On reflection: The interesting part was how the non-debate was centred on mini-responses to non-issues. Not just dull, but no substance. Superficial. None of them seemed to have any serious grip on any issue. None of them could beat PDT. Trump tweeted “boring” in the middle of the debate. Quite agree.
Watching from New York in real time.
Healh care. Watching the sequence of one minute replies to questions. Slick, polished and madness end to end. Fascinating and fascile. Wild cheering for each of the most extreme statements. The more extreme the statement, the wilder the applause. Each answer seems to push each subsequent candidate farther along.
And now an ad break!
Now undocumented children held in detention. Booker begins in Spanish. Open borders – “not to criminalise desperation”. More Spanish. The more open borders types are criticising the less open borders. “should no longer be a crime to illegally cross the border.” “A path to citizenship”. “There are terrorists at Guantanamo who have better health care” than those illegal immigrants. “We cannot sacrifice our values.” “We welcome refugees into our state.”
Iran. “Need to renegotiate to get back to an Obama-type deal.” “It was a good deal for that moment.” “No war with Iran.” All seem to agree that Obama’s agreement was imperfect but “Trump needs to get back into the deal.”
Guns. Gun activism. Is there a role for the federal government? But first there is a technical problem from the control room so we are off to another set of ads. A very long break.
Now back to guns. Sen Warren leads off. 100s of millions of guns out there, she’s asked. “How you gonna keep us safe, ask so many children, “a national health emergency. We need to find out what will really work. We need to treat it as a serious research problem. A public health emergency.” Sen Booker: “I hear gunshots in my neighbourhood…. This is an emergency…. This is not policy; this is personal.” Julian Castro: “Worst day is worrying about your child in school…. We are getting closer to common sense gun reform.” De Blasio: “Need trauma-based care in our schools.”
Taking our guns away. Beto O’Rourke: Waffle. Klobuchar: Waffle. No one states they will ban guns. Booker: “Licence should be needed to buy a gun.” Brings in the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Nomination v Mitch McConnell. De Blasio: “I have been raising a black son and therefore understands how to have a conversation with their children. Supreme Court nomination is part of this. Sen Warren: I have a plan to deal with Mitch McConnell. Waffle, waffle, waffle. Congressman Delaney: “We ned real solutions etc etc. Sen Booker: Waffle waffle.
Climate change. Jay Inslee: Last chance for an admin to do anything about it…. I will make it the top priority. Lead the world. Beto: “Must bring everyone in.” Mobilise trillions! Julian Castro: I am the only candidate with executive experience. First act, recommit to Paris. Australia mentioned in the question – one party was rejected over climate. Tim Ryan: “We are not connecting to the working people…. None responsive to the question. ?? said: Put a price on carbon and give the money back to the people.s-Am
Gay marriage. Tulsi Gabbard: “There are still people facing discrimination etc. Booker: “We don’t talk enough about trans-Americans.”
Minorities. Klubochar. Waffle. Castro: Wants equality.
Protecting citizens of other countries – genocide. Beto – yes act. Must deal with others overseas. De Blasio: “I know the cost of war.” We must have Congressional approval. Tim Ryan: The lesson I have learned is “you must stay engaged.” “These flare ups are distracting us.” Tulsi Gabbard: “We have to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.” Ryan: If the US is not engaged, the Taliban will grow. Gabbard disagrees. Ryan: We cannot withdraw from the world.
Biggest threat. Biggest applause line: “Donald Trump”. Others: China, climate change, Russia (more applause).
Mueller: Beto: If we allow Trump to get away with the involvement of a foreign country in our country, then we are lost. Impeachment now.
Prosecution Trump for crimes after leaving office. This president who is lawless should be prosecuted. But this is not the issue Americans care about. Klobuchar: need to do something.
Closing statements – 45 seconds each.
John Delaney. Need real solutions – not impossible promises.
De Blasio. I’ve seen poverty and wants to do something about it. Wants to do to the country what he has done to New York111
???: A unified national mission.
Cong. Ryan. Heal a divided community. Homelessness, coming together. You will not be forgotten.
Tulsi Gabbard. For the people not for the rich and powerful. Clean air, water.
Julian Castro. Starts with Spanish.
Amy Klobuchar. I listen. I can beat Donald Trump (no applause). Will govern for you.
Cory Booker. I take on tough fights and have won. Need to show who we are.
Beto: For the children. Need a new approach.
Elizabeth Warren. We can make our country work for everyone.