The Democratic National Committee has received much criticism for its decision to limit the number of debates but after Tuesday’s boring and inconsequential one in Las Vegas that criticism may lessen. Nobody on stage seemed too interested in challenging Hillary. To the extent that any of these candidates struck at her, it was with the flat of the blade.
Martin O’Malley, who has been whining about the paucity of debates, made little to no effort to debate Hillary. Why does he want so many debates held if he thinks issues like her e-mail scandal aren’t worth debating? Given the chance by CNN host Anderson Cooper to attack her on that issue, O’Malley wilted. He saved his courage for pols not in the room, those odious “xenophobes” who don’t support open borders.
Hillary had such an easy time of it she reached over in mid-debate and shook Bernie Sanders’s hand after he too declined to question her “damn e-mails.”
Hillary spent much of the debate rehearsing her tediously scripted answers, pandering to progressives, and playing the feminist card. At least three times she spoke of the glorious prospect of America finally electing a woman to the presidency. She also promised to force companies to pay for women to take care of their newborns, provided that they haven’t killed them first—a right Hillary with even more enthusiasm championed as she extolled the work of Planned Parenthood.
Companies should be compelled by law to provide “paid family leave” to mothers with newborns, according to Hillary. But no such obligation falls on the mothers themselves. They have no duty to care for their unborn children, according to Hillary, who scathingly criticized Republicans for daring to speak up for defenseless children. If Republicans truly opposed big government, she harrumphed, they would turn a blind eye to Planned Parenthood’s abortion mills.
Hillary was working hard to impress progressives, throwing a tougher punch at Sanders than he ever threw at her when a question concerning gun control came up. Hillary found him insufficiently committed to gun control, even though he had boasted of his “D-” grade from the NRA. O’Malley chipped in that he got an “F” from the NRA. Lincoln Chafee complained that Americans mistakenly assume that the Democrats are “coming for their guns,” but anyone witnessing Hillary’s eagerness to beat past Sanders to the left on that issue can understand why the public harbors that fear.
Hillary was also determined to display her pro-amnesty credentials, saying at one point that Obama hasn’t gone far enough on that issue. She wants to go “beyond” his executive orders.
Jim Webb, whose primary contribution to the debate was to carp about his lack of time to speak during it, offered a mildly dissonant note on the gun issue, noting that average Americans don’t enjoy the protection of armed bodyguards as powerful pols do. The audience responded to his remark with silence, and his opponents didn’t bother to engage it.
The diffident Lincoln Chafee seemed to back accidentally into an elliptical attack on Hillary by noting his “high” ethical standards and absence of any scandal in his career. Desperately trying to pump life into a moribund debate, Anderson Cooper asked Hillary if she had a response to one of Chafee’s answers. “No,” she coldly replied.
The debate was a poor advertisement for the party, perhaps another reason the DNC seeks to limit the number of debates. Sanders talked about how he hoped America would one day emulate Scandinavian socialism. That is the direction in which the party wants America to go. There were few if any mentions of the Constitution in the debate. The candidates preferred to talk about open borders, big government, legalized pot, and Scandinavia-style mores. Hillary proudly called herself a “progressive” and bragged about her work with the socialist Children’s Defense Fund after law school. She could have wowed her audience even more by recounting the summer she spent in Oakland working for Robert Truehaft, an openly communist lawyer who represented groups like the Black Panthers in the 1960s and 1970s. Apparently Hillary is far enough ahead of Sanders that she didn’t need to highlight that detail from her past.
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