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The Democratic Debate Debacle: Part II, Darkness Falls

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

In 1977 "Star Wars" took Hollywood and the world by storm. A new genre was not only introduced, but perfected. People were justifiably certain that no film, let alone a sequel, could actually compare. Then came "The Empire Strikes Back." Darker, more nuanced, and by many accounts, superior. When would we ever witness such a sea change again? Well, on June 27th, 2019 that question was answered.


On Wednesday night, when the closing bell rang on the first Democratic presidential debate, many were justifiably certain that we had seen the pinnacle of progressive hysteria. But where Wednesday seemed like a cast of not ready for primetime players, screaming for socialism, open borders, and identity politics, Thursday night’s cast were the angry, grizzled, and pugnacious players in the race to the left. Not only more hysterical than their preceding contenders but mean spirited and ready to do anything to win. Well, at least the ones that seemed to know why they were there. (Marianne Williamson, Andrew Yang, you know this is for the presidency, right?)

The second greatest mistake one can make in a political campaign is to allow an opponent to define you in negative terms. The greatest sin is to define yourself in those terms. And that is just what the contenders did Thursday night. 

Much like Wednesday night’s debacle of Democrat discourse, the candidates screamed for socialism over a strong economy. They assailed the evil 1 percent. They assured the American people, 71 percent of whom feel we have a pretty good thing going, that they were wrong. Like a bad therapist telling a patient, “You’re only happy because you think you're happy.” Fortune cookies dispense greater wisdom.


Where Wednesday’s participants praised open borders, Thursday’s doubled down. They demanded that their socialist policies of free everything are not only for Americans who are dumb enough to fall for it but must be extended to illegal aliens. And that illegal aliens no longer be illegal.

And like Wednesday night’s Democratic exercise in futility, Thursday’s failed to provide a single reason to make a change from a successful Trump administration to the embrace of a socialist one with a century’s old demonstrable history of failure and misery.

But there was a much darker tone to Thursday’s debacle. The Democrats showed not only how extreme they have become but how low they are willing to sink, not as politicians, but as people in general, to achieve their leftist aims. And they defined themselves in the process.

There are plenty of reasons to oppose Joe Biden. He is creepy, sleepy, slurry, and flips more than a 5-year-old on a trampoline. But when Kamala Harris attacked him on his non-role in segregation, she crossed a line she can never come back from. Not that she ever would. 

This is the same Kamala Harris that not only fell for the Jussie Smollett hoax, but used it to stir racial division. Not to mention her close connections to both Smollett and his excuser Kim Foxx. This is the same Kamala Harris that took not only pride but center stage in the baseless and shameful attacks on Brett Kavanaugh. This is the same Kamala Harris that has a demonstrated history of using racism and victimhood, either real or perceived, as political weapons.


And by all accounts, she won the debate doing so and negatively defined herself in the process.

Bernie Sanders, no stranger to hyperbolic displays of socialism at the expense of constitutional democracy, announced a half-baked plan to ‘rotate out’ federal judgeships. Not packing the Supreme Court, but, well, packing the Supreme Court. Allowing for the changing of the body of the highest court in the land by fiat of every new administration. So unconstitutional, irrational, and infeasible to be laughable, but definable. Socialism, by any means necessary.

Wednesday night saw the Democrats frame their case for unseating Trump based on socialism, open borders, and an America Second, Third, or Wherever philosophy. Thursday saw them etch that philosophy in stone. 

They have framed their case as socialism, open borders, America last, and identity politics, and they lose on all of those issues. And rightfully so.

Donald Trump will win easily when this is the case the Democrats make. America will win when the Democrats make such ridiculous arguments. But the cost of the fight will be destructive. After all, can anyone recall the left losing anything without rioting?


On Thursday night Democrats assured a Trump re-election, which is great for the country, but darkness has fallen, and it seldom abates without a fight.

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