The Grownups Take The Stage

Last night’s Democratic debate was notable for the contrast it provided to the Republican debates. The Republicans were a clown show of Trump bragging about his awesomeness and everyone promising ridiculous things like repealing Obamacare and making beautiful border walls, so beautiful you won’t even believe it! They were like little kids throwing their mashed potatoes at each other. The Democrats, meanwhile, were the grownups, talking about serious issues and offering serious ideas. Any of our candidates look far superior to the Republicans, in that context.

Which doesn’t mean we didn’t have our own comedians. Jim Webb didn’t belong on that stage, that was obvious: his constant complaining that he wasn’t getting enough time to speak made him look petulant and whiny. He spent the whole evening looking like his head was screwed on too tight. Lincoln Chaffee saying he voted to repeal Glass-Steagall because his father had just died was just, well, dumb.

The stars of the night were Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley. O’Malley is an unknown to a lot of folks right now and I think he presented himself really well. If you think he’s running for the VP slot, raise your hand.

{raises hand}

For my money, Hillary dominated the debate, hands down. She was definitely the most presidential, and was the most knowledgeable on foreign policy. She was poised and the most prepared, which makes sense since this isn’t her first rodeo.

Much as I may appreciate Sanders’ populism, I really got tired of him shouting at me about the 1% and the 99%. In fact, I just got tired of his shouting, period. He came off looking like a crank, though I think he had the line of the night when he told Clinton he was “tired of talking about your damn e-mails!” You and me both, Senator! When it comes to income inequality and wealth distribution, I think Elizabeth Warren’s approach is better. There’s a reasonable tone to her voice that I think is easier to take than Sanders’ overbearing shout-fests.

Just my opinion, but I think Hillary beat all the men. And everyone scored when they attacked the Republicans — something I hope we see more of in the next debate.



Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Democratic Party

14 responses to “The Grownups Take The Stage

  1. CB

    I think your assessment lines up pretty well with what I’ve heard and read so far. I was able to listen to the entire debate without once wanting to throw something large and heavy at an appliance I can ill afford to replace.

    I’ll be happy with either Clinton or Sanders. Yes, he comes off like a cranky old man sometimes, but he’s a pragmatic crank who’s willing to build a consensus, even with those he doesn’t like very much. Clinton was very well-prepared, and I myself have used the rodeo analogy once already today.

    I’ll be supporting Sanders in the primary, mostly because I think the ultimate party platform needs to move to the left, and he can help them do that. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: We have no functional left in the United States. When all you have is center and right, every compromise is right of center. That needs to stop.

    I have a secondary reason for supporting Sanders in the primary. I live in Georgia. Nothing says “I will fly my own goddamn flag, thank you” like voting for a Democratic Socialist while living in a red state. Here endeth the lesson. 🙂

  2. Yes, SB, I am proud to say that my opinion matched your comments word for word, even the idea that Martin O’Malley would make a great VP. We had two ‘debate watch parties here in Knoxville, and I attended the one that did have a number of both Bernie and Hillary supporters…which made it interesting. And we all clapped and cheered when O’Malley made great and supporting comments toward Hillary’s positions…especially re the gun violence epidemic.

    • Seeker

      O’Malley was a great mayor of Baltimore and a great governor of Maryland. He’s a well-rounded, level-headed guy. I think he’d make a great VP.

    • Jim 'Prup' Benton

      Okay, for the most part I agree with you and SB, but I have two minor reservations. Maybe it is just my memories of John Edwards, who I will admit to seriously considering before the mess broke, but I am holding back just a little on O’Malley. True, he was an executive, and it is harder for a (Democratic) executive to hide a basic emptiness than it is a Senator. (Though my own Democratic version of Richard Nixon manages it.)

      But there is a certain type of politician who ‘always knows just the right thing to say’ that scares me. I was impressed by my first chance to see him up close, but I’m remaining cautious, for now.

      On the other hand, while his debate performance didn’t hint at it, I know enough about Chafee that I could see myself supporting him for VP. He is a competent and principled man with a very good record. He wouldn’t bring in a lot of votes, but he’d be a good man to have as a back-up in office.

      • I thought Chaffee was kind of an idiot, sorry. And he’s older than dirt.

      • Jim 'Prup' Benton

        I tried to make the point that Chafee is much better, if you’ve followed him, than he appeared, even saying he wouldn’t bring in many votes campaigning. But I find the ‘older than dirt’ comment fascinating. In fact, let me take the place of the dirt that, most days, I feel older than.
        Time for a snap quiz, guys. Arrange the following in order of age, oldest to youngest. (Hint: I was born June 16.1946, and no, Chafee isn’t either the youngest or the oldest.)
        Hillary Clinton
        Donald Trump
        Lincoln Chafee
        Jim Benton
        Joe Biden
        Lindsay Graham
        Chris Christie
        Ben Carson
        John Kasich
        and, of course, no fair using Wikipedia for the answer – though I sure used it for the question)

      • CB

        Jim, I’m also holding back on O’Malley, but for a different reason. In addition to being governor, he was also mayor of Baltimore. While in that office, he instituted community policing, which ultimately blew up rather spectacularly in everyone’s faces earlier this year. I’d really like to hear his answers to some hard questions about that. Yes, he did seem to know all the right things, or at least a whole lot of the right things, to say during the debate, but I’m not ready to hand him a national office just yet, not that anyone’s asking me to.

  3. Watched the debate, and I thought Hillary dominated the debate. I’m elated.

  4. Kathleen

    I didn’t watch the debate, but I heard about the rousing ovation Sanders got with the email line. What I suspect the media is missing in analyzing the reaction is that there are so many Democrats (both Sanders and Clinton supporters) who have had it with the maiinslime media’s marginalization of Democrats and the focus on fake scandals. I think Sanders’ statement expressed that disgust and anger very well. I like that neither Sanders nor Clinton seem willing to tolerate the mainslime’s BS.

  5. Kosh III

    ” If you think he’s running for the VP slot,”

    He’d be better as a Green/Energy Secretary in a Sanders Cabinet.

    As to Hillary, I don’t trust the Senator from Wall Street. I think she would continue the Corpocrat and War agenda started by Raygun and enhanced by her husband, the Bush-whacks and Obama.

    • I don’t agree with you about Hillary and I think after Iraq no Democrat will pursue a war agenda, that’s kaput. But that’s neither here nor there. But even if Sanders WERE to get the Dem nomination, do you seriously think he’s electable against the likely Republican? (who I’m thinking is probably going to be Rubio at this point,as Jeb seems to have run out of steam). Because I sure don’t, and I think even a centrist/corporatist Democrat is a thousand times better than any of the Republicans, who will have us bomb bomb bombing Iran in a heartbeat.

  6. This is a note to counter the veiled support for a real loon who is NOT intent on actually being elected President..rather, his only goal is to show off all those who claim to be GOP members and their secret racism.. He has stirred up the hatred of “Mexicans”, Immigrants, Black citizens whose lives DO matter, and of course the gun nuts (while his adult children have made a name for themselves killing endangered species (giraffes, lions, tigers, etc) in Africa.) As for the WAR AGENDA, the war mongers like Rumsfeld, Cheney, etc began dreaming of wars for oil as far back as Tricky Dick was in charge. Poor St. Ronnie was so senile, he was used by Ollie North to continue the greedy take over of the Middle East. I am old enough to remember all these FACTS and many more. And our country is sick and tired of war for GOP GREED.

  7. I like Bernie, always have. I think he’d be roadkill in the General.

    Don’t like Hillary, will vote for her as many times as possible if she gets the nod.