From cartoonist Clay Jones about ‘Democrats Debate,’ the contrast between the Democratic and Republican debates, and where Democrats go from here
I’m not a team player. I’m not a Democrat. Their greatest virtue is that they’re obstacles preventing Republicans from taking this country backwards.
I had several angles I could have gone with for my cartoon on the Democratic debate. I could have gone with Sanders slapping down talking about Hillary Clinton’s email. Or I could have gone with Sanders providing his definition of a Democratic Socialist, which was very interesting. But I think the biggest takeaway from the debate was the stark contrast between it and the four Republican debates held so far.
The two debates for the low-polling Republicans were often referred as the “kids’ table.” Compared to the Democrats, all four GOP debates were the kid’s table.
The Democrats talked about issues. Actual issues. They talked about the threat of climate change, guns, foreign policy, race relations, domestic financial policy, and the business of running government. The GOP held four events focused on racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, hatred, xenophobia, denials of science and personal insults. I was watching Fox News afterward to get their take and they were bored. Sean Hannity referred to it as a snoozefest.
While I didn’t agree with John McCain or Mitt Romney on most issues, I couldn’t deny they were serious candidates. They were qualified for the presidency and were presidential with their campaigns (despite Sarah Palin being a part of one of them).
Sometimes, I wonder if the Republicans aren’t serious yet and right now they just want to be entertained. Their top three candidates are not serious nor are they presidential. Their top guy, Trump, is a reality show maven. He’s not a great businessman. He’s a great marketer. There’s a difference. Their number two guy, Ben Carson, doesn’t understand history, science or even how the debt ceiling works. As their third candidate, Fiorina’s biggest qualification is that she’s a failed CEO. Anyone who believes any of these three candidates is presidential doesn’t have the mental capabilities to understand the Democratic debate.
Republicans like to point out they have a deep bench. It’s an argument of quantity over quality. It’s a deep bench of lower-tier candidates. If they had a genuinely formidable candidate, they too—like the Democratic Party—would only have four or five candidates.
Here’s a contrast for you between the parties: While the Democrats were talking policy and real issues, GOP candidate Mike Huckabee sent out a racist tweet about Asians eating dogs. That really sums up the differences between the parties.
Other takeaways from the debate: Bernie Sanders won. He didn’t introduce himself as much as he introduced what he stands for. That was a success. His only weakness came for his support of the NRA. His defense is that he’s from a rural state. He’s not running for the presidency of a rural state.
Sanders winning the debate will actually help Hillary win the nomination. She’s still in the lead and probably too far ahead for Sanders to catch. Hillary was confidant and didn’t hurt herself. She may have even helped herself. Most voters don’t think Clinton is trustworthy. That’s not gonna be important. Her husband, Bill Clinton, was nicknamed “Slick Willy.” Nobody ever had the delusion Richard Nixon was an honest person. Nixon and Bill Clinton both won the presidency twice despite those red flags.
Robert O’Malley helped himself, but not enough. He might score a cabinet position.
Jim Webb was out of place. The candidates were asked which special interest hated them the most. Hillary said Republicans. Sanders said Wall Street. Jim Webb said the guy who lobbed a grenade at him during his tour of duty in the Vietnam War. Webb is the only veteran running for president and his service is commendable, but when given the opportunity to name a special interest you fought against, you should probably be able to name one.
If it’s possible for Lincoln Chafee to bury himself deeper, that’s exactly what he did. When asked about voting for Glass-Steagall, he didn’t defend it. He didn’t say he was wrong. His excuse was he was new to the Senate and his father had just died. Admitting you’re wrong, that you made a mistake and you learned from it is a lot better than saying you were confused or you didn’t know what you doing.
The final takeaway is talk of Joe Biden entering the race. They can stop talking about it now. I’m making a not-so-bold prediction, and that is Biden is not going to enter the race. I’m glad he’s not. He would make the race much more dramatic and interesting, but I’d hate to see him tarnish his legacy. I believe his time has passed, and it’s time for him to ride off into the sunset and enjoy being an elder statesman.