What a pair of debates! One so boring I almost fell asleep, and the other full of so many amazing moments. I could use five times the space to talk about all the things that happened, but really what grabbed my attention the most through the whole five-hour stretch (over both nights) were the little things, not the big spectacles.
Sure, Representative Tulsi Gabbard RKOing Senator Kamala Harris outta nowhere near the end of Night Two was the highlight of the whole debacle, but most of what’s lingering in my brain from the debates are the fallacies and inconsistencies thrown out by various candidates.
The most prevalent of these – yet also the least offensive – was used liberally across both debates: the “that’s a right wing talking point” deflection, trotted out by a good number of the candidates. In two 2.5 hour debates full of people aiming to eventually beat the Republicans, it’s not surprising or even particularly wrong to bash the right – but it is mightily lazy, and just a bad play.
Everyone can see right through this line on arrival – CNN even chided the candidates about using it in the network’s post-debate breakdown. Whenever someone says this, it means they are incapable of supporting their policies and ideas. Which probably means those policies are bad.
While it blew up in her face, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s ploy to use a three-decade old op-ed written by Vice-President Joe Biden to smear him as a sexist was another troublesome tactic. I’m bored to tears of people dredging up things that didn’t even occur this millennium to attack people. Times change, politics change, people change. I’ve said stuff as little as five year ago that don’t reflect my beliefs today one bit. The here and now matters, not some snippet from an article decades in the past.
President Obama also came under fire, practically as much as President Trump did, in an ill-advised way to smash down Biden. Senator Corey Booker told Biden “You can’t have it both ways,” in terms of taking the good and not the bad from Obama’s presidency. Unfortunately, that rule holds true for everyone. You have to take the good and the bad, and can’t use Obama as a shield while ignoring the negatives from his time in office. Also, Obama remains an insanely popular president on the left, so it’s just a bad strategy for a Democrat try to attack him just to hurt Biden. It’s short-sighted.
Lastly, there was no Spanish, from any of the candidates, and my question is: Why not?
I’m positive the likes of Booker and Representative Beto O’Rourke spoke Spanish to be inclusive and to follow the principles of their intersectional ideology. Surely they were trying to engage members of their voting base that are Spanish-speakers as a first language.
It shouldn’t matter that it made them the butt of some jokes following that first debate – if it’s the right thing to do, it’s the right thing. Right?
So why didn’t they stick to their principles here? I’m positive they just forgot this time around, and that it wasn’t a botched attempt at pandering that they backed off of because it backfired.