Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

The Second Night of the
First Democratic Debate

July 5, 2019 --

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Kemala Harris were among the ten participants in Miami, for the second night, June 27, of the first Democratic presidential debate for the 2020 election. For Mr. Biden, "Donald Trump has put us in a horrible situation." Sen. Sanders called the president "a phony,...a pathological liar and a racist." Sen. Harris said that the president is the country's greatest national security threat (echoing Gov. Jay Inslee, the night before). Sen. Harris also chided the former vice president for having said that he got along with segregationist senators, and for having opposed busing to integrate public schools. (Mr. Biden responded that he opposed busing ordered by the Education Department, not busing in general). Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand indicated that President Trump "is hell-bent" on going to war with Iran.

The second-night candidates -- the others are author Marianne Williamson, former Col.,Gov. John Hickenlooper, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, businessman Andrew Yang, Col. Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Erick Swalwell -- were unanimous in supporting health care for undocumented immigrants, and opposing criminalizing undocumented offenses (including opposition to deportation). not convicted of a crime (other than The latter position suggests that while no person is above the law, the law does not necessary apply to undocumented immigrants. These ten participants also said that health care is a human right, although not all agreed with Sen. Sanders that government should run healthcare. Sen. Sanders, asked by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC what he would do as president if Roe v. Wade were overturned, first said he believed "that constitutionally we have the power to rotate judges to other courts.", adding "And that brings new blood into the Supreme Court and a majority I hope that will understand that a woman has the right to control her own body and that corporations cannot run the United States of America." Asked a second time what he would do if Roe v. Wade were overturned, he said: "Medicare for all guarantees every woman in this country the right to have an abortion if she wants it."

( LPR is not aware of a constitutional process "to rotate judges to other courts.")

LPR notes that although the candidates decry wealth inequality, the lead story in The New York Times, March 31, reported that Democrats are keeping quiet their reliance on wealthy donors. According to the article, "The jockeying for major donors remains as intense as ever, but the usual campaign announcements of powerhouse finance committees and boldfaced bundler lists have all but disappeared." The report added that Senators Sanders and Warren "have disavowed the traditional money circuit entirely...."

Mr. Hickenlooper warned that President Trump will be re-elected if Democrats appear to be a socialist party. Sen. Gillibrand said that she supported capitalism, indicating that she opposed "greed."

LPR wonders if Mr. Biden hurt his chance to be the Democratic nominee by declaring that the NRA is not the enemy, the gun manufacturers are. It should be noted that although the candidates decry wealth inequality, the lead story in The New York Times, March 31, reported that Democrats are keeping quiet their reliance on wealthy donors.

The audience both nights cheered the most radical comments. The first round was broadcast on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. The next Democratic debate is in July, on CNN. LPR expects that the party's turn to the left will continue.