SocraticGadfly: #DemDebate rapid reactions

April 15, 2016

#DemDebate rapid reactions

Here's my quick takedown on last night's Democratic Debate. The editorial cartoon, with my Photoshopped writing over it, expresses how I feel about the foreign policy portion outside of the Middle East.

And no, Bernie will never bring up the Honduras coup.

That said, on to the debate.


Bernie at least stopped the bleeding on this issue. And, had the forthrightness to correctly say he owed no apology to Sandy Hook parents. In addition, as far as the gun liability issue, people don't sue Ford over fatal car wrecks, as a Twitter friend pointed out. That said, Ford doesn't have liability immunity.

Update: In case it wasn't clear, I was NOT talking about Pinto-type actions, or Takata airbag-type actions. I was talking about everyday wrecks.

However, Hillary was wrong on one thing. This is NOT unique. Big Pharma has liability immunity over vaccines, which go to a vaccine court. Smaller, similar versions are true for some other agencies acting in loco res publicae.

But, Bernie didn't do more than stanch the bleeding. He still has his anti-Brady Bill votes and his support of loaded guns in National Parks in his past. (Disgustingly, half of Senate Dems supported the latter.)

Health care:

Bernie scores points for mentioning Canada. Hillary? Nothing than the old lines about how well Obamacare has done, when it actually hasn't.


Hillary simply screwed the pooch for repeatedly not giving a straight yes or no answer to raising the cap on income subject to FICA tax. And Bernie did push her.

CNN debate conducting:

As for funding this, and other changes he proposes, CNN scores a pants on fire F-minus, though Politifact would never give that to a fellow media member, for saying the "bipartisan" Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said this would cause a $28 trillion deficit. CRFB is only bipartisan in the most technical sense of the word. It's really a part of the Pete Peterson empire, pushing for gutting entitlements for years. (Bernie should have called this out.)

One of CNN's talking anuses, Dana Bash later asked the "are you a Democrat" question. Of course he is; stop the bullshit.

Seriously, it's possible that CNN sucked worse than Clinton.

Of course, it's overrun by Peter Principle exemplars. Take Bash. She used to be married to John King; most likely that's how she got her job.

Middle East:

Hillary should just go be Bibi Netanyahu's chief of staff or something. Enough said.

Bernie gave an answer that was near the left edge of the bipartisan foreign policy establishment, nothing more. Hillary could barely even mention the word "Palestinian."

Of course, given that the NY Daily News doubled down on Zionism before endorsing Clinton, this is not surprising.

Other foreign policy:

See cartoon. Bernie had fewer chances of interjecting Honduras (or Ukraine) than in the past. But he had chances. That said, he is a Democrat, and too good a Democrat to mention Honduras, and I believe he supports the semi-coup in Ukraine that led to our current clusterfucks with Russia. (Sigh)

So, Sandernistas, including the one that Brains retweeted on Twitter? Get over it. Ain't gonna happen. That ship never did sail, and never will.

You're welcome to follow Plan B into the Green Party if Sanders loses. Or even to consider it if he wins, which I expect to do here in Texas, and likely would do in "competitive" states as well.

Style points, Bernie:

Bernie showed much more overall integrity. That said, he should have extended his talk lines longer, given that CNN wasn't doing much to cut off Hillary earlier.

Otherwise, per CNN's postmortem, Bernie should have brought up the Clinton Foundation and tied it to her, as far as whether her speech money had bought any benefits, or said that they were paying for that expecting her to be president.

He simply should have been more prepared for the guns issue, even while maintaining integrity.

He also needs to give his wife, Jane, a kick in the tuchis on tax returns. (That said, [and it's an expression, folks, don't flame me with PC gasoline] I suspect she "wears the pants in the family" as much as Hillary does at Chez Clinton.)

And, Bernie's integrity isn't perfect. I think he was, at one time, a partial panderer to the NRA, like some other Dems — albeit more liberal than the likes of Joe Manchin on many other issues. And, I have no doubt he's a panderer to Big Ag-type dairy farms and dairy foods companies.

Style points, Hillary:

Knowing the debate was in New York, she pushed guns and Zionism. That said, I don't think the latter appeals to younger Jewish voters in New York. She did nothing to move the needle, otherwise, except for people already in her camp. And, her "la, la, la" runoff of the states she's already won? She sounded about like a 17-year-old Goldwater girl.

So, overall, it turned out about like I expected in advance. (Other than not knowing CNN would hit new levels of suckitude.)

Overall? I'd call Bernie a modest-to-moderate winner.

Vox, meanwhile says he was a clear winner, Hillary was a clear loser, and that the Slicker's New Democrats and tech neolibs were also big losers.


First, which I missed last night before the debate, I am totally unsurprised that Sanders has suspended his Jewish outreach staffer. He shouldn't have, unless it was purely for vulgarities in language, but, I'm not surprised, per what I said above about Zionism. That link and more comes from Brains' wrapup, worth a read itself.

Second, per it, per my gut instincts and more, I think most younger Jews in New York (and elsewhere) care about as much about Zionism as third-generation Cuban-Americans really care about Fidel Castro. So, Bernie, good on being strong (for the bipartisan foreign policy establishment) last night; not so good on suspending Zimmerman.

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