In the South Carolina debate, the candidates continue to lean to the left

The Democrat debates have a Groundhog Day quality.  The same faces say the same things over and over.  Only die-hard political junkies and those paid to watch are getting anything out of them.  Barring minor gaffes and revelations, the candidates stay in character and say precisely what you'd expect them to say.

Bernie Sanders would like America more if it had policies like those in hard socialist countries (as opposed to market-based big-welfare states such as Denmark and Sweden).  When pushed, he'll disavow authoritarian leaders in communist countries but he won't disavow their policies, which he consistently praises.  He makes it clear in every debate that he envisions himself as the "nice" authoritarian leader.

For those voters who support Israel, Bernie has given up any semblance of support for the country.  He openly called Netanyahu a "reactionary racist."

Mike Bloomberg has an anemic presence; an occasionally agile brain; a terrible sense of humor (his so-called jokes land like lead bricks); a conservative economic bent; and, barring two exceptions, a belief in every hard-left social policy from unlimited abortion to gun control to nanny-state control over life habits to racial pandering.

The exceptions are charter schools, which he supports, and slowing the rush to legalize marijuana, because its ill effects are still very much unknown.  As president, even as Bloomberg disavows China's worst policies, one feels that his preference is a Chinese-style state-controlled market economy and tight control over people's lifestyles.

Elizabeth Warren finally admitted that her policies are the same as Bernie's but claims she would implement them more effectively.  She doesn't call herself a socialist, of course.  She says she's a progressive and assures us that the majority of Americans want the government to control health care, education, guns, and childcare.

What Warren doesn't think America should control is the location of its embassies, for she said that's a choice for the Israelis and Palestinians to make.  She seems unaware that the Israelis have made the choice and that their chosen capital is Jerusalem.  She also seems unaware that Palestinians already have self-determination, having determined in both the West Bank and Gaza that they want bloodthirsty dictatorships.  She also thinks Trump's too nice to Israel.

And Warren still lies.  In South Carolina, she repeated that she was fired from her first job because she was visibly pregnant.  The problem is that contemporaneous documents prove that this is untrue.

Biden, although technically the frontrunner in South Carolina, has the smell of defeat about him.  Throughout the debate, he complained about the other candidates' anarchy, for they interrupted each other and ran wildly over time.  Nevertheless, he obediently stopped every time the clock ran out.  Eventually, he made a rather cute little joke about his Catholic education doing him in, but he still looked weak.

Mostly, Biden did his familiar shtick of "I'm the one who" worked on whatever policy was at issue: helping blacks, raising minimum wages, affordable housing, gun control, etc.  His problem is that he joins the other candidates in claiming that the economy is rotten, health care is nonexistent, blacks are exploited, and guns are killing people (150 million people since 2007, he said).  He doesn't look like a solution; he looks like part of the problem.

As the evening progressed, Biden's answers became increasingly incoherent.  He stayed on-topic, but between his stutter, the fact that too many thoughts were crowding out of his mouth, and his general mental confusion, it was difficult if not impossible to figure out what he was saying.  He got a lot of applause from the audience, but this confused, incoherent man who boasted about accomplishing things he concedes are still problems today did not do himself any favors.

Steyer, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg talked, but no one cared.  Buttigieg got off a couple of clever one-liners but sounded more like a TV commentator than someone ready for prime time.  The nagging Klobuchar had her moment when she essentially said she is the best person to take on the NRA because she won't take guns from hunters — the Second Amendment being reduced to the "hunting amendment" on Klobuchar's watch.  And why, again, is Steyer even on that stage?

It's invariably dispiriting to see the once-mighty Democrat party reduced to this uninspiring leftist rabble.  The base wants a revolution, but it's not going to happen with these guys.  Even Bernie's spit-flecked denunciations of the American system are going to be meaningless when the man who's never held a real job and who's greedily grasped every penny that's come his way since his surge in 2016 faces the reality of America's political system.  He'll be an awful president, but the worst thing about him, should he be elected, is that he'll be living proof that the American people have fallen so far from our liberty-based constitutional system.

The Democrat debates have a Groundhog Day quality.  The same faces say the same things over and over.  Only die-hard political junkies and those paid to watch are getting anything out of them.  Barring minor gaffes and revelations, the candidates stay in character and say precisely what you'd expect them to say.

Bernie Sanders would like America more if it had policies like those in hard socialist countries (as opposed to market-based big-welfare states such as Denmark and Sweden).  When pushed, he'll disavow authoritarian leaders in communist countries but he won't disavow their policies, which he consistently praises.  He makes it clear in every debate that he envisions himself as the "nice" authoritarian leader.

For those voters who support Israel, Bernie has given up any semblance of support for the country.  He openly called Netanyahu a "reactionary racist."

Mike Bloomberg has an anemic presence; an occasionally agile brain; a terrible sense of humor (his so-called jokes land like lead bricks); a conservative economic bent; and, barring two exceptions, a belief in every hard-left social policy from unlimited abortion to gun control to nanny-state control over life habits to racial pandering.

The exceptions are charter schools, which he supports, and slowing the rush to legalize marijuana, because its ill effects are still very much unknown.  As president, even as Bloomberg disavows China's worst policies, one feels that his preference is a Chinese-style state-controlled market economy and tight control over people's lifestyles.

Elizabeth Warren finally admitted that her policies are the same as Bernie's but claims she would implement them more effectively.  She doesn't call herself a socialist, of course.  She says she's a progressive and assures us that the majority of Americans want the government to control health care, education, guns, and childcare.

What Warren doesn't think America should control is the location of its embassies, for she said that's a choice for the Israelis and Palestinians to make.  She seems unaware that the Israelis have made the choice and that their chosen capital is Jerusalem.  She also seems unaware that Palestinians already have self-determination, having determined in both the West Bank and Gaza that they want bloodthirsty dictatorships.  She also thinks Trump's too nice to Israel.

And Warren still lies.  In South Carolina, she repeated that she was fired from her first job because she was visibly pregnant.  The problem is that contemporaneous documents prove that this is untrue.

Biden, although technically the frontrunner in South Carolina, has the smell of defeat about him.  Throughout the debate, he complained about the other candidates' anarchy, for they interrupted each other and ran wildly over time.  Nevertheless, he obediently stopped every time the clock ran out.  Eventually, he made a rather cute little joke about his Catholic education doing him in, but he still looked weak.

Mostly, Biden did his familiar shtick of "I'm the one who" worked on whatever policy was at issue: helping blacks, raising minimum wages, affordable housing, gun control, etc.  His problem is that he joins the other candidates in claiming that the economy is rotten, health care is nonexistent, blacks are exploited, and guns are killing people (150 million people since 2007, he said).  He doesn't look like a solution; he looks like part of the problem.

As the evening progressed, Biden's answers became increasingly incoherent.  He stayed on-topic, but between his stutter, the fact that too many thoughts were crowding out of his mouth, and his general mental confusion, it was difficult if not impossible to figure out what he was saying.  He got a lot of applause from the audience, but this confused, incoherent man who boasted about accomplishing things he concedes are still problems today did not do himself any favors.

Steyer, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg talked, but no one cared.  Buttigieg got off a couple of clever one-liners but sounded more like a TV commentator than someone ready for prime time.  The nagging Klobuchar had her moment when she essentially said she is the best person to take on the NRA because she won't take guns from hunters — the Second Amendment being reduced to the "hunting amendment" on Klobuchar's watch.  And why, again, is Steyer even on that stage?

It's invariably dispiriting to see the once-mighty Democrat party reduced to this uninspiring leftist rabble.  The base wants a revolution, but it's not going to happen with these guys.  Even Bernie's spit-flecked denunciations of the American system are going to be meaningless when the man who's never held a real job and who's greedily grasped every penny that's come his way since his surge in 2016 faces the reality of America's political system.  He'll be an awful president, but the worst thing about him, should he be elected, is that he'll be living proof that the American people have fallen so far from our liberty-based constitutional system.