75.4 F
Seattle
Friday, July 1, 2022

Dem Debate: A House Divided?

It would be a lot easier to say which Democratic presidential contenders shone in the Thursday night debate if there were only one or two existential crises to talk about.

But with so many threats to American security and democracy that every one of the 10 candidates was able to plant his or her flag on a vital issue — healthcare, gun violence, climate change, criminal justice and immigration reform. On America’s role in the world, on bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan, on uniting the country and educating our young.

Winners: Elizabeth Warren on Medicare-for-All and student loan forgiveness, even though she twice dodged the question of how to pay for those bennies. Cory Booker on recovering the soul of the country, rising to the moral challenges of the moment and curing inner-city ills like he has prioritized in New Jersey. Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke should see a boost in their lagging poll numbers after articulate, moderate and high-road attempts to urge national unity and differentiate themselves from the pack. Joe Biden managed to act like the front runner, with minimal misspeaks and spirited retorts to tough questions about soft spots in his long public service record.

Middling: Bernie Sanders stands by his socialist agenda, less of a problem than his railing at the audience like a mad professor. Kamala Harris delivered a clever challenge to Trump in her opening remarks, then told him to go back to watching Fox News. Her hearty laughter seemed inappropriate at moments that weren’t really funny. Andrew Yang came off as quirkier than usual, but whip-smart and likely to retain but not expand his niche of supporters.

Low blow: Julian Castro broke from the we’re-all-on-the-same-side posture of the debate with his hit at Biden’s age, accusing him of forgetting what he’d said two minutes earlier. Post-debate review showed Castro was wrong about what Biden had said. As Klobuchar interjected in a bid to corral the candidates back into the big tent: “A house divided cannot stand.”

Carol J Williams
Carol J Williams
Carol J. Williams is a retired foreign correspondent with 30 years' reporting abroad for the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press. She has reported from more than 80 countries, with a focus on USSR/Russia and Eastern Europe.

Post Alley welcomes comments to our articles. Our guidelines: no personal attacks, stay on topic, add something of value to the discussion. Our editors will edit comments for clarity and to conform with our guidelines. We encourage writers to use their full names.

1 COMMENT

  1. Great analysis. What do you think will happen when there are even fewer candidates left standing on the debate stage? Will attack’s tuen more venomous or will candidates start seeking the high road?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LATEST

Time to Lower the Heat in the Post-Roe Commentary

3
If the SCOTUS decision is the beginning, not the end, of the debate, we will need a lot more thoughtful commentary. Here are some examples.

Bolting for the Bigs: USC, UCLA Abandon PAC-12 for Big Ten (UW Next?)

10
It’s official now that the industry has fallen off the edge of the flat Earth propped so long by the mythology of amateurism.

Inside City Hall’s Serious Budget Shortfall

7
The multimillion-dollar gap -- viewed in the perspective of an annual budget in the $7 billion range -- is perhaps not horrific. But it still is bound to impact what the city can achieve towards meeting its on-going needs and ambitious social goals.

Battling Cancer, B.C. Premier Horgan to Step Down

1
Horgan, leader of the New Democratic Party, was a temperamental opposition leader but has proven an avuncular head of government. 

Pot Industry Versus its Workers

2
A new political action committee, People for Legal Cannabis, is gearing up to fight any effort by outsiders such as the UFCW to empower their workers. 

TRENDING

Bolting for the Bigs: USC, UCLA Abandon PAC-12 for Big Ten (UW Next?)

10
It’s official now that the industry has fallen off the edge of the flat Earth propped so long by the mythology of amateurism.

Time to Lower the Heat in the Post-Roe Commentary

3
If the SCOTUS decision is the beginning, not the end, of the debate, we will need a lot more thoughtful commentary. Here are some examples.

Inside City Hall’s Serious Budget Shortfall

7
The multimillion-dollar gap -- viewed in the perspective of an annual budget in the $7 billion range -- is perhaps not horrific. But it still is bound to impact what the city can achieve towards meeting its on-going needs and ambitious social goals.

The Complicated Legacy of Julia Child

3
The show may be a fictionalized version of Child’s groundbreaking TV success, but it portrays struggles by women for recognition and equality that ring true to that era.

The Fallacy (and Laziness) of Both-Sides-ism

2
The Republicans and the Democrats are not the same. Underlying too much of contemporary reporting is a “false equivalency,” which posits that by representing “both sides” balance and objectivity are attained.