Bishopville (SC) Nights: The Ballad of Joe Biden; or, Health Care in America

I went to a Biden event in Bishopville, SC last night to see the man speak after a month of being frustrated by the "clean and articulate" comment. After seeing Obama wow the crowds in Columbia a few weeks ago, I felt it was time to give my former boss a second chance.

I'll try and post a video of his speech (it's short at 15 minutes), because he brought up a few interesting points during the discussion. I've heard his views on Iraq too many times to remember, and I've always thought he'd be the best person to deal with that situation. But he surprised me when he announced last night that he's going to hold an international conference with world leaders in Europe to try and get our (former?) allies to come together to deal with a solution to Iraq and the global problem of Islamist terrorism.

He was more specific than any other candidate I've seen so far (I haven't seen Dodd yet), and he actually reminded me of Howard Dean when he talked about running a campaign in the red states if he wins the primary. He doesn't want to run a 50% +1 campaign, and that's very encouraging to me, and not something I thought would come out of Biden. It would definitely help in NC in 2008.

Then he hit health care. He wants to immediately insure everyone under 18 and provide catastrophic coverage for all of 47 million uninsured. I think that's something we'll have the political will to do; he also wants to take the best ideas from the states that are implementing universal coverage to come up with the best solution for all 50 states. And I cheered along with everyone else when he proposed doubling National Institutes of Health funding. I think Biden could get his plan through Congress.

But the part of his speech that made me think came up during Q&A - Biden believes that mental illnesses should be treated on par with traditionally defined illness. I don't know where I stand on this (your thoughts are appriciated), but this assertion brought perhaps the most vocal shows of support I saw all night.

After the event, about 14 people and the Senator went to a small Huddle House near the interstate for dinner. I was encouraged. The Huddle House impromptu wasn't quite as down to earth as some of our Kissell events, but it was interesting to see Biden effortlessly go back and forth between talking about everyday, middle-class issues and his long repertoire of DC stories from his 34 years in the Senate. I'd like to see him debate Edwards on health care, and see whose plan I support afterward (I do like Edwards's plan in spite of what I don't like about him). I think he's learned from the Obama comment, and I hope he ends up running this race hard.

Comments

Joe's toast

Why bother with Biden? He's going absolutely nowhere again. Heck, at this point he wouldn't even win DE's primary.

Mental health parity

should certainly be included in any health care plan. Why would you question whether to include it? And dental. And wellness, preventive medicine, pap smears, psa tests, screenings that catch cancer and other serious illness while it's still treatable.

Thanks for this report, Sam, I have been on Joe Biden's e-mail list for over a year and have always thought more people should pay attention to what he says about Iraq. Every time I have heard someone say, "But the Democrats don't have a plan, either," I have mentioned his name and website. Still think I'll support JRE through the primaries, though, and then fall in behind our Dem candidate, whoever that might be.

I've never heard a candidate say it that explicitly

It surprised me, so I didn't know what to think from a political standpoint, regardless of what I feel from a medical standpoint.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Biden? Blech.

If Biden were the only candidate talking about these issues, then maybe we'd be giving him a more thorough look.

But this is the guy who led the MBNA sponsored bankruptcy bill through Congress in 2005. This is one of the guys who refused to lead the way against George W. Bush's tyrannical efforts to tear down the constitution.

No fucking way I'm voting for Joe Biden. Not even for dogcatcher.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Not as true as Markos wants people to believe

Biden & Edwards voted for the 2001 Bankruptcy Bill, and against an amendment to give a fresh start to those bankrupted by catastrophic illness (Clinton, Dodd voted against). Biden, however, did not lead that bill or the 2005 bill through. He was the person that the liberal blogs talked about, even though 10-15 Dems had worse voting records on the amendments than he did. He was on the conference committee and made the bill less of a stinker in the process. The bill was going to pass, but instead of blaming the new democratic congressional leadership, the liberal blogs blamed Biden, when he was using his position of influence to make the bill better than it could have been. Carper (D-DE) was the real democrat pusing it through; Biden was just balancing his state and his country like every Senator has to do. Don't make me pull out the paper I wrote on this ;-)

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

those

darn librul blogs

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Love him or Hate him,

there are many Dems in this area that would rather back him then any other who has entered the race so far. I'm glad that we have so many members here that bring the diversity of the Democratic party to us for consideration. I say keep the info coming Sam...and thanks.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Endorsements

Apparently, you're right. He just picked up a slew of endorsements in South Carolina.

The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country. - Robert F. Kennedy

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

Malloy was one of the senators eating with us

He's a good guy.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

The Dixiecrats still rule here

edit that to: There are still a lot of Dixiecrats around.

Maybe Biden's occasional outbursts in some ways work for him?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

But most of those endorsements

were from African-Americans!

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

yeah but

they probably agree with his opinion of indians and 7-11.

(low blow? )

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Wasn't commenting on your link

didn't work for me...just what I have seen in Moore County.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

C. Dog is right

Mental illness is at least as devasting to an individual and his/her family as any other chronic disease. There are fewer resources to cope with it, and less health care coverage. That is one of the reasons you wind up seeing, even in small towns like mine, "crazy" homeless people. No place for them to go. The coverage needs to be there so that as a community we have the ability to help our brothers and sisters who are ill in this way. It's awful.

As for Biden - not my first choice, but if we could do worse. I'd rather see him in a position of power such as Sec. of State, or Sen. Majority Leader. I like him.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

MBNA

"The details of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 reveal it to be a bill crafted as a Republican paean to MBNA, the largest single contributor to the Republican party. Far from being either an effort to stem "Bankruptcy Abuse" or an effort at "Consumer Protection", the bill is in fact an attempt to rewrite bankruptcy laws to reduce the ability of those laws to protect consumers from predatory lending practices on the part of MBNA members, and to stiffen the capabilities of those corporations to collect from consumers already suffering from extreme financial hardships."

Biden was a driving force behind this bill. No bueno.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Good Post

Thanks for posting this, Sam.

I admit to having sent Biden to the political doghouse after his flubbed announcement and I've just recently relented--thanks in no small part to his candid discussion of the moral imperative that exists in Darfur.

I'm interested to hear more about Biden's plan for health care. My pragmatic side is terribly skeptical of universal health care for a handful of reasons, including my concern that universal coverage isn't more palatable to Congress than it was during the Clinton administration.

The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country. - Robert F. Kennedy

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

I like the way

Biden talks. Honestly. He does have some good ideas and he talks sense. I like to listen to his logic on issues.

The way he votes ... I like not so much.

But then, he's a Senator from Delaware, the corporate capital Incorporation capitol of the world. Still, being from Delaware, I think I know who holds his jewels, so I don't much think I'd be loving a Biden Administration.

I'm just an ordinary American working stiff. Economic issues have had a huge impact on my life over the last two decades. I'm one of the little boats in the water that feels every wave so I'm gonna vote for someone who's going to fight for us; the backbone, the middle classes, the 80%.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."