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Assault on America, Day 211: Democrat debate: Until further notice, it’s Biden’s race to lose

CNN Debate Biden
Joe Biden is alone, very alone.

Or at least that’s how he must’ve felt on Wednesday night during the second of two consecutive nights of Democrat 2020 presidential candidates prodding (the American people) and pontificating in Detroit. Seeing as the establishment media completely raked Biden over the coals for his lukewarm “performance” in June’s primary forum, the former Obama VP no doubt prepared for his second political disrobing as though his life depended on it.

One might reason it did, though Biden’s lead in the national polls only shrunk a teeny bit after the first round of presentations. Pundits and “experts” searching for reasons to continue to monitor the monotonous always-the-same Democrat race thought Joe’s lackluster demeanor in June might cost him in public opinion, though he still maintained a significant advantage heading into this week.

There really wasn’t much on Wednesday night to alter the balance, either. Granted it’s difficult for a conservative to garner what Democrat voters are looking for, but everyone knew Biden was certain to face a firing squad of hungry pols in Detroit, many of which saw these nationally broadcast show-events as their final opportunity to establish some sort of foundation for a presidential run. The criteria for inclusion in the next “rounds” is significantly more difficult to satisfy. For those on the bubble -- or below it -- this was a last hurrah.

Biden’s got the poll numbers everyone wants. The others can’t exactly sit by and accept the status quo. Every day that goes by with Joe perched on top by fifteen points is one day closer to the nomination -- even if it’ll be another year or so before it’s official.

But Joe’s inability to avoid damaging gaffes together with his nearly five-decade-long record guaranteed his opponents would go after him on his attitudes towards skin color and the requisite prejudices that invariably accompany (according to them) being born with a pale complexion -- and in this sense Biden’s “friendly” critics didn’t disappoint. From the outset it was evident every Democrat up there was out to draw blood -- Biden’s… Trump’s… well, everyone’s! Let the histrionics begin!

Of course all of them had a field day ripping apart President Donald Trump for his recent comments on Baltimore (as “rat infested”) and Rep. Elijah Cummings. Trump stirred the pot and his enemies weren’t content to let the hot soup cool off. The way the media’s allowed race to dominate the 2020 discussion, it’s as though horse-mounted Ku Klux Klan members and goose-stepping bands of Neo-Nazis have taken over large sections of major cities and are now conducting regular lynchings -- all in view of white police officers with approving looks on their faces.

No such outrages are taking place, of course, though Democrats are having a grand time pretending they are. It’s gotten so bad that former Obama H.U.D. secretary Julián Castro’s non-stop whining about the plight of illegal aliens and transgenders has been roundly drowned-out by bigger and badder accusations of racism directed at Trump -- and in some cases, each other.

Even worse -- as if Tuesday night’s bash-fest wasn’t bad enough, the Democrats’ “race” fixation only figured to be more intense on Wednesday when Biden took the stage positioned between “of color” senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, the two biggest race pushers in the field. In perhaps a bit of cruel irony (or was it intentional?) there wasn’t a single minority candidate at the first forum. Didn’t anyone notice? If you’re a Democrat voter who demands “diversity” and wanted to see a brown face, they were in abundance (Kamala Harris, Julián Castro, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker and Tulsi Gabbard (though she’s Hawaiian…does that count?)) in round two.

Because of its complete lack of color, perhaps the Tuesday event will forever be known as “(Old and) White Night with the Democrats”, or, “Brown faces to the back of the party stage.” Didn’t the party powers-that-be spot the problem when the names were drawn to determine the debate line-ups? What an oversight!

No matter. A blind person could easily see what this party is all about. Or if there’s an alien in outer space and its only exposure to the human race was Democrat presidential candidates, “it” might reason that no one on earth smiles (except for goofball Sen. Cory Booker), everyone’s outraged, all people are searching for basic subsistence, the planet is engulfed in an environmental catastrophe (and hurtling towards disaster) and the leader of the free world is a charlatan who belongs in seclusion. Other than that, the extraterrestrial observer would probably hanker to meet those curious folks on TV who all seem really ticked off and swear they’re the antidote to every conceivable woe.

As for the debate itself, like Tuesday night’s iteration, it was fairly predictable from a content standpoint. CNN moderators Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper attempted to keep things moving and “diversify” the subjects from the night before -- and from the June debates -- but the candidates themselves wanted to talk about whatever they wanted to talk about… i.e. race… and did their darndest to ignore the hopeless media people to go off on their own tangents.

But it always seemed to involve Biden, if only anecdotally. Like Trump in 2015/2016, Joe started out in the lead and it really hasn’t receded -- much -- in the time since. Democrats of various stripes, genders and sizes say they’re worried about Biden’s age, mental stamina and excessively quirky personality -- hair sniffing, anyone? -- but until he’s viewed as being less-than-electable, he’ll preserve his lead.

For some unexplained -- and not clear -- reason, people have the impression Biden will beat Trump in a head-to-head matchup next year. Such is true (according to them) for several reasons -- he was Obama’s VP (but won’t be saddled with the former president’s baggage), he’s the “next in line” after Hillary Clinton, he’s a good guy with a likable personality… that even (some) Republicans like him. And Biden is seen as a “moderate,” even if he’s every bit as blue-blooded liberal as the rest of ‘em. What’s moderate about him? The aspects of his record that would be considered middle-of-the-road… he’s since renounced, like his former support for the Hyde Amendment.

Then there’s the Pennsylvania thing. Joe hails from the Keystone State and should therefore theoretically wrest it away from Trump and restore the key building bricks to the “blue wall.” Anyone buy it? Would any Trump voter love Biden so much they’d gratefully switch?

All of these rationales are bogus. Biden’s age alone will give enough people pause (and he stammered several times on Wednesday night…aging?) to stay the heck away from him when the time comes. He’s a tad younger than the ancient and crazy Bernie Sanders, but both would become the oldest president ever on Inauguration Day, 2021. Joe would be the age Trump would leave office -- after a second term. Does it matter? Here’s thinking it will make more of a difference in the latter stages of next year, especially when Biden shows the strain of campaigning. Simply put, he’s not conditioned to working very hard.

Trump feeds off of campaigning. It energizes him. His home is on the campaign trail. Watch one of his rallies. Do you think he doesn’t love it?

The fact is, Joe looks tired whenever he’s attacked. He did so again (repeatedly) on Wednesday night. He takes slights too personally and acts like they’re unmeritorious of someone who’s devoted his life to serving… in office. Biden obviously thinks the world owes him a debt of gratitude and the 50-something Democrat underlings (who were in high school in the 80’s when he was already a decade into his tenure as a star senator) are being disrespectful by questioning his motivations or (so-called) accomplishments. It’s something he can’t BS his way out of either.

Biden may lose the aura of invincibility and electability, but it probably won’t come until these forums are whittled down to a half dozen (or fewer) competitors. Then the real fangs will come out. What will Kamala Harris look like when she really wants something? Or Elizabeth Warren? Or crazy Bernie? They won’t be so “delicate” in the future. Politics is a dirty business and Biden knows it. The only question is how much mud he’ll take on before he begins to stall and recede.

Enough on Biden. He’s not going anywhere anytime soon. He’s good enough at lying and truth-bending that he won’t gaffe himself to death in an instant. And there’s nothing the other Democrats can do about it anytime soon.

The rest of the already mentioned Wednesday night competitors were Kamala Harris to Biden’s left (literally and figuratively). Continuing down that side of the stage were Andrew Yang, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Gov. Jay Inslee (Washington) and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. To Biden’s right were Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Michael Bennett.

Unlike on Tuesday night, there weren’t any Democrats making their first debate appearance. All qualified for the first forums and all had their initial chance to wow someone out there in Democrat TV land. Harris is the only contender who enjoyed a noticeable bump in support after the event, and even then, it only looked to be 3 or 4 points. Amazingly enough, according to the Real Clear Politics Average, Andrew Yang is still polling at greater than two points. Is this a statistical anomaly?

Yang said a little more on Wednesday than he did in June, but he’s still a virtual unknown equivalent to drawing a name out of a hat. Is it because he’s Asian, a rare quality for a presidential candidate? Meanwhile, brainless “Beto” O’Rourke is the only Democrat who noticeably dropped in support after the June debate. People are finally seeing that he’s a fraud -- and his “performance” Tuesday night didn’t dispel the notion.

This means most of the candidates in both Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s forums are polling at 2 percent or less, which includes Gabbard, Inslee, de Blasio, Booker, Castro, Gillibrand and Bennett. If Democrats were so intent on including the weak and pathetic in their initial programs, why weren’t the questions/answers divvied up in a proportional manner? Shouldn’t Booker, for example -- who isn’t exactly an unknown by regular political observers -- have been limited to around two percent of the TV time?

As would be expected, most of the focus was on how Biden would handle his “rematch” with Harris. Unlike in Miami (where they had Bernie separating them), the two were forced to stand next to each other. Biden, the consummate “old style” gentleman, went out of his way to be nice to the California senator lest she start calling him a sexist as well as a racist. And Joe was like a kindly old non-racist “uncle” to Booker on the other side!

Harris looked flustered on Wednesday night, especially when the others were assailing her over her healthcare plan and record on criminal justice. There won’t be any adoring post-debate pundits loving her “performance” this time. She’s weak -- and when she isn’t pulling at people’s heartstrings, there’s not much there.

CNN allowed all the candidates to offer opening and closing statements (the Miami forum only had closing ones) which guaranteed everyone would at least get a couple minutes of televised bloviating time. It was helpful for the no-names to once again state why they were there and why American Democrats should waste a precious vote on them as opposed to those in the center of the stage. Again, does anyone recall anything they said?

It’s just a “free” version of the “25-second speech” Chris Christie talked about in New Hampshire three and a half years ago. Only the canned candidates had to come up with a little longer version for their statements. If you’re Michael Bennett (who sounds like he’s got a wad of Novacaine in his mouth) or Bill de Blasio, what could you possibly say to grab someone out of their debate-viewing catatonic stupor? It’s almost like when the no-names speak, people contemplate whether they have enough time to do a restroom stop before Biden or Harris gets to talk again.

And if you partook in a Democrat debate drinking game -- and the word was “race” -- you’d be hammered by the first commercial break! At least then you’d get a free pass from having to watch the rest of the program!

CNN this month (July) -- and NBC/MSNBC in June -- put lots of time and energy into these events because they generate ratings far above a typical night on the network. It helps the media promote their own “stars” and programs too, as if anyone really craves to see Don Lemon again after enduring two nights of his smug “race is everything” mug during these debates.

Interested parties (which will mostly be Democrat party honks) will go back-and-forth on who “won” the debate and who might bump up their standing a few points as a result. But these forums are little more than meticulously produced glitzy “shows” intended more for entertainment than practical value. Viewers are essentially assessing a grand personality contest -- and the largest question is whether they like Biden…or Warren…or Bernie…or Kamala…or no-name candidate X to actually vote for them.

I choose “none of the above.” Or maybe to write-in Mickey Mouse. Disney corporation is run by Democrats, right?

Time and circumstances will definitely winnow the Democrat field down before the next debate(s), scheduled for September 12 and 13 in Houston, Texas (ABC and Univision). By then Congress will be back in session, there will be a whole new set of issues to fight over -- or not -- and the candidates will be back with a tad more urgency as the calendar marches towards 2020 and the first actual votes.

Will these two programs shake up the Democrat race? We’ll find out in the coming days and weeks, but here’s thinking everyone’s ready for a break from the non-stop negativity, blame game and finger pointing of the party candidates. In that sense, the real “winner” is all of us.

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