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Politics

Trump Wins Dems' SC Debate

Democrat candidates fail to inflict much damage against front-runner Bernie Sanders.

Thomas Gallatin · Feb. 26, 2020

Democrat leadership’s panic over socialist Bernie Sanders solidifying his front-runner status for the party’s presidential nomination heading into the South Carolina primary on Saturday has become increasingly palpable of late. Naturally, it was assumed going into Tuesday evening’s debate that the rest of the Democrat field would be champing at the bit to cut Sanders down to size, though what emerged was more a Democrat Party that appears torn over how to attack Sanders’s socialism without appearing to attack socialist policy. Other than billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the remaining Democrat candidates are all to the left of Hillary Clinton. They are all either full-blown socialists like Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are socialist-lite like Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer, or are Joe Biden (whose increased stumbling speech and forgetfulness is seriously concerning).

As previously mentioned, Sanders was clearly the candidate with a target painted on his chest, and he took fire early and often. However, as the debate quickly got out of control, he was able to deflect the blows. Sanders was blasted by Klobuchar over the astronomical costs of his Medicare for All plan, as she observed, “No, the math does not add up.” Buttigieg got in a good ding over Sanders’s expressed admiration for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro only to later chastise Sanders for failing to push the revolution hard enough. Speaking of Sanders’s refusal to support a rollback of the Senate’s legislative filibuster, Buttigieg marveled, “This is not some long-ago vote that Bernie Sanders took. This is a current bad position that Bernie Sanders holds. How are we going to deliver a revolution if you won’t even support a rule change?”

Warren expressed her agreement with Sanders’s socialist policy goals while blasting him for lacking a detailed plan to implement them. “Bernie and I both want to see universal healthcare, but Bernie’s plan doesn’t explain how to get there, doesn’t show how we’re going to get enough allies into it, and doesn’t show enough about how we’re going to pay for it. I dug in, I did the work, and then Bernie’s team trashed me for it.” This rather tepid attack has been Warren’s most severe on Sanders in the debates, which has some folks wondering if she’s aiming to be his running mate.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s attempt to recover from his disastrous first debate fell as flat as his botched delivery on several jokes. His inability to fend off Warren’s predictable attacks over his sexist record further exposed him as a political lightweight hardly ready to take on his fellow Democrats, let alone President Donald Trump. Nevertheless, Bloomberg made the argument that Sanders’s socialism was a recipe for four more years of Trump.

And then there was Biden, who showed a lot of fire, jumping eagerly into fray to tout his record as the only one on stage best positioned to take on Trump. It was likely his strongest debate performance, and yet Biden still came off as a candidate well past his prime. He stumbled over words, took credit for legislation he could not possibly have been involved with, and threw out grossly inaccurate statistics such as his gun-grabbing screed about how “150 million people have been killed” by guns. In truth, his apparent “misremembering” and forgetfulness should be raising questions over his mental fitness for office. Of all the candidates on stage, his advanced age was most evident.

Finally, when it was all said and done, Politico’s headline may have captured it best: “Democrats needed a good debate, but got a bad one.” Chalk this up as another win for Trump. None of the more “moderate” Democrats were able to inflict any real damage on Sanders and his socialist vision, nor were any of them able to offer Americans a realistic, positive, and pro-American reason for voting Democrat. It’s no wonder Democrats are panicking.

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