Thoughts on the Democratic debate I didn’t watch

After a few minutes last night, I just gave up:

As y’all know, I long, long ago got sick of the Republicans and their fetish about who the real “conservative” is, to the point that I once lampooned it thusly:

As I’ve said from Day One I’m a conservative a true conservative my daddy was a conservative daddy my mama was a conservative mama I’m a bidnessman meet a payroll don’t take bailouts lazy shiftless welfare takers the key is to starve ‘em before they reproduce 100 percent rating from conservative conservatives of America my dog is a conservative dog I don’t have a cat because cats are effete I eat conservative I sleep conservative I excrete conservative I got conservative principles a conservative house and conservative clothes take back our government from the socialists even though we don’t really want it because who needs government anyway they don’t have government in Somalia and they’re doing alright aren’t they National Rifle Association Charlton Heston is my president and Ronald Reagan is my God I will have no gods before him I go Arizona-style all the way that’s the way I roll I will keep their cold dead government hands off your Medicare so help me Ronald Reagan…

But at least there are a lot of people here in South Carolina who actually want to know whether a candidate is a doctrinaire “conservative,” even if practically no one uses the word properly.

Whereas in South Carolina, being a “progressive” and $2 will get you a cup of coffee. Actually, that’s not quite right. In South Carolina, they might take the coffee back from you if you own up to being a “progressive,” even if you’ve already paid the $2.

But it wasn’t just that they were obsessing about the irrelevant. When my wife reminded me that a debate was about to come on, I groaned. I’ve just about had enough of this stuff. And I’m having trouble remembering the last time one of these debates told me something about one of these candidates, of either party, that I didn’t already know.

I did read about it this morning — The Washington Post had at least five stories on the subject — and learned that, as I suspected, I didn’t miss much.

Anyway, let me step aside, and allow any stalwart souls out there who actually watched the thing share what you got out of it…

9 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Democratic debate I didn’t watch

  1. John

    I watched it and thought it was interesting. Some of it was inside baseball for the party so a little boring for an independent but I also appreciated that the moderators let them answer questions at length if the candidate thought that was necessary. I don’t think I’ve seen any other debates this cycle that let the candidates have floor time for long exchanges like this one did and I liked that. So I rate it highly in the context of this election cycle. However Bernie Sanders’ incessant swaying back and forth behind the podium was dizzying in the split screen format contrasted vs Hillary Clinton standing still. It was like watching a metronome argue with a stick. But there were no giant pulsating words in the background like the last one so that was a plus.

  2. Harry Harris

    I agree that the labels thing can be more than annoying; it can be debilitating for our understanding of issues, positions, and even the direction we might be taking. It encourages laziness, can exacerbate polarization, and often allows politicians to get us thinking about the wrong questions because they are unwilling to make plain their answers to the ones that really matter. Politicians are always looking for a wedge, especially when they aren’t really that far apart on issues. Then they start hammering away at the wedge and trying to define each others position to accentuate whatever nuance they think gives them an advantage. And the media types feed it because they thrive on conflict.

  3. Norm Ivey

    I thoroughly enjoyed it. As John observed, Maddow and Todd let the candidates spar back and forth, and the candidates themselves were able to parry and thrust without talking over each other. Both gave substantive answers, but Bernie seemed more direct. It sometimes took Hillary a while to make her point.

    I liked Bernie’s response to the TPP question–it helped me to get a better understanding of it, though I still haven’t decided how I fell about it. It just seems like one of the sausage-making things. Sanders really disappointed with his answer about SCOTUS appointees–he said he wouldn’t appoint someone who wouldn’t agree to overturn Citizens United. Bernie can’t hide his emotions as well as Hillary can.

    There were no questions about climate change and energy policy, and that was a big disappointment.

    Hillary used a nice couple of turns of phrases. She called Bernie’s criticism of her progressive credentials an “artful smear,” and later during a discussion of the bank meltdown of 2008 referred to “mortgage shenanigans.”

    Neither one earned my vote last night, although Bernie got more of my attention. On the other hand, I haven’t even decided which primary I am voting in yet.

        1. Norm Ivey

          I rejected the impulse to post because I was the original commentator. I think someone said that was a rule.

  4. bud

    Interesting that liberals are concerned about Hillarys speaking fees at Goldman Sak but not so much the emails. Conservatives the reverse. The liberals have it right.

    1. Norm Ivey

      I’m not too concerned about either. I have faith the FBI will investigate and take appropriate action. If there were much worth fighting, I think we’d be seeing more of a battle from Hillary. It was a case of poor judgement, and she should be castigated for it. I doubt any laws were broken. As for the speeches, why shouldn’t she get paid for them? And the transcripts would show that she stroked her audience. That’s what speakers–especially politicians– do.

  5. Burl Burlingame

    Republicans have pulled the nation so far right that people who would normally be thought of as “moderate” or “middle of the road” or “reasonable” are now considered liberal progressives.

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