But where are the clowns? Quick, send in the clowns … Don’t bother; they’re here.
Stephen Sondheim lyrics, Send in the Clowns
About this time, Donald Trump’s political advisors are likely begging the president to follow the time-tested truism first uttered by Napoleon: Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself. Not that Trump will listen.
Nevertheless, could the rogue’s gallery of 20 Democratic presidential candidates on display in the first primary debates over two nights in Miami this week have possibly been more craven? Have you ever witnessed such gross brown-nosing to an extreme fringe of the American electorate? What lunatic idea will they come up with next? Wait, I’ve got it. To commemorate America’s immersion into the new unofficial language of the Democratic party unveiled in these debates, how about a bill to make Spanish the national language?
Unable to let the moment pass, and in honor of this historic plunge into the horrors of what a socialist America would look like, we at LibertyNation.com have decided to bestow some very special awards upon the debate participants.
Biggest Flop: Not a hard choice. Young Beto “don’t call me Robert Francis” O’Rourke had millennials and progressives swooning after his near-miss against Ted Cruz in the 2018 Texas Senate race. But in the first debate, he looked distinctly not-ready-for-prime-time. He lacked any semblance of energy, appearing drawn, pale and unshaven, and spouting a string of hackneyed cliches. And he got his butt handed to him by the overcaffeinated open-borders radical, Julian Castro, in an argument over immigration policy.
Most Inexplicable Statement: If we had to deconstruct every inexplicable policy statement made over two nights, it would take hours on end. Instead, we offer this: When asked what would be his very first priority when he assumes the presidency on January 20, 2021, Joe Biden replied, “to defeat Donald Trump.” Uh, excuse me, Mr. Vice President, but, um, you would have already accomplished that by then, because … oh, never mind.
Biggest Surprise (group award): The second debate kicked off with Bernie Sanders promising to raise taxes to pay for his $30+ trillion, government-controlled Medicare-for-all program (while claiming, of course, that it will be offset by lower health costs). This set into motion a succession of candidates promising to do the same. For time immemorial, it was understood that you should never promise to raise taxes, for it would amount to certain defeat. Ask Walter Mondale, who made such a promise in 1984 – and lost 49 of 50 states.
Most Socialist Candidate: The hardest choice of all, given that every one of the 20 candidates on stage has openly voiced support for undiluted socialist policies such as the green new deal and Medicare-for-all. So you have to give the award to the candidate who seems most committed in the gut to full-on collectivism. Thus, the winner would have to be Bernie Sanders, whose perpetual rage against the machine oozes authenticity. After all, how much more committed to socialism could you be than spending your honeymoon in the Soviet Union?
Most Moderate Candidate: Extremely low bar. Joe Biden by default, simply on the basis of defending the current, though admittedly troubled, healthcare system, and promising to oppose any candidate who wants to replace it, as all the rest of the candidates do in one form or another. So, unlike the other frontrunners – Warren, Harris, Sanders – at least Biden won’t try to confiscate private health insurance from 180 million Americans.
Most Humorous Line: Another extremely low bar, because there were all of about three humorous lines delivered over four grueling (for the viewer) hours by the dour, perpetually pandering field of candidates. None were exactly side-splitters, and only one was actually intentional. The winner is Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who tweaked Trump, “I don’t think we should conduct foreign policy in our bathrobe at five in the morning.” Pete Buttigieg said his foreign policy is hard to predict because “We have no idea which of our most important allies [Trump] will have pissed off worst between now and then.” And Kamala Harris’ scolding of her fellow debaters bickering amongst themselves culminated with “America does not want to witness a food fight. They want to know how we’re going to put food on their table.” I told you they weren’t very funny.
Most Like Trump: No-brainer. Bill de Blasio. Same city, same style. In fact, maybe the New York City mayor should employ that as a really clever strategy. Go out on the trail and brag that only a bully can beat a bully. To the de Blasio campaign: You’re welcome. No charge.
Least Like Trump: Pete Buttigieg is the yin to Trump’s yang (or is it the other way around?) – thoughtful, deliberate, scholarly.
Biggest truth-teller: Tie between Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), former Congressman John Delaney, and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. This trio warned their fellow debaters of the dangers in being labeled as a socialist party, making impossible promises, and allowing the party to be dominated by coastal elites completely out of touch with mainstream Americans.
Most Likable Candidate: Agree with his policies or not, but there was an air of earnestness about Mr. Buttigieg. And he was perhaps the only candidate who based his answers on logic instead of emotion, preferring the patient explanation to the hysterical rants of the likes of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Least Likable Candidate: Tie between New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and California Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA). Mr. de Blasio was a Trump knock-off, a caricature of the typical loud, rude, and bombastic New Yorker, picking fights wherever he could find them. Swalwell acted the part of that kid in grammar school you couldn’t stand because he was always bragging, sucking up to the teacher, and providing a stream of unwanted advice. And thus Swalwell is also the winner of the next prize (Okay, we made this award up just for him);
Biggest Punk: The remarkably self-satisfied Rep. Swalwell lectured Pete Buttigieg about the mayor’s improper response to a recent police shooting in his town, and provided instructions on how he should run his city, drawing a lingering, icy stare from the normally unflappable Mayor Pete. But wait, that’s not all. Swalwell basically told Joe Biden to pack it in because he’s too old, that he should follow his own advice, apparently uttered by the former vice-president back in high school (plagiarism alert: it was actually stated by JFK in his inaugural): “It’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.” So get off the stage, old man.
Most Likely to Succeed: Given Joe Biden’s ever-more geriatric countenance and appeal to the past instead of the future, Bernie Sanders’ scary diatribes against anyone who wears a suit, and the utter ineptitude of most of the other candidates, Kamala Harris would have to get the nod. Yes, she is among the most radical of a hard left field – an outspoken supporter of the catastrophic Green New Deal, Medicare-for-all, and aggressive gun control measures – but she came on strong, exuding energy, drive, and passion – a model of the contemporary socialist woman.
Least Likely to Succeed: There might be a tendency to pick a candidate such as Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO, dull as dishwater), Andrew Yang (didn’t see fit to even wear a tie), or former Maryland Congressman John Delaney, who was interrupted so many times when he started speaking that he might develop an inferiority complex. But the winner would have to be new age author/guru Marianne Williamson, who said she would “harness love” to beat Trump, and that her first call upon arriving in the Oval Office would be to – no kidding – the prime minister of New Zealand so she can brag about how America is the best place to live. Seriously. After the debate, Williamson solicited support for her “great revolution of consciousness.” Hey, I don’t get it either.
Biggest Trump-Hater: Extremely high bar. In a field ripe with contenders, this most cherished of awards goes to the outspoken senator from California. Kamala Harris wailed like a banshee about the evil chief executive, lifting the Trump-is-Hitler audience to its feet, and likely propelling her into a Hate-Trump tour coming soon to a voting district near you.
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