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Nate Jackson / Mar. 16, 2020

Demo Debate: Two Senile Old Men Argue About Coronavirus

Bernie and Biden traded barbs and elbows at the first one-on-one Democrat debate.

Two at-risk septuagenarians greeted each other with an awkward elbow bump on the Democrat debate stage Sunday night. Few Americans were paying attention as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders squared off in the first debate since the field has narrowed to just two. These two, at that.

Biden and Sanders primarily debated — what else? — coronavirus. Both men coughed a bit too much, reminding Americans just how old and vulnerable they are during a time of crisis. And neither had command of the basics. As The Washington Free Beacon’s Andrew Stiles noted, “Both candidates experienced difficulties while attempting to discuss the coronavirus (Wuhan) pandemic in relation to previous outbreaks. Biden touted his role in the Obama administration’s response to ‘the N1H1 [incomprehensible] as well as what happened in Africa.’ He meant the H1N1 virus and Ebola, which Sanders repeatedly cited instead of the coronavirus. ‘I’ve got Ebola in my head right now!’ he said, after finally catching his mistake.”

The two traded barbs over Medicare for All, which is Bernie’s “solution” for everything. “You have a single-payer system in Italy,” Biden observed of a nation hit particularly hard by coronavirus. “It doesn’t work there. [The coronavirus] has nothing to do with Medicare for All. That would not solve the problem.” When Sanders predictably fought back, Biden said he didn’t “want to get into a back and forth in terms of our politics” … which is kind of the point of a debate.

One thing Biden did do, however, was make a play for Sanders’s voters when the inevitable day comes that Bernie has to admit defeat. Biden did this by tacking to the extreme left on various policies. “The first 100 days of my administration,” he said, “no one will be deported at all.” On energy, he declared, “No more subsidies for the fossil-fuel industry, no more drilling on federal lands, no more drilling including offshore, no ability for the oil industry to continue to drill. Period. Ends.” Biden also insisted, “We should be talking about things like I’ve been talking about for years: high-speed rail, taking millions of automobiles off the road.”

“Biden 2020: No oil, no cars.”

Seems like a winning message for the “moderate” in the race.

As for Sanders, he again reiterated his support for all the great things authoritarian regimes in Cuba and China have done to for their citizens. “China is undoubtedly an authoritarian society. But will anybody, will any economist, deny that extreme poverty in China today is much less than what it was 40 or 50 years ago? That’s a fact.” And his response to Biden’s radical climate agenda was, “All well and good, but nowhere near enough.” Good grief.

Even so, back to coronavirus, Biden offered what is essentially the bottom-line assessment of why he’s virtually certain to prevail over Sanders: “People are looking for results, not a revolution.” The problem is that Biden seems ready to bring revolution, too, just packaged a little more neatly.

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