Brooklyn may not be like the rest of America, but watching the debate tonight Mad Dog had a strong premonition of things to come: Mad Dog's fearless forecast is that Bernie Sanders will be and should be the Democratic nominee and he will be elected President and he will become the Democrats' Ronald Reagan, garnering support from "Bernie Republicans" just as Reagan got "Reagan Democrats."
Listening to Bernie respond to the question about whether he owed an apology to the parents of Sandy Hook for his opposition to laws that would hold gun sellers and gun manufacturers liable for the use of guns in killings, he said, no, he owed no apology. If a gun shop owner sells a gun to a crazy person, having got all the clearances and followed the law, he should not be responsible for seeing what nobody could predict, the buyer was a lunatic. Simple, direct and fundamentally correct.
When Sanders is asked about his statement that the Israeli response to rocket attacks from Gaza was disproportionate, does he not think that Israel has the right to defend itself, he says, of course Israel has that right, but that is not the question. The question is when Israel launches an attack which causes 10,000 casualties and 1,500 deaths among Palestinians in the Gaza strip, that is disproportionate. And if we really want to be a friend to Israel, sometimes we have to tell them what they don't want to hear, namely that Palestinians are suffering too. You got to love Bernie. You have the feeling he is capable of saying more than the proper thing.
When Bernie speaks, and says something which will be received poorly in some quarters he is unapologetic: He is saying. I believe we cannot be afraid to criticize Israel. If that offends you, tough, that's the truth. And you have to respect that candor.
Hillary sounds with each answer as if she is trying to find the one sentence which contains the applause line, the one safe thing to say. She uses lawyers' words, "revisit" and "take into account." She sounds as if she is trying to speak in a way which nobody can find fault with. That's not the role of a leader. Offend some, but let everyone know where you stand and what you think right is.
And, after all this time, she has not come up with an answer to those $250,000 Goldman Sacks speeches and she still refuses to release the transcripts "until everyone else does." And Bernie has the perfect response: "I'll release every transcript of every speech I made on Wall Street behind closed doors--because there are none."
Hillary stands there, mouth open, with nothing to say, other than she does not like the insinuation, which Wolf Blitzer spells out in the question, "That you are in the pocket of Wall Street." She insists nobody can show that all the money meant to buy her vote ever actually succeeded in buying her vote. Oh, they can give me the money, but they can't count on me voting their way. But that's not the point. The point is, you have participated in this way of doing politics: You took the money.
And now you expect us to believe they were paying you to spend the night with them, but you never actually went to bed with them. You did business from the brothel, but you never actually prostituted yourself.
Oh, poor Hillary. She has done everything right, her whole life. She has learned the rules, played the game by the rules, passed every course with flying colors and now she expects to be handed the prize.
This, the ninth debate revealed all her weaknesses and vulnerabilities and very little of her strengths. After 90 minutes, with the debate still raging on, I had to turn it off. I like Hillary enough, I just could not watch it any more.