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Issues & Insights

Democrats’ Cirque De Absurdite

When it was time to call the candidates on stage for Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, did one of the moderators yell “send in the clowns?” If not, someone should have. What a bunch of buffoons.

We don’t use that word lightly. One definition of buffoon is “a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior.” That’s a description that fits every candidate on the stage. Each was hilariously solicitous and comically transparent.

Almost before the game show applause had settled, Beto O’Rourke launched into a juvenile Spanish-language hustle that left Sen. Cory Booker wide-eyed and most everyone else rolling their eyes.

Moments later, Booker found common ground with Friedrich Engels, grousing about how the economy wasn’t working for everyone, a common thread throughout the “debate.” Still later, he too resorted to Spanish, competing with O’Rourke to show he is the most Hispanic candidate, even more Hispanic than someone named Castro and far more Hispanic than the Irish guy.

A few beats after O’Rourke’s first foreign-language outburst, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the media’s pre-selected winner, made the brave declaration she wanted to return government to the people — while pointing at herself. Well done, Senator. Now we know who she wants to vest the power of government in.

In English, former Obama Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro resorted, to no one’s surprise, to identity politics, insisting the country “pass” — hey, how about taking a remedial class in constitutional process before running for president — the Equal Rights Amendment.

When it was her time to speak, Tulsi Gabbard, one of two congressional representatives from Hawaii, looked as if she was going to be the only serious person on the stage — then she yammered on about a “green economy” and “good-paying jobs,” empty Democratic talking points without depth designed to elicit applause.

With Gabbard now sidelined, former Rep. John Delaney from Maryland became the most rational-appearing candidate in the group. But he sounded like a Bill Clinton Democrat, which means he has no chance in Bernie Sanders’ party.

Meanwhile, in great moments in pandering, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee promised to resurrect union power. And, we suppose, the corruption, violence, and economic distortions that will come with it. Nice try, but he’s still in the “who is that guy?” category. Though he said the right things, he could have been replaced in the second hour by any other Democrat and few would have noticed. His only hope is that some will recall that it was he who said Donald Trump is the biggest geopolitical threat to the U.S. But he still looks like that other guy, whose name no one can remember either.

For all the closet tyrants on stage, none represented today’s Democratic Party better than New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who yet again said there is plenty of money in this country, it’s just in the wrong hands. But forget it, Jake, it’s the Democratic Party and he can get away with threats of naked theft. Because that’s what the “progressives” want — a return to tribalism where the most savage among us subjugate the rest.

Every candidate lined up in Wednesday’s debate is living in a fantasy world where they are convinced their decrees can yield a utopia just because they say so. They don’t understand economic realities, their god complexes are puffed up enough to make doctors jealous, their need to acquire raw power is pathetic (and alarming). There was no respect for human dignity, nor human life, no regard for liberty, no room for private-sector solutions to all the problems that were discussed.

But there was plenty of shallowness. Anyone expecting depth is occupying the same fantasy world as the candidates.

— Written by J. Frank Bullitt


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8 comments

  • You toss a little compliment to John Delaney, but he deserves more than that. He doesn’t belong in this pack and he was marginalized by the moderators, which is further evidence that he’s really positioned to be a nonpartisan candidate in the future. I will then get behind him completely, because I have no love for or allegiance to what either the Republicans or Democrats have become.

    • His comment on government takeover of healthcare and outlawing private insurance, “Why do we have to stand for taking away something from people?” is certainly refreshing to hear from a Democrat.

      Not one of these a$$hats expressed any ideas of how to foster prosperity and innovation, not to mention individual liberty, choosing instead to promise a redistribution of existing wealth by growing government ever more. The party of “free stuff”.

      What happens when the stuff runs out and China becomes the world’s largest economy? “No worries, I should be out of office by then”

      • If you take the time to understand Delaney’s positions on a whole variety of the top issues facing the country you are likely to be similarly impressed. I have a standard for candidates to clear before I give any of them serious consideration. That is: “Is this someone to whom I would be willing to turn over my own business permanently?” A business, that is, in which my long-term associates would gladly continue to work and would prosper; one that would continue to be valued and trusted by our clients; one that has an outstanding reputation in the community(ies) where it’s located; one that would continue on a growth path and offer great careers to those who contribute the most … and so on.

        Delaney is the best I have seen measured against that standard.

        I also accept there are valid alternative policy approaches, not all of which I can be well-versed on. But after 50 years of making decisions in and around organizations (as a professional, a manager, a leader, and ultimately as an owner), I think I know the characteristics of persons who can be trusted to make good decisions after considering and factoring in all the relevant variables and interests.

        On a very practical real-world level, no hard-left candidate will win over enough moderates and disaffected Republicans to defeat Trump. To me that seems SO glaringly evident that I almost feel silly saying it. Delaney says he was rated as the third most bipartisan member of Congress. That puts him in the top tier of candidates in my eyes, and I believe a majority of my fellow citizens are ready for someone with that reputation. We have had ENOUGH of shameful and childish partisan bickering. Seriously.

  • last night was fun to watch as each candidate strove to create the aggrieved niche that will capture the emotional heartstrings of the base. We found out there is plenty of money to solve our problems, towns are burning, Miami is underwater, transgender issues are paramount to our very existence, we should be the nursery for the worlds children…LOL

  • I’ve never been to a circus and I hate clowns because they creep me out. Thus I had no interest in watching the democrat clown show last night.

  • Keeping in line with your “cirque de absurdite” theme, did the Republicans channel their inner Voltaire prior to the debate? You see, in 1767 in a letter to a friend, Voltaire wrote, “I always made one prayer to God, a very short one. Here it is: ‘O Lord, make our enemies quite ridiculous.’ God granted it.” (“J’ai toujours fait une prière à Dieu, qui est fort courte. La voici: Mon Dieu, rendez nos ennemis bien ridicules! Dieu m’a exaucé.”)

  • I tried to watch it: it was a clown show.

    These people are… what they advocate is starkly parasitic. Its stuff you hear from children.

    And reading the left-wing publications – is the modern Left possessed of the intellect and emotional maturity of a five year old? These people (including their voters) will destroy the rest of us (liberty, income, taxation, quality-of-life).

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Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

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