Ethics Observations On The Second Democratic Candidates Debate, Part 2 of 2

Dems three

The transcript is here.

Part I is here.

6. Sooner or later, a Democrat is going to have to answer a question about the “safe places,” microaggressions,” college campus meltdown that is, I think, just gathering momentum, and choose between alienating the young black base that elected Barack Obama, or horrifying people who believe in free speech and thought, presumably a few iconoclast Democrats and a lot of independents. Significantly, CBS didn’t ask Sen. Sanders that question.

Well, it’s significant if you  believe that CBS is protecting the Democrats. As we saw in Bernie’s coddling of Black Lives Matter, and know from the fact that he’s a Marxist at heart, he doesn’t really expect to be nominated and has no spine (see Part I), Sanders was a good bet to fully endorse the anti-free speech position taken by the students at Yale, Amherst and Mizzou. That would have put the whole Party, which right now is Hillary, on the spot. Surely CBS would never do that. The alternative is to believe that last night’s journalists were inept.

Only Hillary was asked the question, and she ducked it with something akin to what Olson Johnson called “authentic frontier gibberish”:

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, you told some Black Lives Matter activists recently that there’s a difference between rhetoric in activism and what you were trying to do, was — get laws passed that would help what they were pushing for. But recently, at the University of Missouri, that activism was very, very effective. So would you suggest that kind of activism take place at other universities across the country?

CLINTON: Well, John, I come from the ’60s, a long time ago. There was a lot of activism on campus — Civil Rights activism, antiwar activism, women’s rights activism — and I do appreciate the way young people are standing up and speaking out. Obviously, I believe that on a college campus, there should be enough respect so people hear each other. But what happened at the university there, what’s happening at other universities, I think reflects the deep sense of, you know, concern, even despair that so many young people, particularly of color, have…You know, I recently met with a group of mothers who lost their children to either killings by police or random killings in their neighborhoods, and hearing their stories was so incredibly, profoundly heartbreaking. Each one of them, you know, described their child, had a picture. You know, the mother of the young man with his friends in the car who was playing loud music and, you know, some older white man pulled out a gun and shot him because they wouldn’t turn the radio down.Or a young woman who had been performing at President Obama’s second inauguration coming home, absolutely stellar young woman, hanging out with her friends in a park getting shot by a gang member.And, of course, I met the mothers of Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin and so many of them who have lost their children.So, your original question is the right question. And it’s not just a question for parents and grandparents to answer. It’s really a question for all of us to answer, every single one of our children deserves the chance to live up to his or her god-given potential. And that’s what we need to be doing to the best of our ability in our country.

DICKERSON: All right, over to Kevin Cooney.

Hilarious.

My sister, a Democrat, was watching with me last night and broke out laughing right along with me. Now, O’Malley, if he were really trying to win, or if he had the wit and ambition God gave a sea sponge, would have broken in with, “Wait, Hillary, answer the question! The question was, do you advocate kind of activism that is occurring at Missouri, where the students used a suicide threat and a football team’s extortion to force administrator to resign, and  demanded restrictions on speech. Is that the kind of activism you advocate, or not?”  Instead of daring to answer the question, Hillary was in full obfuscation and grandstanding mode. Let’s examine her non-response in peices:

” Well, John, I come from the ’60s, a long time ago. There was a lot of activism on campus — Civil Rights activism, antiwar activism, women’s rights activism — and I do appreciate the way young people are standing up and speaking out…”

Not  germane to the question, not even close. Approving of “that kind” of activism means approving the methods (hunger strikes and sports extortion) as well as the objectives (forcing innocent administrators to resign and chilling free speech.) The question wasn’t about activism in general isn’t laudable when it isn’t aimed at enforced conformity.

Obviously, I believe that on a college campus, there should be enough respect so people hear each other.

It’s hard for people to hear each other when speech is prohibited, however.

But what happened at the university there, what’s happening at other universities, I think reflects the deep sense of, you know, concern, even despair that so many young people, particularly of color, have…

About what?  This is empty blather.

You know, I recently met with a group of mothers who lost their children to either killings by police or random killings in their neighborhoods, and hearing their stories was so incredibly, profoundly heartbreaking.

Unrelated to the topic. The Mizzou episode was about speech  and racism, not shootings and police incidents.

Each one of them, you know, described their child, had a picture.

Violins, please. Sentimental mush designed to appeal to emotion rather than reason: a recent progressive specialty. Everyone is somebody’s child.

You know, the mother of the young man with his friends in the car who was playing loud music and, you know, some older white man pulled out a gun and shot him because they wouldn’t turn the radio down.

Race-baiting.  There is no evidence that this was a “hate crime.”  A white man shot a black teen and was convicted. Shall we match black on white killings with white on black killings, Hillary?

Or a young woman who had been performing at President Obama’s second inauguration coming home, absolutely stellar young woman, hanging out with her friends in a park getting shot by a gang member.

Her killers were black!  Hillary is intentionally insinuating otherwise. The protests on the Missouri campus was not related to black on black violence.

And, of course, I met the mothers of Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin and so many of them who have lost their children.

…who were 1) killed accidentally while resisting arrest in part due to being massively obese; 2) shot in a multi-level police screw up by a inept cop who thought a boy was a man and toy was a gun; 3) shot after trying to take a gun from an officer and charging him with his full 300 pounds; and 4) shot in self defense while trying to beat in the head of a Hispanic jerk who happened to have a gun. None of these incidents have been convincingly shown to involve racism: two involved resisting arrest, one was a horrible mistake and the other didn’t involve police. Hillary is now race-baiting–all the victims were black—and relying on emotion.

So, your original question is the right question.

What “original question” was that? The one she just refused to answer??

And it’s not just a question for parents and grandparents to answer. It’s really a question for all of us to answer, every single one of our children deserves the chance to live up to his or her god-given potential. And that’s what we need to be doing to the best of our ability in our country.

Boilerplate, evasive, shameless.

Of course, none of her “competition,” and certainly not the journalists who are supposed to keep politicians from snowing the public, called her on it.

7. The lack of a voice of reason and integrity to call out Clinton and Sanders on their more irresponsible, dishonest and absurd statements (Where have you gone, my old friend Jim Webb, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you–woowoowoo!)  was never more keenly felt than during the airing (by all three candidates) of ridiculous free college proposals. That which is free is frequently perceived as having no value. If students are admitted to school without any financial stake or commitment, a substantial number of them will see little reason to study, go to classes, or devote sufficient energy, attention and sacrifice to learn. Naturally, the free colleges will be encouraged to graduate such students anyway, especially since many of them will be black and Hispanic, further separating a college degree from what it once signified: education.

The free college plans are both fiscally irresponsible and educational irresponsible, but since they are dishonest too—this is a pander for votes, not a serious policy proposal—the harm is only theoretical.

8. All right, I’m not through with Sanders. He gets an ethics corrupter label for repeatedly, as he has throughout the campaign, embraced the #1 unethical rationalization of them all, “Everybody does it” as his go-to argument for government funded health care. “Why do we remain the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right?” Sanders said more than once.

Well, let’s see:

  • Because we’re dangerously in debt already;
  • Because this nation has higher aspirations and more global responsibilities than just becoming a nanny state;
  • Because our culture was built on the idea that self-reliance leads to industry, creativity, strength and progress, and that idea has proven spectacularly correct;
  • Because when health care is free, either people abuse the system and their health, causing others to pay for their bad choices, or the government limits freedom of choice by law and penalties (we have just seen the tip of this with the ACA’s forced purchase of insurance);
  • Because free health care removes incentive for innovation in health and medicine;
  • Because the government inevitably screws up everything it tries to manage (See, well, everything in the Obama administration, but especially the VA) notwithstanding Sanders’ touching fantasies to the contrary;
  • Because health care isn’t a right, nor is it a privilege, but a need, like food, clothing and shelter. Once we decide that human needs have to be filled by the government, then you have full blown socialism if not communism.

The main answer, however, is this: the United States is and must remain different from those other nations Bernie loves so much, because that is what has made the nation great, unique, and indispensable to civilization. The next question I expect him to ask is: “Why do we remain the only major country on earth that does  guarantees free speech  to all people as a right?”

Don’t think that, given a chance, he won’t.

9. It is damning, given the vulnerability of Hillary Clinton regarding the sleazy activities and fundraising of the Clinton Foundation, that neither of Clinton’s opponents have even alluded to it. The shadowy Foundation/ money laundering device arguably shows Clinton’s lack of trustworthiness even more than her e-mail maneuvers. Similarly, even while the three candidates were discussing the high cost of college, nobody, including the moderators, referenced Clinton’s unconscionably high speaking fees, charged to colleges.

10. Nevertheless, Sanders managed, accidentally I’m sure, to draw blood. He made the quite reasonable point that a candidate like Clinton, whose campaign is heavily financed by Wall Street money, cannot credibly claim to be a Wall Street reformer. Hillary, in high dudgeon, sniffed that Bernie had impugned her integrity, which was obviously unfair to say: Hillary Clinton has no integrity. She then proved it, her voice shaking with anger, with this:

“So, I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”

Huh? So Wall Street is still paying her out of gratitude for 9-11 even though she’s going to take billions from them by strangling the finance industry with regulations? Was that her rebuttal? My assessment is that she was just playing another lobotomy-inducing emotion card to try to deny the obvious. This is yet another area where Trump has gained supporters. Of course you expect something in return when you give to a campaign, The Donald said in the first GOP debate.

Of course.

Hillary’s other dishonest statement during the generally fanciful posturing over Wall Street:

CLINTON: And I will also go after executives who are responsible for the decisions that have such bad consequences for our country.

Go after how? This is Occupy Wall Street nonsense, for which I will excuse them because they weren’t lawyers. Clinton is. The government can’t “go after” executives for making bad decisions. They never lose money intentionally. Activists and protesters, especially progressives, always want to jail anyone they don’t like, laws or not. Jail climate change “deniers,” says Robert Kennedy Jr. Arrest people who engage in “hate speech,” say the MIzzouy totalitarians and the majority of Bernie’s supporters. Lock up  Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney for “war crimes,” shouts the Daily Kos…still. The President can’t “go after” anyone without a clearly defined broken law but a lot of Democrats think he or she can, so this is aimed at them.

The Democratic field is nothing if not insulting to the intelligence of Democrats.

As a final note, the incompetence of CBS in not explaining to its audience what Glass-Steagall was inexcusable, since it was mentioned NINE TIMES. That’s just basic journalism: Explain what the hell is going on!

In 1933, during a the nationwide plague of bank failures and in the midst of the Great Depression, Congress passed the Glass-Steagall Act (GSA), which mandated a separation of  investment and commercial banking activities.

See, that didn’t take so long, did it?

Here’s more: What Was The Glass-Steagall Act?

16 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On The Second Democratic Candidates Debate, Part 2 of 2

  1. The simplest description I can come up with is that it consisted of four provisions in the Banking Act of 1933 which separated commercial and investment banking, the repeal of which was a cause of our most recent financial crisis.

  2. I dunno about you, but I heard an unspoken BUT in the first few lines about her coming from the 60’s. I was expecting that pragmatic but and didn’t get it. The 1960s were also home of some of the worst wpp-woo thought, and when those people reached the 90’s they were a lot more conservative. Real change on all these issues only comes gradually and not by one stroke or fiat. Ask how well that worked out for Akhenaten.

  3. Authentic frontier gibberish.

    Can’t beat that with a stick.

    Wasn’t Glass-Steagall repealed at the request of Goldman Sachs et al. during HRC’s husband’s administration, er, her first co-presidency?

  4. … the United States is and must remain different from those other nations Bernie loves so much, because that is what has made the nation great, unique, and indispensable to civilization [emphasis added].

    I beg to differ with that last remark, just as I would in ascribing that to any country, considered as a country. To my knowledge the U.S.A. – as such – has never furthered civilisation anywhere, certainly not in any of the several countries in which I have lived, nor shows any signs of doing so at present or in the future; civilisation has advanced and will advance by other means and at other hands, including within the U.S.A. itself as the U.S.A. is a product rather than an instrument or cause of such processes. (I am not persuaded that it is great or unique in a broader historical sense either, whatever its current and largely fortuitous circumstances.)

    Now, if that were changed to reflect only the very real contributions which the U.S.A. has made to various countries, considered as countries, without any over the top claim that that furthered or supported their civilisation, it would be much more realistic. Civilisation is something that occurs in a different sphere entirely. The French idea of a French mission civilisatrice is bunk, and not just because they are French; even if it were not, the very fact that they were into that first would render any such U.S. claim merely one among others.

    • How many nations has France delivered from tyranny, PMS? Now count how many America has (or attempted to when liberals didn’t sabotage us) and how many times has that nation been France? At least twice, by my count.

      And Jack, is it even possible to insult the intelligence of Democrat voters anymore? Even James Carville doesn’t seem to think so!

      • How many nations has France delivered from tyranny, PMS? Now count how many America has (or attempted to when liberals didn’t sabotage us) and how many times has that nation been France? At least twice, by my count.

        Zero by France, just like zero by the U.S.A. – which was my point, almost (the larger point is that delivering from tyranny, even if it had ever happened, is a bait and switch from supporting civilisation as the latter is a different area of human experience, one in the ethical rather than physical plane).

        Before you are tempted to claim that the U.S.A. “delivered [France] from tyranny” in each World War, note that it is definitively false for the First World War, to which the U.S.A. was only a relatively minor contributor, and to which it was only a very ambiguous contributor in the Second World War (since one of its earliest efforts during liberation was to saddle France with an occupation regime complete with occupation money, until De Gaulle put a stop to that).

        In any case, I was not disputing the real contributions of the U.S.A. as a country, merely pointing out that none of those qualify as supporting civilisation. Or, if you insist on using such a loose reading of supporting civilisation as to make that qualify, then of course France has done far more of that than the U.S.A. – including bailing out the U.S.A. at its inception. But much of that sort of thing – by both of those countries – falls far more along the lines of “civilise them with a Krag”.

        • Welllll… if that’s your revisionistic and somewhat Pravda-esque view of America history, it seems you have a great future as a social studies prof at Mizzou! It’s also obvious that our outlooks in just about everything are bound to be poles apart.

          BTW: If you had any grasp at all of the First World War, you’d know that America’s entry, while late, came at precisely the right time to thwart Germany’s assault, made possible by the fall of Russia to your Bolshevik buddies… something that the Germans had engineered. Don’t try that tactic of glazing over history, PM. Despite what your guru taught you, people outside your circle are not necessarily stupid nor ignorant.

          • Welllll… if that’s your revisionistic and somewhat Pravda-esque view of America history, it seems you have a great future as a social studies prof at Mizzou! It’s also obvious that our outlooks in just about everything are bound to be poles apart.

            It’s hardly revisionistic, it’s well documented (no, I will not do a literature search to give you citations; for one thing, you would be unlikely to believe anything you hadn’t found out for yourself – but you should try googling “civilise them with a Krag”).

            Also, you should not be asking yourself what your position is or what mine is, but looking for the truth of the matter – regardless of where you hear it from.

            BTW: If you had any grasp at all of the First World War, you’d know that America’s entry, while late, came at precisely the right time to thwart Germany’s assault, made possible by the fall of Russia to your Bolshevik buddies… something that the Germans had engineered. Don’t try that tactic of glazing over history, PM. Despite what your guru taught you, people outside your circle are not necessarily stupid nor ignorant.

            Who is assuming stupidity and/or ignorance? U.S. entry into the First World War would have achieved all those things, given the timing, but U.S. insistence on holding back any material military (as opposed to materiel) contribution until a distinct A.E.F. had been formed led to there being no material impact on the eventual outcome as the German offensive of March 1918 had already failed before the U.S.A. had a material presence (that’s not a matter of blame; there were sound political reasons for it; but it worked out that way nevertheless). In the event, though it was not yet known at the time, German defeat was sealed by that failure. There is no “tactic of glazing over history” here, at least on my part; you can check all this out for yourself, e.g. much of it is in John Terraine’s To Win A War.

            If you feel inclined to toss out snide remarks as a final aside, do bear in mind that you yourself may be jumping to unwarranted conclusions. It’s not a matter of “gurus” or a “circle”, but of only coming to the intellectual fray with ammunition. My trick is, when I don’t know I pay attention so as to learn – and you don’t see me jumping up in support of an emotional position merely because it is not being accepted.

            And it’s now getting on for midnight here, so I will leave you to think things over.

            • First, you dig an obscure phrase out of history and try to turn that into a major statement. It wasn’t, PJ. The saying came out of the emotion generated by the Philippines Insurrection. Find a war in history where someone wasn’t saying something like that.

              Your follow-on diatribe about America making no difference in World War I was just a rehash of your previous assertion. It’s also just as false. When America finally came into the war, it was just in time to meet the massive German assault of the Second Marne. With the fall of Russia, the German Army rapidly moved its veteran forces to the Western Front to overwhelm the Anglo-French forces.

              The 3rd Infantry Division isn’t called the Marne Division for nothing. As they were moving up, they met the retreating French troops, the Germans having struck them in force. The Third took up positions and stopped the Kaiser’s boys cold. They were on the offensive from then on. The AEF made the difference.

  5. That answer of Hillary’s – and the coddling it received outside this blog – is a strong indicator that Hillary is going to get the vast majority of women’s votes.

  6. ” Well, John, I come from the ’60s, a long time ago. There was a lot of activism on campus — Civil Rights activism, antiwar activism, women’s rights activism — and I do appreciate the way young people are standing up and speaking out…”

    She started off as though she was going to make a useful comparison to the past. Having lived through an era of activism, starting thusly could have been used to frame her answer with unique insight. Instead, she intentionally forgot the question and started name dropping recent controversy’s to make her fans cheer.

    Then she thanked the moderators for asking such a good question (no doubt sincere because it allowed her to garner the aforementioned cheers).

    • She also pulled the same stunt with the Wall Street question: “mumble, mumble, NINE-ELEVEN! mumble, mumble.”

      The even the moderators felt the need to reed a “tweet” calling her out into the record: “I have never seen a candidate use 9/11 to justify accepting millions in campaign donations from Wall Street bankers”.

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