Confessions of A Political Junkie: Democrats Come Out Swinging In First Debate
Tuesday October 14th, 2015 was Fight Night ladies and gentlemen. At the Wynn Hotel in Fabulous Las Vegas Navada, the political heavyweights of the Democratic party went head to head over everything from gun control to Benghazi.
After the absolutely traumatizing Republican debate I was definitely looking forward to a little bit of logic from the Democrats. Things move quickly in politics, and with the country in a tizzy over the latest Trump Meme or Hillary scandal, one can get lost in the fog.
Put your de-frosters on and join me for a complete run-down of the most recent Democratic debate, held Tuesday evening on CNN.
Essentially, there was a lot more logic and respect in this debate. I'm not one for partisan bullshit, but I can say...there's a lot more to be learned from this debate than the previous Republican ones. It's just blatant: they have more respect for the issues.
I've left the facts alone and put my commentary in bold so you can easily discern what people really said. Not that it matters.
It's an all new brand fear and loathing in Las Vegas tonight.
Alright, let's look at what each of the players had to say. Summed up in three or four, easy to read points so you can get on with your life.
How does that sound?
First off...front runners Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders shared a more than awkward handshake before all the shit hit the fan. It looked pretty human though, so we can't fault them.
That's what I like about this debate...it's not as wooden as the Republican one. There was a bit of truth under all the pomp and circumstance. The podiums and the lights can throw people off their game, but these two proved that it's honestly, just two people talking about some stuff on a stage. No big deal right?
Let's start with the big dogs shall we?
Hillary Clinton: "I believe strongly, that we need to be talking about issues that are important to the American people."
Hillary came out swinging. She's in the lead, she's the most popular and she has the most to lose.
-When asked about her E-mail probe, she dismissed it as a partisan move by the Republican National Convention to drive down her poll numbers. (Looks like a House of Cards power play right? I"m over the whole E-mail thing.)
-She banked on her experience in the situation room with Obama and her political prowess apart from her husband. (Clinton wasn't a horrible president...)
- She wants to stand up to Putin (Yeah, he's a grim bastard isn't he? Every time he goes away he comes back...like herpes or something.)
-"I'm a progressive who gets things done."
-She prided herself on bi-partisanship and how she can get things done despite party lines. (But lots of people view that as flip-flopping or, changing your political agenda depending on who you're talking to. That's never good)
- "We have to save capitalism from itself by protecting small businesses." (We might be beyond this...)
-"We are not Denmark, we are the United States of America." (Is she trying to attract votes from the already deflating Republican party?)
- She did a LOT of deflecting...which is part of good politics, but not a part of a good leader.
Conclusion: 67% favorite to gain the nomination...so...there's that.
Bernie takes the typical stance of a bleeding heart liberal, but does so in a way that doesn't make you sick. Right now, he's looking like my favorite candidate. He's seasoned enough to be able to lead, but not so far into the political machine that he'll play games. He seems passionate and forthright. I hope that his momentum continues, and he gets more traction. If not, then...I'm not sure what will happen, or what fate we await as Americans.
-there are different views on gun control, we have to bring people together with strong common sense gun legislation.
-Sanders respects other people's opinions, but is firm where he needs to be. To me, that is the mark of a good leader: someone who will always listen, but ends up taking responsibility and aligning with his own values to make things better.
-Supported a ban on assault weapons, background checks and straw-man gun purchases
-There are thousands of people who are suicidal and homicidal that don't have the ability to get mental health care. It's too expensive and not readily available. (This is extremely important. I support Sanders for this and this alone. We have to take action in making mental health just as big of a priority as physical health. I guarantee a lot of violent crimes would be avoided if people had some kind of support or an outlet.)
-"Do I consider myself a capitalist? A part of the casino capitalist society where only a handful of people do well? No. I don't." (He came out swinging too...guns blazing even. I think his passion makes him a great choice. We have to have someone that will give a shit about what we think and what we want. Stiff wooden puppets aren't what we need. We need a human.)
-He declared himself a "Democratic Socialist" because he believes that the economy is rigged.
-"And when you look around the world you see every major country providing healthcare, providing medical leave for working mothers."
Anderson Cooper literally asked how the hell any kind of socialist can get elected in the United States and Bernie Sanders responded by saying, "We will get elected, because we have common sense."
Conclusion: Huh. Common sense. Seems painfully logical, almost too logical for politics.
Martin O'Malley: "Someone sold 4,000 rounds of military grade ammunition to the Aurora Colorado shooter and didn't even ask where it was going."
You might not have heard a lot from O'Malley, but he was a calm, rational voice in the sea of political bullshit. He defended his reputation as the mayor of Baltimore and ended up creating quite a stir when he went up against Sanders on gun control.
-a big proponent of severe gun control legislation (he brought up victims of the Aurora movie theater shooting and even pointed out family members in the crowd, can't help but wonder if this was an emotional appeal to a large audience or a spirited attempt to get people to take him seriously. Whatever the motivation...it seemed to work.)
-We can pass gun legislation without pandering to the NRA
-"Maybe it's good that I haven't been in the United states congress" (Fuck...that makes too much sense. Maybe we need a voice outside of the political machine. It's not possible, but maybe we need one.)
-"I ran for mayor of Baltimore in 1999 because I wanted to turn the city around." (He went on to describe some horrific incidents involving drug dealers and firebombings in poor, black neighborhoods)
-Complete proponent for safety and less violence on city streets.
Conclusion: Could be the perfect candidate for moderates, who don't have strong leanings or allegiances to Hillary.
Jim Webb: "People deserve the right to arm themselves."
Webb was by far the most Republican Democrat on the stage. He seemed a bit out of touch when the chaos started to fly, and didn't really make a big impact. He also went on an odd rant about China that was nearly unintelligible. I don't feel like talking about that here, because frankly...it doesn't mean anything. I don't think this guy will make it to the next debate, but in case by some grace of Gd, he does...here are his main points.
-Need background checks and have to keep people away from guns who shouldn't have them
-But we must retain the rights to protect ourselves
-"We've done not a good job on gun control." (Yeah...no kidding)
-This dude wrote an Op-Ed on Affirmative Action, and how it's racist against whites.
-He also said that the idea of diversity programming doesn't elevate consciousness about hardships of whites opposed to non-whites (I'm not even sure what the hell he's talking about here..but it's safe to say, his opinion on that whole thing will drop him in the polls).
- Said his experience in the army as a Marine and having 5 years in the Pentagon makes him the best option for Commander in Chief.
Lincoln Chaffee: "I have had no scandals."
Using a lot of "I" statements made Chaffee look like a stiff jerk with nothing on his mind but his own campaign. He also tried to look sympathetic and didn't really get into it with anyone. He bored me. Completely. And while his intentions are good, I can't really trust him to go up against someone like Trump and actually succeed. He's my other favorite to drop out of the race soon...but anyway. Here are his main points as well.
-"When legislators step up to pass common sense gun legislation, the NRA steps up and tells everyone that "they're coming to take your guns"." (This makes a lot of sense, we have to work with the gun lobby in order to make real change. Good point. Touche.)
-Said Clinton should be disqualified from the presidency because she voted FOR the Iraq war. (He called her judgement into question and compared her to those who voted for Vietnam. It was a horrible decision. And the greatest mistake in American history, according to Sanders.)
All in all he seemed a bit mousy... and Americans don't want a mousy leader. He seems like an OK dude, and I'm not going to roast him, but he won't get the nomination.
Conclusion: Could be a fantastic vice presidential candidate for either Sanders or Clinton.
While not as disheartening as the Republican debate, there is still a lot of work to be done before we pick a candidate on either side.
Right now, my favorite is Bernie, because he listens. He's passionate and he has a good even head on his shoulders. He balances experience with common sense, and that's the kind of leadership we need.
That's all, from the United States Office of Fear and Loathing. Hope you found this useful.