Observations On The Latest Democratic Candidate’s Debate

1. The futile, meandering, preaching to the choir debate this week, played against the backdrop of the Democratic Party’s disastrous impeachment hearings, should have made the purpose of the latter clear as crystal for anyone not in denial.

The hearings, like Mueller’s unprofessional and unethical statements after his report was submitted, are designed to “soften” up the President and wound him before the campaign, so he can be bested by one of the stunningly weak options the party has gathered for itself.

This is a misuse of the impeachment process, and was devised as one long, long ago. Thus Rep. Al Green admitted last week that impeaching Trump has been his long-time quest. And Atty. General Barr, to his great credit, made the soft coup plot explicit in his recent speech, saying,

“Unfortunately through the past few years we have seen these conflicts take on an entirely new character. Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called ‘The Resistance’ and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver to sabotage the functioning of the executive branch and his administration. The fact of the matter is: that in waging a scorched earth, no holds-barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systemic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law. . .

“This is a very dangerous and indeed incendiary notion to import into the politics of a Democratic republic. The fact is, that, yes, while the president has certainly thrown out the traditional beltway playbook and punctilio, he was upfront about what he was going to do and the people decided that he was going to serve as president.”

The discussion of Barr’s speech (and Prof. Turley’s misguided criticism of it) in the Open Forum was excellent. Had I been get to a keyboard, Barr would have received an Ethical Quote Of The Week honor. He articulated exactly what Ethics Alarms identified as the undemocratic process under way since the first “Not My President!” protests, when the “Resistance” disgraced their ideology and our history. Barr didn’t mention it, but Hillary Clinton has explicitly said that she considered herself a member of “the resistance.” The defeated opponent of a legally elected President of the United States has allied herself with a movement to erase the results of the election that defeated her by any means possible—and now so has her party.

And may I say, the FOOLS. You can’t trust polls, but the indications are that, as expected by the non-Trump deranged, the impeachment charade has hardened support for the President and public resentment of Democrats.

The transcript is here.

2. Also in the Fools category: continuing to have a mob on stage for a “debate.” Twelve is far too many people to have a useful or coherent debate, or even whatever these things are.

3. MSNBC talking heads should not be permitted to moderate these things. The bias was so thick you could hardly see the stage. The moderators carefully set out not to ask  questions that would make the candidates have to thread any policy needles. Where were questions about whether teachers and professors should be dismissed for using “the N-word” to discuss “the N-word”? What is the position of these candidates on censoring speech?

Why weren’t the candidates asked to explain why the large number of children detained “in cages” by the Obama administration, as revealed again when Obama’s 2015 statistics were falsely publicized this week as Trump administration counts,  didn’t trigger any outrage at all in their party, and now its mentioned as groundz for impeachment? Why weren’t they asked to explain what their solution is be to  waves of children being used as sympathy-drawing pawns by illegal immigrants?

How about, “Beto O’Rourke recently withdrew from the race. He had received criticism for openly admitting that he favored gun confiscation. What is your position on gun confiscation, especially in light of the recent news that New Zealand’s efforts have fallen far short of what the nation expected?”

Instead, we got Rachel Maddow asking Elizabeth Warren  if she  would she try to convince other Senators to convict President Trump in a Senate impeachment trial.

Indeed, the whole night was disproportionately devoted to Trump-bashing, as if this would distinguish any candidate from another.

4. As Joe Biden appears more and more of a liability, doesn’t the claim that President Trump was only seeking an investigation of the ex-VP to eliminate a feared rival for his office look like more and more of a contrivance? Why wouldn’t Trump want to run against this boob?

Defending his record with black voters during the debate, Joe Biden called Sen. Carol Moseley Braun the “only” black female Senator (she was the first), and invoked her name like being endorsed by Braun is a badge of honor. Braun was clumsily corrupt; only the fact that Bill Clinton was pulling the strings of the Justice Department stopped her from being indicted.  A 1993 Federal Election Commission investigation found that she never accounted for  $249,000 in campaign funds. The IRS twice requested that the the Justice Department investigate her further, but it refused. After all, you couldn’t have the “first black President” turning on the first black woman Senator.

In1996,  Braun made a private trip to Nigeria to meet with dictator Sani Abacha. Despite U.S. sanctions against that country due to Abacha’s actions, the Senator neither notified nor registered her trip with the State Department, even though Abach’as regime  was under U.S. sanctions.  Braun then defended Abacha’s indefensible human rights records in Congress, while denying that this had anything to do with her former fiancé Kgosie Matthews, who also served on her campaign staff, earning $15,000 a month, and was a lobbyist for the Nigerian government.

But I remember her best for her race-baiting response after  George Will wrote a column reviewing the long list of corruption allegations allegations against her.She said,  “I think because he couldn’t say nigger, he said corrupt…..I mean this very sincerely from the bottom of my heart… He can take his hood and put it back on again, as far as I’m concerned.

Biden also wins joker points for saying, regarding the Violence Against Women Act: “We need to change the culture!” Yeah, Joe, like you hugging, kissing, groping and sniffing every woman you happen upon shows a sensitivity to the cultural problems facing women. The fact that  not one single female moderator (Andrea Mitchell and Maddow) or  candidate had the guts or integrity to challenge Biden shows the core dishonesty at work among this group. Then Joe said, “No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger, except in self-defense.… And we have to keep punching at it, and punching at it, and punching at it!”

What an opening! Yet again, nothing.

5. Senator Klobuchar, who has nothing to lose by being honest (the other candidates seem to think they do) said, “I’m not going to go for things just because they sound good on a bumper sticker and then throw in a free car. Obligation as party to, yes, be fiscally responsible, yes, think big, but be honest.”

6. In sum, it was a night of pulled punches, cheap shots, and stale talking points. Kamala Harris even dredged up the “76 cents on the dollar” fake wage gap statistic, rounding up to 80 cents.

20 thoughts on “Observations On The Latest Democratic Candidate’s Debate

  1. So, it’s official, because I heard it on MSNBC, paraphrasing: It doesn’t matter how solid the evidence against Trump is, the Senate will acquit him; even though everyone knows Trump’s guilty. (Sorry to not have attribution for this, was said at about 4:30 EST.)

    In essence, the system they are using to indict Trump in the court of public opinion, i.e. a majority of leftists in The House, will impeach on what appears to be few if any facts and that’s all the process we need. Pure propagandistic value. The Senate as jury will vote, likely with their opposing party majority, to acquit. And, that’s what is illegitimate.

    How can we ever expect to agree with people on the opposing side on any matter going forward?

    • In essence, the system they are using to indict Trump in the court of public opinion, i.e. a majority of leftists in The House, will impeach on what appears to be few if any facts and that’s all the process we need. Pure propagandistic value. The Senate as jury will vote, likely with their opposing party majority, to acquit. And, that’s what is illegitimate.

      I disagree with this reasoning. If the Senate truly would vote to acquit no matter how strong the evidence, and the evidence truly did support conviction, that would be an abdication by the Senate of their constitutional duty, and they would deserve to suffer the electoral consequences of it. However, it would not change the duty of the House one iota. It would remain their duty, if they believed the evidence supported it, to vote to impeach the president, even knowing the Senate was determined to sabotage the trial. What would be illegitimate would be to not vote for impeachment, believing the evidence before them sufficient, or to vote for impeachment, despite a lack of sufficient evidence, or to drag out “impeachment hearings” interminably without reaching a timely conclusion, so as to substitute the hearings for the trial in the public imagination.

      • It would remain their duty, if they [rationally] believed the evidence supported it, to vote to impeach the president, even knowing the Senate was determined to sabotage the trial.

        There. Fixed it for you.

        Someone saying “they believe” the evidence supports a charge is insufficient in this context. There must exist a rational basis for that belief. Otherwise, it is the House that is abdicating its responsibility.

      • If you think there is rational cause for impeaching Trump after this week’s testimony of no bribery, no quid pro quo and no Biden investigation before or after aid was provided, we too will never agree on anything going forward.

        I do agree the Senate must act on rational evidence. Sadly for the left, there is none.

  2. Had I been get to a keyboard, Barr would have received an Ethical Quote Of The Week honor. He articulated exactly what Ethics Alarms identified as the undemocratic process under way since the first “Not My President!” protests, when the “Resistance” disgraced their ideology and our history.

    In an unrelated field — depth psychology — CG Jung once mentioned that when a person encounters an ‘anima-possessed’ person, or when one is in the grip of ‘anima-possession’, one must do all that one can to keep one’s wits about one. For the sake of the point I wish to make the anima, and anima-possession, should be seen simply as being under the sway of unconscious impulses which one cannot see and which one denies. The more denial, the more the ‘possession’ has its hold and increases its hold.

    I suggest here, though I recognize it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to verify mental disorder, that what we are seeing on this Stage could be seen as a sort of Theatre of the Mad. No one of these people, as they manifest themselves, can be seen as *normal*. Each in their own unique way embodies ideological distortion, but I definitely suggest that they are *representatives* of a culture, and the people in that culture, who are going off the deep end.

    I realize what *deep end* means must be defined, and defined carefully and fairly, and at the same time I recognize that the definition I offer will be seen, by some, and by *them* (this mass of deranged others if I may speak in that way) as itself being dangerous madness. And it has to be said that — even here on EA — the rather mild critical perspectives I have shared have been seen and labeled, from the start, as literal sickness. (This was the assessment of dear Spartan and it was picked up and further advanced by many others.)

    What does this mean? Well, it means something quite important because it touches on common notions, common perceptions, about what is ‘right’ ‘good’ and also ‘normal’. Certain ideas, certain perspectives, are not simply *wrong* or wrong-headed, they come about because of mental derangement: this is the common view. And let us be clear: it is the Progressive-Left establishment that has defined this general view. These notions of mental balance and mental derangement have become part-and-parcel of our perceptual and interpretive systems.

    Therefore, though I recognize how problematic it is to attempt to psychologically analyze anyone, and certainly a culture, I advance these ideas with a certain caution.

    In order to present my theory of social derangement, social hysteria, social sickness, and outcomes that become more and more deranged with every passing day, I have to be able to make reference to the *inner person*. And I assert that what we are seeing, certainly in the rather clear-cult case of these literally deranged individuals and their utterly deranged policy suggestions, are subjects who embody the madness and yet who see themselves, and are seen by others, as ‘normal’ and doing what is ‘right, good and proper’. I am also going to assert, because I believe that it is true, that our general *progressive perspective* — one that we have all been infected with, to one degree or another — is a form of *embodied sickness*. We will either confront it and deal with it, or the possession will continue its undermining process until there is a massive break-down: something akin to psychosis.

    I am not inventing this or dramatizing this for effect. We definitely already recognize ‘the madness of crowds’ and what will result from social and political movements that become sick and deranged, be it Stalinism, Nazism or Maoism. So, in no sense is it so far from a *realistic perspective* to suggest that in a different context we are witnessing social and political manifestations that begin to take on the tinge of *dangerous derangement*. However, my entire view is based in a perception that we are all complicit, in one degree or another, in the mad rehearsals and elaborate shows that are presented to us (and it just occurred to me that Rachel Maddow really does look like the literal Mad Hatter!) 🙂

    [It is only fair to point out that I am seeing things from a socially conservative perspective. That is, that I define social conservatism as ‘normalcy’ and ‘groundedness’, and there should be no doubt that I ground this notion of normalcy within Christian metaphysics and morals, and within a Thomist psychology.]

    • If your extensive (lending?) library doesn’t include the Dr. Lyle Rossiter Jr. offering THE LIBERAL MIND: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness, perhaps it should.

      In it, I suspect you’ll find support for your…um…assertions

      “The radical left’s efforts to regulate the people from cradle to grave. To rescue us from our troubled lives, the liberal agenda:
      *recommends denial of personal responsibility,
      *encourages self-pity and other-pity,
      *fosters government dependency,
      *promotes sexual indulgence,
      *rationalizes violence,
      *excuses financial obligation,
      *justifies theft,
      *ignores rudeness,
      *prescribes complaining and blaming,
      *denigrates marriage and the family,
      *legalizes all abortion,
      *defies religious and social tradition,
      *declares inequality unjust, and
      *rebels against the duties of citizenship.

      “Through multiple entitlements to unearned goods, services and social status, the liberal politician promises to ensure everyone’s material welfare, provide for everyone’s healthcare, protect everyone’s self-esteem, correct everyone’s social and political disadvantage, educate every citizen, and eliminate all class distinctions.

      “Radical liberalism thus assaults the foundations of civilized freedom. Given its irrational goals, coercive methods and historical failures, and given its perverse effects on character development, there can be no question of the radical agenda’s madness.

      “Only an irrational agenda would advocate a systematic destruction of the foundations on which ordered liberty depends.”

      • Thanks, I did look it up and review it rather quickly. It seems to be one in the genre of ‘bash the Liberal’-type denunciations of which I am a bit skeptic, though the list is very useful. There is little to be gained from getting all one’s condemnations in good order about that TerrifyingOther when the real chore is to recognize the degree to which one is, oneself, in thrall the the basic predicates.

        The real enemy is not the Liberal but the so-called ‘Conservative’ who critiques the Dread Progressive while he or she is directly involved in selling out at the most basic value-level. If this false-conservative had not given in at every point nearly, we would not be facing these conditions in the present. And note that for all the vocal denunciations of that Liberal-Progressive the false-conservative bows down on every point.

        Interestingly, there is a conflict going on which the NYTs brought to my attention: a professor Eric Rasmussen in Indiana who is being attacked because he has some ideas that run counter to what The System is now allowing in our neo-Maoist intellectual culture. They say ‘we can’t fire him’ because he has tenure, yet all around him (to put it metaphorically) the enraged mass circles & shrieks with their burning torches billowing black smoke. It began when he made a reference to an article by Lance Welton titled Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably.

        The point is that if you hold ideas that are counter what has been established as ‘good and proper’ you will be seen, ab initio, as defective and/or as evil: retrograde.

        The entire postwar construct is under examination now, and yet simultaneously there is a violent push-back against these efforts and every attempt to destroy those who do not toe the line of goodthink.

        The categories are: gender & sexuality, political philosophy, race & culture, nationalism & ethno-nationalism, and then of course the ‘matrix’ of each of these categories which has to do with metaphysics.

        • I refuse to join any real enemy club that would have me as a member….

          And how is one to hold ideas that are, and I quote, ‘good and proper’, when *they* keep moving the goalposts?

          On what appears to be one of (IMO) your favorite subjects, rage against the dying of the WHITE (bolds/caps mine throughout): Philadelphia Inquirer fashion writer Elizabeth Wellington’s observance of Melania Trump’s 2016 Republican Convention white outfit: “(Mrs. Trump’s dress was a) scary statement (conveying the subliminal message) that in the GOP, white is always right. (Mrs. Trump’s) all-white ensemble displayed the kind of foreignness that is accepted by her husband’s political party.”

          Fast forward two weeks; Wellington on HRC’s choice of white outfit for accepting the Democratic nomination. “(W)hite is a hue that’s both soft and strong […] Clinton’s white pantsuit is telling us she has arrived. THIS IS SURREAL. THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE.

          Oy! THESE are the people upon whom you ought focus your ire. Pikers like yours truly? Not so much.

  3. The hearings, like Mueller’s unprofessional and unethical statements after his report was submitted, are designed to “soften” up the President and wound him before the campaign, so he can be bested by one of the stunningly weak options the party has gathered for itself.

    You mean they’re using their constitutional powers not for any legitimate state purpose, but purely for their own electoral gain? That seems like a familiar theme. Where have I heard that before?

    • Yeah. This kind of how dare he do what he’s not really doing but we are heh heh heh has been the pattern from the beginning. One could at least understand the strategy if it had any change of working, but it just doesn’t. It’s so obvious.. From an old episode of “Big Bang Theory”: “Why are you looking at me like that? Haven’t you ever seen a hypocrite before?”

      • their hypocrisy is obvious as these same people defended Bill Clinton’s committing perjury to defeat a sexual harassment lawsuit (which inspired your first ethics blog.)

        They set the precedent; we should make them live with it.

      • Probably my favorite episode of “TBBT”…”The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis” – just watched it the other day and have watched it dozens of times. Anyways…

        This notion of “the hypocrisy of the Left” troubles me as it relates to my own internal mechanisms that try to maintain fairness. I’ve asked myself “The Question” dozens of times, “If Republicans were bringing these exact same charges against a President(D), with the exact same evidence presented, would I be wanting that President impeached and removed from office?” I know I’m not the one determining guilt, but I want to be internally consistent in the application of my beliefs, so as not to be a hypocrite myself.

        I keep answering “The Question” with “No”, but I still wonder, in the back of my mind, if my own biases against what appears to be the culmination of a three-year assault on the President are clouding my judgement.

        This feels something like a confession…a confession of ignorance, maybe.

  4. How can anyone vote for a person whose job it is to stand up to dictators and demagogues on a global stage when the field seems unable to handle questions from unfriendly media.

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