The debate seems like old news now, I know, but I’m going to finish this ethics review if it kills me. There was valuable, if depressing, ethics revelations throughout.
A. No, really, the economy is terrible. Really. Trust us.
Let’s begin Part III with this exchange:
My question to you, Mr. Vice President, is what is your argument to the voter watching this debate tonight who may not like everything President Trump does but they really like this economy and they don’t know why they should make a change.
BIDEN: Well, I don’t think they really do like the economy. Go back and talk to the old neighborhoods and middle-class neighborhoods you grew up in. The middle class is getting killed. The middle class is getting crushed. And the working class has no way up as a consequence of that.
Well, which is it: is Biden lying here, or is he completely ignorant of what is going on?
The question is particularly timely now, after the Christmas season was a smash hit. So called “Super Saturday” had the most money spent by consumers ever. Amazon had record-breaking holiday season drove its stock up 4.5% and helped lift the Nasdaq composite index above 9,000 for the first time ever. This doesn’t happen, Joe (Bernie, Liz) in an unpopular economy, and what’s not to like? Unemployment is the lowest it can go; wages are rising across the board. Black employment is up, jobs generally are up. It isn’t just the stock market. Obviously consumer confidence is high.
Do the Democrats really believe they can convince the public that the economy is bad by just lying over and over again, and saying it’s bad, like Biden did? Apparently. Buttigeig, Yang, Sanders, Steyer and Warren followed Biden claiming that the middle class—you know, all those people who spent that money on Christmas gifts, was “hollowed out” in Warren’s words. “[We should beat Trump] on the economy where he thinks he’s king and where, in fact, he’s a fraud and a failure,” said Steyer.
Because they know that good economies almost always re-elect Presidents, the Democratic candidates are adopting the Sanders-Warren, or Marx-Lenin, definition of what a “good economy” is. As Sanders keeps saying, the problem is income inequality: if there are people making a lot more than you, you should be miserable, and it’s time for a revolution. This was the justification for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez saying last week that the U.S. was a fascist country. Her comments , noted John Daniel Davidon of the Federalist, were characteristic of what he called the Left’s “economic illiteracy” and their belief that some people don’t have money because others are simply hoarding wealth. He said,
“She complained about America not being an advanced society, because it doesn’t matter how much gold you amass, you know, if people aren’t taken care of. It was a perfect illustration of the the economic and historical illiteracy of the left. Nobody is amassing gold. GDP doesn’t stand for gold deposit pile. That’s not how the economy works…Wealthy Americans are investing [their money]. They are creating jobs. That is why wages are going up, that is why unemployment is down. That is how the real world works. These people are out to lunch on the stuff.”
And the candidates for President, based on their debate performance, desperately want to keep them “out to lunch” as well.
B. See, it’s fine for us to directly interfere with other nations’ domestic affairs…
Maybe I’m missing something obvious, but I don’t undersatnd how the same people who say that it’s intolerable and impeachable for a President to presure an ally to investigate possible corrupt practices by a US Vice President that involved that ally, and that Russian fake news ads on social media were the embodiment of evil, daring to “interfere” with our election, can openly advocate our aggressively interfering in the affairs of other countries. Of course, the candidates advocated our interference, but refused to say the right way to do it, other than saying that what President Trump was doing was wrong. Here’s Joe:
“What we do is, we have to put pressure constantly on the Israelis to move to a two-state solution.”
Pressure? Gee, Joe, what kind of pressure? Using dollars and aid as a carrot or stick is extortion–or is it bribery? If Trump were to solve the Isreal-Palestine problem by using the threat of reduced aid, that would be a huge boost to his re-election prospects, and…wait! That means he can’t do it, right?
Here’s an interesting exchange with Mayor Pete:
WOODRUFF: …The U.S. clearly wants China’s cooperation on human rights, on climate change, on North Korea, on terrorism. And yet Americans are appalled by China’s record on human rights, including the detention of over a million Muslim Uighurs. Should the U.S., is my question, do more than protest and issue sanctions? Should the U.S., for example, boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics?
BUTTIGIEG: I think that any tool ought to be on the table, especially diplomatic, economic, and social tools, like what you’re describing.
Wait…social tools? Aren’t those what Russia used, and that Democrats called a threat to out democracy?
C. And the news media said that Yang had a good debate…
I guess it’s because he was the only “candidate of color,” so they couldn’t point out that he said things like…
“I know that Dreamers are essentially Americans in everything but this legal classification.”
That classification being “legal citizens,” which is what defines Americans. You know, children are essentially adults except for a legal classification.
“Our country is deeply misogynist, and most all of us know that.”
Do we? Hey Judy Woodruff, explain why the current rule in this misogynist country is “believe all women” but assume that all men are sexual predators and abusers. Ask her why females outnumber males in universities, and why Duke University dean Sue Wasiolek argued that when both parties are drunk, “assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex. Thus, when both students are drunk, the female is deemed legally unable to give consent, but the equally drunk male is not only able to give consent he is also supposed responsible for evaluating whether the woman is truly sober enough to consent.
That seems fair. Oh, Judy! Judy! Ask him why her routine denigration of males didn’t stop the New York Times from hiring a new editor, but denigration of females will get virtually any employee fired.
“The fact is, strong societies would elect more female leaders.”
Hmmmm…sounds like gender bias to me. Strong societies would elect the best qualified leaders, and pay no attention at all to their chromosomes, color, or sexual habits. But to be fair to Yang, he is seeking the nomination of a party that believes that race and gender should ensure a candidate a slot in these debates whether they qualify under the rules or not.
YANG: I believe everyone on this stage would do the right thing by Dreamers in the first 100 days. I would make it a top priority. I’m the son of immigrants myself. The fact is, almost half of Fortune 500 companies were started by an immigrant or children of immigrants. Immigrants make our country stronger and more dynamic. And immigrants are being scapegoated for issues they have absolutely nothing to do with. If you go to the factory in Michigan, it’s not wall-to-wall immigrants. It’s wall-to-wall robot arms and machines. We have to send the opposite message of this administration. And as your president, I think I could send a very clear message, where if you are considering immigrating to this country and I am the president, you would realize my son or daughter can become president of the United States. That’s the opposite of the current administration, and that’s the message I would love to send to the world.
Wait: do you mean immigrants, or illegal immigrants, Mr. Yang, or are you saying there is no difference? Quick now, name me all the Fortune 500 companies you know were started by illegal immigrant or children of illegal immigrants.
The rest of the candidates were equally dishonest, refusing to acknowldege the real issue, people breaking the law. Mayor Buttigeig gave us a masterpiece in meaningless generalities:
“When I am President I will make sure that this is a country of laws and of values. And that means not only ending these unspeakable, cruel practices at the border, but finally and truly fixing the immigration system that has needed a full overhaul since the 1980s.”
- You’re going to make this a country of laws and values by not enforcing the laws and rewarding those who break them?
2. Fix the immigration system! That’s brilliant! Why hasn’t anyone suggested that before!!! Just fix it!
D. It just wouldn’t be a Democratic candidate’s debate without race-baiting!
Let’s close out Part III with Tom Steyer’s full-throated use of Big Lie #4: “Trump Is A Racist/White Supremacist.”
To be fair, he is a Democrat, and race-baiting has been the party’s default response to most issues since it insulated President Obama from criticism and accountability that he so greatly deserved.
” Listen, I think it’s important to note that this president is not against immigration. He’s against immigration by nonwhite people.”
I must pause here to say, “What an asshole.” Back to Steyer:
This is his attempt to divide us, as Senator Sanders said, on race. And that’s what he’s been doing since the very first day he started running for president. He’s been vilifying non-white people. He’s been trying to inflame his base and scare them that if, in fact, white people lose control of this country, that they’re going to lose control of their lives. And as somebody who lives in a majority-minority state, which is California, what he’s doing is so wrong on so many different levels….We have to reframe this argument completely. We have to go back to the idea that every American is worth being a full human being on every right. This is a racial argument by a racist president who’s trying to divide us and who’s vilifying people. It’s absolutely wrong. And it’s led him to break the laws of humanity in our name.
Yes, Steyer and others on the stage seek to divide the country on race by claiming that the President is a racist. If he argues that wanting to enforce illegal immigration laws is racist, what is Steyer really saying? “The laws of humanity” are code for “open borders.”
Yes, there will be a Part 4.