Things I learned from the Dem Debate (2/19/20)

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Mike Bloomberg thought he would come swinging onto the Dem debate stage like Spiderman, spinning an impenetrable golden web to bedazzle and entrap his opponents. Instead, he swung straight into a bug zapper.

You know you’ve got a serious race relations problem when even anti-busing advocates like Joe Biden are lecturing you on your civil rights record.

Best Bloomberg line of the night, “What am I, chicken liver?” Actually Mike, after last night your campaign looks more like half a billion dollars’ worth of spoiled pâté.

Elizabeth Warren finally dug out the Progressive Champion Cape™ she’d been hiding away in Neera Tanden’s closet since last October, and came into the debate fighting tooth and nail for her flagging campaign to be Vice President for . . . somebody, anybody, really doesn’t matter who, we’ll let the process play itself out. Liz took shots at all the candidates (including Bernie) but saved her most effective fire for NDA Mike.

Warren’s assault on Bloomberg was as devastating a takedown of a candidate as we have seen this cycle, perhaps matched only by Tulsi Gabbard sinking Kamala Harris in a previous debate. Yet while Tulsi’s attacks deep-sixed Kamala’s run, they actually didn’t end up floating Gabbard’s own poll numbers all that much. It will be interesting to see whether Liz’s broadsides yield a more positive reaction. In the meantime though, Bloomberg rolling his eyes at Warren sure was fun to watch.

Pete Buttigieg is that sniggering, know-it-all, high school sophomore who spends his days in the back of the classroom making snarky cracks about his fellow students to compensate for his own deep-seeded insecurities. Pete’s strategy is clear: he wants to unify all Democrats around the belief that he's an opportunistic, back-biting little shit.

Like an attention-starved jackal, Buttigieg tried taking a nip out of each of the other candidates in turn, and got swatted every time, until he finally found his sickly victim in Amy Klobuchar. After sinking his teeth into Amy’s record and tasting blood, Pete just had to go back for seconds – thus permanently alienating Klobuchar supporters who would otherwise be the ones most ideologically receptive to him. But hey, scavengers gonna scavenge.

Final note to Pete: the last two candidates who tried speaking Spanglish at a Dem debate are no longer in the race. La comida de reflexion, Pedro.

Amy Klobuchar has been winning elections since fourth grade, and drew heavily on her elementary school debate training last night. Faced with rather tame and eminently foreseeable criticisms by Buttigieg, Klobuchar decided the proper response would be to freak out as if Pete had just stolen her Girl Scout cookies, thus giving Pete’s attacks far more credibility than if she had simply laughed him off like all the others did.

Instead, a flustered and semi-coherent Klobuchar was reduced to playground retorts like “I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete,” which may have worked for Amy when she ran for hall monitor, but all these years later doesn’t quite pack the same punch. She then begged the question, “Are you trying to say that I’m dumb or are you mocking me here, Pete?”

Take your pick, Amy.

Watching Joe Biden debate is like watching that old commercial for LifeCall. You feel sorry for the elderly person who’s fallen, but you can’t help quietly chuckling anyway.

As someone who’s watched every minute of every Dem debate so far this cycle, I can honestly say Bernie Sanders has never actually outright ‘won’ any of them. On any given night, there has always been another candidate whose performance was better. Yet it’s never the same candidate.

More importantly, a big reason Bernie keeps rising in the polls because he has never LOST a debate, and judging from the way all the second-tier candidates continue to tear each other down in their quest to be anointed the Anti-Bernie by the establishment press, Bernie losing is becoming an increasingly unlikely proposition.

And finally . . . it’s official:

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Chuck Todd has a worse combover than Donald Trump.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

EO1eBj8UwAAqAVw.jpg

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

janis b's picture

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@janis b from his SNL days.

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janis b's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter @Dr. John Carpenter

6. Linda Richman (Saturday Night Live, 1991-94)
Another iconic SNL caricature from Myers is the host of public access show Coffee Talk. Richman is a Jewish woman with a Brooklyn accent, based on Myers' real-life mother-in-law, also named Linda Richman. The character frequently uses totally made-up Yiddish-sounding phrases like, “He had developed shpilkes in his schenectazoink,” and “Oy vey, schmear, I think it’s a shanda in a chuppah.”

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@janis b This was the period I watched regularly, so naturally, it's the best era. Smile Your milage will vary on that claim. Hah.

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link

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the only Democratic presidential contender to beat President Trump in a head-to-head match-up, according to a new Emerson College poll released Wednesday.

Sanders edges out Trump by a 51 percent-49 percent margin in the poll. Meanwhile, Trump leads former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg by 2 points. All those margins are within the poll’s margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.

Trump also leads former Vice President Joe Biden 52 percent-48 percent, an advantage outside the poll’s margin of error...

Wednesday’s poll shows only minor differences from the same survey last month, in which Sanders again was the only Democrat to lead the president

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@gjohnsit

Trump was losing against nearly the entire field.

Now it's only Bernie who still beats him.

Funny how that happened....

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

I'm on Team CIA Pete re: the Klob not knowing - er, "forgetting" - AMLO's name. Why? Because she couldn't speak at all about policy generally or specifically. This was her equivalent of Sarah Palin seeing Russia from her house or Rick Perry forgetting the names of federal departments he wanted to abolish ("oops." *uncomfortable silence* Big ups to Ron Paul for trying to help).

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janis b's picture

I loved your answer to Bloomberg's best line of the night ...

Best Bloomberg line of the night, “What am I, chicken liver?” Actually Mike, after last night your campaign looks more like half a billion dollars’ worth of spoiled pâté.

He needs to be fed chopped liver to overcome his anaemia.

Hope so ...

More importantly, a big reason Bernie keeps rising in the polls because he has never LOST a debate, and judging from the way the other second-tier candidates continue to tear each other down in their quest to be anointed the Anti-Bernie by the establishment press, Bernie losing is becoming an increasingly unlikely proposition.

ps. Dick Cavett, and the first couple years of SNL, were the last I watched.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@janis b

ps. Dick Cavett, and the first couple years of SNL, were the last I watched.

Now that you mention it, Dick Cavett may have been more of an early influence than I realize.

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

Pricknick's picture

Monty
February 19, 2020 at 9:27 pm
Biden really charged up! It looks like he did a hit of meth and then someone wiped a mashed ghost pepper around his rectum.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

karl pearson's picture

@Pricknick Thanks for reporting that comment from naked capitalism. It's interesting that the Dem establishment/MSM "front runner" has been reduced to such a reality.

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Bollox Ref's picture

I'm glad I didn't watch.

Bloomberg might want to rethink his wardrobe.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Bollox Ref
new_york_city_mayor_mike_bloomberg_at_midtown_comics.jpg

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

One of his characters when he was on Saturday Night Live

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And say “here’s the look I want”?

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Wally's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

. . . although the cartoon more accurately depicts his hair density.

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Mark from Queens's picture

You captured the whole sick spectacle hilariously well.

Keep exposing the rot - Thanks!

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"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Mark from Queens

Keep exposing the rot - Thanks!

Same to you.

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

Thank you for the recap. I am in need of keeping my sense of humor and laughing through this election. The visual of Bloomberg swinging into a bug zapper in a Spider-Man costume was just what the Doctor ordered. I can’t stop chuckling.

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Got some good laughs along the way.

My husband was appalled with Buttegieg. He said he had never seen such a nasty back biting weasel before and declared he would never vote for him.

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin