Liberals vs. Socialists
The "moderates" in the Democrat Party, who are still pretty liberal by any reasonable standard, may have made their last stand last night. Bullock, Delaney, Klobuchar and Ryan did their best to push back against the party's socialist leaders. The candidates' opening statements set the stage for the next two and a half hours.
Montana Governor Steve Bullock complained that last month's debate looked like politicians "outdoing each other with wish-list economics."
John Delaney warned about "free everything and impossible promises," and recalled the ghosts of vanquished liberals McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis.
Tim Ryan began by rejecting the extremism of the left and declared, "America is great." That's a bold statement in today's Democrat Party.
John Hickenlooper pitched pragmatism over progressivism. And even Marianne Williamson seemed to distance herself from calls to ban private health insurance.
That said, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders more than held their own.
Sanders clearly understood that he did not perform well in the June debate. Last night, he was feisty and eager to show that he was still a serious contender.
Warren was aggressive and assertive. Perhaps too much so. It never plays well to scold the audience as she did.
But it was very telling that last night's biggest applause lines came whenever Warren or Sanders slapped down the moderates for being timid or insufficiently progressive.
Clearly, this is not Bill Clinton's supposedly "centrist" party. And Biden's struggles suggest it may not even be Obama's party anymore.
Overall, it still looked like a clown car to me, and many Americans evidently tuned out. Initial ratings show that last night's debate lost five million viewers compared to June's first debate.
We'll see more of the CNN clown show tonight when Sen. Michael Bennet, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Kamala Harris, Gov. Jay Inslee and businessman Andrew Yang all pile out of the car at 8:00 PM ET.
Bad For Business
There were many shocking statements last night, but I was stunned by the repeated attacks on the healthcare industry, the defense industry, the fossil fuel/energy industry and the banking/financial industry.
Sanders and Warren clearly seem to believe that the economy revolves around central planners in Washington, D.C.
Quick online searches reveal that at least 30 million people are employed in the industries that were the focus of so much scorn last night. I did not hear one reasonable proposal that would increase private sector jobs.
There are reasons to think that the economy is softening right now. The Federal Reserve cut interest rates today for the first time in more than ten years. Some blame the ongoing trade disputes. There's another possible explanation.
CEOs and small business owners are looking at the political landscape, hearing what is coming out of the progressive movement and they are scared to death.
Virtually every Democrat is promising to reverse the Trump tax cuts. Most are going well beyond that.
Let's just take two issues: Socialized medicine and the left's obsession with climate change. Even doubling income taxes would still not be enough to pay for "Medicare for All." And the Green New Deal is an economy killer.
Faced with these potential realities, it's understandable why some businesses might be holding back.
The Gospel of Socialism
In virtually every major public policy debate, the left often tells Christians, "Keep your religion to yourself." But Pete Buttigieg seems to relish questioning the faith of conservatives with left-wing political litmus tests.
In the June debate, Buttigieg argued that you had to support open borders to be a real Christian. Last night, it was doubling the minimum wage as a Christian "litmus test."
Buttigieg's sanctimonious posturing is not only deeply offensive, it is also incredibly judgmental and it's wrong.
Jesus was not a socialist. The Gospel of Jesus is not the gospel of Karl Marx. Jesus loves investors as much as He loves the homeless. Nor was Jesus a fan of big government. The big government of His day (Rome) greased the skids to crucify Him.
There is not one verse where Jesus calls on government to obey the Ten Commandments. He does not call on government to minister to the poor.
All of His exhortations are directed to Christians. He said if you have money, share it with the poor. He did not say, "If you are a Christian legislator, take money from others and give it to the poor."
Jesus is not Robin Hood and that's not Christian charity. That's communism, which kills Christian charity because it first robs people of their own money and choices, and it has also killed millions around the world because it also robs them of their freedom.
During a recent radio interview with Ibrahim "Ebro" Darden, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended Palestinian violence against Israel.
Darden asked AOC, "What's going on with Israel and Palestine? While it's very, very deep, it is very, very criminal, and it is very, very unjust." Ocasio-Cortez answered:
"Absolutely. I think, too, where we're at as a country when it comes to Israel-Palestine is very much a generational issue. . .
"I believe that injustice is a threat to the safety of all people, because once you have a group that is marginalized and marginalized and marginalized — once someone doesn't have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot, right? And it doesn't have to be that way."
Israel is not marginalizing the Palestinian people. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the corrupt Palestinian Authority are marginalizing the Palestinian people.
Meanwhile, President Trump's remarks in Williamsburg, Virginia, yesterday were interrupted by a demonstrator who yelled, "You can't send us back! Virginia is our home!" He was holding a sign that read "Deport Hate" and "Reunite My Family."
It turns out that the demonstrator is a Democrat state legislator, Del. Ibraheem Samirah.
Prior to getting elected to the Virginia House of Delegates earlier this year, Samirah volunteered for Rashida Tlaib's campaign and was active in the radical group Students for Justice in Palestine.
Samirah has a history of making anti-Semitic statements, and his father, Sabri Ibrahim Samirah, was once banned from the United States by the Bush Administration as a threat to national security.
Just another example of today's progressive movement, which is taking over the Democrat Party.