I just spent 20 minutes or so trying to find a complete transcript of last night’s debate, and I failed. If I can find a link or someone sends me one, I might revisit the post, but probably not.
It was a dull and repetitive debate; I, at least, didn’t learn anything I hadn’t observed before.
- Yang was irrelevant, occasionally making obsrevations a politician never would make, but too passive to stand out: he spoke about half as long as Joe Biden, and the moderators barely noticed him.
- Steyer continued to concentrate on race-baiting and diversity virtue-signaling.
- Warren, as usual, made promises of passing sweeping laws she knows are impossible.
- Klobuchar is still playing the long game, holding her niche as closer to sane than anyone else in the field and hoping that centrist voters migrate to her once Joe Biden drops out.
- Buttigieg employs his supposed prodigious intellect to appear to take multiple sides of issues simultaneously; how anyone who can remember Bill Clinton would be fooled by his act escapes me. Chris Christie, now reduced too being a “contributor” to ABC, said after one of Pete’s answers, “My goodness, he uses more words to say nothing than anyone on that stage!”
- Sanders repeats his socialist talking points relentlessly while using “climate” like priests use “God.” I want that transcript to check the number of times he did this last night.
- Biden, as he did in the very first debate, has the stench of metaphorical death about him. Anyone serious and honest knew he wouldn’t make it from the day he announced he was running. Joe was never a viable Presidential candidate even when he was younger: too transparently dim-witted, too smarmy. Now, in addition to those features, he is enervated, washed out, seemingly on the verge of full-fledged dementia. As a group, the seven show how tragically devoid of talented aand compelling leaders of character and courage both parties are.
So this won’t be too long.
1. Bernie Sanders is often praised for his authenticity and consistency. Last night, he suddenly flipped and joined the Democrat’s anti-gun orthodoxy, with the usual Parkland kids blather about the NRA being villains and carnage in the streets. “The world has changed and my view has changed,” intoned Bernie. Yeah, what has changed is that he sniffs the nomination. Violent crime and shooting deaths have fallen precipitously; the measures he is now supporting do nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and what we are seeing now in Virginia accurately represents what Democrats would try to do nationally if they could.
2. Tom Steyer again advocated reparations for the descendants of slaves, whatever that means. This is the mark of an unserious candidate, or an idiot. Reprations are politically impossible, logically absurd, and guaranteed to make race relations worse. If there were any candidates of genuine integrity and courage on that stage, they would have said that. None did.
3. Steyer also said that Obama got “Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions.” FactCheck.org, which has been the best of the left-leaning factcheck services, said of hsi assertion, “This is a matter of dispute.” No it’s not! The deal at best put off the realization of Iran’s nuclear ambitions for 15 years, assuming they didn’t cheat on the terms of the deal with the US, and Iran always cheats. So much for FactCheck.org.
4. I have, as some remember, designated Pete Buttigieg as the prime panderer in the field as well as the most shameless asshole. For me, his signature significance statement, discussing the impeachment, that ” to be the kind of President, to be the kind of human being who would seek to turn someone against his own son, who would seek to weaponize a son against his own father, is an unbelievably dishonorable thing.”
This is one more instance of a Democrat trying to appeal to stupid people, or make people stupid enough to accept ridiculous arguments. If, as seems likely, Joe Biden responded to a conflict of interest created by his son profiting from his father’s position in the Obama Administration by choosing his son’s welfare over his duties to the nation, that’s the “unbelievably dishonorable thing,” and Buttigieg, because he is NOT stupid, knows it.
ABC, in its post debate analysis, said that Mayor Pete “handled the hunter Biden question well,” which tells you all you need to know about ABC.
5. Andrew Yang had the most ethical statemnt of the debate, when moderator Linsey Davis asked him about his past comments suggesting he would pardon President Trump, if he were convicted after leaving office. His answer,
“If you look around the world, the countries that have thrown past presidents into jail have generally been developing countries. That’s a pattern that once you establish is very hard to break. Most Americans don’t care about what a particular individual did. They care about their family’s well being, their town, their community. We should not fall onto a policy that’s been disastrous in other countries.”
6. Biden, as usual, gets the Dumbest Statement of the Night award. He snarked that Rush Limbaugh didn’t deserve a Medal of Freedom (I trust I have sufficiently debunked that statement) and that the President should have given Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, whom Trump (correctly) fired yesterday, the honor instead.
The Medal of Freedom is a civilian honor. Joe should know, since he was awarded one (and deserved it less than Limbaugh did).
ADDED: Biden’s awkward calling for a standing ovation for the sacked colonel proved a well-established law of theater: if you have to prompt an audience to applaud or stand, the results are meaningless, and often embarrassing.
14 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On The ABC Pre-New Hampshire Primary Democratic Candidates Debate”
Trump’s big mistake was, funnily enough, not being partisan enough. He should have released nearly every single one of Obama’s ambassadors and other holdovers in day one, including any military personnel known to be as partisan as Vindman was, and brought in people he trusted. Of course, Trump almost certainly didn’t know who could be trusted, or who would be best suited for the jobs, having not been in politics.
Now the snakes have already bitten, and as he fires them, they suddenly become brave patriots persecuted for their integrity, instead of employees serving at the will of the president.
Agreed. Six weeks ago Bolton was a self-serving war monger who wanted to bomb every country on the planet into oblivion. He writes a “Kiss and Tell” and suddenly he us a brave, selfless, courageous patriot concerned only about the country’s future.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend. That has been the posture of many.
But, Warren declared we need race conscious laws. She really did. Honest. Apparently, she did so rousing audience approval. Race conscious laws. She must think Jim Crow laws are bad, though, because her mother eloped with her father because his parents disapproved of her mother’s heritage. Sounds right.
ARRGH! Now I remember that, and I blacked out after vomiting. Where’s the transcript??? That was supposed to be in the post!!!
The Vindman remark really torqued me. The fact is that Vindman abused his role at the NSC by having counter discussions with Zelenski, transmitted otherwise confidential information to non NSC personnel who may or may not be the whistleblower. Those two things would be enough to have him replaced. Vindman had legitimate and honorable options if he had issues with the call but he chose to violate the chain of command. Biden is making Vindman out as a hero because Vindman was working to protect his ideological allies. Vindman has a history of self aggrandizing perspectives.
2. The issue of reparations has tied numerous candidates up in knots. Now it’s Steyer’s turn, though I think he’s a knot-head regardless. I firmly believe that reparations have already been paid. If the practice of slavery had been cut off solely by Presidential decree or Executive Order, or because the South simply decided to halt it, one could make an argument, however painful and convoluted, that financial reparations had a place at the table of discussion.
But I believe that slavery was ended with bloodshed. Those who supported slavery and secession from the Union paid dearly for it. Hundreds of thousands of Confederate soldiers died for their cause, cities were razed and burned, and their newly-formed government was terminated. And the North paid, too, with the lives of hundreds of thousands of young men who fought to save the Union and ultimately, to end slavery.
And now, 160 years later, people like Steyer (and Buttigieg, and others) say that’s not enough. They are, in effect, telling those soldiers, “Thanks for the sacrifice, but this is more about money than you getting eviscerated by cannon shot and having your body eaten by gangrene.” I’m not sure spitting on their graves is worse.
But it does get worse.
I’m sure there’s some grand plan to (eventually) make all (white only?) citizens pay something into the pot…? Uh, wait a minute…I live in a state that didn’t support slavery, didn’t allow it, and fought against it. I don’t support slavery and I don’t own slaves…never have. I’m not paying a dime. You want money, Mr. Fund Manager? You go find the descendants of slave owners in Confederate states (none of whom currently own a single slave) and take the money from them. Good luck with that…
And it gets worse…
If, like me, you believe the penalty of slavery was paid during a violent Civil War, then what are financial reparations…really? In my view, it’s nothing more than a tax. So one could make a legitimate argument that “reparations” are another way the African-American community is being preyed upon and manipulated, not to actually fix something, but for the sole purpose of dipping into the pockets of Americans. I think that’s incredibly disrespectful.
My apologies for what feels like a rant, and chew carefully before swallowing…
Joel. Great post
Thank you, Chris. This subject really frustrates me to no end. The candidates that support this seem to pander to…I don’t really know who or what…and they seem to do it with little or no sense of history.
I really wish someone that has the opportunity would call these people out right then and there with statements like that in your post.
Pelosi pulled the Charlottesville card out when she held her presser after the SOTU. For once, I would like someone to exclaim. “That’s not what he said – I have the transcript here which proves that he did not equate nazis with good people” Just once I like to hear someone get his/her cumuppence.
Speaking of things getting worse, we must now consider that some of the descendants of slaves and some of the descendants of slave owners are the same people. It wasn’t at all uncommon for slave owners to use their slaves for their own pleasure, and to sire children on them as a result.
A good way to put this in perspective is to ask anyone who favors reparations if President Obama should pay. His father was from Africa, so he is not descended from any American slaves. His mother’s side does, however, include slave-owners. If you are going to make the argument that reparations are just because the wealth generated by slaves has been inherited by the slave owners over the generations, then people like Obama are definitely the people who need to pay reparations. The weaker argument for reparations is that whites collectively are guilty for some whites buying African slaves from Arab and African slave merchants and keeping such slaves for about 200 years. Whites owning African slaves is an especially bad sin, much worse than Africans and Arabs owning African slaves, to the point that this stain has to be paid for by the descendants of all white people for eternity. Adherents of this approach should also support Obama paying reparations because he is half white and his father’s Muslim family may have been involved in the East African slave trade (Muslim’s dominated the East African slave trade for over 1300 years and his father’s town was a port heavily used by the Omani slave traders).
So, why do reparations need to be paid and what are the criteria for paying reparations?
Also, why aren’t the Democrats targeting Hispanics for reparations? They would seem much more guilty than American whites. Cuba and Puerto Rico were the last 2 places in the New World to abolish slavery.
Not a rant, but a good summary of why the idea is a punitive way to tax those who are not woke enough for something they have no responsibility for.
Getting the anti-gun cult leadership and spokesholes to admit that is like getting the Holocaust denial cult leadership and spokesholes to admit that there were gas chambers in Auschwitz.
The rank-and-file of the anti-gun cult fear the street thug and the gangbanger (with some basis in reality) and want gun control believing it will make it harder for the street thug to mug people and forthe gangbanger to murder their children.
But what do the leadership and spokesholes really want?
In a previous debate, Bernie Sanders argued that the criminal justice system is racist and broken.
Take that into consideration, and the answer is pretty fucking obvious.