The Democratic debate was a magical evening in which Lincoln Chaffee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Jim Webb congregated to listen to Sanders and Clinton talk.
Let’s start with Lincoln Chaffee. His terrible performance seemed to be necessary only to boost the other candidates’ self-perceptions and will to live. Did the DNC accept walk-ons, or how did Chaffee even get on stage? Seriously: Google “Chaffee”. He doesn’t show up until the bottom of page 5! Ted Cruz could probably score the Democratic nomination before Chaffee.
Then there was Clinton, who had two highlights: 1) When she was reduced to giggling at how stupid Sanders was to defend her, and 2) When she explained her presidency would differ from Obama’s because she’s a woman. Yawn.
Martin O’Malley looked especially oily, didn’t he? He’s slippery like an eel, and wildly exaggerated his record in Maryland. Anderson Cooper even pointed out that the Attorney General blamed the Baltimore riots on two of his policies. Whether true or not, that’s how Democrats perceive him.
Let’s move on to Jim Webb, who struck me as one of two honest people on stage, and the only sensible person. Obviously, the media has rejected him for the latter reason, which is too bad for the Dems. If they were looking for a good candidate, they just raced past him. Webb is pretty liberal compared to the average American, just not way off in outer space like his counterparts. He didn’t leap on the red meat Anderson Cooper threw out about Sanders registering as a conscientious objector, instead of serving in the military, which seemed generous. Military men find it difficult to respect guys like Sanders.
Bernie Sanders has his appeal. He’s an unpolished, consistent, tell-it-like-it-is type of guy that provides a welcome contrast to the Clintons and O’Malleys of the world. His appeal is his honesty and his lack of political correctness, and maybe his rumpled appearance. He really believes what he is saying, in stark contrast to say, Clinton. That’s why he was the other honest candidate on the stage, but Jim Webb’s monopoly on common sense is safe from Sanders.
I don’t think he has a chance, though the crowd loved it when he said Black Lives Matter, instead of All Lives Matter. It was the right answer for a room of people who believe only the lives of one race can matter at any given time. Does Bernie believe it? Probably. Or perhaps he was watching as O’Malley squirmed and apologized for saying All Lives Matter (oily).
If you really look at his policies, you might wonder what ‘income inequality’ means to Sanders. He complains of the 1% and the 99%, but that’s what socialism is. Everybody is the same, except for the ruling class, the necessary counterpart to the 99%. Someone’s in charge, or else it’s anarchy, and that government never plays by the rules they demand of everyone else. Is Fidel Castro part of the 99%? Absolutely not. Was Stalin observing the guidelines he demanded of the people? Hell, no!
There are so many arguments against socialism that there’s no need for me to go into depth. The main one we should consider is that it fails the 99%, 100% of the time. Were the Russians – the people who lived under socialism the longest in modern times – flourishing? No, they were risking being shot by their wonderful, wonderful government to escape for a better life, in any other country.
We have gradients in the US, not a 99%, at least for now. Sanders talks about smoothing out those gradients: the upper class, the upper middle class, the middle class, the lower middle class, the working class, and the poor. One thing he’s got right is the middle class is shrinking… each time we adopt another socialist policy.
The Clinton machine can chew Sanders up and spit him out. Hillary’s only real threat is if Joe Biden enters the race, as the Democrats are praying he will. Clock’s a-tickin’ though, and all Joe does is talk.