The full debate transcript is here.
(Or you could read “Moby-Dick” instead, here, which I highly recommend.)
- After enduring a long analysis of the December debate, the Ethics Alarms assembled shouldn’t need a sequel so soon— I don’t know what the Democrats think they’re accomplishing by having two of these guaranteed fiascos within a three-week period.
Virtually everything said last night we’ve heard before; every impression of this weak,weak,weak slate of candidates was already established.
- Yes, it’s good to have the field whittled down to a manageable six, but it also wrapped in neon the hypocrisy of the Democratic party. The party of women had just two women on stage, one a near impossible dark horse, and the other old, white, and whether Bernie said so or not, unelectable. The party “of color” had no black, Asian, Native American or Hispanic representatives on stage (, I won’t make the obvious Elizabeth Warren crack, only allude to it here, which I guess is the same thing.) The supposed party of the young presented four candidates over 70. The party that hates the rich had one billionaire and three millionaires among the six. The party that wants to smother the First Amendment right to spend money to promote political candidates (or attack them) by voiding Citizens United includes one aforementioned billionaire who has literally bought his way into the debates, and another, Mike Bloomberg, lurking in the wings.
This is not, in short, a party of integrity. Res ipsa loquitur.
- Althouse didn’t comment on the debate, but one of her commenters (called “daskol”–Come on over to Ethics Alarms! You’re brilliant!) did so concisely and accurately. The assessment was masterful:
Steyer seems like he’s barely containing the crazy. Warren was scolding. Sanders bombastic. Buttigieg was so studied and obvious in his attempt at grandiosity that it looked silly, and he definitely was not going for a comic effect. Joe has lost more than a step, and it’s painfully obvious to anyone who’s either familiar with what he used to be like or has dealt with a loved one battered by the bitch time and her evil handmaiden, dementia. Klobuchar seems normal and boring, which was a relief in this crowd, but, like, really, really ordinary, and she’s auditioning for a really extraordinary job. Their responses to the questions were non-sequiturs. Their closing statements were disjointed from one another, and internally disjointed in most cases, with the only common theme that Trump is awful, and we’re in terrible danger if we don’t rescue our country from him. None of them seemed to believe what they were saying, all came across as scared under the bright lights, scared and badly programmed human robots trying to do that sincerity and authenticity thing. God help us.
Daskol’s description of Biden is the most important. He indeed looks like he is declining in energy and mental acuity by the minute. I remember thinking in 1984 that it was troubling how much President Reagan had aged in a single term as I watched him debate Walter Mondale, but 1) Ronnie still seemed sharper than Walter and 2) Reagan was nowhere near as diminished as Joe. Is the plan really to try to elect a man on the verge of dementia and have a young, woke, far-left VP ready to take over?
- One striking ethics story from the debate was the blatant bias of CNN. I hate to defend Bernie Sanders, but this was a true “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!” moment, except that the bias was anti-Bernie. CNN had carried the report claiming that Sanders had told Warren (in a supposedly private meeting) he disagreed with Warren’s belief that a woman could be elected President. Sanders insisted that he didn’t “want to waste a whole lot of time on this, because this is what Donald Trump and maybe some of the media want,” and strongly denied ever saying what Warren and her camp claimed. CNN moderator Abby Phillip asked, “You’re saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?” “That is correct,” Sanders replied,
Then Phillip turned to Warren and asked: “What did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?”
Foul. Unfair. Most of all, how is this a helpful or informative issue? The sequence was CNN’s clumsy attempt to portray Sanders as a sexist, despite the fact that even if Sanders said what was claimed, there’s nothing sexist about that assessment. (I think it is wrong in the abstract, but right as rain in reference to Warren and Klobuchar.)
- Then things got really stupid. Warren said, “And I think the best way to talk about who can win is by looking at people’s winning record. So, can a woman beat Donald Trump? Look at the men on this stage. Collectively, they have lost 10 elections.The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women… Amy and me.”
Klobuchar, lacking the wit or integrity to point out what a ridiculous standard that was, could only say, “So true, so true.”
Then Warren, not satisfied with her initial deceit (the entire Democratic argument for electing one of these bozos appears to be based upon the assumption that the electorate is substantially made up of mouth-breathers), added, “And the only person on this stage who has beaten an incumbent Republican any time in the past 30 years is me!”
But wait, there’s more! After a useless recap by Senator Klobuchar of the Democratic women who have won recent elections, Bernie weighed in with, “Well, just to set the record straight, I defeated an incumbent Republican running for Congress.” “When?” asked the ex-Harvard prof, baiting the trap. “1990!” said Sanders. “That’s how I won. I beat a republican congressman.”
“Thirty years ago….Wasn’t it 30 years ago?…And I said I was the only one who’s beaten an incumbent Republican in 30 years,” said Warren.
Oooh Liz, you’re SO clever—except your whole assertion is baloney, and misleading as well—and you know it. Warren has won two elections, in one of the most Democratic states in the country (Massachusetts), against the fluke GOP Senator Scott Brown and the immortal Geoff Diehl. She also has no governing or management experience, no, not even running a business. Neither does Klobuchar, who also won her Senate seat in a very blue state against a weak Republican candidate. Her other election victories were for lawyer positions. She’s just a lawyer. At least Bernie and Buttigieg have been mayors, and Biden was Vice President for eight years. Many successful Presidential candidates have lost elections, notably Abraham Lincoln, and more recently, Bill Clinton. (Donald Trump is one for one.)
- Biggest lie of the night? That would probably go to Pete Buttigieg, who said, “Our party should no longer hesitate to talk about the issue of the debt and the deficit. We’ve got a dramatically better track record on it than Republicans do. In my lifetime, it’s almost invariably Republican presidents who have added to the deficit. A trillion dollars, under this president.”
Mayor Pete was playing a deceitful trick by adding that “in my lifetime,” since he is about 12, but even with that he was lying outright. Both Democratic and Republican administrations have had annual deficits (except for Bill Clinton, once), added to the debt. But Democrat Barack Obama added more debt than any other President in history, adding nearly as much debt as all previous Presidents combined. When Obama took office, the gross federal debt was $10.6 trillion. When he left office, it was $19.95 trillion, an increase of 88 percent, and the debt-to-GDP ratio surpassed 100% for the first time since World War II.
Trump’s performance in this regard has been miserable as well, but it takes epic gall—and Mayor Pete certainly has that in abundance, to say on national TV that Republicans have a worse record regarding the debt than Republicans. Here are the top ten deficits in US history (1943 and 1945 were under Democrats, but fighting World War II is a pretty solid excuse).
- Finally, Warren ostentatiously refused to shake Bernie’s hand after the debate, and it was caught on video. She did this even after saying she regarded Sanders as a “friend” during the debate.
She’s an awful person. Even the mouth-breathers are beginning to notice.
Here’s the twitter link you can use to post this on Facebook with violating “Facebook community standards”: https://twitter.com/CaptCompliance/status/1217484383143256064