Last night was the second night of the first Democrat Presidential candidate's debate. I'm still sorry it isn't being done in the style of "Celebrity Deathmatch," with one-on-one battles, but there was plenty of chaos nevertheless.
Tamara paid much closer attention than I did, but here's what I took away:
"There's going to be lots of free stuff and we're going to shake down The Rich to pay for it," remains a magic touchstone for the Dems. Free or cheap healthcare? Check. Wipe out your student loans? Check. Bread riots by 2030? Check. "Guns are bad," is another chestnut -- and look how well that combination has worked out in Venezuela!
Venezuela? Oh, about that; the word "socialism" remains contentious, the concept nebulous even at the hands of the ones who embrace it. I'm not seeing a dime's worth of difference in actual policy between the contenders who shy away in maidenly modesty and the ones who cozy up to it. Eugene V. Debs is laughing hollowly in the wings; at least he knew what the word meant.
Eric Swalwell's a know-it-all frat boy who does not, in fact, know it all.
Congressman Swalwell and most of the other debaters waxed fairly incoherent at times, piling up Party platitudes in ways that didn't make a lot of sense.
Joe Biden continues to impress me with his emotional intelligence...and his inability to think on his feet while talking.
Kamala Harris has good speechwriters, strong ability to improvise and delivers lines extremely well. She's worth worrying about, especially if you're Joe Biden.
Peter Buttigieg does his homework and can talk sense on the fly. I suspect he's running for Vice-President, even if he doesn't know it; I also suspect he doesn't stand a chance at it if the Dems run an old white guy for president. Sure, he's a minority, but is he minority enough for his Party, especially on a billboard? Doubtful; if all you've got is a photograph, he's Dan Quayle with shorter hair.
Why is Bernie Sanders even up there? Same old, same old, and it's become very old. It's interesting and sad to see a man who is dug into the existing power structure like a tick up a bear's ear in January attempting to chide a group of debaters who are mostly much younger and generally farther from Washington about how nothing changes because the insiders are too unwilling to burn it all down and start over. It's classic "Let's you and him fight" talk, from a man who confidently expects himself to be put in charge of the ashes because, after all, it must be his turn. Last time I checked, he was still Not Actually A Democrat.*
It was another fun time, with much yelling at the TV, though we did decide to pass up popcorn. Same bad ideas, which some of them express much more clearly than their peers, a choice of Tweedledee, Tweedledum and Tweedledumber. Or was it twaddle?
* "His party status became ambiguous once again in March 2019 when he signed a formal "loyalty pledge" to the Democratic Party stating that he is a member of the party and will serve as a Democrat if elected president. He signed the pledge the day after he signed paperwork to run as an independent for reelection to the Senate in 2024." So you tell me.
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