If Radical Centrists Keep Proposing Mediocre Policies, 2020’s Primaries Will Be A Lot Like 2016’s

And that’s not a particularly good thing. Speaking of not particularly good things, Virginia governor and possible presidential hopeful Terry McAuliffe had this to say about free college tuition:

Listen, I like the idea of free college, but there is no way the Democratic Party should support paying for children of wealthy parents to go to school. I can afford to send my children to school. The federal government shouldn’t be paying for my kids.

Wait until he finds out about the K-12 educational system! We’ve been through this before in the 2016 Democratic primary. Let’s pick at the scab:

Leaving aside more philosophical debates about education costs as well as the Democratic penchant for negotiating against oursevles, this is going to be a cumbersome program to implement…

Under Clinton’s system, we will need a federal agency to monitor all these requirements (did you serve the public sector for the full ten years or only nine? Did you work ten hours every school week?). What if you drop out for a year or two and then return?

That agency will also have to administer punishments for non-compliance. There will be errors on all sides, and those errors will have to be resolved (as well as being incredibly annoying and distracting). As I noted, this could be privatized as well, only increasing the waste.

It will also open a whole new vista for university administration (WHEEEE!!!!). And it won’t be one person–the Dean of Student Aid Compliance will require an assistant and staff, of course.

What I find remarkable is that, of all of the ‘populist’ targets one could choose, free college tuition is what really chaps McAuliffe’s ass (along with those of the radical centrist wing of the Democratic Party). Why not means-test K-12 education? Or the public library? And as the linked post indicates, this was the exact same position Clinton took during the campaign. I would appear McAuliffe has some of the same shithead consultants Clinton did, the ones who failed to realize that shitting all over millenials saddled with debt might not be a good strategy*. It seems clear there are wellconnected Democratic consultants who are pushing this garbage line, polling data notwithstanding.

Hopefully, even the centrists will up their policy game this time around.

*The importance of free college in gaining the millenial vote can’t be underestimated. And the shitty response by some Clinton supporters of essentially ‘toughen up snowflakes’ really hurt. Many of Clinton’s surrogates really didn’t help her.

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2 Responses to If Radical Centrists Keep Proposing Mediocre Policies, 2020’s Primaries Will Be A Lot Like 2016’s

  1. Constance Reader says:

    Not just millennials, those of us 80s babies and Gen Xer’s who still remember (or still have) the sleepless nights over student loan payments – and/or inability to pursue our preferred career because of them – will also jump all over free college tuition initiatives.

  2. Marie says:

    1) Most state schools use free tuition as a kind of merit award but Washington State University has need-based tuition reductions and even tuition waivers for those students who qualify. Still tuition is only a portion of the cost of going to college. If your tuition is free but you have to pay, say, a new $15,000 instructional fee, you’re not better off. Moreover, free tuition as a political strategy feels like a zero sum game. We need to better subsidize education regardless. How about we focus on making college truly affordable and expand need-based aid to include the middle class, not mention rethinking the entire student loan system? 2) Millennials still don’t vote in sufficient numbers to affect policies in any party. After busting my ass (I’m Gen X) working on political campaigns for progressive, Millennial-friendly issues it’s beyond frustrating to watch them not show up at the polls.

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