Before Wednesday’s MSNBC Democrat debate, some group calling itself Pigeons United To Interfere Now (PUTIN) released pigeons wearing MAGA hats and at least one with a wig resembling the hair of President Trump. For a town like Las Vegas, it was a rather pathetic intro for what shaped up as a championship fight. As the late Howard Cosell might have called it:
“In this corner, Michael ‘Mini’ Bloomberg, weighing in at more than 60 billion dollars, in the biggest fight of his career.” Bloomberg trained for the bout by running New York City and showing people how to be farmers in five minutes. In this bout, he would be the primary punching bag.
Bloomberg billed himself as the candidate who could beat Trump, “the worst president we’ve ever had,” and run the country. “I’m a manager, I’m a philanthropist,” Bloomberg said. He had made a lot of money but “I’m spending that money to beat Trump.” Democrats weren’t buying it, and went after Bloomberg on his record with stop-and-frisk.
Bloomberg acknowledged that he was sorry and had asked for forgiveness. He touted the “right to live” and said he cut murders in New York from 650 a year to 300. The Democrats pivoted to his record with women.
“He calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,” said a breathless Elizabeth Warren, like a character in a ’40s gangster movie.
Bloomberg said he had “no tolerance for the behavior the MeToo movement has exposed,” but others wondered about the non-disclosure agreements. Joe Biden said people had been paid to keep quiet. Bloomberg said the agreements had been made consensually and the parties, “wanted to keep it quiet.” On other fronts, the New York billionaire got in some shots of his own.
The surest way to get Trump reelected, he said, was “the ideas on this stage.” They had been tried before, and, Bloomberg said, “Communism just doesn’t work.” That drew gasps from the audience, which cheered the ideas Bloomberg rejected.
Bernie Sanders said the use of Communism was a “cheap shot,” and touted his “democratic socialism.” A poised Bloomberg shot back that the nation’s “best known socialist is a millionaire with three houses.” Even so, Bloomberg said he would raise taxes on the rich and roll back the tax cuts of the Trump administration. So he did have something common with the others who also have much in common with Bernie Sanders.
“The number one place to live out the American dream is Denmark,” said Pete Buttigieg. “I was into Bernie before it was cool,” added the mayor, who moved the climate-change deadline to 2020, our “only chance to defeat Trump.”
Amy Klobuchar said she could beat Trump, but the Minnesota Democrat drew fire from Vanessa Hauc of Noticias Telemundo for not knowing the name of Mexico’s president, and for ignorance of Mexican policy.
Questioner Hallie Jackson noted that Trump tax cuts had helped some small businesses. Would the candidates raise those taxes?
Joe Biden avowed that taxes would not go up on small businesses, and said with typical incoherence that he would “change the tax code the way it is.” Biden took the offensive on Obamacare, which he still championed, and attacked the “greed of Wall Street.”
Nobody asked Joe Biden about the Ukrainian prosecutor he got fired. Nobody asked Elizabeth Warren why she didn’t resign after exposure as a fake Cherokee, instead of running for president of the United States. Nobody asked Bernie Sanders why he went to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, not Denmark, and why his basic ideas are right out of the 1936 Stalin Constitution. Nobody asked any candidate if they ever read The Road to Serfdom.
“We’re not talking enough about Donald Trump,” said Amy Klobuchar, and that was true. Whatever the question, the Democrats rehashed their tired ideas, wrapped in slogans such as “Galvanize, not polarize,” from Mayor Pete, who at one point broke into Beto-style Spanish. Viewers might have mistaken it for the opening of Greg Gutfeld’s show on Fox News. On the other hand, there was a possible subplot.
The previous CNN debate was a setup for Warren to accuse Bernie Sanders of being anti-women. Something different went down at the Paris Theater in Las Vegas on Wednesday. As Joe Biden delivered his closing statement, protesters struck up a loud chant that for the television audience was hard to understand. Much of the debate had been like that, and may have left voters confused about the winner, both on Wednesday and moving forward.
In Nevada, Caucus Day is February 22. The election takes place on November 3. As President Trump says, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.