The US had the second round of the second Democratic presidential debate last night. Hosted on CNN, there was a clear intent to the proceedings namely; to have the candidates fight each other in a vicious battle royale. The moderators for the debate would routinely ask a question of a candidate’s policy, cut them off curtly and then move to another candidate to respond. For example, the night began with Kamala Harris’ health care policy and then first to deliver a response was Joe Biden. The debate structure did not look unlike an unceasing game of who could cut the legs out from under whom.
The moderators also seemed particularly interested in how these policy proposals would actually work. And as someone pointed out, this only seems to have happened with the Democratic candidates. No one ever bothered to actually ask how something was going to work before, apparently. Who knows, maybe if in the 2016 GOP clown car someone had actually asked Trump to go into the specifics, the dude would’ve flamed out and we wouldn’t be in this mess.
All in all, the two leading candidates had a bumpy night. Kamala Harris seemed mostly on the defensive, standing by her record while also notably evading questions. Biden was attacked from all sides, but he did that to himself. His attempts to be a little more bullish proved to be something of a mixed bag. He repeatedly misstated the supposed cost of some of the other candidates’ healthcare plans, anywhere from $3 trillion to $30 trillion. He tried to go in on Corey Booker’s record as Mayor of Newark and Booker was absolutely prepared for it. Biden came off at times confused and at other times lacking any sort of self-awareness.
Booker, Castro, Gillibrand, and Insley had a strong showing. Senator Gillibrand walked away with the line of the night, saying her first act would be to Clorox the Oval Office. Didn’t have much to do with anything but was a good reminder that amongst all this infighting was the Dark Psychic Force that is still President. Booker stood tough on his record and he called for more accountability from our police. Julian Castro had strong measured remarks, particularly concerning immigration that makes me think that in a less grim, dystopian world he’d be a frontrunner right now. Jay Insley was very passionate about climate change and how we’d have to completely restructure how our government works to approach it. He’s right. And it’s a shame that mentality isn’t in more of the minds of the candidates.
Andrew Yang warned us of the robot apocalypse and that a $1000 stipend from the government will save us. He also thinks we should head for the high ground because of the rising sea levels. How that would actually work and have people on board with it was not explained.
And Bill DeBlasio and Michael Bennet were also onstage.
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