I am thankful that the happenings in Las Vegas usually stay there, especially after tonight’s Democratic debate.
The debate was everything you would think it would be. There was much discussion about the horrors of climate change, the horrors of pay inequality, the horrors of gun ownership, the horrors of wealth, the horrors of paying for higher education, and the like. For the group that said it would be the “adult” version to a “childish” Republican debate, it was anything but that. The underlying theme of tonight’s debate was both placing responsibility everywhere but where it should go, and also finding precious “common ground” and singing kumbaya.
Lincoln Chafee always appeared rattled whenever it was his turn to answer a question or defend himself with a rebuttal. As a former Republican, he attempted to say he’s a “block of granite” when it comes to issues. He’s so strong that he switched parties and said the Republicans left him. His turn on the debate stage will not win him any points in the polling game. He was ineffective, seemingly nonexistent through most of it, and never really made his case.
Jim Webb. The one thing that sticks out in my mind regarding Webb? “One of these is not like the other.” Now granted, I haven’t done extensive research into his policy positions, but he said several things to which I agreed. He is a military veteran, pro-Keystone pipeline, pro-guns – when it comes to defending oneself – was the only one on stage to say that yes, all lives matter, and, of everyone, has the most common sense approach to national security. I don’t expect much gain on his part, especially with his complaints about time restraints, but still, he made an impression and stood out, and social media noticed.
Martin O’Malley is definitely a robotic, odd duck. Tonight, he really seemed to be – more than anything – auditioning for the role of Vice President. He is as liberal as they come with regards to gun control, military interventionism, climate change, college tuition, etc. And when asked about whether it was “Black Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter”, he went with the former. Because apparently, “all” is too offensive.
Bernie Sanders didn’t disappoint. And by that I mean he maintained a crumpled lunatic persona. Always eager to yell, he said that climate change (yes, climate change) was our greatest national security threat. In an age when real people and nuclear weaponry are actual threats, he went with the weather. Another point he drove home was his dislike of those who have wealth. He isn’t a fan of the 1% (which is humorous considering Hillary was standing to his left), and wants them to pay. After tonight, I suspect he will have gained more followers. These will be ones who want others to pay for them, feel instead of think, and like an outsider with a penchant for yelling.
Hillary Clinton. Of all the candidates tonight, I believe she kept ahead of the pack, gained sympathy among Democratic voters, and, dare I say, a small number in the crowd probably even grew to like her. (Not me, of course.) Once she even said that she supports the God-given potential for each child, so it’s odd that this doesn’t include their God-given (unborn) life. Although she played the gender card many times, glossed over major foreign policy issues, and leaned on Bernie Sanders for a humorous (not really) mention of emailgate, I think she most likely gained ground against everyone else on that stage. She essentially “won” the debate tonight, however disconcerting that may be. The closest one to her in the polls is Bernie Sanders, and he didn’t beat her tonight. They’ll both maintain their following, and each will probably grow.
Again, I’m not surprised by the evening. The concerns about the policy leanings of these liberal candidates remain, Hillary seems to have cemented her lead ever so slightly, Bernie looks like the insane 60s radical as always, and the other three aren’t a threat. I expect the same emotional, illogical content from future debates, too.