The showdown was supposed to be Sanders’ last stand, with his sole hope of stopping the Biden surge being to dazzle viewers and show Slow Joe to be too far gone to be a viable candidate. Sanders didn’t do that; he didn’t even come close. The major ethics takeaway is that this time, at least, Joe Biden did not appear especially more addled than Vice President Joe did, in marked contrast to his quickly aborted cyber-town meeting, in which he often seemed confused and at one point wandered out of camera range. I know that it seems pathetic to make “not looking senile” an accomplishment in a debate to determine who should be President, but that’s the corner the Democratic Party painted itself into.
- Sanders says the same thing over and over again, indeed the same things he said in his debates with Hillary Clinton. To some extent clearing the stage of the flotsam and jetsam candidates just exposes the formulaic and rote nature of his candidacy.
I don’t understand how anyone sentient could seriously support this man for any elected office. With the kids I could understand it, but I know lawyers in their forties without closed head injuries who are Bernie Bros. It’s inconceivable.
- Conservative pundits were slamming CNN for not confronting Biden about his fantasy meeting with Nelson Mandela, which was exposed since the last debate. It isn’t the news media’s job to come up with gotchas!…where was Sanders? As with his debates with Hillary in which he adamantly refused to raise her email deceptions, Sanders seems to be less interested in winning than in making his various Marxist talking points. It’s peculiar. It’s also a betrayal of those passionate, if deluded, young supporters who have worked so hard for him.
Why doesn’t Bernie mention Biden’s groping and sniffing problem? Same thing.
- Sanders continues to let his inner totalitarian creep out from the murk into the daylight. No, Senator, we can’t lock up energy executives for “lying” about the effects of their products on climate change, just as we couldn’t prosecute banking executives for “illegal” activities (according to Sanders) and “income inequality” after the 2008 financial collapse.Sanders also doesn’t comprehend the concepts of “nation” and “society,” and his reflex class warfare rhetoric is calculated to divide while undermining both critical concepts.
“Our job right now is to tell every working person in this country, no matter what your income is, you are not going to suffer as a result of this crisis of which you had no control,” he said. An unethical quote, and outrageously so. In a nation, in a society, we agree to share the benefits when our society succeeds, and the consequences when our society fails. Accepting that responsibility is part of the social compact, and must be. Sanders, and to a lesser but significant extent his temporary party, is trying to rewrite that crucial concept, without which, quite simply, society doesn’t work.
- In his response to Sanders’ complaining about the 2008 bailout, Biden issued his most articulate section of teh debate, and also the strongest evidence that the gerbils in the wheel of his mind were not dead yet:
Biden Had those banks all gone under, all those people Bernie says he cares about would be in deep trouble. Deep, deep trouble. All those little folks, we would have gone out of business. They would find themselves in position where they would lose everything they had in that bank, whether it was $10 or $300 or a savings account. This was about saving an economy. And it did save the economy. And the banks paid back. And they paid back with interest…. Look, the fact of the matter is that if, in fact, the banks had all been — gone under, we would be in a great depression. We would have not — how do you get out of that? Now Bernie is saying that I guess he’s going to do a wealth tax or something, that the top 1 percent could pay for everything. And they should pay for everything that occurred. We were talking about tens and hundreds of billions of dollars. That’s what this was about. And the fact was that it saved the economy from going into a depression. After we passed the Recovery Act, which I was the one that went out and got the three votes to get it changed, that had $900 billion in it and was the thing that kept us from going into a great depression.
- Biden officially committed to choosing a female Vice-Presidential candidate. I’m sure that makes feminists happy, but it’s a per se unethical promise, as was his similar pandering about naming a black female judge to the Supreme Court. You can’t deny both are down the middle of the alley expressions of progressive and Democratic priorities today and te affirmative action fallacy, but still: the only ethical approach to both matters is to promise to try to find the most qualified individuals to fill the jobs, regardless of color or chromosomes. By saying that he will only consider women as his running mate, Biden is literally saying that gender is the single most important factor in choosing a potential President. If that’s true, why was he on the stage?
All the women who ran for the office were found lacking by Democratic voters; why should they be made the President-in-waiting for an elderly, failing candidate?
- Surprisingly coherent though it may have been, Biden’s embracing the extreme positions of the Democratic base was irresponsible. He pledged a 100-day ban on deportations, a clear call for de facto open borders. he said that local police should not turn over illegal immigrants to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, a sop to sanctuary cities.
Biden’s sole claim to the nomination and his main appeal is that he’s electable. The more radical he tilts to get past Sanders, the less electable he becomes.
- Conservatives have been gleefully sending around “Grunpy Old Men” memes and Statler and Waldorf jokes. They should cool it. Ageism is still a form of bigotry, and an especially harmful one. (See: “Death of a Salesman”) It is one thing to make the point that the Presidency is a killing job for much younger men, and installing septuagenarians is a risky bet. It is quite another to ridicule seniors as inherently comical and inferior.