Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Two haggard old Democrats took to the stage at a debate hosted by Google, NBC and the non-convicted members of the Congressional Black Caucus to argue over whether America should be run by Vladimir Lenin or Nurse Ratched.
If looks could kill, the glazed hatred in the eyes of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would have slain more Democrats than heroin and cocaine. Hillary Clinton's impossibly immobile yellow helmet of hair and impossibly immobile thin-lipped red smile framed two dead eyes filled with an implacable hatred for all human life on earth and especially in South Carolina. Bernie Sanders ranted at the camera, lips wet with saliva, hair wild, eyes unhinged behind dirty bifocals, spotlights glinting off his polished skull.
There were more three-point plans and comprehensive plans and the “most comprehensive plans” on stage at any one time since the fall of the USSR. Everyone had the most comprehensive plan for everything which was endorsed by all the experts which couldn't possibly fail. Just like all their failed plans before which also couldn't possibly fail, but somehow had.
Hillary Clinton offered an awkward opening statement comparing herself to Martin Luther King. Bernie Sanders delivered the same rambling soundbite about the 1 percent and a rigged economy that is his only platform. A rigged economy however is just another way of describing Socialism.
Martin O'Malley claimed that he was Martin O'Malley, but no one seemed interested. So he tried to claim that he was Barack Obama and no one believed him.
Hillary Clinton promised to fix all the crumbling infrastructure. Bernie Sanders promised to fix even more of the crumbling infrastructure. But the most obvious crumbling infrastructure on stage in South Carolina was Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. And the Democratic Party.
And there was no hope of fixing them.
Everyone wanted to raise the minimum wage until no one would be able to get a job. Martin O'Malley assured everyone that he really was a candidate and really was smiling at them like a child predator in a van.
Bernie Sanders, the most radical candidate on the stage, claimed he would bring America together. Then he listed all the people he hated in alphabetical order. Hillary Clinton insisted angrily that we also had too much division and that she would bring Americans together over hating the same people she hates.
Hillary claimed that she can work with Republicans to tepid applause from Democrats. Then she accused Republicans of an assault on voting rights, women's rights and all the rights. Bernie Sanders hoarsely screeched that Democrats and Republicans hating each other is "media mythology" created by a vast conspiracy of billionaires living on the moon.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton argued fiercely over which of them hated the Second Amendment and police officers more. The results were inconclusive. But Bernie Sanders spewed more hateful saliva at the camera enabling him to win the round on hygiene points.
Hillary Clinton claimed that the justice system was racist because black people go to jail for crimes that white people don't go to prison for. And that's true. If Hillary Clinton had been born a poor black boy, she would have gone to jail for abusing classified information.
Hillary insisted that there should be "no individual too important to jail". We’ll see if the FBI agrees.
Bernie Sanders demanded equal time to pretend to be an angry black man, then he claimed that Donald Trump was his "good friend" and that black people don't like him because they haven't heard him of yet.
Google, which was co-sponsoring the debate, promoted its search engine and its YouTube video site by making the candidates respond to confused diatribes by Vloggers. Because the only thing that could make a Democratic debate worse was bringing in YouTubers to interrupt it with webcammed idiocy.
But at a Democratic debate, there is never an idiot shortage.
"We have to move away from treating the use of drugs as a crime," Hillary Clinton insisted. Bernie Sanders blamed the pharmaceutical industry for heroin and called for a mental health revolution. Sadly such a revolution would probably come too late to help him.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both claimed to have been fighting for universal health care all their lives. Martin O'Malley tried to attract some Congressional Black Caucus members into his van with candy.
Hillary Clinton blamed ObamaCare on Harry Truman. Martin O'Malley claimed that Republicans and Democrats "made me their leader". Bernie Sanders called her disingenuous, lost his voice and claimed "nothing real will get happen". He kept raising his finger as if he were hailing a cab in midtown traffic. Someone booed him for not taking speaking fees from big banks.
Bernie Sanders promised to give everyone free things by taking money from Wall Street and raising taxes on the middle class. "It's a pretty good deal," he insisted, as if he were filming an ad for discount electronics. Except this deal would destroy the finances and health care of most working Americans.
Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders accused Hillary Clinton of taking speaking fees from big banks. Hillary Clinton could have pointed out that she also took money from foreign governments and every special interest group and lobby on the planet. Instead she claimed that her financial plan was backed by Barney Frank and Paul Krugman, which is like boasting of support from two of the three stooges.
Since it was a Democratic debate, the great threat of the Global Warming Flying Monster came ahead of any silly talk about national security and Islamic terrorism.
After the attack on American sailors by Iranian forces, Bernie Sanders called for "as aggressively as possible normalizing relations with Iran". That's the closest to being aggressive with Iran's terrorism that anyone on stage got.
Bernie Sanders did however say that he "disagreed" with Iran. He didn’t clarify whether he disagreed with Iran taking American hostages, killing hundreds of Americans or trying to destroy Israel. That was playing it safe since the audience probably supported at least two out of three of those.
Hillary Clinton refused to promise not to hand Putin another "Reset Button", but did admit that the Russian dictator has a "mixed record". Bernie Sanders called for ending the Cold War, but refused to promise not to bring back the USSR.
Everyone on stage endorsed Obama's failed policies which created ISIS and had no new plans to offer except to ask the Muslims, or as Bernie Sanders called them the "Moozlims", to do it. Like good Democrats, everyone on stage was in favor of someone else destroying ISIS and getting someone else to pay for it. And none of them had a plan for making it happen.
Instead of answering a question about fighting “lone wolf terrorism”, Bernie Sanders began ranting about corporations. But Bernie Sanders rants about corporations when he puts on his pants or burns his toast. He hates corporations a lot more than he hates Islamic terrorists. So do the rest of his party.
The murder of Americans in San Bernardino by Islamic terrorists just didn't matter to Bernie Sanders.
Hillary Clinton promised to send Bill around the country as a "goodwill emissary" to find the "best ideas". Sending Bill Clinton around the country is likely to accomplish a lot of things, most of them involving envelopes of money and indecent exposure, but finding good ideas isn't one of them.
Still at least Hillary Clinton has a plan to keep her husband as far away from the White House as possible.
Ultimately these weren’t debates; they were exercises of empty political theater. No one on stage was really willing to press Hillary Clinton about the flood of special interest money into her campaign.
Their closing statements were as hollow as their political programs.
"We are on the threshold of a new era of American progress," Martin O'Malley beamed before having to return to his planet. Hillary Clinton boasted of "going on a TV show" to express her outrage about Flint. Bernie Sanders, glaring through his bifocals, demanded a political revolution. Demanding a revolution has been his solution to everything for fifty years. It’s his self-righteous way of doing nothing.
There was no substance to any of it. All of the candidates on the stage were just there to continue the Obama project, which has wrecked the country, by another name. Indeed the most devastating attack of the debate was not Bernie Sanders mentioning Hillary’s dirty money, but Hillary Clinton accusing him of trying to find a candidate to primary Obama in front of a heavily black audience.
The Democratic Party is married to Obama and his disastrous two terms in office. There can be no revolution and no new era of progress. Only fake outrage on TV shows and TV debates.
The debate made it clear once and for all, that the Democratic Party is the Obama Party.