Time once again to tackle the Bernie-Biden debate. So far, we’ve seen them try to out-pander each other with big-government solutions for nationalized healthcare, green energy boondoggles, and other mad promises. I guess this is what the Democrat Party has been reduced to: pandering socialists, identity politics, and cultural Marxism. President Trump has done the country an enormous service by exposing the Democrat Party as nothing more than a party of socialists that is no different than the socialist parties in Europe and Latin America. And Bernie proudly declares his socialism while Biden practices the “stealth variety and won’t admit what he really is. Parts I, II, III, IV, and V of my analysis and commentary can be found here.

The debate topic shifted next to foreign policy. Ilia Calderón, the Univision moderator, attempted to smoke out Bernie on his past praise for Fidel Castro: Let’s move now to foreign policy. Senator Sanders, there are about 1.5 million Cuban Americans living in Florida right now. Why would they vote for you when they hear you praise a program of Fidel Castro, a dictator who jailed, tortured, and killed thousands of Cubans.

Bernie responded: I have opposed or authoritarianism, whether it’s in Cuba, whether it’s in Saudi Arabia, whether it’s in China or whether it is in Russia. That is my life record. I believe unlike the president of the United States, in democracy, not authoritarianism in Cuba or any place else. What I believe right now in this world is that we are faced with a global crisis and a movement toward authoritarianism. That’s what Putin in Russia is leading, that’s what MBS in Saudi Arabia is leading. And as president of the United States, unlike Donald Trump, I will put the flag down and say that in this country and in this world, we have got a move toward democracy and human rights. That is my view and has always been my view.

Me: A complete non-answer, of course, because Bernie knows full well that there are a number of Youtube videos in circulation that show him gushing with praise for Fidel Castro’s tyrannical regime. He also defended his past praise of Castro’s “literacy programs” in an extensive interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes news program, as noted here. The notion that Bernie as president would somehow “confront” authoritarian leaders is completely absurd, as he has been an admirer of theirs throughout his entire political career. Bernie pushing “democracy and human rights” is about as realistic as Xi Jinping doing the same thing.

Calderón knew that she had Bernie on the ropes and asked a good follow-up question: To be clear, Senator Sanders, Cuba has been a dictatorship for decades. Shouldn’t we judge dictators by the violation of human rights and not by any of their alleged achievements?

Bernie responded: Well, I think you can make the same point about China. China is undoubtedly an authoritarian society. Okay? But would anybody deny, any economists deny that extreme poverty in China today is much less than what it was 40 or 50 years ago? That’s a fact. So I think we condemn authoritarianism, whether it’s in China, Russia, Cuba, any place else. But to simply say that nothing ever done by any of those administrations had a positive impact on their people, would I think be incorrect.

Me: Bernie can’t help but excuse authoritarian regimes because it’s in his nature. He didn’t condemn the Castro regime, and he topic-shifted into praising Communist China! The notion that he “condemns authoritarianism” is a bald-faced lie.

Calderón then asked this questions: Vice president Biden, you have criticized Senator Sanders for bracing Castro’s education system, but in 2016 president Obama said Cuba made “A great progress in educating young people and that its healthcare system is a huge achievement that they should be congratulated for” How is that different from what Senator Sanders has said?

Biden answered: He [Obama] was trying to change Cuban policies so the Cuban people would get out from under the thumb of the Castro and his brother. That is to change the policy so that we can impact on Cuba’s policy by getting them opened up. That was about, but the praising of the Sandinistas, the praising of Cuba, the praising just now of China. China is an authoritarian dictatorship. That’s what it is. We have to deal with them because they’re there. But the idea that they in fact have increased the wealth of people in that country, it’s been marginal that change that’s taken place. It is still, they have a million Uyghurs, a million Muslims in prison camps in the West. You see what’s happening in Hong Kong today. And by the way, the idea that he praised the Soviet Union when it was the Soviet Union about the things that they had done well, they are an awful dictatorship killing millions and millions of people.

Me: That’s B.S. All Obama (and Biden) did was give the Castro regime a photo op. Cuba wasn’t “opened up.” The notion that Biden can “deal with China” is ridiculous, too, given that his son Hunter walked away with a $1.5 billion deal with the state-owned Bank of China in 2013 (and much more), as described here. But CNN/Univision – or Bernie, for that matter – will never press Biden on that subject.

Bernie shot back: by the way, the question that was asked quoted Barack Obama, president Obama was more generous in his praise of what Cuba did in healthcare and education than I was. I was talking about a program 60 years ago in the first year of the Castro revolution. So the bottom line is, that I think it’s a little bit absurd if we’re going to look at the world the way it is. Of course, we are opposed to authoritarian. And by the way, before it was considered good policy, good idea. I was condemning the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia when a lot of other people in Washington … I was condemning the dictatorship in the UAE, you were not.

Me: Bernie just did us a service by equating Obama’s praise of Cuba to Bernie’s. They are both cut from the same cloth; Bernie is just more open about it. Talk is cheap on the “condemning front,” too. He’s never done anything substantive about putting pressure on authoritarian regimes.

Jake Tapper (CNN moderator) asked a new question: Mr. Vice president, sticking with foreign policy, you acknowledge that your support and vote for the Iraq war was a mistake. What lessons did you learn from that mistake, and how might those lessons influence your foreign policy decision making as president?

Biden answered: I learned I can’t take the word of a president when in fact they assured me that they would not use force. Remember the context, the context was the United Nations Security Council was going to vote to insist that we allow inspectors into determine whether or not they were in fact producing nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction. They were not. And what’s the first thing that happened when we got elected? The president Obama turned to me and said, get those troops out of the hours responsible for getting 150,000 combat troops out of Iraq. I admitted 14 years ago was in [garble] to have trusted him and I’m prepared to compare my foreign policy credentials up against my friend here on any day of the week and every day of the week.

Me: That’s a lot of arm-waving when the simple answer is that he voted to authorize the Bush administration to go into Iraq. Period. And that bit about getting out of Iraq? Never mind that that action jump-started ISIS. But again, none of the moderators or Bernie himself would ever press Biden on that topic!

Bernie did get his licks in on Biden on that issue, though: Okay, let’s start off with the war in Iraq, Joe, I was there too. I was in the house. I understood … and by the way, let’s be clear about what that vote was and you were there at the signing ceremony with Bush. Everybody in the world knew that when you voted for that resolution, you were giving Bush the authority to go to war and everybody knew that’s exactly what he and Cheney wanted to do.

Me: That is undeniable. Bernie was pandering to the Code Pink crowd with that remark.

The last question dealt with who could build a large enough coalition to win in November.

Calderón: I want to change topics and ask each of you about some of your vulnerabilities in this election. Starting with you, Vice president Biden, Senator Sanders has one more of the Hispanic vote than you in several key States so far. In fact, he doubled your support in California among Hispanics. He almost tripled it in Nevada. So why is your message not resonating with Hispanic voters?

Joe Biden answered: Well, look, my message has resonated across the board. Every single state we’ve been in, there’s been a significant turnout. In Virginia, turnout was up 70%, they voted for me. He didn’t bring them out, I brought them out. And number two, look what’s happened in Mississippi. Look what’s happened in North Carolina, look what’s happened in Washington state. Look what’s happening across the board. Why is it that I’m winning all those places? What’s the reason? What’s the reason? The reason is because they know I am a Democrat with a capital D who in fact believes that our base is the base of the Democratic party, which are hardworking men and women who are in fact are high school educated, African Americans and minorities, including Hispanics, but all minorities. Suburban women, people who in fact have a sense of our place in the world. That’s why I am winning, not just winning, but overwhelmingly winning, not even close in these places.

Me: The business about Virginia was nonsense. The DC suburbs are what delivered Virginia to Biden, and they’re mostly federal workers who kowtow to the Democrat Establishment, and Biden is their candidate. The reason he won those other states was due to the relentless attacks on Bernie by the Democrat Establishment and the legacy, as well as the Establishment endorsements of Biden before Super Tuesday. And maybe some vote tampering (anything is possible in Democrat primaries).

Calderón: Senator Sanders, let me just follow up with you about an issue that you’re having for the second consecutive presidential election. You’re struggling to gain wide support from African-Americans. Why is your message not resonating with African-American voters?

Bernie replied: Here is what I believe is happening and this is an important point and why I decided to run for president. I think it’s imperative that we defeat Trump. I think our campaign of a biracial, bi-generational, multi-generational grassroots movement is the way to do it. Now we have won some states, Joe has won more States than I have, but here’s what we are winning. We are winning the ideological struggle. Even in States like Mississippi where Joe won a major victory. It turns out that a pretty good majority of the folks there believe in Medicare for All, and that’s true in almost every state in this country. And the other issue that we don’t talk enough about is we are winning the generational struggle. Depending on the state, we’re winning people 50 years of age or younger, big time people, 30 years of age and younger. I frankly have my doubts. … You’re going to have to bring Latinos who are great people, have the agenda that we need, but also don’t vote in the numbers that we need. I have my doubts that vice president Biden’s campaign can generate that energy and excitement and that voter turnout.

Me: Bernie does have the Democrat “youth vote,” by and large, as the Democrat-run public education system has been selling socialism to American kids for two generations now. Whether they will vote for Biden after Bernie is kicked to the curb is an yuuuuge dilemma/problem for Biden and the Democrats going into November. Biden doesn’t generate any enthusiasm and energy. Will the Bernie bros vote for Biden? Highly debatable.

Joe Biden attempted to fight back: I will do that. And by the way, just get this straight. The energy and excitement is taking place so far has been for me. 70% turnout increased in Virginia, I can go down the list, they’re coming out for me and I didn’t even have the money to compete with this man in those States. I virtually had no money. The press kept saying Biden has no money and they were right by net, no money. And the idea, why are they doing that? The reason they’re doing that is because they understand I know what has to happen, that I know what needs to be done.

Me: Arm-waving nonsense. His rallies have all been poorly attended, and he can’t even create more enthusiasm than Bernie does, let alone what he will face if/when he wins the Democrat nomination.

That ended the debate questions and this series of analyses. Nothing but big-government solutions that would result in higher taxes and much slower economic growth. A return to globalism and kowtowing to China. And more identity politics and divisiveness in America. No thanks!

The end.

Stu Cvrk
Stu Cvrk served 30 years in the US Navy in a variety of active and reserve capacities, with considerable operational experience in the Middle East and the Western Pacific. An oceanographer and systems analyst through education and experience, Stu is a graduate of the US Naval Academy where he received a classical liberal education which serves as the key foundation for his political commentary. He threads daily on Twitter on a wide range of political, military, foreign policy, government, economics, and world affairs topics.
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