Last night, the second group of Democrats took the stage in Detroit for the Democratic Party's presidential debate. The ten from last night were Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gilibrand, Julian Castro, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Kamala Harris, Jay Inslee, Bill DeBlasio and Joe Biden.
There were two clear losers last night. No, Michael Bennet wasn't one of them. Yes, he was annoying and that included his manner of speaking which recalled Vyvyan Basterd on THE YOUNG ONES. But Michael was mainly a dud and I don't believe most thinking Americans were expecting him to perform any differently.
Before I declare the two losers -- ticking off the community with one selecting, I'm sure -- let's note the following community posts about last night's debate.
As many noted above, especially Marcia, Ruth, Betty and Rebecca, Joe Biden was the biggest loser. He was a loser for many, many reasons. He tossed aside his debate training (I spoke to a friend on the campaign) and came off pompous and entitled even when he wasn't speaking -- and he was coached on how to stand there in repose -- he tossed it aside, I was told. He stumbled while speaking repeatedly. If he was capable of an original thought, he wouldn't have been able to express it as he repeatedly mangled what he was trying to say. He was confused as to who Cory Booker was -- despite knowing him for years (Betty probably nailed the real reason for that confusion in her post) -- and he was apparently even confused as to his own website when he gave out the address in his closing statement.
Joe was an embarrassment and we'll probably come back to him.
But let me now break a thousand and one fantasies and tick a lot of people off.
The other big loser? Tulsi Gabbard.
Why was she on the stage?
Yes, she was rarely called on and had little time to speak. That really doesn't make a difference because when she did speak, she repeatedly blew it.
Watching her, with a group of college students, was cringe worthy. I kept my mouth shut during the debate and I waited until all the students had spoken before I shared my opinion.
The group was made up of people who were supporting Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Tulsi Gabbard (one young man was supporting Mike Gravel). No one was hostile towards her going into the debate.
No one was impressed with her after the debate -- not even her supporters -- one of which said that she performed like she thought Joe Biden was going to win the nomination and she was angling to be his running mate on the ticket.
She was bad.
Jill Stein bad. In 2012, Jill ran a hideous campaign. One of the worst campaigns I've ever seen. Ava and I noted that in our day-after-the-election piece ["Let the fun begin (Ava and C.I.)"]. Marianne Williamson is ridiculed by some as a 'new age guru.' That's nonsense. She runs like a real candidate, she speaks to real issues. Jill, however, ran in 2012 like a new age guru and I found Tulsi last night to be just as vapid.
When I shared a month or so ago that I hadn't decided who I'd support (I thought that was rather obvious by the statements I'd made all along but I guess it wasn't) e-mails poured in -- to the community e-mail, not the public one, these were community members, not drive-bys to the public account -- insisting that if I was against the wars, I had to support Tulsi because she was.
Tulsi speaks a lot of beliefs that I agree with. In her interviews. In some of her speeches.
But I'm not 19. I've seen nonsense before.
And I saw it last night, repeatedly.
If people went to her website today demanding their donations back, I wouldn't be surprised at all.
She's polling slightly higher -- or was before the debate. Just a tad higher. And she needed to connect. But whomever wore that white pantsuit on stage last night -- the real Tulsi or Tulsi on ambien -- didn't connect.
With Mike Gravel and Tulsi, we're told it's important that they're on the stage in the debates because they will raise real issues. I know Mike and he will -- and did in 2008 when he was on the stage. But Tulsi didn't.
She was supposed to be the anti-war voice. She was on stage with the biggest War Hawk running for the nomination -- Joe Biden.
And she didn't touch him.
And she didn't call out the wars in any significant or meaningful manner.
And the wars were an actual issue. Moderator Jake Tapper brought the topic up and Jake went to more than just two people on this issue. We're using NBC transcript for this debate, by the way.
TAPPER: Thank you, Governor Inslee. I want to turn to foreign policy, if we can. Senator Booker, there are about 14,000 U.S. services members in Afghanistan right now. If elected, will they still be in Afghanistan by the end of your first year in office?
BOOKER: Well, first of all, I want to say very clearly that I will not do foreign policy by tweet as Donald Trump seems to do all the time. A guy that literally tweets out that we're pulling our troops out before his generals even know about it is creating a dangerous situation for our troops in places like Afghanistan.
And so I will bring our troops home and I will bring them home as quickly as possible, but I will not set during a campaign an artificial deadline. I will make sure we do it, we do it expeditiously, we do it safely, to not create a vacuum that's ultimately going to destabilize the Middle East and perhaps create the environment for terrorism and for extremism to threaten our nation.
TAPPER: Congresswoman Gabbard, you're the only veteran on this stage. Please respond.
GABBARD: This is real in a way that's very difficult to convey in words. I was deployed to Iraq in 2005 during the height of the war where I served in a field medical unit where every single day I saw the high cost of war. Just this past week, two more of our soldiers were killed in Afghanistan.
My cousin is deployed to Afghanistan right now. Nearly 300 of our Hawaii National Guard soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan, 14,000 servicemembers are deployed there. This is not about arbitrary deadlines. This is about leadership, the leadership I will bring to do the right thing to bring our troops home, within the first year in office, because they shouldn't have been there this long.
For too long, we've had leaders who have been arbitrating foreign policy from ivory towers in Washington without any idea about the cost and the consequence, the toll that it takes on our servicemembers, on their families. We have to do the right thing, end these wasteful regime change wars, and bring our troops home.
TAPPER: Thank you. Thank you, Congresswoman.
Mr. Yang, Iran has now breached the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal, and that puts Iran closer to building a nuclear weapon, the ability to do so, at the very least. You've said if Iran violates the agreement, the U.S. would need to respond, quote, "very strongly." So how would a President Yang respond right now?
YANG: I would move to de-escalate tensions in Iran, because they're responding to the fact that we pulled out of this agreement. And it wasn't just us and Iran. There were many other world powers that were part of that multinational agreement. We'd have to try and reenter that agreement, renegotiate the timelines, because the timelines now don't make as much sense.
But I've signed a pledge to end the forever wars. Right now, our strength abroad reflects our strength at home. What's happened, really? We've fallen apart at home, so we elected Donald Trump, and now we have this erratic and unpredictable relationship with even our longstanding partners and allies.
What we have to do is we have to start investing those resources to solve the problems right here at home. We've spent trillions of dollars and lost thousands of American lives in conflicts that have had unclear benefits. We've been in a constant state of war for 18 years. This is not what the American people want. I would bring the troops home, I would de-escalate tensions with Iran, and I would start investing our resources in our own communities.
TAPPER: Governor Inslee, your response?
INSLEE: Well, I think that these are matters of great and often difficult judgment. And there is no sort of primer for presidents to read. We have to determine whether a potential president has adequate judgment in these decisions.
I was only one of two members on this panel today who were called to make a judgment about the Iraq war. I was a relatively new member of Congress, and I made the right judgment, because it was obvious to me that George Bush was fanning the flames of war.
Now we face similar situations where we recognize we have a president who would be willing to beat the drums of war. We need a president who can stand up against the drums of war and make rational decisions. That was the right vote, and I believe it.
TAPPER: Thank you. Thank you, Governor. Vice President Biden, he was obviously suggesting that you made the wrong decision and had bad judgment when you voted to go to war in Iraq as a U.S. senator.
BIDEN: I did make a bad judgment, trusting the president saying he was only doing this to get inspectors in and get the U.N. to agree to put inspectors in. From the moment "shock and awe" started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress and the administration.
Secondly, I was asked by the president in the first meeting we had on Iraq, he turned and said, Joe, get our combat troops out, in front of the entire national security team. One of the proudest moment of my life was to stand there in Al-Faw Palace and tell everyone that we're coming -- all our combat troops are coming home.
TAPPER: Thank you.
BIDEN: I opposed the surge in Afghanistan, this long overdue -- we should have not, in fact, gone into Afghanistan the way...
TAPPER: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I want to bring in...
INSLEE: Mr. Vice President -- I'd like to comment.
That was Tulsi?
Her whole reason for being on the stage is supposed to be about ending the wars. Get Tulsi on the stage, even her detractor David Swanson has argued, because she's going to be raising the real issues.
Well not only were her remarks above inadequate and, yes, flat out embarrassing -- John Kerry could have made the same remarks in 2004 -- but she blew it.
Not just then. If it was just then, okay, she didn't think on her feet and realized a few seconds after that she should have spoken to the issues strongly.
Okay but Jay Inslee wanted to speak -- see above -- Jake instead went back to Tulsi, went back to her.
TAPPER: I would like to bring in the person on the stage who served in Iraq, Governor -- I'm sorry, Congresswoman Gabbard. Your response to what Vice President Biden just said.
GABBARD: We were all lied to. This is the betrayal. This is the betrayal to the American people, to me, to my fellow servicemembers. We were all lied to, told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was working with Al Qaida, and that this posed a threat to the American people.
So I enlisted after 9/11 to protect our country, to go after those who attacked us on that fateful day, who took the lives of thousands of Americans.
The problem is that this current president is continuing to betray us. We were supposed to be going after Al Qaida. But over years now, not only have we not gone after Al Qaida, who is stronger today than they were in 9/11, our president is supporting Al Qaida.
Oh, shut the f**k up, Tulsi.
Just reliving that moment is enough to piss me off.
Donald Trump is bad, Donald Trump is evil blah blah blah blah blah.
If you're honestly surprised by how Donald has been as a president, you shouldn't be allowed to vote. Seriously, you are too damn stupid to be trusted with a ballot. I'm opposed to Donald and I was before he announced he was running, long, long before.
Joe Biden voted for the war, he sold the war. He lied onstage and Tulsi safe little go to -- her bulls**t I'm-just-a-girl move -- was to talk about Donald Trump and al Qaeda. WTF was that, you stupid idiot. I'm furious. We've noted her here. We've reposted her Tweets on Sunday. We've never noted much of her from her Congressional office because her press releases are infrequent and disappointing. I think we've carried two of her Congressional press releases.
There's a reason for that. And there's a reason that while I could applaud her earlier statements on the war, I did buy a pass to the Tulsi train.
She betrayed everyone last night. While I was working out this morning, I kept telling myself to be nice when I dictated this. Sorry, that's out the window.
Joe Biden voted for the war, he supported it. He used his position to silence dissent. And it didn't end there, people. He knew Nouri al-Maliki was a thug. Unlike Hillary Clinton, he didn't have the guts to say it publicly, but he knew it. Yet he betrayed democracy and the people of Iraq as vice president by arguing that the Iraqi people's 2010 vote didn't matter and that Nouri should have a second term even though they voted against that.
Joe is a disaster.
Mike Gravel would have called him out.
I'm-just-a-girl-standing-on-a-stage-wanting-Joe-Biden-to-like-me was full of s**t.
Did she choke or is that the real Tulsi?
If that''s the real Tulsi, get her off stage, we don't need her. We've had enough liars pretending that the wars were wrong and needed to be ended -- hey, Nancy Pelosi, I'm looking at you -- to last a lifetime. We don't need another.
Jake Tapper specifically brought her back in after Joe lied about his record, and asked her about Joe's response and she's telling us about Donald Trump.
I loathe Donald. That's never been a secret. But thus far, Donald has not gotten the US into a full blown war. I can say that about him.
I have no idea why Tulsi behaved the way she did, but she was an embarrassment. I don't think she will recover from it. I think that a lot of people are pretending they didn't see what they saw, for whatever reason. Read Mike's post (he's very upfront that he thought she did well but his dad's telling him he's only thinking that because he already supported Tulsi). But you can only delude yourself for so long -- unless you're insane. And this is going to gnaw at her supporters.
As far as I'm concerned, unless she's offers some apology/excuse (I was sick, I got bad news before the debate, etc.), it's over for her.
And it should be.
She was on that stage for one reason only, to seriously address what these wars are costing us.
"We're not able to fight al Qaeda fully" is not why people donated to her. It's not why they supported her or told their friends about her or volunteered time on her campaign.
She betrayed everyone. Did she betray herself? I don't know. If the Tulsi before last night was the real Tulsi then, yes, she betrayed herself. But, again, I don't know who the real Tulsi is because that woman on stage is someone I would rip apart day after day right here. And I've not done that to Tulsi. I've defended her here. When the nonsense -- which was anti-Hindu -- started about her, I defended her on that as well.
I'm done and she's done.
She's a fake ass who shouldn't be on the stage.
And for any who missed it, Tulsi ripped into Kamala Harris. She came prepared to rip into her about Kamala's record as attorney general of California.
She had no criticism for Joe Biden over the war? Over the mess that is Iraq -- the county he oversaw per Barack for eight years?
No criticism at all.
Tulsi also pulled a Tim Ryan in the debate.
In June, Tim was the biggest idiot on stage during the two debates as he claimed that the Taliban attacked the US on 9/11. It was Tulsi who corrected him (al Qaeda attacked the US).
She was Tim Ryan last night.
Kamala had touted her Medicare For All plan and noted to Joe Biden, who was ripping it apart, that it had the support of Kathleen Sebelius. Kathleen was Secretary of Health and Human Services in Barack's first term, she was the public face of ObamaCare for the administration. Kamala's point was a solid point. (I don't care for Kathleen and never have -- no surprise to anyone who remembers what I've previously written of her. Her endorsement does not impress me.) Tulsi ripped into her for this insisting that allowing Kathleen to write the legislation --
As Kamala said, she never said that. Kathleen didn't write it, she only publicly supported it after it was written.
Tulsi entire point was that Kathleen was being paid by a Medicare group or something -- speak clearly and accurately, Tulsi -- and that's why we have such bad policies because these are the people who are writing them.
Kathleen didn't write it.
That was one of two times Tulsi went after Kamala. That time was unscripted and suggested that Tulsi either doesn't listen very well or needs a hearing aid. The second time she had prepared her remarks which pisses me off even more.
To be clear, this is not, "Oh, Tulsi violated the sisterhood!" Women need to fight on that stage. I have no problem with that.
I do have a problem with Tulsi preparing remarks on Kamala Harris when she prepared none on Joe.
The Iraq War? Joe Biden has a huge responsibility for that.
Tulsi's our big anti-war voice, we're supposed to believe. But she was Jill Stein last night, she wasn't running a campaign to win or a campaign about issues that mattered to her, she was doing another politician's work for him. Him. I'm so sick of these women who throw their campaigns away for men. I never respect that in any regard. I can give Pat Benatar credit for some of her work, for example, but her turning her career over to her husband ran her fans off and they were right to leave. I am so damn tired of women betraying themselves to advance some man.
If Tulsi had gone after Joe as well, I wouldn't be as bothered. But she went into that debate planning to take down another woman. Not to take down the man who is so responsible for the destruction of Iraq.
She's an embarrassment. She should drop out now. And, honestly, she may lose her House seat and I'd ignored requests to donate to her opposition but right now I'd write a check in a minute, that's how pissed I am at her.
Let's talk about Kirsten Gillibrand.
Wait, no. Don Lemon. First, Don. He never let Jay Inslee speak. Don wanted to talk impeachment. It was a waste of time and more cany ass moves from Don who's already notorious for b.s. like crying on camera. After his support for hoaxer Jussie Smollett, nothing he does is taken seriously but he did prevent Jay Inslee from addressing Iraq (Jay who voted against the war) and he did prevent Bill DeBlasio from speaking about the push for war on Iran (which Bill is against). Don Lemon is not a moderator, he's an embarrassment.
Now let's get to Kirsten. And we're including Kamala and I need to disclose that Willie Harris is very clear to me that he does not believe Kamala gets a fair shake here. Is that true? Or is he pulling a working the refs move on a friend? I don't know. I'll think about it. But we'll start with her comments.
BASH: Senator Harris, your response?
HARRIS: I think that's support of my proposal, which is this. Since 1963, when we passed the Equal Pay Act, we have been talking about the fact women are not paid equally for equal work. Fast forward to the year of our lord 2019, and women are paid 80 cents on the dollar, black women 61 cents, Native American woman 58 cents, Latinas 53 cents.
I'm done with the conversation. So, yes, I am proposing in order to deal with this, one, I'm going to require corporations to post on their website whether they are paying women equally for equal work. Two, they will be fined for every 1 percent differential between what they're paying men and women, they will be fined 1 percent of their previous year's profit. That will get everybody's attention.
BASH: Thank you, Senator.
HARRIS: Time for action.
BASH: Senator Gillibrand, what's your response? Will fining companies help solve the problem?
GILLIBRAND: I think we have to have a broader conversation about whether we value women and whether we want to make sure women have every opportunity in the workplace.
And I want to address Vice President Biden directly. When the Senate was debating middle-class affordability for childcare, he wrote an op-ed. He voted against it, the only vote, but what he wrote in an op-ed was that he believed that women working outside the home would, quote, "create the deterioration of family." He also said that women who were working outside the home were, quote, "avoiding responsibility."
And I just need to understand as a woman who's worked my entire career as the primary wage earner, as the primary caregiver, in fact, the second -- my second son, Henry, is here, and I had him when I was a member of Congress.
So under Vice President Biden's analysis, am I serving in Congress resulting in the deterioration of the family, because I had access to quality affordable day care? I just want to know what he meant when he said that.
BIDEN: That was a long time ago, and here's what it was about. It would have given people making today $100,000 a year a tax break for childcare. I did not want that. I wanted the childcare to go to people making less than $100,000. And that's what it was about.
As a single father who in fact raised three children for five years by myself, I have some idea what it cost.
I support making sure that every single solitary person needing childcare get an $8,000 tax credit now. That would put 700,000 women back to work, increase the GDP by almost 8/10 of 1 percent. It's the right thing to do if we can give tax breaks to corporations for these things, why can't we do it this way?
GILLIBRAND: But Mr. Vice President, you didn't answer my question. What did you mean when you said when a woman works outside the home it's resulting in quote, the deterioration of family ...
BIDEN: No, what I ...
GILLIBRAND: And that we are voiding -- these are quotes. It was the title of the op-ed and that just causes concern for me because we know America's women are working. 4 out of 10 moms have to work. They're the primary or sole wagers. They actually have to put food on the table.
8 out of 10 moms are working today. Most women have to work to provide for their kids. Many women want to be working to provide for their communities and to help people.
BASH: Thank you, Senator. Let the vice president respond now, thank you.
GILLIBRAND: So either you don't believe it today or what did you mean when you said it then?
BIDEN: The very beginning my deceased wife worked when we had children. My present wife has worked all the way through raising our children. The fact of the matter is the situation is one that I don't know what's happened.
I wrote the Violence against Women Act. Lilly Ledbetter. I was deeply involved in making sure the equal pay amendments. I was deeply involved on all these things. I came up with the it's on us proposal to see to it that women were treated more decently on college campuses.
You came to Syracuse University with me and said it was wonderful. I'm passionate about the concern making sure women are treated equally. I don't know what's happened except that you're now running for president.
GILLIBRAND: So I understand -- Mr. Vice President -- Mr. Vice President, I respect you deeply. I respect you deeply but those words are very specific. You said women working outside the home would lead to the deterioration of family.
My grandmother worked outside the home. My -- my mother worked outside the home. And -- and ....
BASH: Thank you, Senator GILLIBRAND.
I want to bring Senator Harris into this conversation.
GILLIBRAND: Either he no longer believes it -- I mean I just think he needs to ...
BIDEN: I never believed it.
'I never believed it.' Well you wrote it.
Again, stop the whoring. Gloria Steinem needs to sit her tired ass down and take every Joe defending woman along with her. Joe does not deserve our defense. Revisionary history insists he's basically a feminist. He's not. He never was.
Kirsten's comments and raising the issue go to the fact that Joe will say whatever is popular at the time. He never believed it? Well he damn well pretended he did. And he pretends a lot, doesn't he? Why should we believe a promise he makes today knowing how many times he has said something that he now insists he did not believe.
Let's note Kamala one more time.
BASH: Thank you. Senator Harris, please respond.
HARRIS: Well, I just -- listen, I mean talk about now running for president, you change your position on the Hyde Amendment, Vice President, where you mad a decision for years to withhold resources to poor women to have access to reproductive healthcare and including women who were the victims of rape and incest.
Do you now say that you have evolved and you regret that? Because you have only, since you've been running for president this time, said that you had -- you in some way would take that back or you didn't agree with the decision that you made over many, many years.
And this directly impacted so many women in our country and I personally prosecuted rape cases and child molestation cases; and the experience that those women have, those children have and that they would then be denied the resources ...