Michael Gomez writes a politics blog on VictoriaAdvocate.com.

Debates

This blog represents the views of the author alone and not the newspaper.


I might alienate some of my Dem friends but remember my heart is in the right place. I’ll be a Democrat until I go to my final resting place because the alternative is not in line with my beliefs.

I was surprised, disappointed and somewhat pleased that the moderates and two more liberal candidates Warren and Sanders got to explain their differences. I don’t know what side Mayor Pete was on. One hour he sided with the moderates and then switched to the liberal side.

I was surprised that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders tag teamed instead of going after each other. They are vying for the same type of voters. It looked like the two camps decided it was their best strategy. At times, it looked like Elizabeth Warren was Bernie’s press secretary, who was willing to take all incoming from her moderate opponents. She had to have one best line of the night when she said: “I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for." …Warren’s idea of writing a law pledging not to ever launch a preemptive nuclear attack, has me stumped.

I was disappointed the candidates didn’t talk about how the Dems should proceed on impeachment. I’m disappointed that Marianne Williamson is still on the stage debating.

I was pleased that the debates never resembled the 2016 GOP presidential debates. A few instances of Bernie yelling and throwing his arms up in the air but that’s about it.

I don’t necessarily choose my favorite candidate by the policies they are promoting because if elected the House Ways and Means and the Senate Budget office will decide how the final legislation will look like before it is taken up for a vote. Presidents don’t make bills; they sign them into law. I am interested in how they present themselves because that is how I imagine they will be on the world stage. 

To summarize: it looks like Elizabeth Warren won the debate because no one stumped her and I think she had more TV time. I’m thinking she didn’t attack Bernie because she’s ahead and doesn’t want to alienate Bernie’s voters as she did in the 2016 campaign. I’m thinking last night’s debate didn’t change the rankings at all.

I liked the second debate best because I saw a different side of the candidates and it was unpredictable. For example, who would have known that a one-percenter like Tulsi Gabbard would stun Kamala Harris, leaving Ms. Harris without answers. Factcheck put a lot of context into Gabbard charges, so Harris wasn’t all that bad.

That’s the thing about political debates, whenever you gain points after a debate, you become someone’s target. A candidates’ accusations don’t have to be true; they just have to get their opponent flustered. Those tactics play better when you have 10 or more candidates on the stage fighting for air time.

I looked at several sources to get an idea of who won the second debate. It looks like Cory Booker won because a lot of pundits think he flustered Biden. Joe Biden came in second because he took most of the incoming without being damaged. A friend brought up a good point when he said that Biden not being able to promote his website might lose him some millennium votes. Kamala Harris didn’t have a good night because Biden got her confused in explaining her second or third healthcare plan. The knockout blow came from Tulsi Gabbard. Kamala now knows what it is to be blindsided, so I’m sure next time she’ll be more prepared. Unless Gabbard gets her poll numbers up, she won’t make the next debate in Houston. Julian Castro came in fourth because of his fiery approach. He stood toe-to-toe with Joe Biden.  

I discussed my frustration with some of the candidate’s viewpoints because of how they will be perceived. First, some candidates are merging asylum seekers with those who enter our country illegally. I can understand why they want to decimalize illegal border crossings and make it a civil citation. It’s to prevent taking away children from their relatives. In my opinion, entering our country illegally needs to remain a criminal act.  We can argue the penalties in a comprehensive immigration bill.

I do not think with 10 million Americans not having insurance, it wouldn’t be wise to give people illegally entering our country; free insurance. I don’t have a problem with them buying insurance. It’s just another purchase.

I hate when any of the candidates attack the policies that Obama put in place. Barrack has a 97% approval within the party, you can’t win if you are in the 3%. That’s akin to the old Republicans criticizing Reagan. This year it’s like Trumplicans criticizing Trump. There is a way to say something like “I won’t deport as many as Obama or I will improve the ACA.”

I don’t think the debates will change much because unless Joe Biden loses a big chunk of the black vote (he has ~53%) he’ll win the nomination away from a gaining Elizabeth Warren. Bernie Sanders is a distant second with black voters with 8%, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker at 7% and Elizabeth Warren at 5%.

It’s a given, that the right will rundown every Democratic position as extreme, overlooking their extremist views. It’s like Mayor Pete said “it doesn’t matter what the Dems propose, it’ll be seen as socialist by the other side. I heard some pundits suggest calling Republicans fascists or the racist party but they won’t. How do I know? Republicans have been calling Democrats since FDR’s New Deal. It kept going when Ronald Reagan called Medicare socialism. It’s now part of the GOP’s DNA, Democrats are socialists.

That’s my analysis and I’m sticking to it.

        

Michael Gomez is a retired, opinionated left-of-center, political junkie who likes to discuss issues, as opposed to ideology.

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