March 6 Dem Debate: The Showdown in Flint (Don't drink the water)

Bernie and Hillary go at it tonight in Flint, MI. Debate starts in about an hour. Voting in Michigan is on Tuesday, and Hillary looks like she’ll dominate.

I imagine the Flint water crisis will get more airtime tonight than it did in Detroit with the Republicans. Penis size will probably take a backseat tonight, however.

Came here hoping to get a blow by blow of the debate. You guys do make them so entertaining.

Haven’t got the intestinal fortitude nor the internet speed to watch it so I’m reading a live blog in the Guardian. Bernie seems to be holding his own. Hard to tell from someone paraphrasing what the candidates actual presentation is though.

I think they are both doing well. He has been more aggressive than before and fairly so. Some solid body blows by both.

First time I’ve seen him called out for his pretty much leaving his Jewish identity unmentioned (even as he talks about his father having been an immigrant from Poland) … and he answered embracing it.

Closing statements now.

I think Sanders helped himself some tonight with a strong performance. But it is still over.

I was only able to watch the final 20 minutes, but the difference between what I saw here and what I saw with the Pubs in Detroit is astounding. I suppose an adult conversation between two intelligent and serious presidential candidates doesn’t inspire a blow-by-blow like the WWE trash talk of the Republicans.

They both seemed solid from what I saw, except Hillary seemed a little stilted on her prayer answer. The religious talk doesn’t flow from her naturally. Better than Trump obviously, not nearly as good as Obama.

You and anyone who is halfway observant, will have noted that. And since December the contrast has grown even while the GOP field has been shrinking.

Most people will talk about the white privilege comments. And they want to know why whites are leaving the Democratic Party in droves.

Ah, yes, “most people”.

I’m not talking about them. I think they’re still Dems. I don’t know. I’m an independent. A centrist.

So you keep saying. Forgive the digression. You may be an “independent” according to some orbital or geophysical criteria, but in the context of any reasonable political discourse you are most certainly not a “centrist”, Mr. or Ms. Wishing for a Return to the “Glory Days” of times and generations and values past.

I vote for hope, not hate. I love everyone.

So you’ve told us. Both races even?

Unless that vote involves Muslims? Then no love for them, they need to go?

I just get worked up sometimes. I’m worried.

I don’t see this debate changing many minds. Hillary needs to find some synonyms for “barriers”. Bernie’s “When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto” line isn’t going to go over well.

-Philippians 4:6

I see that a little differently. He has already been dinged on Twitter and in the media for being *too *aggressive, and (IMO) fairly so. This is a potential problem for him I totally called a few days ago, but unfortunately not here. On Facebook I posted a short video taken from the Showtime documentary series “The Circus”, in which he got up in a young female reporter’s face, sort of leaning in over her, bellowing at her and jabbing his finger in her face. The reporter laughed it off, but his wife, who was nearby, looked stressed out by this and nervously said “Calm down”, while making a motion downward with her hands, like she had done this many times before.

On Facebook every single person in my feed thought my issue with this was completely ridiculous. But now, after he did a version of it at the debate (though not quite as intensely):

Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas:


TIME took note of the heated moments, mentioning that some Clinton supporters saw Sanders as being “derogatory or even sexist”, and gave some samples of negative Twitter reaction. Here’s another I saw that was kind of funny–although I disagree with her that Bernie was “prepped” to act so aggressively, since it appears even his own camp has from the beginning been trying (with varying levels of success) to keep him from being too shouty at the debates.

Honestly, I think it’s good for Hillary to face tough questions and sharp elbows. She’s coming off really well in these debates. When she wins elections, which mostly does, it gives her an aura of victory and success. The news about Hillary is mostly about how well she’s doing.

If Hillary didn’t have a strong opponent, the news about her would all just be whatever the latest bullshit “scandal” is. Instead, we’re getting visible evidence of her winning elections and sounding presidential. If Sanders dropped out, she couldn’t buy this type of coverage. Sure, she’d have more money for commercials, but commercials (and who the hell watches commercials, any more?) are no substitute for what she’s showing us in live debates. If Sanders drops out there’s nothing stopping Trump from monopolizing the screen like a missing Malaysian airplane.

I’m glad they decided to hold more debates. The contrast between what the Democrats are capable of and what the Republicans are incapable of is never more obvious than when you see them back to back.

Ferchrissakes, I think we’re all willing to give you the “I called it!” trophy on a permanent basis if you’ll stop asking for it.

Anyway. I’m not interested in prognostication, or in what “some people say.” What about you: do you think it was sexist? Because I’ve seen multiple people claim his “Excuse me, I’m talking” moment was sexist, but nobody has explained exactly what they mean by calling it sexist. Is it clear that he wouldn’t have had the same reaction to a man he was debating? What exactly was sexist about him interrupting her interruption?

The “Excuse me, I’m talking” moment was not the aggressiveness I meant, I was talking about on items like the Import/Export Bank and such. The former I thought had nothing at all to do with sexism. He does seem in general to get frustrated to a bit of mild anger when interrupted and it does not come off well. But I’m a guy and may view these things through different optics.

I don’t think he made much progress connecting with non-White voters in this debate (and probably turned off some working class or lower White ones too). His “Black problem” to me seems to be that his experience and understanding of issues is stuck with a 1960s framework; he comes off at least as innocently ignorant, in the sense of just plain not knowing, as if his mindset has had no new experiences on the matter since then.

The comment about him being aggressive and some thinking too aggressive … he still views himself as having a path to winning and it hinges on having amazing upset wins in states like Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio, proving that he just has a Southern problem. Of course the issue is not just a Southern problem, but he’ll need the actual results in those states to prove that to him.

He bellowed at her and got in her space. But I would say it was only about 30% as bad as the thing from Showtime that got me more attuned to this trait of his.

I actually think the most recent episode might be free to watch on Amazon even if you don’t subscribe to Showtime. I will find a timestamp and post it, so people can check it out if that is true, or at the very least if anyone has Showtime.

I would call it 'inappropriate for a man, especially a fairly sizable man, to do to a woman, especially a fairly small woman" rather than “sexist”. My issue with it really has very little to do with whether he would also do it to a man, about which I am agnostic.

But then, I believe in “difference feminism”, and I’ve already been made well aware by the livid Bernheads in my Facebook feed that this is a completely unacceptable philosophy to them. The way they seem to feel, or at least the way I would characterize it even if they might not like my characterization, is that women should be able to handle this kind of rough-and-tumble politics, or they should get out of politics and leave it to the tough guys. I don’t agree with that outlook at all.

Rick Lazio, in getting in Hillary Clinton’s face during a debate, was described as reminding a lot of women of their first husband. No one would ever say that about two men debating, although maybe someday now that gay marriage is legal. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this or it means that the female politician is some wilting flower if she can’t handle it. And for that matter, even if she can’ handle it, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with voters, especially women but also including men like me, cringing when they see this happen, and just considering the man who does it to be a cad and bully at the very least.

I would go further and call it emotional instability and anger issues. In the Showtime instance, his wife certainly seemed to be anxious about him doing it, and was trying to get him to “calm down” like this was something she was used to but didn’t think reflected well on him.