Note: my immediate reactions to the Democratic debate of the evening of July 30, 2019.
I began watching tonight’s Democratic debate, televised from Detroit, thinking there was far too many people in it, ten this evening and that was just half, the other half tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 31).
But as it progressed I felt that at least some of the lesser knowns spoke up and tried to pull some of the assertions or proposals from the progressive front runners back to more pragmatic approaches, such as not throwing the baby out with the bathwater by taking away or doing away with private or employer-provided health insurance by providing for Medicare for all. There are different proposals but in one way or another most seem to point toward the demise of non-public insurance, at least eventually, save for maybe supplemental policies, if that.
And free college for all was criticized because it would allow wealthy people to take advantage of such a system, not to mention the cost.
I marvel at the notion that there is really such a thing as free health care or free college. As for health care I do support a public role of at least protecting those who cannot afford coverage. As for free college. First of all we have too many people in college who do not belong there. Higher education is not for everyone. We probably do need to look at restructuring the whole system because the old model is out of date. But at any rate, it is never free. Someone has to pay, college and health care.
Personally, I thought Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who for some reason I don’t usually take to, at least had maybe the best line of the night when she retorted to one candidate who claimed progressive ideas were impractical and could not be done. Her retort was to former congressman and now presidential candidate John Delaney, but probably applied to some of the other moderates.
“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.” That got her good applause.
Applause to a political candidate is like a laugh to a comedian. But earlier in the debate when some in the audience started to laugh at something Warren was saying, she shut them down by saying: “this is not funny”. And seemed to get away with it. The lady does put energy into what she does.
I think Bernie Sanders is just a little too socialist for me, and he is an avowed socialist. Like I say all the time: I’m for social programs, not socialism.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, whom I do like somewhat, I think did well, but she is rather low key and while that may work in her native Minnesota, I’m not sure how that works in nationwide politics and against the monster that is Trump. She would I am sure make a good president — well I think so. How can I know?
We need someone competent and someone who can bring our nation back to normalcy and decency. But to win the election a candidate probably has to have some pizzazz. Some energy.
I should mention South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg. He is well spoken and he is an Afghanistan war veteran, and one who apparently at least served out in combat areas (don’t know the details). He took a swipe at Trump, accusing him of escaping military service by claiming a phony injury or disability (that seems to be a fairly well supported assertion). Not sure how comfortable some voters would be about electing Buttigieg an admitted homosexual for president. Not politically correct to say that (and probably not nice either), but I’m not writing this to be politically correct (or nice), just to be honest. And he is so young, 37. He took a swipe at the religious right Republicans by saying something about when you hurt the poor you mock the maker (a biblical reference apparently). I liked that. That’s because I think there is so much ugly hypocrisy from those who claim to be holier than thou but support such an immoral president.
Overall, I thought Elizabeth Warren probably came out ahead, but there seemed no clear standout in this.
I should mention that the disappointing phenom Beto O’Rourke, who got famous for losing a senatorial race to Ted Cruz of Texas (but it was close), kind of came back from the dead with what I sort of thought was a Kennedyesque style (JFK). But I think he is probably old news or all hat and no cattle as they say down his way. And he, like JFK, does not wear a hat.
These were just some immediate reactions and this is not meant to be a complete summary. You either saw it or can replay it or can skip the whole thing of course, the latter probably being the best option.
Superstars Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are on tap tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 31) along with all the others who were not on this evening. As I write this and before I watch, if I can, tomorrow night, I’m thinking when the dust has settled on all this primary stuff, it will be either Biden or Harris vs. Trump. Either one ought to be able to beat Trump, that is unless they get too confident — like the last one who tried. And how you can spend so many millions of dollars on a campaign and fail to grasp the power and danger of the Electoral College, stuns me. And then there is bad luck.