A dubious milestone for bi-partisan alignment was achieved in the ninth Democratic Debate: The spectacle of gladiators brutally goring each other with unforgiving invective, unconcealed contempt, and scorched earth denunciations is no longer the exclusive reality TV programming of the Republican Party. The tantrum-fest Thursday night in Brooklyn threatens the ultimate unification of the Democratic Party at just the moment when their hopes for the general election were buoyed by the fissures along the San Andreus–scale fault lines in the Republican Party.
- In a lively discussion about whether Israel’s counterattack on Hamas in Gaza was disproportionate, Bernie Sanders asserted that the attack indeed was, and that “if we are ever going to bring peace to that region we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.” He emphatically stated that “there comes a time when we cannot say Netanyahu is right all the time.” Clinton’s scorching retort leaned heavily on her detailed knowledge of Hamas’ terrorist strikes from bases in Gaza, and on her personal experience closed-door negotiating sessions with the most senior leaders of the parties. She leveraged the nuanced understanding gained from her years leading the state department. Advantage: Clinton.
- CNN moderators pressed Bernie Sanders to provide the details and likely costs of his proposals to provide a free college education to anyone who wishes it, and to provide universal healthcare through changing from the Obamacare to a new single payer system. His response was bold assertion: if other countries can accomplish these goals, they must be achievable for the United States of America. Clinton’s reply was pure realpolitik: it took every ounce of muscle to get the Obamacare passed through a gridlocked government; it simply defies any sense of reality to believe that dismantling it is the right way to get from 90% coverage to 100%.