Democratic Debate Round 2, Night 1

This is night one of the second Democratic debate; I’m trying this differently. I’m not going to try to record what everyone says, but to focus on impressions. Updates as possible.

The candidates on stage tonight are Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Author Marianne Williamson, Former Congressman John Delaney, Congressman Tim Ryan, Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Former Representative Beto O’Rourke, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigeig, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders.

I was too busy laughing at Williamson riffing on the Declaration of Independence to hear what she said. Tim Ryan’s “America is Great (Pause)” was almost as distracting. I’ll have to look these answers up later.

Warren comes out swinging, as does Sanders. Not surprising. They’re the street fighters.

Everyone sounded okay in their opening statements.

Right off, Sanders and Delaney are in deep on on Health Care. I think Delaney is making a straw man argument. Later Bullock piled on.

Sanders and Warren may be cooperating.

Buttigeig makes the essential point. The middle class will pay the same or less either in taxes or premiums. Warren went there too, but not as effectively.

Sanders: “Jake your question is a Republican talking point.”

I like Buttigeig’s formulation; the Republicans will call democrats socialists no matter what. They should focus on getting the policy right.

I need to look into Delaney’s two tier claim.

8:45

The issue of whether or not to decriminalize crossing the border misses the bigger issue and is too easy to misrepresent. This also sounds like a Republican talking point to me.

Meanwhile, if you’re position is that health care is a human right (and Bernie got this as I was typing this), of course it must apply to everyone.

The one minute limit really does not work. Everyone who tries to build an argument gets cut off.

9:00

Williamson takes the gun control issue and pushes it to the much larger issue of public financing of elections, which is interesting.

I think Tim Ryan is either dim or disingenuous.

O’Rourke is nuts if he thinks Texas will be a swing state.

I don’t think Scott Brown was all that popular when Warren beat him.

Delaney mentioned using technology to get carbon out of the atmosphere. I think we have the technology and we may also be able to remove carbon from seawater. I’ve often wondered why we haven’t implemented this idea.

9:30

On climate change the candidates seem to be agreeing very combatively.

Williamson goes to a bigger issue again from Flint, Michigan and the crowd really seems to like it.

This reminds me of the last first debate. It’s pretty civil.

9:45

Williamson’s coming out hard for reparations, referencing “40 acres and a mule.” The crowd likes that too.

Commercial Break. It must be time for closing arguments.

Nope on to the economy. I guess we’re running over.

Warren and Sanders still seem to have a non-aggression pact, but everyone seems to agree on tariffs.

10:00

Warren and Delaney just got pretty technical on tax policy.

There’s too much arguing around the margins. For example, whether to meet with Kim Jung Un or not is so far from a fundamental issue it’s ridiculous.

Buttigeig got a lot of applause for his answer on vision and everybody seems to want to weigh in. CNN scheduled three hours for the debate, but the debate was going to only be two hours. What will we do if the pundits don’t tell us what to think (sarcasm)?

Commercial break. Holy crap! Did I just hear the Sid Vicious version of My Way?!?

Closing statements, finally. My attention span is getting tested.

O’Rourke really seems to think he made Texas a swing state. That’s dangerously naive.

Analysis

This reminds me of the first night from round one. It was largely civil and there was a lot of agreement between the candidates. A lot of the discussion was around the margins but there were some clear lines of difference. Props to Williamson for making arguments that hit much bigger issues than most of the rest of the field. I liked her better this time, but I still think she’s out of her league.

It was good to see Sanders and Warren almost collaborating. I think that was good strategy.

I didn’t see a lot of reasons to change my mind about any of the candidates. I still like the same candidates and I’m still lukewarm about most of them. There are a couple I’m now sure I won’t support for the nomination under any circumstance and I’m unsure I could support those candidates in the general.

One thought on “Democratic Debate Round 2, Night 1

  1. Good analysis. MW is seems to be expanding the debate and if you remember that was my main hope for her. When I said she was the real deal. I meant her Spiritual concerns are genuine. No hypocrisy.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.