Last week's Las Vegas debate was the Bloomberg pile-on, as 2020 Democratic hopefuls unleashed a torrent of pent-up frustration again the New York billionaire and his arrogant, lavish campaign. This may have felt cathartic, but it largely handed a pass to the frontrunner in the race, who went on to crush the field in Nevada. And I do mean crush:
Bernie beats next three combined https://t.co/H5OSG5KQaH— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 24, 2020
Click through for a different perspective on those turnout numbers, by the way. Desperate and running out of time, that mistake will not be replicated at this evening's forum, at which the knives will be out for Bernie in a sustained and dramatic way. I have little doubt that three things Sanders has said within the last 48 hours will be the subject of criticisms and attacks, including this mumbling about the staggering costs of Bernie's endless proposals.
BS: I think it’s about 30 trillion [for M4A]— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) February 24, 2020
AC: do you have a price rage for all of these things?
BS: no we don’t. No...
AC: ...how do you know how it’s going to be paid for if you don’t know what the price is?
BS: I can’t rattle off for you every nicklepic.twitter.com/OtGKTyVPDc
"Medicare for All" would eliminate the private health insurance of more than 170 million Americans, and would cost roughly $3.8 trillion in new federal spending every single year over the next decade -- which would approximately double the existing, deficit-plagued federal budget. It would increase, not decrease, overall healthcare spending. It would require massive tax increases on all American families and businesses. And it would impose a mandatory one-size-fits-all system, controlled and run by the government. That's a single agenda item. Bernie can't be bothered to discuss the price tag of the rest of his programs, which have been estimated in the $60 to $97 trillion range, altogether. It's actually insane, and only Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden have even made brief efforts to call it out to Sanders' face thus far. Then there was this:
In “60 Minutes” interview, Sanders goes out of his way praise elements of Castro’s reign of Cuba.— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) February 24, 2020
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but it’s unfair to say everything’s bad. When Castro came into office you know what he did? He had a literacy program.”
"Came into office," he says, describing Castro's bloody revolution. This isn't a grainy video of Bernie (once again) praising a communist dictatorship decades ago; it was an answer he gave as a presidential frontrunner in 2020. This past weekend. Especially in light of his terrible track record, Bernie does not get to pay lip service to opposing the authoritarianism of these regimes while talking up the 'good parts.' If repression and thuggery are the cornerstones of a government, a literacy program they implement does not matter. It pales in comparison to the execution, incarceration, and exile of dissidents. It does nothing to offset the concentration camps for minorities. Also -- and this really should go without saying -- but teaching people to read isn't exactly a great service when you censor what they're permitted to read, under threat of severe punishment.
Throughout his adult life, Bernie has shown solidarity with, and lavished praise upon, left-wing tyrants all over the world. His communist sympathies remain alive and well. Contrast Bernie's "say what you will about Fidel" apologia with his decision to once again boycott AIPAC's annual conference, including a smear that drew an understandably harsh response from the mainstream, bipartisan pro-Israel organization:
Bernie Sanders wants us all to give Fidel Castro a fair shake, but he cannot abide AIPAC, because of supposed "bigotry," or something. It's telling:
Revealing & instructive juxtaposition: Bernie, in 24 hours, has gone out of his way to praise the repressive Cuban Castro regime — while announcing that he cannot countenance AIPAC, a mainstream, bipartisan pro-Israel organization. While Israeli civilians are under rocket attack.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 24, 2020
Yes, as Palestinian terrorists fire rockets into Israeli playgrounds, Bernie Sanders is making a show of boycotting a mainstream, cross-partisan pro-Israel gathering -- in between ducking questions about his socialist agenda's eye-popping costs and issuing "in fairness" defenses of a blood-drenched communist dictator. This should come as no surprise, given his own longstanding zealotry and the fanatical anti-Israel (and, in some cases, anti-Semitic) views of his high-profile surrogates and endorsers. Will any or all of this come up tonight? Will other 2020 Democrats echo the sharp criticisms of Sanders' crush on Castro we've seen pouring in from Florida politicians from both parties? I'll leave you with this story about the Democratic Party's combined panic and bargaining stage about the runaway Bernie train. It seems some in the establishment are circling back to Joe Biden (yes, this Joe Biden) for one last gasp:
“Biden is the only one who has a path to defeat Bernie. It would involve him winning South Carolina and then performing well enough in the early March states to keep the race competitive,” says @SimonWDC. https://t.co/VuxCU2KjbH— Michael Kruse (@michaelkruse) February 24, 2020