Election 2016: Democrats assem…. zzzzz

Well, that was needlessly painful. I don’t what your political views are, but you have to admit the Republican debates are far more entertaining. Last night was boring. The only entertaining part, (aside from Bernie “the Scream” Sanders complaining Hillary Clinton was shouting too much) was CNN had Don Lemon ask the question about African-American issues and Juan Carlos asked about Latino issues to the Whiter-than-White Democratic field. I kept waiting for Turd Furgeson to appear and ask the panel a question that affects poor whites. Perhaps Yakov Smirnov should have been on hand to ask about the “reset” of US/Russian relations.

Only the policy side, it’s clear the party of Jefferson and Jackson is now the party of Marx and Engel. All of the candidates (even Jim Webb) were all trying to out do one another with how much “free stuff” they could give away and how much control they intended to give the government over the lives of American Citizens. And it’s also clear that Democrats have gone full Animal Farm: All Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter More. 

So, what did we learn about the candidates? Not much that we didn’t already know, but let’s take a look at them:

Hillary Clinton:

Twenty years ago, the late, great William Safire called Hillary Clinton “a congenital liar” And there was nothing in last night’s debate that altered that fact. She is still lying about the private, unauthorized email server. Or, take for instance the Trans-Pacific Pact (TPP), the massive trade agreement the US and many Pacific Rim nations just finished negotiations. When Clinton was Secretary of State, she promoted TPP and set the groundwork for its negotiations. Last week, she announced she opposed the deal and said during the debate, the finished agreement was flawed. Here’s the problem: The document has not been released for public consumption. How would HIllary know what the details of the agreement are? She couldn’t. She simply switched her position. Being Pro-TPP is no longer in vogue for the Democratic base. Hillary simply alters her position to what is the most advantageous. She will say anything to anyone to get elected.

It was also interesting to see she considers Republicans as her enemies. Nothing says “I’m a progressive who can get things done” like

Bernie Sanders:

He’s a socialist who hates capitalism. Everything in that statement is not only true, but Sanders has actually said those sentiments. He has proposed Eighteen Trillion Dollars ($18,000,000,000,000.00) in new spending. That’s above what the government spends now. We can’t even pay for what we spend now. Even if you raised taxes to 100%, you still could not afford to pay for all of Sanders’s programs. As far as I can tell, the only thing Sanders doesn’t want to tax are bad haircuts and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Sanders is the old guy you get stuck sitting next to on the bus or the train and he spends the entire time ranting about this and that. He is Abe Simpson in the flesh.

Martin O’Malley:

The basis for the Tommy Carcetti on the Wire. He had talked tough about Clinton’s email scandals until last night. After Sanders complained people were spending too much time on it and the crowd lapped it up, he went Tim Pawlenty and didn’t make an issue of it. He was a non-factor entering the debate and leaves the same way.

Lincoln Chafee

The man introduced his Presidential Campaign by promising to get us on the metric system. Last night he admitted he voted to repeal Glass-Segal because he didn’t understand what it was about and just voted that way because everyone else did. He’s the Jim Gilmore/George Pataki of the Democratic Party: He’s running for President and not even his family can say why.

Jim Webb

First of all Jim Webb is the only candidate, on either side of the aisle, who is has actually killed a man. That man was the one Webb identified as his biggest enemy. Webb’s a throwback to the Democratic Party pre George McGovern. Which means no matter what he said last night, he has zero chance of winning.

***

There was one candidate not at the debate, Lawrence Lessig. The man is running on a platform that is inherently unconstitutional. He’s not a serious candidate and there was no reason for CNN to invite him.

The other person not at the debate  was Joe Biden. The VP was the elephant (not) in the room. He may be running or he may not. He could be the only serious challenge to the Clinton nomination, but I don’t think he wants to run. I know that before he died this summer, Beau Biden, the Vice-President’s son, encourage Joe to run. But I don’t think the Vice-President’s heart is in it. And if you don’t have the fire, don’t run.

There are three more Democratic debates, all scheduled for times when no one will be watching, maximizing Clinton’s chances of securing the nomination. And unless she is seen field stripping an assault weapon while eating a Chic-Fil-A sandwich, she will be the candidate for the Democratic Party. But there is enough uncertainty amongst the Democrats that make you wonder if Sanders may not ultimately be their standard bearer.

I truly believe the most interesting General Election match-up would be Rand Paul versus Jim Webb. In some ways it would be a throwback to the elections of the 1950s and 1960s. It would be based more on issues and less on personalities. It’s not going to happen. I fear we are going to get a Trump versus Sanders match-up where the theme of the election will be Fear and looking back.

One final thought: 15 million people tuned in to watch the snooze fest. That smashed the previous record of 10 million who watched Obama and Clinton in ‘08. 23 million watched the last GOP debate. A lot of people are paying attention. And they’re paying attention a lot earlier in the campaign cycle. It is far too early to tell if this is just a one time deal or if this is heralding a new paradigm shift in American Politics. But clearly something is different is happening.

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