Image via DonkeyHotey and Flickr Creative Commons image ID 22828877211_69f6a5160a_o
Last night, largely unnoticed and unremarked, the Democrat candidates held a closely managed “townhall” meeting at Drake University in Iowa. CNN was the chosen network. As we’ve seen time and again, where the moderators at the GOP debates go to extremes to try to provoke one-on-one arguments between candidates, the Democrat debates are carefully controlled to ensure that Hillary Clinton is protected.

The only things of interest to come out of this “townhall” had nothing to do with policy.

The audience was rehearsed on how to applaud.

Admittedly, this can be hard. It requires hand-eye coordination. And it requires you to fake caring. One can sympathize with the audience having to master these two tasks at the same time.

Where the townhall was portrayed a random questions asked by random questioners, it became quite clear that the questions were scripted by the production staff. How do we know this? Because it was captured on video:

Transcript

MODERATOR: Brett Rosengren, he’s from Logan, Iowa, he’s going to school, works as a supervisor for a janitorial company, says he’s “undecided”, has a question.

HILLARY: Great

ROSENGREN: Secretary San… Clinton, sorry, I can see why they gave you this question. I just wanted to know which of our previous presidents as inspired you most and why

MODERATOR: You can only pick one.

AUDIENCE: har har

MODERATOR: One

AUDIENCE: har har

MODERATOR: you can pick

AUDIENCE: har har

MODERATOR: Sorry, let me jump your question. One president. One.

HILLARY: Okay

MODERATOR: Just one

AUDIENCE: har har

AUDIENCE: trained applause

HILLARY: Okay. Sorry, President Obama. Sorry, Bill. Abraham Lincoln.

AUDIENCE: trained applause

MODERATOR: Ohhhh

AUDIENCE: trained applause

HILLARY: Abraham Lincoln

Of course, Hillary picked Abraham Lincoln because he is most famous for having a beard. [rimshot]

And if you can watch that clip and not have this roaming around in your mind, you have more discipline than I do

This is how the Democrats operate in general and how this election cycle is unfolding in particular. The primary contest is a Potemkin race designed to give Hillary the nomination while giving the illusion of an actual race.