The contenders for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States were featured in a two night televised event last week.
The Democrats running for the Presidency are: Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker, Julian Castro, Bill DeBlasio, Beto o”Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Insell, Amy Klobuchar, Tim Ryan, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Kristi Gillibrand, Michael Bennett, Marianne Williamson, Eric Swalwell, Andrew Yang and John Hickenlooper.
The reason it took two nights is because there are twenty of them. That’s about sixteen too many for people to keep up with.
This was the country’s first introduction to some of them and allowed us to put faces with names.
Because there are so many of them, they had to try to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. Unfortunately, the only way to do that was yell out their policy ideas while moderators tried to maintain control. And there was lots of that nonsense.
Elizabeth Warren called for deconsolidation of large companies and described school violence as a national health emergency while O’Rourke called for implementation of “red flag” laws that would identify individuals who pose a threat to themselves and others.
Booker and Castro sparred over immigration and paths to citizenship and Tim Ryan said crossing the border illegally should be a civil matter, not a criminal offense. Inslee called for expanding sanctuary laws.
However, O’Rourke couldn’t answer a basic question about marginal tax rates and Gabbard appeared to have trouble keeping up with the dialogue at all.
During the second night of debates Kamala Harris took a shot at Joe Biden and hit her mark.
Harris said while she does not believe Biden is a racist, his decades old comments expressing opposition to the federal government’s mandatory school busing as a way to desegregate public schools was hurtful. She said she was one of those children on the bus.
Biden says Harris mischaracterized his record on race, but sounded out of touch with his comments and ideas.
Swalwell took a swipe at Biden’s age, saying “it was time to pass the torch to a new generation.”
Poor old Bernie Sanders brought out the same material he used in 2016. Someone should remind him it didn’t work then and won’t work now.
Sanders called healthcare a “human right” and wants to make Medicare for all the law. He also thinks Supreme Court justices should be rotated to bring in new blood.
Andrew Yang has a plan to institute a “Freedom Dividend,” that would give every American $1,000 per month.
Crazy ideas like free college tuition, medicare for all and health coverage for undocumented immigrants had Republicans rolling with laughter. Mainly because there was no mention of how to pay for any of those brilliant ideas.
Author Marianne Williamson, one of the unknowns running made quite an impression with some of her comments.
Williamson said her opponents were too focused on policy rather than good slogans such as Trump’s “make America great again.” She says that’s the key to winning. Williamson also promised to “harness love” and “bring it to a field to duel Trump, where love will win.”
She told the other candidates that “if they think they are going to beat Trump by just having all these plans, they have another think coming because he didn’t win by saying he had a plan.”
She is so right.
These candidates needed some debate prep. What you do is ask a foreign power to investigate your opponent, throw around a few unfounded allegations, claim everything written about you is fake news, insult anyone who dares to question you, pay off a porn actress, agree to lock up some migrant children and you might get in the game. The bar is so low now it won’t be hard to get there.
One GOP strategist was so impressed with Williamson’s performance, he sent out a notice to his 16,000 followers asking Republicans to donate to “keep this vibrant Democrat on the debate stage.”
The second night of the debate shattered viewership records.
That is good news and bad news for voters. It’s good news because it shows people are interested in the election but bad news because of what they witnessed.
The very best news is that qualifying for future debates requires a certain level of fund raising and support.
If there was any doubt about the lack of qualifications of some of these candidates, it should be cleared up now.
I’m thinking a debate between Williamson and Trump could be very entertaining and one for the history books.