Twelve quick takes on the third Democratic debate

First disclaimer: I don’t agree with the Democratic National Committee’s debate criteria and encourage Iowans to keep listening to all the presidential candidates.

Second disclaimer: I doubt anything that happens more than four months before anyone votes will significantly affect the battle for the Democratic nomination. As Dan Guild has shown, history tells us more than half of Iowa Democrats who participated in the 2004 and 2008 caucuses decided in the final month.

That said, here are my thoughts on last night’s three-hour debate at Texas Southern University in Houston.

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Laughing at a bully

Bruce Lear: “In this election cycle, I’d offer a different approach to dealing with the Bully in Chief. I’d laugh at him.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Remember when First Lady Michelle Obama told Democrats, “When they go low, we go high?” I’d like to revise that just a bit, to say, “When they go low, we laugh at them.”

As school begins, the message has to be, “Bullying is never OK.” Well, President Donald Trump and his ilk has made bullying in politics the norm, and that’s also not OK.

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Your periodic reminder: No one's clearly favored to win Iowa

Twenty Democratic presidential contenders and Congressional candidate J.D. Scholten spoke to an excited, beyond-capacity crowd at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding on August 9. I love everything about this annual fundraiser in Clear Lake’s historic Surf Ballroom, except for the lack of Wi-Fi service.

C-SPAN posted all of the five-minute presidential candidate speeches with closed captioning transcripts, and the complete video from the evening is available on the Fox 10 Phoenix YouTube page. Mike Dec of the Blog4President website published photo galleries of all the speakers.

I left the Wing Ding with the same takeaways that have crossed my mind after almost every political event I’ve attended this year.

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Gunsmokescreen

Ira Lacher: “Bump stocks and assault weapons notwithstanding, if we seriously want to reduce the number of gun deaths in this country, we need to have a come-to-Jesus debate about guns. But we’re not seeing that debate.” -promoted by Laura Belin

So, Republicans are finally and grudgingly moving forward on gun control. Consider these headlines:

    From USA Today: Trump: Congress discussing ‘meaningful’ gun background checks

    From Breitbart: Mitch McConnell: ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban ‘Front and Center’ in Senate

    From the Washington Times: Trump on gun legislation: ‘Common sense things can be done’

Wow! Guess the public is getting to the president and Congressional Republicans after all. We can breathe easier, now that it seems we’ll be getting some commonsense laws that will at least severely restrict gun violence in America.

Except, no.

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The Detroit debates and Iowa's political proving ground

James Larew presents a contrarian view on last week’s Democratic debates. -promoted by Laura Belin

When the smoke had cleared from the Battle of Gettysburg, fought from July 1 to 3, 1863, it appeared to have been just one more bloody battle in the midst of a war that had no obvious end in sight. Only later—after thousands more skirmishes had been fought—would it become clear that so much more had been achieved at Gettysburg. History would show that the Civil War’s end, culminating in General Lee’s surrender to General Grant, at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, on April 9, 1865 had been predicated nearly two years earlier, when the tides of the entire war had shifted in the Union’s favor at Gettysburg.

So, too, history may record that, on July 30 and 31, 2019, in Detroit, Michigan, well before Iowa’s 2020 presidential nominating caucuses had even been convened, two successive Democratic party presidential nominee debates involving twenty candidates significantly winnowed the field and defined the ultimate outcome of the nomination process: that former Vice President Joe Biden would be the party’s nominee.

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