Friday, April 15, 2016

My take on the last (?) Democratic debate

I watched the debate last night and I have to say it was a lot more entertaining then all of the other Democratic debates I have watched combined. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton threw down and for once they hit each other hard. And I loved seeing it, for the most part. It still wasn't as acrimonious as the GOP debates but compared the the sleepy, boring debates the Democrats have done to this point, this one was amazing. Hell, Bernie Sanders pretty much called Hillary Clinton a racist to her face! If I could call Hillary Clinton a racist to her face I would be so happy, and I think millions of other people would be too...

A few things before I get started. First of all, I didn't watch the whole thing, as usual. I don't know why they schedule these things on Thursday nights but it's a busy night for me, so I ended up missing about 15 minutes of the debate. It was near the end, and apparently I missed the entire discussion about abortion. Since that isn't an issue I care about at all, that was fine with me. I also won't be sticking to the format I did for the other debates since there are only two candidates here and I don't have nearly as much to say about them.

I have to say that the questions were pretty bad. Most of them were subject that had been covered ad nauseam in the other debates. I don't really need to hear Clinton and Sanders argue about the economy, the minimum wage or even gun rights. Foreign policy, an area where the Democratic debates have been sorely lacking, wasn't covered much at all. What was there was mostly about Israel, which isn't something I like talking about. Seriously, would it have been too hard to ask a question about what is to be done about Afghanistan? Or about the rise of al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula in Yemen? Instead we heard stuff that has been covered again and again.

Moderation was mixed. There was a great moment where Wolf Blitzer called out both Sanders and Clinton for screaming each other. It was awesome because the first 20 mintues of the debate was Hillary screeching and Bernie yelling. Though it was fun to see the two fight, it was hard on the years. Otherwise, the moderation was a mixed bag. The candidates pretty much kept talking when they wanted to and it was slightly annoying.

The crowd, which has been a major annoyance this year in the GOP debates, was a problem here too. There were a lot of people yelling and cheering and even booing the candidates. It wouldn't have been that bad but it did make it difficult to hear the candidates at times. I know it was Brooklyn and the people there tend to be boisterous, but it was still a distraction. It was pretty funny watching Hillary Clinton have to wait to give her closing statements because of all the Berniebros yelling his name though.

On policy this debate was a disaster. I struggle to think of much I agreed with. I do think that Bernie Sanders scored points for foreign policy on me, but that was only because Hillary Clinton was doing her best neocon impersonation.

I really hated Clinton on foreign policy this debate. She once again called for a no-fly zone in Syria, which would be a terrible idea since enforcing it would involve shooting down Russian fighter jets. Which is just stupid. Bernie Sanders should have called her out on that but he didn't. I also thought it was surreal when Clinton tried to blame the Libyan people for what happened there. I don't buy it for a second. Had Qaddafi not been overthrown, then ISIS would have never gotten a foothold there. And Clinton was partially responsible for taking him out. Bernie Sanders was completely right here and he was smart to attack Clinton.

On gun rights both candidates were terrible but Hillary Clinton was something else. She really seems like she hates gun manufacturers, and wants to use the civil justice system to shut down all gun manufacturing. Allowing people to sue gun makers for crime, which they have NOTHING to do with, would be the end of gun rights in America. Bernie Sanders is terrible on gun rights as well, but at least he doesn't want to go that far. It really made me think about what I am going to do in November if the GOP puts out a terrible candidate. I might have to vote for whoever it is, even if he or she is otherwise terrible, just to keep the 2nd amendment...

I was also greatly disturbed about how ready both candidates seemed to want to raise the minimum wage  to $15 an hour. That is just insanely high for most of the country. It might make sense for it to be that high in New York City or San Francisco, but it would be devastating in the rest of the country where the cost of living is so much lower. This issue scares me personally because I could see my department at work either getting downsized or replaced by contractors if the wage becomes that high. Even a $12 an hour hike would probably hurt me. Seriously, Wisconsin is not like New York City. We don't need a huge hike in the minimum wage here. A small boost might not be so bad, but a $15 minimum wage is just crazy for this state.

I'm not sure who won this debate. I think both candidates were terrible on the issues, so I can't really evaluate that much more then I have already. I do think that Sanders was fairly effective in his attacks though. His goal last night was to paint Hillary Clinton as a shill for the big banks and corporations, and I think he succeeded. Clinton really is a shill for the big banks and the fact that she was giving speeches for Goldmen Sachs and won't release what she said looks suspicious as hell. I, personally, would have hit her on almost anything else, but Sanders was playing to an audience. And that audience couldn't care less if Clinton screwed up her e-mail server, putting national security at risk, or the fact that Bill Clinton is probably a sexual predator. But they do care about the big banks and don't want someone like Hillary Clinton in charge if she is going to be their shill.

Still, I am guessing it won't be enough. New York is looking fairly good for Hillary Clinton and I am expecting that she gets most of the delegates after winning. I think this debate probably did hurt her a bit, but not so much that she will lose New York because of it. She also did some pretty obvious pro-New York shilling last night which will play well. She even stole one of Donald Trump's lines about New York values, which also works as a backhanded attack on Ted Cruz, who famously bashed the city and state during one of the GOP debates. It was funny seeing something that Clinton and Trump agree on something, but I think the line helps both of them.

As for Sanders, he did good, but it's too little too late. He should have been attacking Hillary Clinton like this last year. He was far too nice to her for far too long, and he's paying for it now. He should have made his point about Hillary Clinton a lot sooner then he did. Right now, Clinton has the election all but in the bag...

No matter who the candidates are this fall, I am looking forward to the debates between the GOP candidate and the Democratic one. If sparks have flown at the previous debates, imagine what will happen when both parties fight each other instead of themselves. I still think it will be Clinton and Trump, and I am fully expecting him to utterly destroy her. I, personally, can not wait.

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