Most viewers were watching President Trump hold forth in Milwaukee but the run-up to Tuesday’s CNN Democrat debate in Des Moines features some stories of interest. Cory Booker had recently dropped up, so some Democrats were lamenting that all the candidates were white, a condition beyond their control. And as word had it, things were going to get tough on stage.
Tucker Carlson showed video of Sanders’ staffers warning of violence if Bernie did not get the nomination. And if he was elected, we would need re-education campaigns so people would not be “Nazis.”
The prevailing story was Elizabeth Warren’s charge that Bernie Sanders claimed a woman could not be president. Sanders claimed he never said it, and the debate kicked off on who would be the best commander in chief.
Bernie Sanders claimed he had opposed military and foreign policy blunders such as Iraq, Vietnam and Afghanistan. The Vermont socialist seemed unconcerned about actual enemies the nation was now facing.
Joe Biden said he would compare his record compare to anyone on this stage, but came up short on specifics. It was a mistake, he said, to give the president authority to go to war.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar wanted good health care and education for the troops. And she would get the nation back into the Iran deal from which President Trump had withdrawn.
Elizabeth Warren, wanted to keep America safe but warned more about defense industry corruption than any threat from China, North Korea or Iran. Tom Steyer said it was all about judgement and we were spending too much on defense.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a veteran, cited challenges on cybersecurity, climate security, and foreign interference in elections. None of the six candidates expressed much concern over radical Islamic terrorism, and Joe Biden took the lead on championing the Iran deal.
The questions never got specific on whether the Democrats would have ordered the hit on Iranian terrorist warlord Qasem Soleimani. The former vice president charged that Trump had told “flat-out lies” about pending attacks on U.S. embassies, and contended that European allies were now more at odds with the United States.
Mayor Buttigieg wanted to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons but Trump had made this harder by “gutting” the Iran deal. This had brought us to the “bring of outright war,” and Buttigieg also warned of Trump’s “coziness with Vladimir Putin.”
On trade, Sanders said he voted against the USMCA because it did not deal with climate change. Warren supported the USMCA but told the CNN audience that farmers were hurting because of Donald Trump’s deals, and she would fight for a better one.
Joe Biden told the audience the United States the United States represented 25 percent of the world’s economy and we had to “bring the other 25 percent along.” As Yogi Berra said, half of baseball is fifty percent mental.
Joe Biden was recently on record that he would support clean-energy deals even they sacrificed blue-collar jobs. In similar style, during the debate Tom Steyer said climate was his number-one priority and he would not sign a deal that failed to deal with climate change, “even if it is better for working people.”
President Pete Buttigieg would rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and reversing the actions of President Trump was a common theme for the six Democrats. Elizabeth Warren vied with Bernie Sanders in denouncing multinational companies, corporate greed and so forth. As the evening wore on, those still watching could hear the sound of a barrel being scraped.
For all six Democrats, all blessings flow from government. The CNN questioners never challenged that basic belief, and as in other debates, key questions never surfaced.
Nobody asked Elizabeth Warren why she was still in the race for president after falsely claiming to be a Cherokee and Native American for most of her professional life. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to resign?
Nobody asked Bernie Sanders why his plan sounds a lot like the “free” health care and “free” college in the Stalin Constitution of 1936. And nobody pressed Sanders on why he talks so much about Denmark and Canada but back in the day the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was his destination of choice.
All six Democrats favored impeachment in some form, and were consistent in attacking Donald Trump. Klobuchar said if the Senate trial has no witnesses “we may as well make him king,” and invoked Joseph Welch’s charge to Joe McCarthy, “have you no sense of decency?” That was hard to top but Mayor Pete was up to the task.
Buttigieg would “send Trumpism into the dustbin of history.” In the end, it was all about beating Trump, and all six Democrats claimed they were the only one who could pull it off.
Meanwhile, the Iowa caucuses are days away and the election takes place on November 3. As President Trump says, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.