Howard Schultz had a “major policy address” which, like everything else in his benighted campaign, contained no discernible policy. Unless you think “I am a centrist, so I will bring everyone together!” and “I support ordinary Americans, as long as that isn’t anything too concrete!” count as policy.
Mostly it seems that Schultz’s theme is “both sides are terrible and unreasonable, so pick me!” So he shared insights like these:
Some on the far left want to ban guns altogether… The far right has pushed back on even reasonable limitations on gun ownership.
That would first part wrong, second part right. Has any Democrat proposed banning guns altogether? No, because that’s a stupid idea.
The truth is that healthcare costs are the biggest driver of unaffordable care… Yet neither side has developed, let alone offered, a credible plan to reduce costs by increasing competition. Or requiring more transparency on prices from hospitals and drug companies. Or investing in preventive care.
This is just stupid, because there’s the assumption that “increasing competition” (an ill-defined term that could mean a lot of different things) will reduce costs. (Given how much advertising for health insurers and medical facilities I see, I get the funny feeling that we actually do have competition at the moment.) And sorry, but there are credible plans for reducing the cost of providing healthcare and improving preventive care on the table now (you may have heard of this “Medicare for All” thing, Mr. Schultz?). If Schultz thinks it’s a bad idea (we know he does) he should explain why.
The more Schultz talks, the more his campaign is revealed to be a lot of half-ass platitudes. My read is that Schultz is basically a sensible moderate conservative (regardless of party affiliation) – the kind of not-crazy Republicans who have gone to ground while the orange monster tries to wreck the country.
The public response seems to have been, “Oh, Howard Schultz, the Starbucks guy? He must be pretty smart, sounds interesting… wait, this putz is Howard Schultz? Ugh.”
So naturally, CNN is hosting a big “town hall” with him tomorrow night. (Here in Houston, no less.) Because it’s easier than intelligent reporting.