I didn’t see the whole thing. Was putting kids to bed and stuff. But I did catch most of it. It was about what I expected: promises of big spending, dodges about scandals, evasion of responsibility, bashing of Republicans. To listen to the Democrats talk, you wouldn’t think Barack Obama had been President for the last seven years.
I do think they scored a few points but not enough to persuade me to vote for any of them. Frankly, sitting here just half an hour of debate, I’m having trouble remembering what they’re running on, other than Republicans Be Bad. Paid maternity leave, possibly. Criminal justice reform, maybe. More money poured into the sinkhole of higher education. Higher taxes. They are against global warming, although they don’t seem to know what to do about it. Sanders is the only one with a coherent agenda and his agenda is pretty appalling ($18 trillion in new spending).
A review of the candidates:
Jim Webb seemed out of place, a throwback to the time when the Democrats had a conservative wing. He made some good points, especially about how he’s been leading the charge on criminal justice reform. But he really doesn’t have a place in the current Democratic party.
I’m having trouble figuring out why Lincoln Chafee was even there. Technically, he’s a candidate, I guess. But my cat would probably poll better.
Martin O’Malley, or whatever android replacement they sent up there for him, reminded me of why I disliked him as mayor when he lived in Baltimore and disliked him more when he was governor. O’Malley’s record is simply terrible. He hiked taxes through the roof and left the state with a budget in shambles. He passed gun control and the city just exploded. O’Malley is the answer to every idea the Democrats have. In Maryland, he got to do everything he wanted. And the place is a wreck. And … he thinks this would make him a good President.
I kind of like Bernie Sanders. But then again, I always like people who are genuine. Sanders is the only one up there who will admit what he wants: socialized medicine, massive expansion of Social Security, vast amounts of new spending and massive tax hikes. He’s actually good on issues of drugs, civil liberties, avoiding wars and criminal justice. He was also the only one on stage talking sense about guns. I almost hope he wins the nomination. The Republicans would easily block almost everything he wants to do and he’d block the worst of what they want to do. And a Sanders candidacy would basically guarantee a Republican majority in the foreseeable future.
Hillary Clinton reminded me of why I could never vote for her. She had a very revealing comment that I’m sure the GOP will capitalize on. When asked how her Administration would be different to Obama’s, she basically said she’d be a woman. It really does come down to that for her: it’s her turn. She was denied by that uppity Obama in 2008 and that’s not happening again. She was petty, especially at the end when she was listing her enemies. She proclaimed Libya as a success. She dismissed the e-mail scandal as partisan politics (helped a lot by Kevin McCarthy shooting himself in the foot last week). Everything reminded me of why I really hope she’s not the nominee. Because it will be an ugly campaign.
Anyway, I don’t expect this will change the polls at all. O’Malley might get a little more attention, but this is still Clinton’s nomination to lose. Gun to my head, I’d probably vote for Jim Webb. But if came down to Clinton versus Sanders … well, I’ll take the honest socialist against the dishonest one.