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Assault on America, Day 287: Democrats pick a little, talk a little, cheep a lot, say nothing

CNN Debate Biden
Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little
Cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more

Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little
Cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more

Theater aficionados and fans of American cultural lore will recognize the famous blurb from the classic musical, The Music Man, but it’s possible you might’ve gotten the same feeling of sensory excess from watching the 12 Democrat presidential candidates on stage in Westerville, Ohio at Otterbein University last night. The fourth such party event wasn’t all that different than the others (in June, July and September), primarily a lot (not a little) picking on President Donald Trump and a little talking (not a lot) about the real issues that citizens really care about.

If you’re trapped in a room with a TV and the only channel tunes to the Democrat primary race you might think our country is failing economically, there are race riots in the streets (spurred on by the white supremacist president), our enemies are encroaching on our borders and all heck is breaking loose in the nation’s capital. The last point is debatable, but the strife is entirely due to the liberal party’s leaders -- including its presidential candidates -- dancing around and muttering about nothing in particular, gesticulating like gossiping hens who’ve had too much to drink and too little to do their entire lives but dwell on perceived negatives and cause misery where there isn’t any.

The only thing missing on Tuesday night were the brightly colored outfits and wide brimmed hats that the Music Man’s Pick a Little ladies donned in the stage production. And the singing. People actually pay money to see great entertainment and the Democrat squawkers are anything but. As a group they’re no doubt the sorriest collection of White House aspirants this country’s ever known -- and that’s saying a lot considering the establishment dominated GOP fields of the recent past.

From the opening moments the aura of impeachment hung over the proceedings as though Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself was the unseen 13th member of the performing political cast. No doubt a good chunk of the viewing audience was much less interested in hearing Joe Biden and Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren drone on about the micro-distinctions in their government-centered healthcare plans, or listen to Sen. Cory “I am Spartacus” harp on racism again (Booker’s at 1.6 percent in the Real Clear Politics average; apparently not many people are taking to the message).

Adding to the delirium was the fact the party crowded 12 candidates and an equal number of lecterns into one program and everyone knew it was going to be a tough task for the ideologically friendly moderators (Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, and Marc Lacey) to keep them all under check and behaving like adults. The fresh additions of Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer (shoved to the far left extreme of the viewing audience) injected a token bit of new life into the discussion, though there are only so many minutes and speaking opportunities in a “debate” -- so their difference-making capacity was limited.

One interesting note -- according to a recent Rasmussen survey, nearly one-in-five Democrat voters has changed his or her mind due to the debates. Who would’ve thought? My impressions have only been hardened -- they’re all undeserving.

As the Democrat field’s lone current House member, Gabbard highlighted how she actually had a say as to whether the impeachment “inquiry” turned into full-blown articles against President Trump -- something none of the others, including the more visible senators (Booker, Bernie Sanders, Warren, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar) -- could brag about. But the point fell flat. Simply being one of 435 representatives in the House doesn’t get people looking -- it just makes you wonder why she’s running for the highest office in the land.

Out of his element doofus “Beto” O’Rourke served three terms in the House where he generally spoke against impeachment. But now that he’s unemployed and somehow hoping to catch on in the presidential race, he loves the idea.

In the course of the debate Gabbard could’ve included a few digs at party organizers for their less-than-inclusive criteria for qualifying for these Democrat nationally exposed events, arguing the rules favor those with greater name recognition and ability to raise money because of their pseudo-celebrity status. Standing next to Steyer, one wonders what the billionaire (who’s dumped big $$$ into TV ads to generate just enough support to get on stage) would’ve felt about the “it’s all about the money” issue, since the only reason he’s there is because of his ability to outspend the others without doing nearly as much of the hard work involved with person-to-person retail campaigning.

Gabbard did sound more cautionary than the others during the impeachment frenzy by mentioning the House needs to be careful in the “inquiry”, and if the Senate didn’t vote to convict, it would divide the country. Gabbard said she supports the “inquiry” but didn’t necessarily indicate she believes the president should be removed. She probably can’t say either way…

It’s safe to say many in the national audience didn’t know a whole heck of a lot about Steyer prior to Tuesday night and they’re probably still wondering about him today. The debate’s very first question involved impeachment, and every candidate had the chance to say why they were for it. Steyer -- who looks like Howdy Doody with a big nose and goofy facial expressions -- said every candidate on stage would be better than the “criminal” in the White House. Wow, great first impression!

Fellow California business-giant Andrew Yang was a completely new face in June (for the first party debate) but he’s old-hat now. Steyer’s national poll figures (1.4 percent) aren’t impressing anyone, and if the first time he showed up in one of these big Democrat events is in mid-October, that’s not leaving much time for him to grow a large enough following to compete in the early states much less all across America.

At this point Steyer’s best hope is to say or do something that takes attention off of impeachment (though he was one of the first to loudly call for it) and the horses at the front of the race. How? Some things money can’t buy. Instead, he bashed wealthy people and corporations. Idiot.

In a larger sense, what’s he doing there? Sure, Steyer’s a devoted-to-the-cause burn-down-the-institutions leftist, but there are already several more prominent candidates who fit the description and are light-years ahead of him in campaign substance. Shoot, “Pocahontas” Warren cracked open a beer and announced she was running for president on New Year’s Eve, nine and a half months ago. Every major candidate on stage (and even those who weren’t there) jumped in the scrum a long time ago. Does Steyer hope people will drop the others and take to his California coiffure and gold-plated wallet? Or was he there to increase his money-generating profile to seed more leftist causes?

Surprisingly, Steyer didn’t hit his signature issue -- the climate change “emergency” -- during his few brief chances to talk (note: Steyer only spoke for a total of seven minutes and twelve seconds, by far the lowest total). No matter -- the issue doesn’t make him special and there simply isn’t a niche in Democrat politics for an old and rich white guy to inject himself into the political ecosystem. Don’t forget two of the three top-tier Democrats are old and rich white guys (though not in the same stratosphere of wealth) and they’ve already got a stranglehold on the young and dumb voters (the ones who believe their baloney) and the establishment too.

With Joe Biden’s polling numbers sinking and Warren’s rising (she briefly took the lead last week only to have the former Obama veep regain the #1 spot in the Real Clear Politics average by six points with a couple favorable survey results), there simply isn’t room at the top for an also-ran non-distinguishable candidate like Steyer to elbow out the others. Climate fright is certainly an important issue to Democrat voters -- brainless “Beto” O’Rourke’s staked his campaign on it, along with racism, anti-religious freedom, gun confiscation and (name ultra-leftist issue here), but it appears party primary voters still favor the all-important electability argument.

Hence, Biden still leads.

For his part, Biden probably enjoyed his best debate thus far in the cycle (mostly because he didn’t have to say much and everyone else was beating up on “Pocahontas”). Seeing as he’s no longer the clear-in-everyone’s-mind frontrunner, the nearly five-decade experienced pol is more relaxed -- and angry -- than ever. But it works for him. Defending himself has always been Grampa Joe’s strong suit and it’s almost like he craves being attacked by Trump, Republicans, some parts of the media… and his opponents if they still care enough to do so.

Anything that detracts from his lack of an issue platform is a plus for Biden. Though he and the others, AGAIN, tried to explain the differences in their healthcare-takeover proposals, nothing new was garnered from the effort. It seems Joe would much rather talk about impeaching Trump and the awful rancor in this country over the Orange Man’s presence, then slip in some soft pardons for his prodigal son (Hunter) and shame anyone for questioning his integrity. What a bunch of meanies Americans are to ever doubt him or a member of his family!

“Let’s keep this election focused on Trump’s corruption,” Joe said. He then said he was proud of his son and his judgment. Lie, lie, lie, abscond, abscond, abscond…. What a coward.

The two-headed socialist team of Sanders and Warren again refrained from directly attacking each other. This time Sanders was to Biden’s right (and Kamala Harris next to him) with “Pocahontas” literally and figuratively to his left. Judging by their lack of animosity towards Biden it appears the pro-Soviet ideological siblings regard the establishment as all-but done for. Or maybe it’s because they’re all over 70 and figure they need a respite from the non-stop bombardment of the other candidates. At least Biden’s teeth didn’t almost pop out of his mouth during the three hours… and Bernie managed to get through without a defibrillator.

Not a tasteless joke. Whereas before there was only speculation about Sanders’ health issues, now there’s concrete proof (his heart attack). Try explaining to the American public that you turned 78-years-old a month ago and just were sprung from the hospital after treatment for a cardiac episode -- and you still can handle the job as president.

As would be expected Bernie dropped a couple self-deprecating jokes about his physical wellbeing, but did anyone laugh? Bowing out with dignity is clearly his only recourse now. It’s a matter of when, not if.

Which would leave the farthest leftist-lane exclusively to Warren, who seems more than up to the task of defending and advancing it. The faux Native American once again emphasized how much fight is within her regardless of her ability to tell the truth or do simple math calculations. Warren thinks every one of her plans will be paid for through her wealth tax idea, even if there aren’t enough rich people on the planet to subsidize everything she’s asking for.

For their part, several Democrats -- “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Biden -- mentioned how Warren didn’t make sense when describing the funding logistics of her healthcare plan. Still, it was like a dead point. None of them understand economics or financing. They love abortion -- all of them do -- but do they embrace monetary policy?

Biden would seemingly be the one best situated to attack the enormous practical gaps in her logic, but he’s too busy grousing on impeachment and defending himself. Whereas Barack Obama was frequently pecked at (for not being liberal enough) in July, the “Chosen One” engenders barely a mention in the “new” Democrat presidential race. Biden still wants to take credit for all the perceived “accomplishments” of the previous administration but can’t afford to get too close to his old (and much younger) boss.

Yang again tried to explain his universal basic income notion and sound well-informed and with-it on the other issues when he got a chance to speak. Tuesday night neither helped him nor hurt him. The California entrepreneur’s fortunes are inexorably tied to the fate of the top-tier. If they falter at some point, some might consider the far out-there Yang as an alternative. When everyone else falls out of the sky, someone has to stay around to run for president, right?

It won’t be Kamala Harris or Beto, either. Harris said it was the “sixth” debate -- can she count? -- and then launched into a diatribe over defending abortion. The California senator’s certainly realized she can’t sound intelligent describing her healthcare plan, so she plans to rally everyone ‘round her candidacy by promising to kill as many babies as she can!

What a loser. If anything, Kamala’s now trying to take over the title of angriest -- and potentially the new Elizabeth Warren foe (the two got into a discussion over whether to break up the tech companies and ban Trump’s Twitter account).

O’Rourke was largely invisible on Tuesday night. Even when he spoke it’s like his lips were moving but nothing came out. Ditto for Julian Castro. A non-entity. Ditto-ditto for Amy Klobuchar, though she did sound strong in her defense of unions (she said a union protected her father the mine worker and her mother the teacher).

If there was a “winner” I’d say it was Andrew Yang. He’s the only one in the race who doesn’t endlessly pontificate about political matters and speaks directly to people in language ordinary folks understand. During the discussion on jobs -- whether everyone should be provided a guaranteed job -- he talked about truck drivers being the number one vocation in 29 states, including Ohio. I can see people nodding along at home saying, “this guy makes some sense.”

The same goes for Gabbard, who delivered a terrific response to the question regarding Ellen DeGeneres and George W. Bush’s friendship. Paraphrasing, she said, “I don’t see Deplorables, I see Americans.” Gabbard is a liberal…but at least she’s not offensive. She’s as young as Buttigieg but doesn’t come across as pandering to any group. All in all, not bad.

Not the rest of ‘em. What a mess.

The only thing that’s certain about the Democrat presidential race is its uncertainty. With Biden’s impeachment problem (sometimes known as his son, Hunter), he’s no longer seen as the candidate to beat no matter what the national polls say. Who knows, maybe Democrats will drag Hillary Clinton kicking and screaming (yeah, right) into the race. Or Nancy Pelosi (after impeaching both Mike Pence and Donald Trump).

There will be a Democrat name on the ballot opposite President Trump in less than thirteen months (assuming nothing comes from the impeachment farce). Tuesday night’s “debate” did little to clarify who that name will be. When all was said and done, there was more picking than talking -- a bad sign for the party out of the White House.

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