The Other McCain

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Democrat Debate Post-Mortem: MSNBC’s Obvious Bias and the ‘Beautiful Lunatic’

Posted on | June 28, 2019 | Comments Off on Democrat Debate Post-Mortem: MSNBC’s Obvious Bias and the ‘Beautiful Lunatic’


The 10 candidates onstage for Round 2 of the Democratic National Committee debates Thursday night spoke for a combined total of about 66 minutes. Four of those candidates (Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg) consumed 45:21 of that time. In other words, 40% of the candidates got almost 70% of the speaking time. It might be argued, of course, that the former Vice President of the United States deserves more time than other candidates, especially given the poll numbers as reflected by RCP’s national average: Biden 32.0, Sanders 16.9, Elizabeth Warren 12.8, Buttigieg 7.0, Harris 6.6.

Why, however, would Harris — currently polling at fifth place, in single digits, more than 25 points behind Biden — be given more time than second-place Sanders? Isn’t it obvious that the MSNBC hosts made a decision to lift up Harris, to the disadvantage of other candidates?

The MSNBC crowd still has not forgiven Sanders for daring to challenge Hillary Clinton in 2016, blaming him for undermining her support and (so they think) contributing to Clinton’s defeat by Trump. Furthermore, it seems obvious, the MSNBC hosts don’t want an elderly white male to be the Democrat nominee in 2020, so they deliberately set up a confrontation between Harris and Biden over the issue of race:

Joe Biden’s praise for segregationists followed him to the Democratic presidential debate on Thursday evening and exploded into a racial controversy that could put a huge dent in his candidacy after Kamala Harris lectured him on busing.
Harris, who is Jamaican-American, inserted herself into a discussion on the thorny topic, saying, ‘As the only black person on this stage, I would like to speak, on the issue of race.’
She said it was ‘hurtful’ that Biden had praised two notorious, Democratic segregationists who he served with in the Senate in the 1970s.
Harris confronted Biden about the remarks and his stance in the ’70s against busing encourage racial integration in schools – he worked with the two segregationists to try to prevent federal imposition of the policy.
She told him, ‘I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you, when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground.
‘But I also believe – and it’s personal, and I was actually very – it was hurtful, to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country,’ she said.

This confrontation did not happen spontaneously or by accident. It was a piece of made-for-TV political theater, staged by MSNBC staffers who prefer either Harris or Elizabeth Warren as the 2020 nominee.


Notice the optics, by the way: Biden and Harris arguing, with Sanders in the middle forced to stand there silently between them. My guess is that Bernie’s supporters deeply resented the way Thursday’s debate went. They feel they were cheated by the DNC’s bias in 2016, and now they see obvious favoritism in the DNC-controlled debates. Of course, I’m not exactly an impartial observer in this primary. Jim Geraghty rather humorously describes the performance of my favorite candidate:

I wonder if non-Republicans felt about Donald Trump in 2016 the way I, and it seems quite a few other conservatives, feel about Marianne Williamson. Marianne, you beautiful lunatic. Every time you spoke, I didn’t know whether you were going to do a rain dance, cast a hex, or hold a seance. On those rare moments you got a chance to talk, I leaned forward because I had no idea what kind of absolute insanity was going to come out of your mouth. It was as riveting as a hostage situation. She contends American have chronic illnesses because of “chemical policies,” she wonders where the rest of the field has been for decades (er, in public office), and her first call will be to the prime minister of New Zealand, and she wants to harness the power of love for political purposes. In many ways, she is exactly the candidate that today’s Democratic party deserves.

More seriously, my hunch is that the “beautiful lunatic” could have a Trump-like impact. Doesn’t it seem logical that an outsider candidate might have the best chance of beating Trump? If the system is broken, you can’t fix it with someone from inside the system. I can’t get inside the minds of Democrat primary voters, but there’s actual evidence that Williamson caught people’s attention: She was the most-searched candidate on Google after Thursday’s debate. Here’s a video clip of her debate highlights:

A few excerpts:

I tell you one thing, it’s really nice if we have all these plans, but if you think we beat Donald Trump by just having all these plans, you’ve got another thing coming. Because he didn’t win by saying he had a plan. He won by simply saying, “Make America Great Again.” . . .
If you forcibly take a child from their parents’ arms, you are kidnapping them. If you take a lot of children and you put them in a detainment center, thus inflicting trauma upon them, that’s called child abuse. This is collective child abuse. … Both of those things are a crime. If your government does it, that doesn’t make it less of a crime. These are state-sponsored crimes.
What President Trump has done is not only attack these children, not only demonize these immigrants, he is attacking a basic principle of America’s moral core: We open our hearts to the stranger. . . .
I have an idea about Donald Trump: Donald Trump is not going to be beaten just by insider politics talk. He’s not going to be beaten just by somebody who has plans. He’s going to be beaten by somebody who has an idea what the man has done. This man has reached into the psyche of the American people and he has harnessed fear for political purposes.
So, Mr. President — if you’re listening — I want you to hear me please: You have harnessed fear for political purposes and only love can cast that out. So I, sir, I have a feeling you know what you’re doing. I’m going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field, and sir, love will win.

Now, you’re a conservative, I’m a conservative, and we would strongly dispute the assertion that Trump is guilty of “state-sponsored crimes.” But we’re not Democrat primary voters, are we? And that’s the thing: Marianne Williamson is speaking to Democrat primary voters in Iowa, and she’s pitching straight into their wheelhouse.



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