Dem debate moderates savage socialists Bernie and Elizabeth Warren for promising 'free everything' and open borders

Democrats debating in Detroit on Tuesday teetered between slamming President Donald Trump and attacking each other, unsure whether to spend their time onstage trying to win the primary contest or the 2020 general election.
'Ultimately we have to beat Donald Trump,' Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said.' But a moment later she tried to drive a wedge in the middle of her own party, between the left-wing progressives and the moderates to their right.
'Yes, I have bold ideas,' she said, 'but they are grounded in reality.'
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wasted no time clobbering Trump, saying he 'disgraces the office of president every single day.'
Self-help author Marianne Williamson drove discussion online, as much for her quirky mannerisms and new-age jargon as for her policy ideas.
But she only struck a glancing blow against Trump, blaming him for promoting 'collectivized hatred.'
The most devastating attack on the president came from South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who asked 'how somebody like Donald Trump gets within cheating distance of the Oval Office in the first place. It doesn't happen unless America is already in a crisis,' he said.
'Our country is running out of time. It is even bigger than the emergency of the Trump presidency,' Buttigieg added.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke blasted a culture of 'cruelty and fear from a lawless president' while he condemned 'endless war' and a cavalier attitude toward global warming.
Trump, who had hinted he might live-tweet every Democratic debate, sat on his Twitter fingers all night. 
That left the Democrats' centrist-leftist schism on full display, lurking beneath the surface at every turn. 
Making his first debate appearance this year, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock made a centrist appeal against 'wish-list economics' and called for creating a 'public option' for healthcare.
While that Obamacare-era fight once defined the far reaches of progressivism, today 'Medicare for All' proponents believe they can leave it behind and exceed it.
Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, a dark horse in the race, warned against 'fairy tale' progressives who make 'impossible promises that will turn off independent voters and get Trump re-elected.'
Warren, an idealistic crusader, lost her patience.
'I don't understand why anybody does to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for,' she exclaimed.
Delaney, arguing about the art of the possible on healthcare policy, argued for 'solutions that are workable.'
Universal, single-payer healthcare, he said, is 'an idea that's dead on arrival. That will never happen.'
He added that Warren and other progressives are embracing 'bad policies like "Medicare for All," free everything, and impossible promises that will turn off independent voters and get Trump re-elected.' 
John Hickenlooper, a former Colorado governor, aimed at the same party fringe. 'I share their progressive values but I'm a little more pragmatic,' he said.
And Williamson criticized business-as-usual centrism, sniping about an economy-driven America that has turned 'multinational corporations into a false god.'
'Conventional politics will not solve this problem because conventional politics is part of this problem,' she declared.
Williamson drew some of the most enthusiastic applause Tuesday night for her stream-of-consciousness answers to questions about slavery reparations and the environment.
'This is part of the dark underbelly of American society, the racism, the bigotry, and the entire conversation that we're having here tonight,' she said of the water quality crisis in nearby Flint, Michigan.
'If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I'm afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.'
On a wealth transfer to the descendants of slaves, she said America will heal only 'when there's some deep truth-telling.'
Williamson argued that 'anything less than $100billion' set aside for black Americans 'is an insult, and I believe that $200-500billion is politically feasible today.'
'So many Americans realize there is an injustice that continues to form a toxicity underneath the surface, an emotional turbulence that only reparations will deal with,' she said, returning her new-age vocabulary to the debate.
Williamson's unconventional style caught Americans' notice, much the same way Trump's did four years ago.
Google Trends reported that in the hours before Tuesday night's debate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was the most-searched Democratic candidate in 34 US states. Warren held leads in 12.
By night's end, Williamson attracted the most interest on Google in 49 states – all but Montana, whose governor was on stage opposite her.
The 67-year-old wellness guru and author also emerged on top in an unscientific poll conducted by the popular news aggregation website The Drudge Report, with more than 47 percent of the vote.
Most of the Democrat-on-Democrat ammunition was aimed at Warren and Sanders, the two more liberal voices on TV screens Tuesday night.
But while Sanders complained about millions of Americans without health insurance or homes and companies like Amazon that skirt income tax responsibilities, he too took a shot at the man whose job he covets.
'We have got to confront Trump's racism, sexism, xenophobia,' he said, 'and come together.'
Sanders exploded at Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who disagreed with his contention that 'Medicare for All' plans circulating on Capitol Hill are broad enough to encircle every American and those who are in the country illegally.
'Medicare for All is comprehensive, it covers all health care needs for senior citizens. It will finally include dental care, hearing AIDS and eyeglasses,' Sanders said.
'You don't know that,' Ryan interjected.
'I do know!' Sanders shot back. 'I wrote the damned bill!'
Immigration politics had its front-and-center moment, led by Warren who argued in favor of treating illegal border-jumping as a low-level civil infraction, not a crime.
'We need to continue to have border security, and we can do that. But what we can't do is not live our values,' Warren said.
Sniping from Twitter, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted the idea of loosening federal immigration laws.
'The immigration debate is turning into an open invitation for any person who can make their way to America to come here,' Graham tweeted. 'Plus, they will be rewarded with free health care!'
'Most people on the planet will take Democrats up on this offer,' he wrote.
'Biggest winner of the #DemDebate on immigration — @realdonaldtrump!' he concluded as the debate went to commercial after the first hour.
Buttigieg argued for prosecuting only immigration fraudsters, not more ordinary illegal immigrants.
O'Rourke said he would waive citizenship fees for green card holders, keep 'Dreamers' in the country 'and stop criminally prosecuting families and children for seeking asylum and refuge.'
At that point, he argued, 'I expect that people who come here follow our laws and we reserve the right to criminally prosecute them.'
Bullock, the Montana governor, came near to articulating Republican immigration talking points, and then attributed them to an Obama administration official.
'We've got 100,000 people showing up at the border right now,' he said. 'If we decriminalize entry, if we give health care to everyone, we'll have multiples of that.'
'Don't take my word. That was President Obama's homeland security secretary that said that.'
Ryan, too, leaned to the center.
'If you want to come into the country, you should at least ring the doorbell,' he quipped.
Democratic presidential hopefuls were expected to straddle the line between their own policy prescriptions and the thorny question of how to deal with a president who fights to win.
At the downtown Fox Theater, Trump's recent descent into racially charged taunts was a constant aura.
The president had spent recent weeks sparring with a quartet of young lawmakers, all of them women of color – and branding the majority-black city of Baltimore as a rat-infested sewer so he can blame a Democratic foil for allowing his congressional district to go to the dogs.
While the foes to his left raced to condemn him in Detroit, they also had to find positive messages that will resonate as the stakes grow higher.
With each successive series of debates the qualifications get tighter, requiring higher minimum poll results and ever-more grassroots donors.
For some debaters seeking safe harbor in a contentious primary race, Tuesday provided what might be their last chance to avoid being swept out to sea.
Standing at center stage on Tuesday were the two most liberal contenders, Sanders and Warren.
As Warren has gained ground, Sanders has begun to fade – reminding some political observers of the self-avowed Democratic socialist's fade in 2016 at the hands of Hillary Clinton.
More moderate candidates, including O'Rourke and Klobuchar, needed to make the case that in a general election, centrists have a better chance of knocking off a president whose rhetoric and policy choices have strayed rightward.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Democrats on Tuesday had doubled down on 'radical, socialist proposals.'
'From a government takeover of health care to decriminalizing illegal immigration, Democrat candidates put their out-of-touch priorities on full display,' she said.
Wednesday night's debate will offer the possibility of a rematch of last month's clash between former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris, who went toe-to-toe in the first debate over busing and desegregation issues that date to when Harris was a child in California and Biden was a youngish senator.
While CNN drew lots to determine which candidates would debate on which night, the White House hopefuls have been drawing up policy prescriptions.
Warren rolled out a trade policy package on Monday that includes a nine-condition litmus test for future US trading partners, including an end to subsidizing fossil fuels.
She took a page from Trump's 2016 playbook that won over rust-belt workers in job-starved swing states, leaving the possibility of tough tariffs on the table
Harris published a healthcare plan on Monday that stops short of the 'Medicare for All' proposal that the party's left wing favors. Her conception of a health system reboot includes a role for private insurers, and a slower phase-in period of a decade.
Tuesday's roster included an outsize number of white candidates for a party with a diverse lineup. The two African-American candidates, Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, both landed on Wednesday's debate.
Even if Trump hadn't spent the previous days launching barbs at black lawmakers, debating in Detroit was certain to provoke discussion about race.
The Motor City has become emblematic of black cultural achievement and postwar industrial gains – plus devastating riots followed by decay of the type Trump has highlighted in Baltimore.
But Motown is experiencing a rebound with millions in investments pouring in.
Trump's re-election campaign and a deep-pocketed organization determined to see him impeached ran dueling television ads, and will again on Wednesday as the debating continues.
'Need to Impeach,' an advocacy group funded by San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, aired a 30-second takedown of the president based on four moments from the congressional hearings that featured former special counsel Robert Mueller last week.
The Trump campaign's entry in the air war was an ad that uses a made-for-TV moment from the first debates to mock Democrats as 'all the same' – showing 10 of them raising their hands to signify that they would give illegal immigrants access to a taxpayer-funded healthcare system.
Both spots ran on CNN and MSNBC. The president's ad was also shown on Fox News. His campaign placed full-page color ads in both of Detroit's daily newspapers on Tuesday.
The anti-Trump ad buy is part of an estimated $74million dollars of spending by Need to Impeach in the past two years.
It was billed as 'not supported by any candidate or candidate committee,' but Steyer, the founder and bankroller of Need to Impeach, is himself a Democratic presidential candidate.
He won't be on stage this week. The super-wealthy Californian's campaign is raising money so he can attract enough individual donors qualify in the future.
CNN's technological marvel of a stage set took more than 100 people eight days to assemble, according to the network's vice president of special events, Kate Lunger.
The network's production involves 25 cameras, more than 500 theater lights, and 40,000 pounds of equipment shipped in 110 crates and pallets.
It took nine 53-foot semi-trucks to haul it all to Detroit. 
 
Pundits and viewers crown winners and losers 
Marianne Williamson's 2020 presidential campaign gained momentum as the self-help guru became the most-searched for candidate during Tuesday's debate in Detroit.  
Google Trends data showed the author was the most-searched candidate in 49 states during the debate. The only state where she didn't dominate search trends was Montana, where Gov Steve Bullock took that slot.  
While she took up the second-shortest amount of speaking time at eight minutes and 52 seconds, per CNN, Williamson dominated a Drudge poll as over 47 percent of viewers declared her the winner of the debate.  
She drove discussion online, as much for her quirky mannerisms and new-age jargon as for her policy ideas.
Perhaps Williamson's most impactful moment was when she appeared to 'yodel' while delivering a lecture on healthcare - while her comment about President Trump inspiring 'dark psychic forces' was a close second.   
There were very few breakout moments across the debate as candidates teetered between slamming Trump and attacking each other, unsure whether to spend their time onstage trying to win the primary contest or the 2020 general election.
Front-runner Elizabeth Warren, who dominated the first debate last month, gave another strong performance and took up the most air time at 18 minutes and 33 seconds. 
The Massachusetts senator and her closest competitor, Vermont Sen Bernie Sanders, shared the majority of the attacks from fellow candidates seizing on their socialist platforms. 
They both came out on top with speaking time, Sanders trailing Warren at 17 minutes and 45 seconds, as CNN allowed candidates extra time to respond to direct attacks. 
Warren was declared the winner of the first debate but received little credit for it as she wasn't up against any top five candidates. 
This time her performance is expected to have more of an impact as she was sharing the stage with  
Analyst Bill Palmer picked Warren as his winner again this time, saying her performance will have more of an impact given that she was sharing the stage with Sanders and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. 
Palmer felt that Sanders didn't do himself any favors.  
'Warren has been climbing in the polls over the past month, partly at Bernie's expense,' he wrote. 'Tonight was his chance to show that he could hang in there with Warren, and it simply did not happen. Bernie got in some good moments, and he didn't hurt himself tonight. But he needed a win, and he didn't get it.'
CNN Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza disagreed, naming Sanders as one of his winners.  
'He came out feisty -- and stayed that way,' he wrote. 'Asked about former Maryland Rep. John Delaney's criticism of his health care plan, Sanders responded bluntly, 'You're wrong.' Questioned about his single-payer "Medicare for All" plan, Sanders snapped, "I wrote the damn bill." 
'Sure, Sanders probably came across to some people as irascible and scoldy. But for liberals looking for Sanders to stand up proudly and unapologetically for the need for huge structural change in our politics and our culture got exactly what they wanted. 
'And not for nothing, Sanders clearly outshone Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in this debate.'
Buttigieg was one of the steadiest candidates on the stage, but Palmer said he also didn't fare as well as he did in the first debate.
'He did well enough tonight, but he was hurt by not being on stage with [Kamala] Harris and [Joe] Biden,' he wrote. 
Cillizza agreed that Buttigieg played it safe, but praised his 'clear message: I am young, yes, but the older people on stage with me haven't fixed any of these problems, so it's time for something different.' 
The three moderate candidates who came in with the lowest poll numbers - former Maryland congressman John Delaney, former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and Ohio Rep Tim Ryan - appeared to have the same strategy of standing out by taking on Sanders and Warren.  
The plan backfired as they each made several of the same point and morphed into one voice. 
Delaney's only breakout moment came as he went head to head with Warren, who, as Palmer put it, 'steamrolled him to the point that it was almost comical'. 
Bullock was the most effective moderate on the stage, spending much of his 11 minutes of speaking time blasting 'wish-list economics' and pie-in-the-sky policies while touting his track record in GOP territory.  
'If moderates were looking for someone other than former Vice President Joe Biden to support in this primary, Bullock offered himself as a viable alternative,' Cillizza wrote. 
Both former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke and Minnesota Sen Amy Klobuchar came out swinging but failed to land any breakout blows. They each spoke for just under 11 minutes. 
Cillizza said of O'Rourke: 'While he was mildly more energetic than in the first debate, there were large swaths of the debate where he simply disappeared from the conversation. 
'And too many times when he did have a chance to speak, he sounded too rehearsed and wooden, a problem that plagued him in the first debate.  
Klobuchar, Cillizza says, appeared to be 'treading water in search of a moment or surge'. 
With night one down, all eyes are now on California Sen Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden - who should have plenty to say about Tuesday's debate.   

Dem debate moderates savage socialists Bernie and Elizabeth Warren for promising 'free everything' and open borders Dem debate moderates savage socialists Bernie and Elizabeth Warren for promising 'free everything' and open borders Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 10:20 Rating: 5

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