Verdict: Worst Candidates Debate Ever, Part III: “Oh, The Hypocrisy!”

OK, it’s not exactly on point, but this is my favorite meme, and I hadn’t used it this year….

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. Continue reading

Verdict: Worst Candidates Debate Ever, Part II: Everything Is Terrible!

  • The most publicized statement during the debate that has been described as horrifying by conservative pundits was this one, by Joe Biden, after he was asked, “As president, would you be willing to sacrifice some of that growth, even knowing potentially that it could displace thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of blue-collar workers, in the interest of transitioning to that greener economy?'”

Biden answered immediately, “The answer is yes.”

“Displace,” of course, is a euphemism for “put out of work.” The relative nonchalance with which Biden, who is supposed to be the practical, sensible candidate, immediately said he was willing to disrupt hundreds of thousands of middle class lives in order to “transition” to “that greener economy,” whatever that means, reveals Biden as a first-rate panderer. He has also endorsed the ridiculous “Green New Deal,” which also means nothing.

  • The climate chance section of the debate was an ethics trap for several of the candidates. Amy Klobuchar, who was generally praised for her performance, said,

“And the problem right now is that this climate change is an existential crisis. And you are seeing it here in California with the fires that you just had. You saw it in Northern California, as was mentioned with Paradise. And the most moving video from that to me was the 30-second video of that dad driving his little girl through the lapping fires with his neighborhood burning behind him and singing to her to calm her down.”

Every time one of the candidates uses doomsday rhetoric regarding climate change, he or she is laying the foundation for government control, and totalitarian measures. Rep. Octavio-Cortez’s political Svengali admitted as much, and had to be fired for his candor. A candidate who says climate change is an existential crisis and then follows that hysterical assessment  with stating that the California wildfires are proof has told us that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, but is pretending she does. Then she pivots to a single “moving” video, as if it proves anything at all. Message: I’m talking to emotion-driven ignoramuses now. I’m betting there’s enough of them.

Then Amy kow-towed to the Green New Deal too, endorsing draconian regulations, including the mind0blowingly expensive “upgrading” of existing buildings. I did like the transcript’s typo that quoted her as wanting to build a “fridge to the next century.” Now there’s a solution for global warming. But I’m pretty sure she said “bridge.” Continue reading

Ethics Observations On The Second Democratic Candidates Debate, Part I

Debate

[The transcript is here]

1. Before the debate even started, Mediaite posted an article (here)  about how the Democratic National Committee appears to be intentionally scheduling what few debates it is allowing to guarantee as low a viewership as possible. The logic. of course, is to minimize the opportunities for Hillary Clinton to make a gaffe or have to answer an uncomfortable question with too many people watching.

It is impossible to prove this short of an intercepted e-mail with the smoking gun words, but it’s a compelling theory. Why else, Joe Concha asks, would the DNC schedule all debates on weekends, especially when Saturday is the least watched TV night—by far—of the week? Why would last night’s debate, the last before the Iowa Caucus, be scheduled against the TV broadcast of the undefeated University of Iowa football team as they take on Big-10 rival Minnesota? (For those few Democrats in Iowa who don’t root for the local college, there’s the Oklahoma-Baylor game on ABC, one of the premier games of the college football season.)

[Personally, I don’t watch young college men in the process of giving themselves concussions and brain damage, or cheer for schools that warp their budgets by spending and making obscene amount of money on sports played by  students in name only while positioning them to extort administrators when campus activist pull their strings, like in the University of Missouri. But that’s just me.]

The next debate takes place on Sunday, January 17th on PBS in Charleston, S.C. Aside from the fact that choosing the little-watched PBS already guarantees a reduced audience, that debate will compete with the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.

2. John Dickerson, the new host of Face The Nation and the moderator last night, was also criticized in advance of the debate for being a hand-picked Democratic partisan. Of course, the odds are that any broadcast journalist would be ( a study released last week showed that 93% of journalists are Democrat/progressive, leaving Independents and Republicans to split the remaining 7%) but only Dickerson authored a red-meat anti-Republican screed for Slate earlier in the Obama Administration  with the memorable lines,

Go for the Throat! [I] f he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party…

Fears that Dickerson would lob nothing but softballs at his fellow Democrats proved to be unfounded, however, to his credit.  In fact, a high percentage of his questions were CNBC-style accusations or “when did you stop beating your wife?” queries  (NOT to his credit) like this one to Martin O’Malley:

“Is the world too dangerous a place for a Governor who has no foreign policy experience?”

What’s the answer? “No, it’s not too dangerous a place…” or “Yes, it’s too dangerous for an amateur like me…”? That’s an unprofessional, unfair question, and everything Ethics Alarms said about the CNBC moderators applies to Dickerson. O’Malley just ducked the question and talked about something else, which is the only alternative to a Ted Cruz, “You know, you guys are shameless hacks” response. I much prefer the latter. Continue reading