Stephen Colbert Digs Into Democratic Debate: Bernie Sanders, Seven Dwarves, Countdown Clocks

Thursday, 01 Aug, 2019

Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden and rival Kamala Harris will stage a rematch of last month's explosive debate confrontation during Round 2 on Wednesday, with a re-energized Biden promising a more aggressive approach. He promised robust debates focused on policy differences.

The American Prospect's David Dayen noted that, in addition to ads from the pharmaceutical lobby, the debate's breaks also featured commercials from "the anti-single payer group Partnership for America's Health Care Future (PAHCF), funded by hospitals and drug companies, and an Alzheimer's disease patient advocacy group that takes major funding from drug companies".

Warren, in particular, found an opening to offer a concise response to the lingering questions around her electability and the viability of her progressive policies.

Over the course of the evening, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and several of his center-right cohorts came out against decriminalizing migration. Sen. He asked Beto O'Rourke.

"Costs will go up for billionaires and go up for corporations".

John Delaney didn't do badly, but when he tried to go toe-to-toe with Warren, he got his head handed to him.

But there were important differences between the candidates, differences that they managed to tease out only over the determined opposition of the moderators and the debate format itself.

The debate lineup will create a stark visual contrast between Biden, a white 76-year-old, and his younger rivals Harris, 54, and Booker, 50, potentially making Biden look out of step in a party increasingly driven by the grassroots energy of younger and more diverse activists. You absolutely can not have an honest discussion of what we should do in the future and how we should pay for it without starting with that extraordinary and appalling fact. The only thing they have is possibly really good heath care and the Democratic message is going to be, we're going to go in and the only thing you have left - we're going to take and we're going to do better. But that's the implicit logic of all these "Are you gonna raise taxes?".

"The question is, why do we have to be so extreme?"

"By the way - the health care industry will be advertising tonight on this program".

So what matters more? "We should let the process play out". "We need a public option". Ted Kennedy first introduced his version of national health insurance in 1971.

Would the cost-sharing (co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance) that generates so much dissatisfaction be eliminated, limited or allowed to continue as it is now? He spent most of his career being re-elected in noncompetitive Senate races in one of the smallest states in the nation. "If we embrace a conservative agenda you know what they're going to do?" Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, has now been memorialized on a sticker. "We don't have to go around and be the party of subtraction and tell half the country that has private health insurance that their health insurance is illegal". All of them were given many long minutes to try to trash the Green New Deal while paying dusty lip service to the dangers of climate disruption.

Sanders also got testy with Delaney at times, saying that just because the former congressman used to "make money" from health care in his past as a businessman doesn't mean the current system works. Did that fight actually illuminate anything?

On Trump's tariffs, Ryan said the president "was onto something" when he talked about China, which has been "abusing the economic system" for years by stealing intellectual property, subsidizing goods that come into the USA and eroding the manufacturing base.