As loyal readers know, the Czar does unpleasant things so you don’t have to, such as watching political debates. And while the Czar is traditionally pretty brutal to the Republican candidates after a debate, he is certain to include the Democrats in his collective rage after one of theirs. Indeed, last night’s Democratic debates were awful. Truly terrible.
Did you miss them? No big deal—allow the Czar to summarize the entire thing: “The wealthiest 1% of the country is killing the middle class through big banks and their income inequality ties to Wall Street!” Questions to this answer could include what their first terms could be like as president, their ideas on gun control, thoughts on the Washington Nationals, or who the hell Lincoln Chaffee is. The Czar could not believe that three of the five candidates were trying to use the Franklin Roosevelt 1932 playbook. Apparently, Democrats think that Republicans and their 1980s ideas are so out-of-fashion; you should consider their 1930s retro ideas as avant garde.
Yeah, there’s no doubt Hillary Clinton was in total control. She either fielded every question, or got her opponents to turn every question into a comment about her. While the media is painting her as cool, collected, and masterful, the reality was she was shrill, short, often rude, and prone to her suddenly psychopathic laugh that she cuts off abruptly. Her command of the facts was faulty, and she seemed uncomfortable whenever Bernie Sanders commented about her political inconsistencies. But make no mistake—she had everyone talking about her and she seemed like she was entertained by her opponents. She will see an uptick in polling after this.
Meanwhile, Senator Bernie Sanders tried to Trump the debates, shouting, yelling, spitting, and basically insisting he was the friendliest totalitarian you ever met. Folks watching the debate with the Czar agreed he came off as weird—his strange accent, dandruff on his shoulders, and explosive non sequiturs did not endear him past his own supporters. And like Trump, he’s probably seen his numbers go as high as they’re going to go.
Martin O’Malley understood that this was his moment to get national attention, and did his best to do so by looking at the cameras when he answered. But he was given very little speaking time—CNN mis-moderated the debates and let Clinton and Sanders talk over each other with long paragraphs—and said very little that differentiated himself from Clinton or Sanders (he seems politically between the two). He was quite aggressive in his criticisms of Clinton, but didn’t do as much as Sanders did in this regard. He probably was the most forceful he’s ever been, but compared to Sanders, he looked tepid.
Surprisingly to the Czar, Jim Webb demonstrated (in his few opportunities to speak) that he’s done research, rejects the liberals’ bumper-sticker applause-line mentality, understands Republicans’ issues with the candidates, and thinks the party has gone too far left. What surprises the Czar about this is that we thought such Democrats vanished in the mid-1960s. He’s almost a Kennedy-esque Democrat who should easily appeal to party loyalists while pulling in the independents without fully terrifying Repubicans if he wins. So of course, he will be blown out of the primaries.
Finally, and most finally, Lincoln Chaffee blinked at the bright lights and whined a fair amount about the unfair questions he was getting about his dubious political decisions throughout his career.
Basically, it’s going to be Hillary Clinton after all. At this point, the Czar doubts Biden will even run now that he’s seem Clinton’s formidable temper. On the other hand, Sanders and O’Malley gave the Republicans a ton of good leverage to use against Clinton, and better yet, demonstrated that some of the obvious lines of attack against her were easily blocked and parried. Instead of wasting time with those, Republicans can make her squirm on a bunch of other topics, too.