The latest Democratic Party primary debate was, as they always are, way too long, but it was nevertheless interesting in terms of the changing dynamics of the race. As if the left’s enablers in the media have now realized that former Vice President Joe Biden’s Ukraine problem has already killed his nomination hopes, the debate moderators largely ignored him, in comparison to the previous debates. Instead, the also-rans had their chance to share the spotlight, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) assumed the mantle of primary target.
That is not to say that Biden did not get perhaps more speaking time than he deserves at this point, but he is clearly no longer viewed as the elder statesmen, to whom all others – including the moderators – defer.
Warren continues to avoid admitting that her plan for enforced, universal health care will necessitate universal tax hikes. Instead, the senator insists that “costs” will go down for middle-class Americans. She is in fact saying, “forget about how much people will pay in taxes, at least their out-of-pocket health care costs will go down.” Everyone – including her presidential rivals – understands that she is merely deflecting and that, without a doubt, everyone will pay more in taxes to cover the cost of her plan. Think what you will about Bernie Sanders (I-VT), but at least he admits that is own plan will lead to higher taxes across the board.
Elizabeth Warren Takes Fire
As Warren steps into the role of presumed front runner for her party’s 2020 nomination it is interesting to note that several of her competitors (those still struggling to attract more than two or three percent of the primary vote) are now more vocally opposed to the idea of depriving Americans of their private health insurance plans.
This was never an idea that could, realistically, be seen as anything less than full-blown socialism. Most countries that currently provide a government-run health care system still allow for a private health insurance option. Indeed, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service has, over the years, privatized many components of its operation. The very idea that the government, alone, can cater to the health care needs of an entire nation efficiently and cost-effectively is nonsense. Every Democratic presidential candidate other than Warren and Sanders knows this.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar seemed particularly eager to cash in on the inevitable fall of Biden. No doubt, she senses an opportunity to set herself up as the primary female competitor to the far left’s new champion. She went after Warren’s plan for mandatory government health care. “The difference between a plan and a pipe dream,” Klobuchar fired, “is something that you can actually get done.”
Shifting Dynamics, Tepid Alliances
One can perceive timid alliances forming as those candidates who know they have no chance at securing the nomination attempt rapprochements with other candidates. Several of them gave the nod to others – perhaps fishing for a vice president slot or hoping that an alliance with a particular competitor would appeal to primary voters as an appealing ticket.
The gun control portion of the debate was amusing. The usual emotional platitudes and less-than-accurate statistics were thrown out, but former Texas Congressman Robert O’Rourke is still reeling from his previous statements on reducing gun violence and shredding the Second Amendment. Having touted a so-called mandatory gun buy-back – code for confiscation – O’Rourke is still unable to explain how such a policy can succeed without law enforcement officers going door to door to seize legally owned firearms. Like everything else about his campaign, O’Rourke’s ideas on gun control are little more than a distraction from a man who appears unqualified to run a lemonade stand, let alone the most powerful nation on earth.
The October 15 event marked a change in the dynamic of the Democratic primary debate. Though Biden clings, almost incredulously, to his front runner status, it now seems as though Warren is being treated like the anointed one. As such, she is coming under increasing fire from her opponents. As far left as Warren is, the only way to contrast oneself to her is to tack back toward the center. As the entire party shifts left, it is clear that everyone except Warren and Sanders is having a hard time simultaneously embracing two conflicting positions: the relatively moderate approach to government formally commanded by Biden, and the radical progressive agenda.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Klobuchar, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang emerged as the candidates most able to pull off the grand illusion of being moderate extremists. They may have been the winners of the night. Sanders appears to be sliding into irrelevancy while his ideological compadre, Warren, is experiencing the choppy waters of becoming the new presumed front runner. She was not a winner on this occasion, though, because even her fellow Democrats have started calling out her continued evasiveness over the important details of all her many plans.