Editor’s Note: Say What? is the segment of Liberty Nation Radio where we unveil some of the most wacky, astonishing, and damnable things uttered by politicians and the chattering class.
Tim Donner: Democrats have spent the last almost five years condemning everything Donald Trump has done and said, exploiting everything from James Comey to Stormy Daniels, to Russia collusion, to a phone call with a foreign president, trying to impeach or otherwise take down this president before the voters even get a chance to weigh in this November. So now with impeachment off the table and Democrats facing the most crucial stretch of their long campaign to take back the White House — 21 contests over a ten-day period — we should hardly be surprised that the increasingly desperate Democrats would try to turn the coronavirus into a political football at their latest debate, shamelessly exploiting fear and uncertainty among the American people.
Amy Klobuchar: This president has not invested like he should have. In his budget he tried to cut back on the CDC. He tried to cut back on the international organization that would coordinate with the rest of the world.
Joe Biden: I helped set up that office and the presidency in the president’s office on diseases that are pandemic diseases. We increased the budget of the CDC. We increased the NIH budget. We should … president today … and he’s wiped all that out. I would be on the phone with China and making it clear, “We are going to need to be in your country.”
Bernie Sanders: Whether or not the issue is climate change, which is clearly a global crisis requiring international cooperation, or infectious diseases like coronavirus, this is a global problem. We’ve got to work with countries all over the world to solve it.
Tim: Biden continues to yell when he should talk, or say 150 million when he means 150,000, or confuse the current Chinese president with the one from the 20th century, either stumbling or speaking about two decibels too high with his rehearsed, over-the-top bravado.
Not a one of these candidates or Democratic Party leaders has cautioned a calm and measured response to the coronavirus. Not a one of them has refused to make it a political issue. Not a one of their leaders has promised the most basic and obvious of pledges: to cooperate with the guy who happens to be president during an outbreak that they’ve all blamed on Trump, or at least reflexively condemned his response like Pavlov’s dogs.
In fact, you wonder if Trump isn’t exactly the kind of CEO-president you want in charge of an outbreak like this. He’s a business guy, proven over and over that he’ll take a businesslike approach, free of mandatory political correctness.
The fact is, we don’t know exactly where this virus is headed, but it goes well beyond just political rhetoric when one of the two major political parties in this country is exploiting people’s uncertainties and fears for naked political ends.
But almost everyone, left and right, agreed that the South Carolina debate, the last one before 15 states vote between Saturday and Tuesday, was the most banal, most vacuous, most racially tinged, most insufferable of all the debates, and that is really saying something with this field. It was replete with name calling, virtue signaling, pandering platitudes.
Biden: Nine people shot dead by a white supremacist. Bernie voted five times against the Brady Bill. I’m not saying he’s responsible for the nine deaths, but that man would not have been able to get that weapon if the waiting period had been what I suggest, until you are cleared.
Pete Buttigieg: The mayor (Bloomberg) even said that they disproportionately stopped white people too often and minorities too little. There’s seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice.
Elizabeth Warren: At least I didn’t have a boss who said to me, “Kill it,” the way that Mayor Bloomberg …
Michael Bloomberg: … never said that.
Warren: … is alleged to have said, to one of his pregnant employees.
Bloomberg: Oh, come on. Nobody accused me of doing anything other than just making a comment or two.
Buttigieg: The time has come for us to stop acting like the presidency is the only office that matters. Not only is this a way to get Donald Trump re-elected, we got a House to worry about. We got a Senate to worry about.
Sanders: Medicare for all will save money. Ours will cost about $45 billion, not $60 trillion. [chaos-crosstalk ensues]
Tim: That chaos pretty well typified the whole debate. By the way, Biden went on to grovel for the black vote by promising to name a black woman to the Supreme Court. It took those lovely women on that daytime chat-up show The View to most accurately characterize and mimic that debate.
View Host 1: You really needed a lion tamer there rather than…
View Host 2: Right? Oh my gosh, it was really chaotic.
View Host 1: It’s like being on The View.
View Host 3: It did come across as like a fight club.
Tim: Fight club, indeed.
Let’s give you another textbook example of what these candidates are willing to do and say in a desperate search for votes. So you think Biden is a moderate? Listen to what he said in a previous debate about gun manufacturers.
Biden: The only industry in America that is not able to be sued are the gun manufacturers, they can’t be sued. I tell you what, I’m not joking. I’ve sat there and looked in the eyes of those parents, as recently as today, talking about their kids and how they died. They died at the hands of, “Why can’t we sue these manufacturers?” … And I promise you, as president, I am going to get these guys … Gun manufacturers, I’m coming for you.
Tim: What that would do is essentially run every gun manufacturer out of business with an uncontainable flood of lawsuits. Even gun-grabber supreme Bloomberg hasn’t advocated that. So just think about that when you consider if Biden is really a moderate, and if he’s just posturing, whether a guy who takes a position like that, far more radical than in his entire 40-year-plus political career, can be trusted not to change his positions on any number of other issues.
But the spotlight continues to shine on Sanders. He gave no ground in the latest debate. The other candidates tried but mostly failed to knock him down a peg, as the Democratic establishment continues to panic about Bernie at the top of the ticket. And he hardly calmed their fears when he went on 60 Minutes, where they played his comments about the communist dictator Fidel Castro in Cuba from the 1980s, and then let him respond.
Sanders circa 1980s: He educated the kids, gave them healthcare, totally transformed the society.
Sanders circa 2020: We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing?
Tim: Yes, Bernie has doubled-down on his admiration for the communist totalitarian Fidel Castro, and he’s winning. Need we say more about the Democratic Party or the voters’ utter disgust with a political establishment in both parties?
Then you’ve got the curious case of Mayor Pete, with his silky-smooth tongue and glibness to beat the band. He’s trying to channel the last president. A guy on YouTube came up with this. Listen to the soaring rhetoric of Mayor Pete at a recent rally and then the words of Barack Obama.
Buttigieg: One person started it and then a bunch of others began to do the same. And if we can light up a high school gym like that, then we can light up a neighborhood. And if we can light up a neighborhood, then we can light up a city. If we can light up a city, we can light up this whole country. And if we light up this country, then everyone can make sure this country we love shines as a beacon around the world once more.
Barack Obama: It shows you what one voice can do. One voice can change a room, and if the voice can change a room, it can change a city. And if it can change a city, it can change a state. And if it can change a state, it can change a nation. And if it can change a nation, it can change the world.
Tim: Proving once again, that the best speeches, like the best ideas, are usually stolen.
Read more from Tim Donner.