And the winner is….? See below.
The first set of debates among the various Dem candidates is history. I tried to sit through all four hours of it. I really did. Normally, I have a strong interest in politics, but this was too much. I can’t imagine the prospect of being subjected to nine more of these. If you managed to sit through all four hours without falling asleep you win a gold star.
The first debate was particularly boring, and the participants, other than Warren, were irrelevant. The second night was entertaining in spots, but much of what was said was the same old far left wing rhetoric we have been hearing for months, regarding issues such as open borders, tax increase on the rich, including a wealth tax, reparations, free healthcare, college and pre-k, voting for felons while in prison, and unrestricted abortions (including late term and post-term) paid for with federal funds.
Each candidate was trying to outdo the others. Some of the proposals were absurd. I can’t believe any sane person would propose them. I can’t believe none of the moderators challenged them. I don’t know who the candidates thought their constituency was. In my opinion, it was a very smaIl segment of the population – the media and the “tweeters” – most of whom live in the NY-DC-LA bubble. I don’t believe many, if any, moderate Dems would support them. How the eventual nominee will be able to win a general election running on these policies is beyond me.
For example, tell me, would you be in favor of paying for illegal immigrants’ full healthcare when you can barely pay for your own? Do you want to give up your healthcare plan in favor of Medicare for all? Do you want your taxes raised to pay for free college, pre-K, reparations, and a myriad of other goodies? Do you realize what the combination of open borders and all these and other giveaways means? Can you guess where the trillions of dollars will come from to pay for all of this? I’ll tell you. There are not nearly enough “rich” people to begin to pay for all of it. Just look in the mirror.
1. As I predicted, Biden did not perform well at all. He came across as weak, old, out of touch, and indecisive. I actually felt a little sorry for him. I think he is a decent man, but it seems that time has passed him by. He was repeatedly taken to task on issues by Harris, who smelled blood in the water and took full advantage. She scored big on criticisms of Biden’s record on race and school desegregation. Regarding busing, why didn’t he put Harris in her place by pointing out that busing was a failed program of the 70s and 80s that, according to Gallup polls taken at the time, some 90%, including AAs, opposed.
He allowed other candidates to interrupt his answers, and on more than one occasion he voluntarily stopped his answer stating “my time is up.” In short, he was not the least bit “presidential.” Rather, he looked old, tired, desultory, and out of touch. As sports analyst Walt (Clyde) Frazier might say, Biden was “fumbling, stumbling and bumbling” trying to defend his record. The results of a poll by Morning Consult reflected his subpar performance. According to it, 41% of likely voters supported him before the debates and only 31% afterward.
Biden’s poor evaluation was echoed by many commentators. For example, David Gergen, long-time political analyst at CNN, pointed out he seemed “slow in processing questions, and he spent more time defending his past than envisioning a future.”
2. The moderators did a terrible job of running the debate. Most of their questions were “softballs;” they rarely challenged the candidates’ answers; and rarely asked follow-up questions.
3. All too often, they permitted candidates to interrupt, which turned the debate into a free-for-all. At times, two or three were even speaking at the same time over each other.
4. They did a poor job of equalizing the time for each candidate. As a result, aggressive speakers such as Harris and Sanders, got a lot of time, and others, such Gabbart and Chang got very little.
5. The candidates continued their race to the left. Just when you thought they could not be more radical they came up with a new one. A few of them advocated free healthcare for all illegal immigrants, plus decriminalizing the fact that they had entered the country illegally. That’s right. To them, illegals who entered the country in violation of our immigration laws that Congress passed and past presidents signed into law would be guilty of a civil offense, not a criminal one. They would then be entitled to various benefits, including free healthcare. Do you get free healthcare?
6. In my view, Harris was the big winner. Mark McKinnon, writing for CNN, characterized her as “poised, poignant, and punchy, with the confidence of a chief executive.” He added, she “brought the fireworks, while Biden fizzled.” As I discussed above, she attacked Biden repeatedly all night, and he failed to stand up to her. Moreover, she had, perhaps, the best line of the night. During one of the many “talkovers” she admonished everyone that “America doesn’t want a food fight. They want to know how to put food on the table.”
Most other commentators concurred. Paul Reyes, a contributor for “USA Today,” anointed her the “evening’s star.” Bakari Sellers, a CNN contributor, said she “stole the show” and was “the clear adult in the room.” Paul Begala, Democratic strategist and CNN contributor, said she was “controlled and forceful.” If time and space allowed I could give many more similar examples. Suffice to say, if Harris keeps this up she could very well supplant Biden as the front runner.
We can debate who the big winners and losers were, but, in my opinion the hands-down winner was Donald Trump. How can that be, you say? He didn’t even participate. In fact, he was half a world away in Japan at the G-20 Summit. Read on and you will see.
My opinion is based on the observation that all the candidates have continued to move far to the left in response to a misguided perception that that is where the votes are. Don’t just take my word for it. Listen to the following normally Dem supporters/apologists:
1. NBC news anointed Trump the winner, even though he didn’t participate.
2. The front page of the “NY Post,” in its inimitable style, showed a picture of the candidates raising their hands, which they did from time to time in response to a moderator’s question, with the caption, “who wants to lose the election?”
3. David Brooks stated that the Dems “have moved so far to the left they are unelectable.”
4. Joe Scarborough (“Morning Joe”) was even more blunt, opining “last night was a disaster for the Dem Party.”
Like I opined in a previous blog the Dem candidates have moved the party so far to the left the eventual nominee will need a GPS to get back to the center where, as we all know, elections are won. The good news is there is a long way to go – nine more debates and all the primaries. As President Trump is fond of saying, “we’ll see what happens.”