Observations of the 3rd Democratic Debate

From this vantage point, it went on for about an hour and a half too long.

No shit!

I was fervently- FERVENTLY!!- praying they would just cut his mic.

My top three prior to the debate:

  1. Biden
  2. Warren
  3. Harris

My top three after it:

  1. Warren
  2. Booker
  3. O’Rourke

What a mess.

Seriously? I enjoyed them all immensely*. And any of them is easily less of an illiterate asshole than Trump.

  • okay, Klobuchar, my Yale ‘82 classmate, is slightly full of shit. Castro is a prick. But Sanders is still closest to my personal philosophy, Harris and Warren captured my heart, Biden was okay, and Beto, Buttedgeedge, and Booker cheered me up.

Yang’s opening statement had me ROFL

Klobuchar, I think, had just said “We have a president who runs this country like a game show host.”

Moments later…

Yang: “And I’m gonna give away $1000/month to ten families watching this debate tonight! Woo!!”

According to a FB friend, here’s a transcript of his comment.

I know that verbatim transcripts can make you sound dumb, but goddamn.

Biden can be eloquent when he is speaking, but he gets a bit flustered when attacked.

I think we’ve seen the last of Castro. His attacks were uncalled for and mean. Suggesting that Biden is senile? Really? Not that he wouldn’t make a good Veep.

Buttigieg is thoughtful, lucid, and offering actual solutions, unlike Kamala Harris, who seems unable to say anything other than “We need” “We should” “There needs to be”. Hope is not a strategy; what’s your plan? There’s something about her that puts me off.

I like Klobuchar; she is solid center. She has some good ideas, but not a lot of fire.

Warren is a formidable opponent. I can see her shredding Trump in a debate forum, if he isn’t too big a coward to show up for one. Bernie would also rip him apart. I don’t see Biden doing well in that situation, however; hell, he didn’t even do all that well against that nitwit Palin.

Yang needs to go away. The last thing we need is another businessman who thinks he can run the country.

Castro was an ahole. But Biden telling people to turn on their record player for their kids made me think he has legit dementia.

I don’t really agree with the Biden hate, but Biden’s ‘this is America’ retort when Sanders was talking about how we spend 2x as much on health care as any other nation was one of the most pathetic political statements I’d ever heard.

Why not just be proud and say ‘this is America’ when talking about how many mass shootings we have. Lots of people don’t believe in American exceptionalism, and to the degree that we do lots of people believe America is exceptional at bad things amongst peer wealthy democracies (mass violence, plutocracy, letting bigotry destroy society, etc)

All that stuff about how many words kids hear is conflatng cause and effect anyway.

I’m not saying it was a smooth answer, but I took it to mean something along the lines of “This is America, we’ve got a lot more people to insure than the UK or Canada or Denmark.”

Those last two Biden answers were much worse than debate one’s moment. No gotcha just huh.

I’ve moved to team Warren until proven otherwise now. I hope she proves she’s got the stuff.

Slight hijack here. I agree with Joe on this one. I do some volunteer tutoring and I tell kids that words are the “atoms” of thought and speech. And that the more words that you have in your verbal “chemistry set” the more complex the thoughts that you are able to formulate in your head and articulate out of your mouth.

Sure, but it’s the genetics you get from your parents that matter more than the number of words you hear. It’s just that if your parents gave you good genes for intelligence, they also are likely to use a lot of vocabulary words themselves.

Biden’s stream of consciousness is starting to sound like Trump.

We were spoiled by Obama. Now if our candidates aren’t all quick on their feet, well-spoken, non-flubbing demigods, we are so disappointed.

All the candidates seemed decent and human to me. I’m so ready for one of those.


I’m moving this to Elections. There is already a thread on the debate so the mods there can close or merge if they wish.

I suppose there’s some room to make the causation claim, so I just wanted to add some findings from a study to narrow down the discussion.

Study says reading aloud to children, more than talking, builds literacy

With a complete assumption that this is a clear causation arrow, no doubt without correcting for maternal IQ. I saw another similar study that found a big correlation between the number of books in young children’s homes and the likelihood they would later graduate from college. So the social scientists believed the answer was to pull up to underprivileged kids’ homes and carry in crates of books, as though those are magic talismans. Total lack of appreciation for the fact that smart parents tend to have books—and also tend to have smart kids.

To bring it back to what Biden said, if there is any evidence for interventions involving playing tapes or records of speech to young children actually having a notable impact on their later school performance, I haven’t seen it. But if such exists, I would love to hear about it and perhaps have my mind changed.