Thoughts on the October Democratic Debate

The October Democratic debate was interesting. It was different than the previous debates in several aspects. I don’t believe it will change the race much though. Warren will still be seen as on the rise. Biden will still be seen as falling. Sanders will be seen as having stabilized his campaign and still firmly in the top three. For the rest, it’s almost midnight.

Bernie was great!

As a long-term Bernie Sanders supporter, I was eagerly anticipating Bernie reminding everyone why his popularity is so much greater than the corporate-run media and pollsters pretend. Bernie didn’t disappoint. I believe his performance was his best debate performance of this campaign cycle. He was energetic, passionate, and he even showed some warmth and humor.

I appreciate that Bernie is acknowledging tax increases on the middle class to pay for Medicare for all. Elizabeth Warren’s inability to answer the question directly is an important difference between the two.

When Bide tried to pretend he was the only candidate on the stage of getting anything done, Bernie’s pointing out how Biden got the war in Iraq and the bank-sponsored bankruptcy bill done was tremendous. I only wish he had mentioned Biden’s fundraisers with health care executives. That would have really highlighted the reality that Corporate Joe is a bought and paid for candidate.

After the debate, I learned that Congresswoman Omar his supporting Bernie’s campaign and that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez will be endorsing him on Saturday. This is big news; it affirms that Bernie is the true progressive in the race.

Warren as the Leader

The centrists used their time to demonstrate how untenable their corporate masters find Warren’s climb in the polls. Clearly, the centrist view Warren, not Corporate Joe, as the biggest threat to their impossible fantasies of achieving the presidency coming true.

Amy Klobuchar, who will hopefully be gone by November, kept trying to paint progressive ideas as impossible. By doing so, she regularly allowed Warren to rightly castigate the centrists for being timid and weak.

It’s over Betto

Betto keeps chasing the stardom he briefly had over the summer the way a puppy chases its tail. Like the puppy, Betto is running a losing race. At one point, he was for a wealth tax. Later, Warren was dividing us by talking about a wealth tax. Betto may have tried to score some points by attacking Warren, all he did was remind everyone why he should have run against John Cornyn in Texas. The presidency is simply too big for Betto.

Veterans and War

Wall Street Pete and Tulsi Gabbard, the only veterans on stage, battled over Trump’s decision to bring troops home from Syria. While I strongly oppose America’s long history of regime change wars, I don’t agree Trump handled the withdrawal correctly. Wall Street Pete was correct when he raised the suffering left behind. But Wall Street Pete and most Americans overlook the reality that America didn’t need to get involved in Syria. America supported the destruction of large parts of Syria. America contributed to the deaths of thousands of Syrians.

While Wall Street Pete was right to criticize Trump, Gabbard was wright to criticize America’s long history of interfering in other countries.

What is the point of Kamala Harris’s Candidacy?

Kamala Harris is the candidate who so desperately wants the presidency way more than almost anyone wants her to be president. She reminds me of the high school kid who keeps changing their story hoping to be admitted into the popular clique only to have the so-called cool kids keep laughing at her.

Last night, Harris started as the women’s candidate. The problem there, as Gillibrand discovered, is that all the candidates agree on protecting a woman’s right to choose. Most of the candidates have, though not often enough, talked about health care discrimination against women and particularly women of color. Chasing the Gilibrand vote will take Harris as far as it took Gilibrand.

Later, Harris criticised Warren for failing to support her position that Trump should be removed from Twitter. I wish Warren’s response that what really mattered was taking contributions from tech executives had been more forceful. Harris may talk about removing Trump from Twitter, but she accepts Twitter’s cash. When it comes to changing social media, which one is more important?

Looking Ahead

Twelve candidates was way too many. The DNC has to get rid of at least four candidates by the November debate. At some point, polling around two percent and having very little grassroots support has to result in candidates being shown the door.

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