Well the third Democratic debate is now in the books and here’s what we know: nothing much will change among the top three candidates. If anything, I fully expect that all three will separate themselves even more so from the pack. And apart from the fact that Joe Biden seems to think that kids today listen to records – FYI, I doubt they even know what a CD is – he had his best performance to date. He effectively pushed back against both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and made, I believe, a compelling case for a more moderate vision for the party. While Warren and Sanders played to their base, Biden was in general election mode.
Having said that, he still needs to be sharper. As things stand now, I don’t feel he’s quite yet ready to go one on one against Trump. And, no, not because of his age. Let’s be clear here: the stunt that Julian Castro pulled was uncalled for. Not only was it bush-league; as it turns out, it was Castro whose memory failed him. The former Obama HUD secretary claimed Biden said that people who couldn’t afford to purchase health insurance would be able to buy into his plan. What Biden actually said was that people who couldn’t afford to purchase health insurance would automatically be enrolled in his plan. In fact, he said it twice. Take that, Mr. One Percent, who just saw his chance at a VP slot go out the window.
But my real beef isn’t with the last desperate gasp of a candidate who, in all honesty, really had no business being on that debate stage Thursday night; it’s with progressives, who for some strange reason seem to think it’s a good idea to resurrect the ghosts of McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis to go head to head in a general election against the likes of someone who makes Nixon look like Abe Lincoln. I’ll say it again: Democrats, you’re not running against Mitt Romney in 2020.
I’m reminded of a salesman I used to work with years ago, whose name thankfully escapes me. But he was what you’d call the consummate bullshit artist. He’d tell you anything you wanted to hear in order to get the sale. In fact, he’d pile it on so high he had to use stilts just to make his way to the register to ring you up. “You’re looking for what? Oh, yeah, this has it, no problem. Don’t worry, you’ll love it.”
Now, of course, almost nothing that came out of his mouth was true. Not only didn’t the item he was showing them have the features the customer wanted, they really didn’t love it. Turns out customers don’t like being lied to. It leaves a bad taste in their mouths. And the company that employed that salesman ended up going out of business. The moral of the story is you can fool some of the people some of the time, but the rest eventually bring their business elsewhere.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Warren / Sanders wing of the party is employing the same tactics as that salesman I used to work with. They’re saying anything and everything possible to get their base to buy the bullshit they’re peddling. And make no mistake about it, it IS bullshit. Virtually none of it will become law should any of them ever see the inside of the Oval Office. They know it, and anyone who’s spent more than ten minutes in Washington knows it too.
Free healthcare, free education, free this, free that. To listen to these people you’d think Oprah Winfrey was bankrolling their campaigns. And all that has to happen for any of it to come to pass is for every single Republican and centrist Democrat in the country to cover their eyes and count to a zillion.
I will never understand progressives. Their hearts are in the right place, but their heads are in the clouds. They see the world not as it is, but as they wish it could be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking ideals; Lord knows, in the age of Trump, we need all we can get. But ideals don’t amount to a hill of beans if you can’t make them come true. And any progressive candidate who stands up on a debate stage and says he or she is going to implement Medicare for All, forgive billions in college student loan debt and guarantee that we’ll be carbon free in a decade is perpetrating a fraud on the country. They’re no better than the current occupant in the Oval Office, in my opinion.
Forget for a moment the cost of implementing these proposals. According to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, the 1 percent are more than rich enough to pick up the tab. Hell, Bernie’s already got them paying for everything from college tuition and Medicare for All to the hubcaps on his Toyota Prius. And let’s be honest here, when it comes to fiscal restraint, neither party seems to give a shit these days. As we speak, the deficit just hit a trillion dollars. When Reagan took office in 1981, the total debt of the United States stood at $998 billion. Our grandchildren will curse us for what we’ve saddled them with.
Let’s see, so far in three debates, Democrats have managed to pick a fight with the last Democrat to occupy the Oval Office, A Democrat, by the way, who is more popular than any of them, propose an agenda that has zero chance of becoming law, and failed miserably to make a compelling case to the American public for why they, and not Trump, should be elected next fall.