First Debate reaction

Less than 5 minute read

June 27, 2019
- June 28, 2019

I watched the first Democratic “debate” last night (so you won't have to), and unless the Supreme Court bans it as cruel and unusual punishment, I’ll have to watch another one tonight.  So let’s dispense with the first one and get it over with.

It was two hours of ten people all vying to see who could pander the most and promise the most free stuff to the most people (free college, free health care, free abortions!)…to resuscitate liberal totems from bygone days (we need to pass the Equal Rights Amendment!)…and to reverse everything Trump has done, even when it was something they’re promising to do themselves.  For instance, they won’t get into unwinnable Middle Eastern “regime change” wars, unlike Trump, who…crushed ISIS and pulled troops out, then declined to attack Iran because he doesn’t want to get into unwinnable Middle Eastern “regime change” wars.

They also vowed to help the struggling middle class that reportedly can’t scrape up $400 in an emergency by repealing a GOP “tax cut for the rich” that resulted in an annual savings of $1400 for the average middle class family.    

Oh, and they also care deeply about blue collar workers, which is why they want to let as many illegal immigrants into the US as possible to undermine jobs and wages for blue collar workers (that’s not just me, it was also the opinion of iconic labor union organizer, Caesar Chavez.)  In fact, Elizabeth Warren’s solution to illegal immigration is simply to make it legal to enter the country illegally (to quote Dave Barry, I am not making this up.)  And they promise to create lots more jobs than we currently have during these days of record low unemployment by taxing, regulating and breaking up all the companies that hire people.

I kept thinking of that early “SNL” sketch called “Bad Theater” where Dan Aykroyd as tuxedo-clad Leonard Pinth-Garnell would introduce a spectacularly rotten piece of theater, then come out at the end saying, “Well, that wasn’t very good, now was it? Awful! Just excruciating!”  This may be the first debate where the participant I liked best was whichever NBC tech person screwed up the audio and forced them to stop it and go to commercial.

It was so bad that even some liberals admitted how much it reeked.  Forced to name Winners & Losers of the night, the site Mediaite named four winners and only two were candidates (the others were moderators.)  For the record, they named Elizabeth Warren the major winner, but I suspect that’s only because as this night’s poll frontrunner, she got much more airtime, at least in the first half before the moderators realized how badly she was doing and moved on. Their other “winner” was Julian Castro, who did make history by being so eager to promote abortion that he not only wants taxpayers to pay for abortions, he wants us to pay for abortions for men who identify as women.  Again, per Dave Barry, I am not making this up.

Tulsi Gabbard won a Drudge Report poll and got the most Google searches (to be fair, I’ll bet a lot of viewers had to do Google searches to find out who some of these people were.) And National Review thought that Castro and Cory Booker helped themselves while Bill DeBlasio came off as a blowhard, interrupting the others and interjecting when it wasn’t his turn.

Liz Peek at Fox News thought Amy Klobuchar came across as looking “sane by comparison” to the rest of them, but also listed the ways in which that’s not a very high bar to clear.

Personally, I thought that the only moment of lucidity came from Ohio Rep. Tim “No Chance” Ryan, who ticked off every Democrat in the room by warning that the Party will never win back blue collar workers as long as they have a perception problem and are seen as a party of coastal, Ivy League elitists who are out of touch with Midwesterners and workers. It will be especially hard to overcome this “perception” because it’s 100% true, as this debate proved over and over.

But just about everyone agreed that in this reality show, “The Biggest Loser” was “Beto” O’Rourke.  To use another “SNL” reference, he came across as “not ready for prime time,” and his answers in Spanish apropos of nothing seemed el lame-o.  He came across so badly that a Twitter trend started for tweets that mentioned both “Beto” and “Nixon,” referring to Nixon’s 1960 debate with JFK where he came across as sweaty and nervous on TV.

As I mentioned yesterday, Donna Brazile said voters should think of these debates as a job interview for America’s CEO.  Okay, if you watched the first one, think about this:

Suppose you owned a snowcone stand that you depended on to support your family.  Would you hire any of these people to run it?

You know that on the first day, they’d start trying to charge well-dressed people more for snowcones and force them to take their business elsewhere. Then they’d give away all the inventory and let people steal your equipment, but refuse to call the police because they “needed it more than some rich business owner.” Then they’d let some illegal immigrants move into the store and take it over.  Finally, they’d complain that you weren’t paying them enough. 

I said going in that it was not a real debate, but more of a reality show.  However, it came off more like a game show:  “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”  If you would vote to make any of these people President, then you are not. 

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