Another Democratic presidential debate tonight, Thursday 02/11/16

On PBS and CNN at 9:00 p.m. EST. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Clinton and Sanders only, of course, O’Malley having dropped out.

Interesting question: Will tonight’s Democratic debate finally mention abortion? (None of the other debates so far have featured a single question on abortion or reproductive health.)

Hard to tell who’s doing better. They both seem to be getting equal amounts of applause. Hillary, at least, is trying to give the impression that their policies differ only in details.

Bernie just claimed that his campaign has “decided not to have a super PAC”.

But he does have super PACs. And it’s not even up to him anyway. It’s our constitutionally guaranteed right to individually or collectively communicate our opinions about him, or about anyone else.

Bernie Sanders’s Super PACs

They’re both doing well. Seems to be a little more talking-pointalism in this debate compared to previous.

This is the problem when you’re trying too hard to make an argument. You’re both saying that he has a super PAC and at the same time saying that it’s not up to him. Technically you are correct that it’s not up to him, because anyone can start a super PAC and decide to endorse Bernie Sanders, but that’s pretty far from the reality of how things work.

It’s also a bit dishonest to compare a super PAC endorsed by a candidate and built on donations by billionaires to what is in effect a union of nurses independently deciding to support Sanders. Not cool, and not convincing.

I thought Clinton did much better than usual. She had a much more clear message about how she would fight for disadvantaged Americans, and in a much more substantive manner than Sanders.

Bernie Sanders looked like he needed some more water during this debate. I will admit that he did defend himself pretty well against Clinton’s attacks.

So it appears that after the debate, journalists such as Jonathan Alter and David Axelrod (no conservatives) went to Twitter to say that Senator Sanders was full of it when he applied he didn’t savagely go after President Obama. I think that’s the first time Sanders has been caught like that before in this campaign.

Yes, I am claiming those things, and they are true. One can have a super PAC, even though it is not up to them, in the same way that one can have fans or enemies without giving any consent.

What’s dishonest is a candidate claiming that he does not have a super PAC when he does.

But when one has a burning, irrational hatred for a candidate dishonesty is to be expected, no? I agree, it isn’t cool or convincing.

BTW, Sanders was entirely right about Henry Kissinger. And it is also clear Clinton regards Kissinger as a mentor. On foreign policy, Sanders is the better choice.

More on Kissinger.

Yeah … a poor play for her evoke Kissinger positively, even if just as a judge of her skill at running the department.

But Sanders still is a very scary prospect for foreign policy considerations in my book. For all of Kissinger’s evils (and they had been many) and nefarious implementations, the fundamental concept of realpolitik, the idea that international affairs is in reality often choosing not the ideal but the least poor option, is better within a President’s possession than not. And someone who not only knows as little as Sanders seems to know about current international affairs but who seems to be as uninterested in knowing about them … is frightening to me. The “Sanders Doctrine” as presented thus far seems to be a head in the sand isolationist “What Me Worry” approach in a world that is a very complex web of shifting interrelationships that we cannot escape from. Maybe there actually is more depth there and he is avoiding showing it off?

I agree: Kissinger is a moron.

Far, far better to have a POTUS largely ignorant of foreign policy than one who thinks about it the way Clinton does.

I’m a fervent admirer of Bernie Sanders, yet I felt Hillary won the debate overwhelmingly. She came across as more pragmatic, more fluent on the issues, less obsessed with a single issue, … more Presidential. I felt she got more time to speak than Sanders did … but also had more to say.

I’m very glad Sanders has pushed the debate “to the left.” But I think Hillary would make a better nominee and a better President.