The undercard of the Democrat debate kicked off Tuesday morning when previously missing-in-action Hunter Biden gave an interview with ABC News. Joe Biden’s son conceded it was “poor judgment” to be involved in ventures in Ukraine and China that have complicated his father’s situation. On the other hand, Hunter insisted he “did nothing wrong at all.”
Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders had just emerged from Heart Attack Hotel and Elizabeth Warren had not, as she claimed, been fired because she was visible pregnant. Like her false claim to be a Cherokee, that was no obstacle to a continued run for president, at least for Democrats.
The real back story came on Monday, with the revelation from the O’Keefe video that CNN was determined to, as Jeff Zucker said, “stay very focused on impeachment.” When the show started at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, it was a joint production with CNN’s impeachment surge. Anderson Cooper asked the twelve Democrats if it was better to let the voters decide.
“The president obstructed justice and done it repeatedly,” said Sen Elizabeth Warren. “Donald Trump broke the law. Impeachment must go forward.”
Socialist Bernie Sanders called Trump “the most corrupt president in the history of this country.” So Sanders called for a “speedy impeachment process,” and “McConnell must allow a free and fair trial.”
Former vice president Joe Biden cited the Mueller report and found “no choice but to seek impeachment.” Since Trump was the “most corrupt” president the Democrats have “no choice but to move.”
President Trump “has committed crimes in plain sight,” said Sen. Kamala Harris, “selling out the American people.” The former California attorney general told the CNN crowd “I know a confession when I see it. This will not take very long.”
For Sen. Cory Booker, the process has “got to be about patriotism, not partisanship.” President Trump should be impeached, “in a way that is honorable.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, charged that that President Trump is “digging up dirt on an opponent. That’s illegal conduct.”
Asked if impeachment might be a distraction, Julian Castro said “no, we can walk and chew gum at same time.” Trump has been “violating the oath of office” so “we must impeach” and the president “should be removed.”
For South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, “the president has left Congress with no choice.” The candidates are “competing for after the Trump presidency,” and “I can turn the page.” Later in the debate, Buttigieg said Trump managed to get “within cheating distance of the Oval Office.”
Candidate Tulsi Gabbard warned that “partisan impeachment will divide,” and stunned the CNN crowd by saying, “Trump won the election in 2016.” Nevertheless, “the inquiry should continue.”
Democrat billionaire Tom Steyer, on the debate stage for the first time, played it close to the vest but did say that every Democrat in the race was “more decent and patriotic than the criminal in White House.”
Beto O’Rourke urged fellow Democrats to be “fearless” in the face of Trumps criminal activity. That is, the president “lied to investigators.”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper said Hunter Biden had been “falsely accused” but asked his father why it was okay to have his son involved when he was vice president.
“That’s why it’s so important to remove this man from office,” a furious Biden countered. “The president and his thugs are flat lying.” Trump is going after Hunter because “he knows I will beat him like a drum.”
Hunter said he made a mistake, Cooper countered, but “did you make a mistake?”
“I did my job,” the former vice president said. “I kept everything separate, no potential conflict.” Biden was “proud of judgment he made” and called for a focus on “Trump corruption.”
As the evening wore on, Biden grew more incoherent, at one point saying he would “end Roe v. Wade” before correcting himself. His repetitions of “here’s the deal” and “come on” recalled his recent reference to a “record player.” On most issues, his fellow candidates did sound like a broken record.
Candidates touted the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, without any clear idea of how to pay for them. Warren swore that taxes would only go up on the wealthy. Tom Steyer urged the candidates to “talk about prosperity” and he claimed he could expose Trump as “a fraud and failure as a businessman.”
Democrat candidate Andrew Yang urged people to ask “why did Donald Trump win your state?” Stores are closing and manufacturing jobs being lost and “those problems got Donald Trump elected. When we are talking about him we are losing. We need a new vision.”
No candidate explained how the government could “buy back” a firearm they did not sell in the first place, and all candidates supported gun confiscation in some form. All candidates supported abortion and the Freedom From Religion Foundation ads shown during the breaks seemed part of the CNN show.
Aside from Andrew Yang, and possibly Tulsi Gabbard, the Democrats were like the character in Blazing Saddles who says “Samuel Johnson is right about Olson Johnson being right.” Their policy differences are few but they all hate Donald Trump with a passion. Like CNN boss Jeff Zucker, the Democrat presidential candidates want to “stay focused on impeachment.” As President Trump said we’ll see what happens.