, 105 tweets, 7 min read
Buttigieg now going in against mandatory Medicare vs Warren.
Now Buttigieg is head-shaking while Warren talks.
"Obliterate private plans" and "kicking 150 million people off" their plans - Buttigieg really hitting the vulnerability of this plan from the center. Warren falls back on Obama-style "my bill will do everything" generalities.
Bernie, as author of the bill, says taxes will go up. Warren, asked if she will admit that, dodges. Klobuchar: "at least Bernie is being honest."
Klobuchar stands up for Obamacare (!), accuses Warren of enabling GOP talking points. Warren responds with her debunked bankruptcy stats.
Klobuchar accuses Warren of not knowing the "difference between a plan & a pipe dream".
Now, Klobuchar wants to pay for it by suing drug companies.
Biden notes that Medicare for All will cost more than the entire current federal government.
Bernie says the current system - Obamacare - is unsustainable and cruel.
Harris says no prior debate had discussed "women's reproductive healthcare." This will not survive comparison to the transcripts of earlier debates.
Bernie is getting so agitated, I feel bad for his cardiologist watching this.
Yang eviscerates Bernie's jobs guarantee.
Booker asks why nobody is talking about abortion.
It's ridiculous for Booker to argue that debating differences on issues helps Trump. I mean, yes, it does. But the alternative is no debates & no basis for primary voters to tell the candidates apart.
Julian Castro offers to pretend that Julian Castro is still a real candidate for president.
Yang should have a CNN show. I'm not even joking. He asks specific questions, and despite his wacky ideas, he at least has a concrete sense of how the economy works.
Yang looks puzzled that Gabbard & Booker keep calling him "my friend."
Beto wants to spend US power forcing Mexico to unionize more of its workers.
Q: Bernie, do you propose to tax billionaires out of existence?

BERNIE: You can't handle the truth!
Steyer, speaking as the lone billionaire on the stage, agrees that he should not exist.
Biden proposes to eliminate the capital gains tax, then has to restate and says he means treating capital gains as ordinary income.

In his best moment, Biden says this debate is crazy.
Warren is now explaining that if we kill the goose, we can access all the gold inside and none of us will ever go hungry again.
"The industrial Midwest where I live," says the mayor of a college town.
"I want to give a reality check to Elizabeth." Klobuchar came to attack Warren and chew gum, and she's all out of gum.
Klobuchar looks like she's ready to throw a binder at Warren.
Interesting mixed messaging in who is wearing blue (for the men, ties), who is wearing purple, & Gabbard in all white.
Yang: "we're in the midst of the most winner-take-all economy in history." Bro, let me tell you about the 1880s.
Yang reality checks the wealth tax in how it has failed wherever tried.
Beto, who just came out for forcing churches to change their doctrines, accuses Warren of being unduly punitive.

(Of course, Beto's father-in-law is hugely wealthy).
Warren reprises her 2012 "you didn't build that" riff, which sprang from the same Lakoffian roots as Obama's.
Booker asks yet again for nobody to criticize each other, all but declares his candidacy for VP.
Biden hits Trump for too much withdrawal from Syria & Iraq, says it is unprecedentedly shameful. He's half right, but has forgotten the president before Trump.
Biden has had a lot of bad foreign policy ideas over the past 45 years, but he still comes off like a guy who has been in the room where decisions are made for a long time.
Gabbard sounds weak & defensive on anti-interventionism, where she needs to score points. Being hit as an Assad toady (fairly) has gotten under her skin.
Gabbard asks Warren to endorse her opposition to long-running wars. Warren, as usual, doesn't answer.
Buttigieg argues against too much withdrawal. "You are taking away what makes America America."
Gabbard seems unglued unable to play the "I served, you didn't" card against Buttigieg.
Bernie: Turkey is not a US ally.
When even Sanders gets to play the "betrayal of US allies" card & Buttigieg talks Hong Kong, you know Trump has surrendered some crucial high ground that Republicans have held for six decades.
Klobuchar is unwilling to say that Turkey should not be in NATO.
"Do gotta go?" I'm not even sure what Harris is saying.
It's depressing watching how much of the foreign policy section lets Democrats get, rhetorically, to Trump's right. Unforced error by Trump.
Biden says our policy in Syria wasn't regime change. That's true - it's why Romney & Ryan attacked the fecklessness of Obama Syria policy in 2012, before it was too late.
Even Beto is now talking like W, about how dealing with problems now is better than letting them grow & facing them tomorrow.
Steyer is really not smooth on camera.
Cooper to Beto: how exactly are you going to confiscate all those rifles without door-to-door searches?

Beto: I will just say so.
Beto talks vaguely of "other consequences." He assumes the nation of Lexington, Concord, & San Jacinto will gladly hand over weapons.
Buttigieg hits Beto hard for not having a plan worthy of debate.
Beto admits that his gun plan was made by high school kids. Buttigieg: "I don't need lessons from you on courage."
This Beto/Buttigieg grudge match is a fantastic illustration of people playing "how dare you" cards that are supposed to be debate-stoppers among progressives, but against each other.
Booker: can't we all just get along?
Warren makes explicit that eliminating the filibuster is directed at passing gun legislation.
Harris reverts to authoritarian form, threatens unilateral presidential lawmaking, "time for debate is over."
[Regretting not having an indulgence to get me out of 80 more minutes in this debate]
Klobuchar admits to being a former prosecutor.
Steyer promises to remove the free speech rights of the New York Times Corporation.
Yang & Beto push for more legal drugs.
Lots of people here - Harris, Castro - up for throwing executives of named drug companies in jail, in advance of any examination of their personal conduct.
Bernie: hey, Revolution against the fossil fuel execs as well.
Bernie: of course I'm healthy, I'm going to Queens!
A rare personal moment from Bernie, thanking people for thoughts & prayers on his heart attack.
Biden embraces his advanced age, talks about "ready on day one" & "wisdom" & "been there."
Warren would also be the oldest new president. Argues she will outwork all comers.
Yang, once again, points out that Democrats need to grapple with the reality that the economy is generally good & Democrats need to not sound like they want to overturn that.
Even Beto now noticing the problem with calling out specific companies to break up.
Harris is unhappy that Warren hasn't joined her in pressuring a private company to cut off the president's microphone.
Warren demanding that everyone on stage refuse to take donations from people with money to donate. Will she demand the party do that as well?
Harris calls for preclearance of abortion laws, again consolidating all legislative power - federal and state - in the federal executive.
This is one serious race to show who loves abortion more. Booker not only calls for repealing the Hyde Amendment, but promises an Abortion Czar.
Gabbard speaks up for "safe, legal and rare" but attributes it to Hillary, not Bill.
Biden opposes court-packing, notes the spiral of each side adding more Justices.
Now, Buttigieg, who insists that his court-packing plan would "de-politicize" the Court, contrary to how everything actually works & why his plan put him on the map as a candidate.
Castro also looking for ways to pack the court without admitting to doing it.
Warren, now that she's the frontrunner, tries to change the subject from admitting to her prior support for Court-packing.
Biden harps on vagueness, him being the only one who has ever accomplished anything.
Bernie: hey, you also got a lot of stuff done that progressives hate.
Spoiler: Warren will not pass a campaign finance bill on the first day.
Biden: "I GOT YOU the votes for that bill!" Warren: You didn't build that. Barack Obama built that.
People over 70 shouldn't be arguing at 10:30 p.m.
Buttigieg says "false choice"; if you're playing West Wing bingo, empty your drink.
Klobuchar: all I do is win, win, win.
"Build a blue wall around those states and make Donald Trump pay for it."


[No laughter]

[Klobuchar staffer dons blindfold, lights cigarette]
Bernie wearing a blue suit, blue shirt, & blue tie is on brand.
Another Ron Reagan ad where he admits he's OK going to hell.
Anderson Cooper: hey, we have more questions! [Everyone sobs]
Cooper: are you friends with anyone like W? Castro: I have friends who are olds.
Gabbard explains what Aloha means. She says Trey Gowdy instead of Assad.
Gabbard knocks the deplorables line, cites Lincoln's Second Inaugural.
Klobuchar: John McCain!

It's a nice answer.
Steyer: my friend from the other side is a black woman environmentalist from a focus group in South Carolina.
Beto: my friends are anyone who helped me eminent domain poor people off their land.
Now Beto is talking about a cross-country road trip. which is the most Beto answer possible.
Booker: Chris Christie! [Not named. Booker just pretends he's from a red state.] Also I had dinner with Ted Cruz once.
Solid peroration from Booker, combining Corinthians and the Declaration of Independence. Booker can be really good at the uplift when he goes there.
Yang: a trucker named Fred.
Harris: Rand Paul.
Buttigieg says friends in foxholes, pivots to a West Wing monologue about national service.
Bernie also mentions John McCain & Mike Lee. It's funny, McCain was legendary for his feuds & grudges, but he knew how to work with anybody when he wanted to.
Warren: Charles Fried, a longtime conservative law prof who has sided with Democrats for the past two decades.

McCain, again.

Biden promised two answers, and he doesn't give the second one.
Warren took some punches tonight, handled some of them poorly, but she is what she is; she won't give specifics when pressed, she won't answer yes/no questions, she's comfortable being snide.
Hard to see this debate moving the needle much for Biden or Bernie, for good or ill.
The big losers tonight were Harris, Beto, & Gabbard, all of whom sounded desperate & outside their comfort zones.
Probably a good night for Buttigieg & Klobuchar, both of whom tried to stake out a moderate/progressive Midwestern lane. I'm doubtful there is a lane left there to stake out, but it's the theory of their campaigns now.
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