experience and track record.

I just don't think the way to beat Tim in an election is to attack his integrity. I think that's a waste of time, unless you've got some really juicy video.

jbr's picture

It would surprise me if Hoyos

It would surprise me if Hoyos and Burchett attack each other or are negative. She doesn't seem like that sort of person, and doesn't seem like he would toward her. She seems kind of like Rogero.

Could be a good, informative, race as they both acquire more depth with the issues and implement that knowledge in their campaigns.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Burchett knows Trump is an

Burchett knows Trump is an unqualified moron as Rex Tillerson put it. He just does not have the guts to say it and risk losing Trump votes. Hoyos apparently has said she would not support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker if Dems take over the house. It appears both candidates are making the wrong choice in their support of party leadership just to please the extreme right and left wings of their parties. That is a sad situation.

Mike Daugherty's picture

He seems like a decent guy

He seems like a decent guy but if he honestly supports Trump he is showing a terrible lack of judgement. He is a smart guy and has to know Trump is not qualified to be President. Does he want the same access to healthcare as other Americans? He is against the Affordable Care Act so on that basis it appears he does not want millions of Americans to have decent healthcare like he does. I commend Burchett for his efforts to help veterans and teachers. I just disagree with him on most other issues. I think people made a huge mistake in supporting Trump but that does not make all of them terrible people, just very misguided. We are all passionate about our beliefs or we would not be on this site. I have always respected your comments and I hope to continue to get your take on issues.

michael kaplan's picture

There are two independents

There are two independents running as well: Marc Whitmire and Greg Samples.

Treehouse's picture


Haven't you learned? This is not the time to vote for independents. We need a winner and Hoyos is it.

Mike Daugherty's picture

We need members in the House

We need members in the House that will impeach our immoral President. We need Senators that will convict him for obstruction of justice, collusion with Russia, and corruption and kick his ass out before he totally destroys our country. Burchett does not want to criticize Trump because the economy is doing well and unemployment is low and Tennessee voters support him. Heck, the German economy improved and unemployment plummeted under Hitler, but at what cost? Trump is an evil SOB. We need to impeach and lock up that evil nut!

Somebody's picture

None of that happens without

None of that happens without first achieving a majority in Congress. We live in an era of close elections with significant consequences. We do not live in a Parliamentary system; our elections are winner-take-all. Voting for third-party candidates who are ‘more pure’ and less centrist hands elections over to ‘the other side.’

In Parliamentary systems, you vote for whoever you want from whatever party you want, and MPs sort things out by making compromises and forming coalitions to seek a majority after the election. In our system, we have to make the compromises and form the coalitions first.

Particularly in close races, if voters in fact want Congress to check the President’s power, actually investigate the Russia issue and other Trumpian conflicts of interest, then those voters need to vote for the Democrat, whether or not that particular candidate has made pledges to obstruct and/or impeach the President. In fact, in close races, the Democratic candidates are least likely to saber-rattle on those issues, and are most likely to campaign as a centrist. It is those cases where it is the most important for liberal voters to ignore third party candidates and show up to vote for the centrist Democrat.

Phil Bredesen is a good example of that case. In order to win in red-state Tennessee, Bredesen needs to appeal to enough moderate Republicans to peel off a few points from Blackburn, while holding the Democratic vote at the same time. If Tennessee Democrats choose to vote third party or stay home because Bredesen isn’t running as a liberal firebrand and talking impeachment, then Blackburn wins. If Blackburn wins, Mitch McConnell continues as a Majority Leader who will enable Trump’s behavior so long as he nominates young conservatives to the judiciary and keeps Cabinet members who will undermine the missions of their respective departments.

So if you are a voter who wants there to be any chance of holding Donald Trump accountable, you have to show up and vote for the Democrats. No purity tests. No third-party protest votes. The choice is clear.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Having unified resistance to

Having unified resistance to the dictator wanna-be should be the priority. There is too much at stake to self defeat by Democrats having an all or nothing attitude. If Democrats are not united in their efforts to win the House and Senate then Trump wins and democracy in America loses. There is no excuse for staying away from the polls in November.

fischbobber's picture

I would beg to differ.

It is imperative that we vote in the candidate with the highest level of integrity who holds her ethics paramount to everything she does. Tim's on record as saying the Mueller investigation is a witch hunt. How does he know? There have been no leaks from within the Mueller team. No one knows what he has. First and foremost, it is imperative to elect a representative the puts honesty, integrity, and constitutional duty above partisan politics. Tim is on record saying he won't do that. That is a fair description, that is not me tearing down Tim, that is Tim's description of how he plans to handle the job. And Tim is wrong.

Our next representative has both a constitutional and moral duty to uphold both the separation of powers and to examine any evidence presented before the body with an open mind. The evidence will speak for itself.

Hoyos clearly holds the high ground in this election, but the question is, "What will she do with it?"

It is vital that she chips away at persuading voters every day. Every day. Every day there should be a new facebook post. Every day there should be new KnoxViews posts. Every day she needs to get in the news at Knox Tn. Today. Every day she needs to make sure she gets in the Sentinel.Every day she needs a radio ad on during drive time. Every day she needs to give and interview to local press. Every day.

It is vital that she bring a plan with her position on issues. Healthcare is easy, we pay whether the government controls it or not. Tim's plan will cost every American $34,000.00 a years more , over a ten year period than a medicare for all plan. For a family of four, that's $136,000.00 dollars over a ten year period. Tim is selling people on his plan by portraying government as the enemy, but if government is the enemy, why is the private sector the entity that's bankrupting America? The government is accountable to the American citizen, corporations are only as accountable as they people they're bribing hold them to be. The ideas and positions Tim advocates are in direct contradiction to the interests of virtually all of his supporters. Attack the ideas. Identify Hoyos with positive solutions and more effective government. Every day.

There is a fundamental feeling in America that things need to change. Hoyos stands a chance of being that change. But it won't be easy.

Mike Daugherty's picture

So you do not agree that

So you do not agree that (1)there needs to be unified resistance to Trump? or (2)there is too much at stake not to take a stand against Trump? or(3)it is more important to defeat all of Trump's bullshit policies and actions that are destroying our country than to divide your party by demanding your party adopt a more moderate or progressive stand on some issues or (4)there is no excuse for not voting?

fischbobber's picture

Playing into Trump's hand......

I think that by making Trump the centerpiece of the campaign you play right into his strength. When you attack Trump the person, then you set him up to where he'll call you a liar, question your character, call you a pussy, commie, socialist , lazy, poor slacker, low intelligence piece of shit. Any message you might have, gets lost in the noise.

Now flip the presentation. Instead of accusing Trump of violating the emoluments clause, something he's both admitted to and that there is a paper trail from both domestic and foreign governments treasuries, let's discuss the emoluments clause in detail, and, at the end of the discussion, ask whether or not Trump's actions would constitute a violation of that clause. The issue is not that Trump's policies are bullshit, it's that they are literally criminal. Lay out the case before you accuse him and you will flip voters. Attack into his strengths and his voters will dig in their heels. Treat Trump's voters with respect. Most of them have not examined his policies in depth, they've merely voted for change. When confronted with the change they actually voted for, it will force them to think through their own positions. Most people don't want their kids and grandkids to suffer from asthma because the air is getting dirtier. Most people don't want their children to develop learning disabilities because there's lead in the water. Most people want the government to be there in the event of an emergency to restore electricity and running water. Most people want the pensions they've worked their whole lives for to be regulated and there when they retire. Most people want their children to have access to school and training in line with their abilities and talents. Most people want their social security and medicare to be there when they retire. Most people believe in the concept of a fair days work for a fair days pay and that anyone working forty hours a week ought to make a living wage. Most people want safe bridges and potholes in the road fixed. Most people want our national defense to remain the strongest in the world. Trump isn't doing any of these things and it's not the Democrats fault. We have to take the message to the people that we can't do any of these things unless we're in power. When attacked we ask, " Why aren't Republicans doing this now? They are in power." Turn their attacks and positions on them. Why is the VA failing? If the Republicans are bleeding all the cash they can into the private sector now, why would electing another republican change that situation?

And yes, we must vote. But the best way to get non-voters to vote, is to give them something to vote for.

Mike Daugherty's picture

The problem is getting people

The problem is getting people to actually pay attention to the issues. I know many Trump and Burchett voters that are pretty dang smart but they vote against their interests most of the time. There are many other intelligent voters and some not nearly as smart that study the issues and the effects of government policies and do vote for the interests of most common hard working people. I know many brilliant teachers that are so good at teaching and inspiring children but vote against their interests and the interests of public education or do not vote at all. I am not ready to give up but it is very discouraging to know that over 60 percent of voters in our state voted for Trump and vote overwhelmingly for Alexander and Corker. I guess you have more confidence in people educating themselves on the issues and voting accordingly than I do. I will have to see it to believe it. Too many people take the easy way and take the advice of their preacher or parents or Fox News instead of taking time to learn the facts. Many voters, including several of my family members and friends, vote on one issue without considering anything else.

fischbobber's picture

Great idea........

You just had a great idea. Have Hoyos run campaign ads on Fox News. Don't mention her party. Stick to the issues. Start with pensions, social security and medicare, the stuff Fox news viewers care about. By recognizing the problem, I believe you may have stumbled on a solution. Hold the bankers and stockbrokers that have been working with Republicans to steal from workers accountable.

It won't be the only thing Hoyos has to do, but that sounds like a ten thousand vote swing type of idea to me.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Dang, you are an intellectual

Dang, you are an intellectual giant.

fischbobber's picture


I'm just an old fat guy trying to figure out how he's going to get his kids through school and wondering if his pension's going to be there when he gets to retire.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Yep, I understand. Lingering

Yep, I understand. Lingering student loans with some scholarship dollars was only way for my kids. All have been out of school a decade or more and the student loan machine continues to make a fortune from loans. I am a recovering fatass myself not making any progress recovering and wondering if this fat guy or anybody will have a pension after the President,Congress,and the SCOTUS are finshed taking care of the elite. Not a lot of details on student loans or any other education issue from these candidates or others this year. Actually, not much real discussion of any important issue.

jbr's picture

No third party protest votes

I agree "No third party protest votes" or not voting as a protest.

If you didn't come to ultimately work for the party, you entered the party's primaries for the wrong reason

Democrats pop the movement's balloon

fischbobber's picture

You know........

Sanders didn't lose to Hillary by much more than Trump did. And the wedge was driven and pounded by the social media campaigns all the way through the convention. I still wonder what could have happened had Hillary and Bernie teamed up and worked together. I suspect though, that the same people that figured out how to push the buttons of Trump supporters, also figured out how to push the buttons of people on the democratic side.

Somebody's picture

I think there were indeed

I think there were indeed even arguments here that were ginned up by Russian disinformation, if that’s what you mean.

Also, Hillary and Bernie were very much supposed to team up and work together, meaning Clinton as the nominee was supposed to get full support from Sanders and his supporters. Sanders at least gave that lip-service, although many of his supporters instead played right into the Russian-fueled Trumpian “Cooked Hillary” meme and pushed the Russian-generated propaganda that Clinton “stole” the nomination from Sanders. That certainly had to factor into the final outcome. Just as noted above, liberals making third party vote protests or staying home rather than voting for the Democrat hands elections over to Republicans. It literally does less than nothing to translate liberal values into actual policy.

Also also, your first statement is profoundly and factually incorrect. Just in popular votes, for the Democratic nomination, Clinton won 55.2% to 43.1%, compared to the general election, where she won 48.2% to 46.1%. In the nomination, she won the delegate race 2842 to 1865, for individual nomination contests including territories, she won 34 to 23, and in the general she lost in the Electoral College 227 to 304. So in fact by any measure, Sanders lost to Clinton by significantly more than Trump did. Sanders ran a good race, but the notion that he got anywhere close to being nominated is a fantasy that needs to be abandoned. It’s a fiction that is too easily used to support the fatally incorrect notion that the far left could somehow carry a general election without the support of people in the center.

fischbobber's picture

I didn't say he got close to being nominated.

I said he lost by 3.7 million votes, a margin more or less equivalent to Trump, who also lost. Hillary beat Sanders and the vast majority of Sanders supporters voted for her. If you'll go back and reread the archives here, and in various news sources, what you'll find is that Sanders was running for a plate at the table in the platform committee. That didn't happen and Trump was able to exploit Clinton's weaknesses (living wages, pensions, job security,) throughout the rust belt. That's what happens when a foreign power hacks into your website and has access to your strategy during your campaign.

At this point arguing and pointing fingers about who's fault it was Hillary lost is like arguing over who was responsible for checking the barn door. Hillary felt her policies were the right way to go and that Sanders' were an afterthought. Maybe, had she not been hacked, and she would have campaigned in the Midwest, she would have won anyway. But jobs , wages and pensions are big in working class states and that's what Bernie showed up with. Then came Trump promising to keep Carrier, Harley and the rest of the good union jobs in America. Once he had access to the Democrats platform and strategy, Trump's speeches and whistle stops wrote themselves.

Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan are very much in play for either party. Clinton was vulnerable in those states , and they cost her. About that barn door, it was a combination of a weak platform, Russian interference, obvious animosity over policy, the reduction of Sanders stature, and a strategy that essentially shunned the rust belt. It was a perfect storm, one that anyone paying attention could see in April, 2016, and we were too busy fighting amongst ourselves (thank you Russia!) to notice. We've still got anonymous posters stirring up that shit today on this site.

Wassermai-Schultz and Breazelle should have played it straight. It didn't help Hillary's cause when they were both caught acting in an unethical manner.

Somebody's picture


I didn't say he got close to being nominated. ... I said he lost by 3.7 million votes, a margin more or less equivalent to Trump, who also lost.

Oh, c'mon. It's captured in black and white right above here. You said, "Sanders didn't lose to Hillary by much more than Trump did." You can't compare entirely different races without referencing vote percentages. Relying on raw votes the way you have here is like comparing apples to bananas.

First of all, Sanders lost to Clinton by 3,708,294 votes. Trump lost to Clinton by 2,868,686 votes. "More or less equivalent" is a stretch right away. That's a difference of 839,608 votes. 'But that's not much, when you consider how many total votes were cast,' you might say. Really? How many total votes were cast? That's where you land on the real problem, which is the fact that you're comparing numerators and ignoring denominators, which is an exercise in fantasy statistics. When you include the denominators, you've ended up trying to claim that 12.3% is "more or less equivalent" to 2.2%. Clearly that's not true, and comparing the raw numbers without the context of their denominators is either silly or disingenuous.

As for "arguing over who was responsible for checking the barn door," you're the one who brought it up (and then did a lot of just that after suggesting that it's a useless exercise, which is kind of weird). I agreed with your inference that the Russians did rile up Sanders supporters with false information, and since we were talking about false information, felt compelled to disagree with your dubious use of statistics. We're living in a time when people are offering "alternative facts" and claiming that "the truth isn't the truth." The thing is, the truth really is the truth, and Sanders lost to Clinton by a much wider margin of votes than did Trump. There is nothing there that has any legitimate meaning that qualifies as "more or less equivalent." In fact, in the context of almost any election, a 12.3% margin counts as a resounding win. It is not a "squeaker."

If you reread the archives here and in various contemporaneous news sources, you'll recall that the Sanders narrative (ginned up by the Russians, we now know) was various versions of: the race was close, or Sanders should have won, or the nomination was rigged or stolen, or whatever, and therefore, for his supporters to even consider supporting Clinton, Sanders should have the sort of influence over the platform that no losing candidate has ever had. So a statement like "Sanders didn't lose to Hillary by much more than Trump did" is just an echo of that same ginned-up-by-the-Russians nonsense, and only serves to set the stage for a replay of the left wing refusing to support the centrists.

The left wing actively supporting the centrists is the only path to winning elections and holding Trump accountable. So which do you want? Accountability for Trump and a chance to influence policy, or an emboldened Trump and a Republican Congress that will do whatever it takes to enable his personality disorders? The choice has never been more clear.

jbr's picture

Midterms, Midterms

Getting Majority in both House and Senate is important to rein in whoever is president. The schemer types like McConnell and Pence are bad news. Impeachment puts Pence in office and he and McConnell and their henchmen will have their way. The White House is a wash until 2020. Focus on these midterms.
Trump is like a monkey with a gun. Focus on isolating him politically until he can be voted out in 2020. It seems likely Mueller investigation will be the end of Trump’s presidency before then.

Trump will do most of the work himself. The electorate will gradually respect him less and less because of his behavior and start ignoring him. Except for a fringe base.

Mike Daugherty's picture

I agree we need to focus on

I agree we need to focus on being unified and win the midterms. Without control of Congress nothing can happen. The argument for impeachment should be made after Mueller finishes and after the midterms. Focusing on impeachment right now is a distraction from all the issues that needed to be talked about in 2016 and should be discussed from now until Nov. 6. Trump and the Republicans were wrong on the issues in 2016 and they are wrong on the issues in 2018. If the focus would have been issues in 2016, Trump would not be President. Democrats need to do a better job communicating their ideas and plans for the future to the many different voter constituencies. The Democratic Party platform represents the interests of average Americans, but without connecting to the lives of hard working average voters, Dems cannot win. Democrats need to educate the public on what is at stake in the midterms and not let the mindless slogans of the Republicans elect our leaders.

jbr's picture

How do Congress' lawmakers get health care?

jbr's picture

But, Jeffrey Frank of The New

But, Jeffrey Frank of The New Yorker reports, one of the reasons legislators might be fixated on doing away with Obamacare is because they used to have a deal they liked even better. Before, they were covered by a "beloved, and by most accounts well-administered, federal plan" called the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).

Were the ACA to be repealed, legislators would get to return to that "comfortable" situation. They would still enjoy many of the ACA's protections: under FEHBP plans, "no one can be refused, or charged more, for a preëxisting condition" and "dependents under twenty-six are covered," Frank writes. Unfortunately, he adds, "twenty million other Americans won't."

Here's how much members of Congress pay for their health insurance

Mike Daugherty's picture

They get a great deal! In

They get a great deal! In addition to health benefits, they receive a generous pension after serving only 5 years. Not to mention a lot of other perks.

michael kaplan's picture

In the recent Knox County

In the recent Knox County primary, 56,500 declared Republicans voted, and 23,600 declared Democrats. That's nearly 2.4:1 Republican. In the House 2 race Burchett got 58% of the Republican vote (32,400), and Hoyos got 74% of the Democratic vote (16,700). Maybe someone (or somebody) can explain how Hoyos could win this.

Mike Daugherty's picture

It would take an overwhelming

It would take an overwhelming turnout of Dems and maybe a scandal on the Republican side. It is not likely, but I believe in miracles and I will be voting for her because she represents the interests of most hard working people. Many times,the best causes are the lost causes.

Somebody's picture

Definitely an uphill climb,

Definitely an uphill climb, but people don't have to declare party to vote in a general election. The news today is that two more people in close Trump orbit are guilty of crimes. There will be a lot more developments between now and the election. It's possible that by November, even in this district, many people in the middle politically (even Republicans) will, in the privacy of the voting booth, decide that they'd like some accountability for Trump and/or won't want to vote for the candidate who sent out lots of mailers associating himself closely with Trump.

Now if you're politically more on the left, what kind of jerk would you be if you vote third party and Hoyos loses only by a tiny margin? This is an all-hands-on-deck strategic vote election. There will be times to register your protest vote. This is not one of those times.

fischbobber's picture


She needs a speechwriter, a policy/platform wonk, and a strategist. It's not 2016. She's not going to pick up 25% of her support from her primary opponent.

Successful modern strategy starts from the edge and works to the middle. First she must stake her territory with the hardcore local progressives. (this should have already been done.) Then she must identify the areas she and her opponent are in general agreement about. Then she should figure out which of their opposing issues will play best with his base. Then she should attack those issues. Take his voters that he is not serving.

She's going to have to get more aggressive while still maintaining a ladylike decorum (I know.. I know)and she has to have total command of her positions on issues.

Finally, she must realize that her chance involves being more prepared than her opponent, and having several strategies designed for a variety of issues that may arrive.

The big issue is whether or not Trump will screw up bad enough to hurt his loyalists. Tim fucked up. He didn't need Trump to win, but he hitched his wagon to him anyway. Be ready when the wagon breaks down. Winning this race will involve a lot of work and quite a bit of luck. Press issues when the situation calls for it. Only attack ideas and positions but don't be afraid to stand your ground. If you stick to the issues while being personally attacked, and show yourself to be a fighter, you will do just fine.

bizgrrl's picture

She's going to have to get

She's going to have to get more aggressive while still maintaining a ladylike decorum (I know.. I know)

Apparently you don't know or you wouldn't write this type of drivel for public consumption.

fischbobber's picture

I didn't ay the world was fair.

One day, I hope to live to see the day where candidates are elected solely on their ability and character. Until that day, if one wants to win, one must deal with the realities and prejudices of society. Tim will both be a gentleman and condescending. If Renee can't counter that she will lose votes.

bizgrrl's picture

Will the world get fair if

Will the world get fair if proponents of a candidate keep saying things like you said?

She's going to have to get more aggressive while still maintaining a ladylike decorum (I know.. I know)

I'm sure (or hoping) she has advisers, consultants, and buds that can discuss this type of thing privately. Not a good idea to state in public that a woman needs to have ladylike decorum. Is she allowed to wear pants? A pantsuit?

fischbobber's picture

I don't know.

I suppose it depends on whether or not they win.

Somebody's picture

The heck with "ladylike

The heck with "ladylike decorum" and other sexist expectations. Sexist Republican men are the last constituency that Hoyos could expect to win, and she doesn't need to be "ladylike" to appeal to them. If that group is even thinking about voting for her, then she's already well over the top, and their votes are just running up the score.

Long before that happens, there will be Republican women in the privacy of the voting booth, some of whom are appalled by Trump's mainstreaming of "grab 'em by the ..." behavior. (Trump's on TV this week clarifying exactly where the hush money came from for covering up affairs he had while his current wife was nursing his youngest child, as though the affairs themselves are now just inconsequential concerns.) Those Republican women voters aren't looking for "ladylike behavior." They're looking for candidates who will be bold about mainstreaming "nope, we're not doing that anymore" behavior. It's not just liberal granola women who are tired of being grabbed by the ... , both literally and figuratively as voters.

fischbobber's picture


You're wrong, but nice spin.

You're certainly entitled to your opinion.

Treehouse's picture

And you're working on it how?

Are you a campaign manager? If not, why not?

fischbobber's picture

I work.

Noon to nine. I try to show up to various activities, but sometimes advice on how to win is misconstrued as a personal belief system. Plus , as Bette Midler once said about marriage, "Nobody's asked me." (Cam Brooks did call and pick my brain one night, eons ago.)

Mike Daugherty's picture

If every eligible voter shows

If every eligible voter shows up at the polls on Nov. 6 and votes their interests, Democrats would win every race. With the internet, social media, and better technology campaigns have changed a great deal in the past 25 years. If volunteers use every available resource to get their candidate votes there could be many surprises when votes are counted. Jones winning in deep red Alabama is a good example. Not every race is going to get lucky and have a Roy Moore but a lot can happen during a campaign to help an underdog. We can create luck by having a good message, working hard, being dedicated, planning well,and being smart in the use of volunteers and resources. There are still 75 days until election day. A lot can happen with the Trump situation and other factors. Trump's first two Congressional supporters have just been indicted. Voters could wake up and get educated on the issues and finally act in their own interests. Democrats are not likely to win many seats in red states but they need to take baby steps first to eventually take control.

fischbobber's picture

I think it's doable.

I also think it's an uphill climb. People know Tim. People like Tim. Hell, I know him and I like him.

But he's working from the edge to the middle. He's committed to the batshit crazy wing of his party at the expense of his integrity and constitutional duties. But his batshit crazies are loyal and they vote. But his base is only thirty to forty percent of the voters. Hoyos also has a base that shows up but its closer to twenty-five to thirty percent of the vote. By and large, that is also working from the edge to the middle. The five hundred pound middle gorilla issue will be the candidates position on the constitutional duty of a representative to be able to define and act on a high crime and/or misdemeanor. This, I believe, will end up being the deciding issue , if one has his/her other ducks lined up.

People from Tim's base will call Renee every name under the sun if she commits to acting in an ethical, constitutional manner. There will be the b, c, s, and w words thrown around everywhere. Probably the d and l words as well. That will mean she's pulling votes from the middle, but it's also an extremely difficult environment to operate under. But that's where the votes will be. People will decide whether or not she's the change they're looking for based on how she handles the abuse she will receive should the election turn into a mandate on whether or not Congress should proceed with impeachment. The answer's clear. If the evidence warrants impeachment proceedings, then they should proceed. If not, they shouldn't. This, in my opinion, will be the issue deciding November's elections.

To that point, it is imperative that Ms. Hoyos has her platform clearly defined as quickly as possible. She must prepare her message and take a deep breathe before the whirlwind descends.

Her delivery, should fall bring talk of impeachment, will be every bit as important, if not more so than her position. Above all, the process should be just and any predisposition would be highly unethical and exactly the opposite of what we need in Washington. Then point to Tim's calling the investigation a witch hunt and his loyalty oath to Trump. There is a clear difference between the candidates.

This is a winnable race if Renee outworks Tim and if just a few things fall into place.

Knoxoasis's picture

"If the voters vote their

"If the voters vote their interests..." as you've suggested ad nauseum. Who determines what those interests are?

Mike Daugherty's picture

Here are a few of the major

Here are a few of the major issues that should be in most voters interests:

Good paying jobs
Social Security
The environment
Gun Control
Medical leave law
War & Peace

If the above issues are important to a voter, it would be in their best interests to vote for the Democratic candidate. The Democratic Party platform's stance on these issues represent Christian values and Jewish values and Muslim values and the values of most decent people. They do not represent the racist and immoral values of President Trump. There are many good and decent Republicans that are misguided. The Republican Party platform contradicts the values of any religion based on love and kindness. What would Jesus do? He sure would not vote for the Republican platform because it goes against everything he taught. Of course,Trump is not really a Republican anyway. He is just an evil baffoon!

jbr's picture

Vote: Candidates’ Position on Pre-Existing Condition Protections

Continuing pre-existing condition protections ranks first among six other candidate positions on health care issues with 63 percent of voters rating it the “most important” or a “very important” factor. Pre-existing condition protections rank highly across party identification, with majorities of Democratic (74%), independent (64%) and half of Republican (49%) voters saying a candidate’s position on this issue is either the “most important factor” in their vote or “very important, but not the most important factor.”

Most Americans – Across Parties – Say 2018 Candidates’ Position on Pre-Existing Condition Protections Will Matter to Their Vote

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll - July 2018: Changes to the Affordable Care Act; Health Care in the 2018 Midterms and the Supreme Court

R. Neal's picture

Voters? Did I miss something?

Voters? Did I miss something?

jbr's picture

District 2 election

fischbobber's picture


I didn't say it would be easy. I merely think it's doable.

fischbobber's picture


Maybe it's a deep, deep hole that requires a lot of work to dig out of.

fischbobber's picture


Thanks for the links. I'm not very computer literate and stuff like that takes me a long time to find. Thankfully, there were less than 200 views.

jbr's picture

Any data telling how many

Any data telling how many people in second congressional district do not have health insurance?

bizgrrl's picture

Good question. The answer is

Good question. The answer is probably out there.

R. Neal's picture

66,333 (9.1%) as of 2015.

66,333 (9.1%) as of 2015.

Mike Daugherty's picture

After speaking in support of

After speaking in support of Trump and praising him in campaign ads, Tim Burchett or any candidate should be embarrassed to ask decent and honest Americans to vote for them. Any member of Congress or a candidate for that office should be calling for an investigation of Trump's corruption and his removal from office. By not taking a stand against a person that is corrupt and unqualified to serve as President it displays their own lack of judgement. It also shows their unworthiness to serve and represent Americans in Congress.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Tim Burchett has been very

Tim Burchett has been very outspoken in his support of veterans. The right thing for him to do would be to speak up and criticize Trump for his disrespect of an American military hero named John McCain. He probably will not do that, even though he knows he should, because it could lose him votes with Trump voters.

Treehouse's picture


There is an Open (Take Back The) House for Rene Hoyos. Perhaps we should show up and give money because she's behind in that area! Especially since she won't take PAC money.
Monday, August 27, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
900 East Hill Avenue, Suite 110, in Knoxville

fischbobber's picture

Open House

I wish I would have known to look for you. I would have considered it a pleasure to introduce myself. I thought it was a productive meeting.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Yep, you are right.

Yep, you are right. Supporters need to practice what they preach and contribute some money or time or both to help the cause if they are able..

Treehouse's picture


I'm not very anonymous but I like to play one here.

jbr's picture

Healthcare ...

Couple of very good videos Renee and Tim, and anyone else, would likely find informative ....

President Barack Obama interview with Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff about Obamacare

Obamacare in Trump country

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