I watched most of the nearly three hours of the debate involving the ten remaining Democratic primary candidates who qualified for the third round. In watching and listening to them, one is struck by how far superior everyone of them is to Donald Trump merely in terms of the coherence of their thoughts and words. Trump’s policies of course are utterly execrable.
All of them were supporters of increasing healthcare coverage for everyone in some form of single-payer such as Medicare for All, differing only in details. All of them lambasted Trump for being a white supremacist and that we need to address systemic racism in the US.
Those who I thought gained from the debate: Cory Booker (who said that we should not to wait for gun violence to affect us personally before we take strong stands against guns), Pete Buttigieg (strong criticism of Trump’s racism), Beto O’Rourke (unequivocal on the need to get rid of private ownership AR-15, AK-47, and similar weapons and the need for the registration of guns and the licensing of users), Elizabeth Warren (very strong answer on why troops need to be pulled out of Afghanistan and her advocacy of other socialist policies), and Bernie Sanders (for his consistency of the issues he cares about). Warren and Sanders disagreed on whether to end the filibuster (she wants to, he doesn’t),
Those who I thought lost ground: Kamal Harris (seemed a little tired) and she and Amy Klobuchar were put on the defensive about their past records on crime and the police mistreatment of people, especially people of color, Julian Castro (too many shallow attacks on Joe Biden), Andrew Yang (he got little time and his proposal to give ten people $1,000 per month for a year as an example of his plans for the entire nation seemed a little gimmicky), and Joe Biden (he had a hard time defending his record as senator and vice-president.)
The moderators seemed pretty decent this time but I really hate the “What is the one thing you would you do on your first day in office as president?” question, which they seem to love. I know that this really is about what the candidates prioritize but any good candidate would and should have multiple priorities and asking them to pick one as more important than the rest is just silly.