December 2019 Democratic Debate Thoughts

December 20, 2019 Politics / Religion Comments (0) 131

Last night’s Democratic Debate was, I thought, the best so far. I almost didn’t watch, because I’m tired of hearing the same questions and answers ad nauseum, but Corky pointed out that impeachment might make for some interesting new questions.

It didn’t–I think there was only one question about impeachment–but as it turned out, the moderators from Politico and PBS did a great job coming up with thoughtful, relevant questions on a broad list of topics.

The usual format, especially from godawful NBC news, is to try and come up with “gotcha” questions and encourage the candidates to fight one another. These questions addressed subjects that are often neglected (environment! disabilities! violence against trans women!) and got the candidates arguing naturally and organically, not through cajoling.

As a result, I thought most of the candidates came away looking good. Almost every candidate had a strong showing, I think, and for once I didn’t feel like I’d have to suck it up to vote for whoever wins the nomination. Kobuchar’s jokes were obviously rehearsed, and Bernie got caught unprepared to talk about trans safety and made a clumsy pivot to Medicare For All, his panacea this campaign cycle (not to be outdone, Yang argued that his Freedom Dividend would protect trans health…. somehow.) Biden ALMOST got through without a gaffe, although his forced stutter (intended to illustrate how children with stutters look to Joe, who himself has a stuttering problem, for inspiration and guidance) mostly confused people, and left some without knowledge of Joe’s own history thinking he mocked childhood disability.

As always, I really don’t want Andrew Yang to be the candidate, but I really like a lot of what he says.

And as always, I’m disappointed that the first openly gay candidate to have a viable shot at the Presidency isn’t… better. Pete’s not the worst person in the world, by a longshot, but he’s such a model of the “white gay” stereotype, simultaneously talking about the importance of civil rights to his marriage while defending the status quo and minimizing the plight of other marginalized groups… it’s frustrating.

Warren remains my favorite on that stage (Cory is my #1, but he just can’t seem to get traction in the polls) but Bernie has climbed into my #2 spot, despite the mountain of resentment toward him that I carried into this cycle. After them, I guess it’s Amy Klobuchar, because I outright disqualify Yang and Steyer and really don’t like Biden or Pete.


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