Live Blog: Democrat Presidential Primary Debate #13 in Washington, DC

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Time: 8:00PM-10:00PM ET

Place: CNN’s studio in Washington, DC

Hosts: CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International, and Univision

Moderators: CNN’s Dana Bash and Jake Tapper; Univision’s Ilia Calderón.

Candidate line-up:

Joe Biden (former Vice President)
Bernie Sanders (Senator from Vermont)

(I can’t find which candidate will be on the right and which on the left.)

Here is a shot of the horrid stage:

There will be no audience, due to #COVID-19. The podiums are, as prescribed by CDC social distancing guidelines, six feet apart. Hilariously, in a debate supposed by some to promote party unity, the podiums lean away from each other. The hosts also gave Biden a chance to take the load off, by seating the candidates.

How to Watch (or Listen):

The debate will air exclusively live on CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International and Univision. It will stream live in its entirety, without requiring log-in to a cable provider, on’s homepage, across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV, as well as Univision’s digital properties.

As readers know, I don’t think much of gaming debates out. But there seem to be two competing theories of the case. I’ll label the first “Mushy Centrism,” and the second “Decapitating Strike.”

Mushy Centrism

There is no better advocate for mushy centrism than E.J. Dionne of The Jeff Bezos Daily Shopper™. In “Sanders and Biden need each other. Here’s how they can make peace“, Dionne writes:

[Sanders] has fundamentally altered the nature of the conversation in the Democratic Party… Moreover, Sanders’s movement is now a permanent force in the Democratic Party, much like organized labor was in the old days, or the religious right is now in the GOP. Democrats will not be able to ignore the left wing that Sanders has brought to life… His task is to accept his role as a source of pressure for far-reaching reform inside the Democratic coalition.

There’s a role model for him: Sidney Hillman, the strategic mastermind of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the left wing of the labor movement of the 1930s and 1940s. The CIO gave critical support to Franklin D. Roosevelt when he needed it against the party’s right wing, but it also pushed FDR in a more progressive direction.

So far as I can tell, Dionne proposes no power for Sanders supporters in the administration (say, Jayapal for HHS), and no policy commitments, especially not for #MedicareForAll, the main “idea” in the battle of ideas that Sanders is supposed to have won. As for Sidney Hillman, I am not strong on the history of the 30s, but I think Dionne is missing some context: First, the CIO was extremely militant; there’s no possible way that Dionne, let alone Biden, could seriously be supporting that. Second, I think the CIO was as militant as it was because it was being held to account by an even more militant force: The Communist Party, then a viable organization. I doubt Dionne or Biden want that, either. So Dionne is really proposing a pleasant fable with no grounding in history, and nothing in it for Sanders. “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Such a deal.

Decapitating Strike

Jacobin (of course) writes, in “Bernie Sanders Must Take the Gloves off Against Joe Biden Tonight“:

We need to fundamentally rebuild the country’s welfare state as Sanders has spent decades calling for. Biden proudly promises a return to the Obama years, telling billionaires that “nothing will fundamentally change” if he’s elected and proposing a health care plan that will leave over ten million people completely uninsured. Sanders, on the other hand, promises bold, sweeping reforms with universal benefits that will guarantee security to Americans and build our societal resilience to future crises. It’s vital that he makes this contrast clear and tells tonight’s viewers that a Biden presidency (should he somehow defeat Trump) would leave all of our current vulnerabilities untouched.

This past week has felt like one of those in which decades happen. As horrible as this situation is, it’s a real opportunity for Sanders to seize control of this race and wake the public up to Biden’s serious deficiencies as a candidate. The country — the world — needs him to win if we are going to have any chance of going forward. These are the stakes, and this could be his final chance to turn the race around. It would be a crime to waste it by being too nice.

(I don’t think it makes sense to wait for Biden to wander off the stage — after all, he’ll be sitting down, good choice CNN — or for him to start babbling. Putting my tinfoil hat on, Biden’s Town Hall, technical debacle though it was, gave his handlers a good reading on how to adjust Biden’s meds.)

At this point, I should remark that for all the comments about Sanders being “too nice,” there were 29 candidates in the campaign, and there are now two: Sanders, and the Establishment’s candidate. The contradiction can’t be drawn any clearer than that. Sanders has, if he wishes to do so, put himself in the position to deliver a knock-out punch to his opponent (and it’s worth noting that the debates have produced other knock-outs this year already: Harris and Bloomberg, at least). Politico writes, in “Sanders bets on Biden debate implosion“:

“I don’t know if you’ve seen Joe Biden lately, but he doesn’t like to be told he’s wrong,” said a Sanders adviser. “We’re going to take him on around the issues and make him defend his record. He’s deflected on those in earlier debates because there’s so much chatter happening on the stage. But when you’re one-on-one, you change the dynamic.”

It’s unclear how aggressive Sanders will be with Biden. Some of Sanders’ staffers and supporters have been frustrated by what they see as his light touch with his former Senate colleague, whom Sanders likes and considers a friend. Even with Hillary Clinton, Sanders often lacked a killer instinct, famously telling her in a 2015 debate that “the American people are sick and tired about hearing about your damn emails!”

Sanders, who doesn’t practice in mock debates while readying for showdowns, did not change his strategy during debate prep last week. “I know it’s shocking for you to hear that Bernie Sanders remained consistent in his approach,” joked Shakir.

(Sanders doesn’t practice? That’s not reassuring. Borscht Belt comedians polish their routines!) We’ll see how the dynamic changes.

One dominating factor not mentioned by Dionne, Politico, or even Jacobin: Sanders’ enormous base of small donors will be watching carefully. It’s hard to see how mushy centrism will win their support, and if Sanders’ money dries up, he’ll have no leverage (as the Democrat Establishment must surely know). “I don’t want to waste my money,” if I may paraphrase an NC commenter, and Sanders’ small donors disproportionately have no money to waste. If Sanders wants to stay on the trail — more, if he wants his movement to survive — staggering Biden, at the very least, is the way forward for him, and a knock-out the best.

P.S. Thirteenth debate, eh? (I counted the debates that were split across two nights as two debates.) “A great kingdom will be destroyed.”

* * *

As usual, this post does not update; readers may track the debate in real time in comments.

Please keep your comments as informative and analytical as possible. Write for the reader who hasn’t seen the debate, and comes to this site in lieu of watching it on TV. There are no points at NC for knee-jerk, context-free one-liners (“Boo ____!” or “Yay!”) that only those who are also watching can make sense of; that’s for Facebook or Reddit.

I think it adds more value if you take a moment, use your critical thinking skills, then comment, and readers can discuss what you say. That way, those who cannot watch the debate — or can’t stand to do so — can get a good idea of what really happened by reading what you write. This is what the NC commentariat is so very good at, after all. Last time, the times before that, and this time. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Politics on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Jason Boxman

    On the funding: exactly. Sanders can only stay in the race credibly, particularly when they have nothing left but fighting an air war (based on recent campaign fundraising emails), if they provide some reason to care.

    I’ve already canceled my monthly donation and I doubt much I’ll be given a reason to reverse course. With what’s coming, all of us need what funds we have.

    And it’s interesting that this pandemic is going to hurt Sanders supporters economically the most! I can’t think of an emerging situation that more completely neutralizes a campaign’s advantages than this! No rallies, college students kicked off campus, no canvassing, no money.

    And remember; Biden doesn’t even have a functional ground game! And it didn’t matter when Sanders wasn’t kneecapped by rapidly unfolding events!

    If he doesn’t seriously callout and destroy Biden as a viable candidate, this is over.

  2. Arizona Slim

    Drinking game rules? Well, I haven’t seen any, so I’ll start with this one:

    Every time Bernie calls Biden a friend, take a big swig of your favorite beverage!

    1. The Rev Kev

      I have one. Don’t drink until the debate is over. If Sanders does a demolition job on Biden, open up a bottle of champagne. If Sanders does his Joe-is-a-friend-of-mine routine and folds, go for the whiskey.

        1. Stephen V

          Damn. Shouldda put my $$ on how many X Biden sez CRISIS.
          He’s a walking talking crisis of course.

  3. giantsquid

    “The hosts also gave Biden a chance to take the load off, by seating the candidates.”

    I think perhaps CNN is afraid Biden might wander off-stage if not anchored properly.

  4. John

    CNN is saying swing voters are telling them they are standing with Trump.

    Just like we knew they would.

  5. LawnDart

    Biden begins the debate.. by coughing?!?

    Sorry, Lee– you beat me to it. What can I say, I was too taken aback and bitterly laughing at the irony.

    1. John

      Is there a legal reason Sanders can’t call the pharma industry criminals instead of the weak tea crooks he just called them?

      1. John

        Now Sanders called them crooks on Wall Street.

        Again, why can’t he use the word that says what they really are?


        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          Well, “crooks” has the virtue of one-syllable bluntness. OTOH, so do “thieves” and “thugs”, off the top of my head. . . .

  6. Phacops

    Starting with COVID-19. Empty words by Biden. Bernie goes after Trump mentions a pragmatic plan to have all medical expenses paid during this emergency.

    1. giantsquid

      Well, H1N1 is swine flu which the Obama administration had to deal with during the the 2009 influenza pandemic. I was caregiver for my mom after she developed dementia and these kinds of verbal slips were fairly common for her.

    1. Acacia

      “Code: MFL3900 | Message: Could not load the manifest file. Make sure the source is set correctly and that CORS support is enabled.”


      1. Carey

        Yes, got the same message™. So strange!

        CNN’s happy to show me two pundit-idiots blathering on in rapid fire speech, though.

  7. Lee

    Biden bashes single payer in Italy as ineffective and then declares we will have what amounts to single payer during the crisis.

  8. Tangled up in Texas

    This broadcast sucks…there is not enough bandwidth and the buffering is terrible. Why aren’t the debates required to air on broadcast tv over public airways?

      1. Tangled up in Texas

        Thank you, Bill Carson…I checked and my Univision station is broadcast in Spanish. Unfortunately,.I do not speak Spanish.

        And now CNN has stopped streaming altogether. :( I guess I will have to wait for the reviews.

      2. Tangled up in Texas

        The commercials play beautifully.

        Bring back nationally broadcast debates and the League of Women Voters.

  9. Jason Boxman

    Biden is stupid.

    So to recap: Universal care does not work
    Making care for this specific pandemic free at the point of care will work


    1. Bill Carson

      Possible slogans—

      “A little bit of socialism is okay.”

      or “Socialism Now! (but not later).”

      1. Jason Boxman

        I don’t know, as someone that won’t vote for Biden, he sounds sane to me, even if I don’t care for his positions.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Speaking from personal experience here. I can remember many a time when I informed one of my dementia-afflicted relatives about this, that, or the other thing. And then, five minutes later, they’d be asking me about the same topic.

  10. roadrider

    Bernie needs to hit back on Biden’s allegation that single-payer is not working in Italy. From what I understand, Italy’s problem is that they were slow to react. That has nothing to do with paying the costs of testing and treatment.

      1. Heraclitus

        We have three times as many hospital beds per capita. I don’t quite understand the distinction between acute care beds and regular beds, but I think we have a lot more of everything.

        Also, Italy also got whacked by a bunch of Chinese garment industry workers returning from Hubei province, and possibly Wuhan. Thanks to ‘L’ for pointing that out.

        1. John k

          I assume we means the US.
          Italy has 3.4 beds per 1000 population. We have 2.8/1000.
          Italy is ranked no. 2 in the world for healthcare, we are 17. We have more ventilators, but many of ours are designed for children.
          Italy waited until their hospitals were way past capacity, we have done exactly the same, I expect the same outcome, meaning triage, no ventilator or icu if you’re over 60 or have pre existing condition. Plus, of course, no healthcare or sick days for gig economy, so sick people here have to work to pay the rent, unlike many in Europe.

  11. Lambert Strether Post author

    Biden: With all due respect, it’s not #MedicareForAll, Italy has it, it doesn’t work.

    Get the experts together in the Situation Room, speak with one point.

    If Sanders doesn’t have a response to a talking point on Italy, I’m going to be unhappy. Poor debate prep!

  12. Hank Linderman

    Why did Italy lose control of the virus? Biden saying MFA didn’t help in Italy needs to be countered.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        yeah, that was a definite fail

        but as to this distinction between a CRISIS and “regular” life, Bernie can still make it clear that for those people who DIE in this country year in and year out it’s a goddam CRISIS for them even without coronavirus

  13. flora

    Joe is repeating Sanders ideas. But no M4A! Praising governors’ responses, while saying the virus response effort should be lead from the WH. …??

  14. Samuel Conner

    starting to listen. Not with enthusiasm.

    Biden sounds coherent, in the first 90sec.

    Sanders powerfully points out that we are surprisingly poorly prepared in view of the extravagant cost of our system.

    JB is lying about the emergency law re: cost of treatment

    1. Jason Boxman

      Indeed, JB speaks with authority. This discussion that he’s losing his mind, it’s not apparently here at all. Wish it was.

  15. Samuel Conner

    JB: you get good care at no cost at point of treatment ONLY in crises, national emergency

    1. carl

      It doesn’t work in Italy, but it will here, temporarily??? Nonsensical doesn’t even describe it.

    2. Samuel Conner

      I don’t think that JB wants to cover ALL medical expenses during the emergency — only the pandemic related testing and care.

      If you have any other problems — go die… I think

    3. WJ

      Lolz but doesn’t Italy show that that doesn’t work?! Aren’t they in precisely the crisis we are?

  16. Bill Carson

    I call B***s**t on Biden’s claim that everyone is going to get Covid treatment for free.

    1. Massinissa

      Did he say treatment, or ‘testing’? I think they’re doing free ‘testing’. If you test positive, you’re out of luck: hope ya have insurance!

  17. nippersmom

    I’m glad I’m not drinking every time Biden says “national crisis”. I’d already be drunk.

  18. Martin Oline

    Treatment paid for by the government is not free as J B alleges. It is tax money that comes from the people of America to pay the drug companies.

  19. jo6pac

    I’ll check in tomorrow. I need to eat so can stomach this nightmare. Then again until tomorrow Thanks Lambert but I’ll do dinner and sleep.

  20. Phacops

    Biden blinking like a myopic when Bernie points out that Biden’s reference to Ebola is not germane to a pandemic.

  21. Carla

    I am a Bernie Lover, and I think Bernie blew it. Joe says “They have single-payer in Italy, and they’re in crisis right now” or words to that effect. That’s true. Bernie never responded to that AT ALL.

    I can’t believe Bernie is just wedded to his talking points and can’t take on someone who is barely sentient.

    1. tongorad

      Agreed. Bernie is not responding to Biden’s talking points. It looks weak.
      It’s not looking good for Bernie.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      >wedded to his talking points

      this, in spades :-( I don’t expect him to go for the jugular cuz it’s not in his nature, but he really needs to mix it up, invoke “FDR, who saved our country”

    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel


      Has he learned nothing since 2016?

      Bernies campaign must be filled with Urban Professionals.

      This sucks.

  22. Lambert Strether Post author

    Biden sounds pretty good, and framing it as a crisis works in his favor on people perceiving him as a leader.

    Biden says “lay out in detail,” but he’s really saying check my website… Here is is.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Indeed, that’s my take on it. Biden is saying “he’s got this”.

      I don’t like the guy and I think it sounds pretty good.

      Oh well.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Key point in Biden’s plan:

      Fully funding and expanding authority for the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to reimburse health care providers for COVID-19-related treatment costs not directly covered by health insurance; this includes all copayments and deductibles for the insured as well as uncompensated care burdens incurred by uninsured and underinsured populations. Direct the HHS Secretary to direct NDMS, in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for administrative and enforcement support, to directly reimburse health care providers for:
      All uncompensated care associated with the testing, treatment, and vaccines that are associated with COVID-19 for uninsured. This includes Americans in so-called “junk” health plans that are not regulated as compliant with the standards for individual market coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
      All copayments, deductibles and any cost-sharing for treatment for COVID-19 for insured. Providers will submit cost-sharing claims to NDMS that document private insurance contractual arrangement for co-payments. To ensure maximum provider participation and minimum billing abuses to consumers, current Medicare law’s “conditions of participation” and system-wide prohibitions against balance billing and surprise medical bills will apply. To guard against fraud and abuse by bad-apple health care providers, harsh civil and monetary penalties under the False Claims Act will apply.

      See NC here on the National Disaster Medical System.

      In essence, Biden wants #MedicareForAll only during the crisis. It’s ridiculous!

      1. John k

        No, it’s not. It appeals to seniors that already have Medicare and don’t want their taxes to go up to provide it for everybody, while temporarily providing it during the crisis bc these seniors reluctantly realize they want the gig workers they must get close to to not have the virus… plus the richer ones realize their stocks need us to get past the crisis as soon as possible to stop the sickening slide.
        Biden’s plan is shrewdly calculated to satisfy both the worried seniors and his funders.

  23. chuck roast

    The ibogane is kickin’ in. Joe is sounding very presidential. Bernard is getting lost in the weeds.

  24. Samuel Conner

    JB seems to be losing it:

    surging the kind of capability that we have to prevent this … bump … that will cause pain.

    1. Bill Carson

      This is Sanders’ opportunity to go after the failings and shortcoming of the Obama administration, and it doesn’t appear that he has the cajones to go after it.

      1. Arizona Slim

        During a March 2016 rally in Tucson, Bernie praised Obama for his handling of the Grrrrreat Recession, and lookie-lookie! Isn’t the economy doing so much better now?

        The crowd went wild.

        Me? I gave Bernie the slow clap. A few minutes later, I began making my way out of the arena.

        Why this reaction? Because under Obama, I went from owning a successful business to living in poverty. Not the sort of hope and change I was looking for, and, I hate to admit it, I voted for Obama twice.

        Won’t get fooled again.

  25. flora

    Joe, “We need someone who knows how to bring the world together.” while he slowly curls his hand into a fist, and shakes the fist. oooh… Freudian slip?

  26. roadrider

    Hate to say it but I’m not seeing or hearing anything yet that would make Biden’s supporters abandon him.

  27. John

    I would say Sanders is not that strong tonight.

    Not really landing any punches.

    Biden is saying what he knows people want to hear.
    Even when he has no intention of delivering on it.

    Now Biden is pretending he and Obama never bailed out Wall Street and he’s all for bailing out the people.

    Oh my god.

    1. Acacia

      That was a golden opening for Bernie to go after Biden’s record.

      Instead… the Ebola crisis? “Got Ebola in my head now”

      Not looking good.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Never let a crisis go to waste, and team Biden is not. So he’s offering immediate material benefits, when his history suggests he believes in no such a thing. I suspect given the current situation, people are gonna buy it.

  28. Samuel Conner

    JB response to the economic crisis:

    Make it clear to the world that we have a bailout package

    Uh-oh — no levers, seed corn consumed. Fed has no ammunition yet.

    Here’s deal: how to find the money to hold some folks harmless.

    I think I see hints of a Grand Bargain — the wherewithal is in contracting the social safety net

    Sanders riffs on income inequality and disparate impacts of the crisis

  29. Samuel Conner

    JB: results, bot a revolution

    make sure we make everybody whole who has been so badly hurt. Lovely wording.

    put in process a system that makes sure they are whole.

    nothing bad will happen to anyone under JB’s plan. What the plan actually is I have no idea…

  30. Harold

    Bernie just misspoke and called the Corona virus the ebola crisis maybe three times before he caught himself. . Oh, dear. He is hypnotized by Biden. Hope he pulls self together

    Biden just called it SARS.

  31. Jason Boxman

    People are increasing panicking now, and Biden is peaking to that directly and aggressively.

    1. John

      Biden is making me sick.

      He’s knows to promise what he will NEVER deliver.

      Sanders not doing well because he is NOT addressing the current crisis.

  32. Bill Smith

    Looks like the US Army as 14 of these ‘inflatable’ hospitals. They range between in size between 44 and 248 beds.

    The Navy has 2 hospital ships?

    The US emergency medical stockpile has 4,000 respirators.

    1. epynonymous

      Funny, today’s presidential press conference said that it’s ‘thousands, but the number won’t be disclosed for national security reasons.’

  33. roadrider

    Someone should ask Biden how well he and his pal Barry did at making people whole during the GFC.

  34. Samuel Conner

    JB: let’s ignore the systemic problems and focus on the crisis.

    Kick the underlying problems down the road, where they can then be kicked further down the road, and so on until we are all gone.

  35. jeremyharrison

    Any average American who stumbles across this “debate” will find it so uninteresting that they’ll switch to a rerun of an old basketball game on ESPN.

  36. Carla

    I never, EVER, thought I would say this, but I’m proud of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. A couple of days ago, he closed all the schools in the state, and today he closed all restaurants and bars to customers, effective 9:00 p.m. tonight. They can still provide take-out and deliveries. He also announced that he is signing an executive order to enable workers who don’t have paid leave benefits to access unemployment during the coronavirus emergency.

    A Republican leaving Democrats in the dust… when you create a policy vacuum, this is the kind of sh*t, uh, stuff — that will happen. It is impossible for me to express in the English language my disdain for the Democrat party.

    1. Bill Carson

      Sounds like leadership to me.

      Similarly, my own Governor Polis (D) of Colorado has shown good leadership. He signed an executive order shutting down the ski industry for a week, which is HUGE here.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Here in Tucson, one of my friends consulted with Pima County on pandemic flu response. (Tucson is the seat of Pima County.) That was back in, oh, 2010.

        So, I can’t say that the local response has seemed ad hoc.

        OTOH, I do miss the events that have been cancelled.

  37. Bill Carson

    Biden may sound good to lots of people, but you and I know how full of s*** he is. If it was so easy, then Nancy would have gotten that relief on Friday.

  38. orlbucfan

    I’m not watching it. I’m monitoring 2 sites. Biden sounds like brain mush from what I’m reading. Bernie will settle down.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Sanders did not do well either. Roubini and Krugman at the time called for the banks to be broken up. How is that not Sanders riposte to Biden’s “Obama saved the system” blather!

      1. Carey

        My impression is that Sanders only connects often enough (tonight) to keep
        his supporters barely hopeful.


      1. Carla

        I agree. Biden is doing extraordinarily well. For low-information voters (which is 80-90% at least) he’s doing exactly what they needed to see.

  39. Lambert Strether Post author

    “Had those banks gone under, all those little people who Bernie says he cares about would have gone under.” Ouch!

    Biden just says he thought somebody should have gone to fail in the crisis. Is that true?

    Sanders should say the banks should have been broken up.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Biden is nailing it tonight. Sanders is entirely correct, but people don’t read NK and have no idea about all the subsidies the banks got. And Sanders didn’t even say that we should have nationalized the banks and fired the boards of directors.

      It’s disappointing that these are complex topics that don’t lend themselves to easy soundbites like “all the little people would lose their jobs” or whatever.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > It’s disappointing that these are complex topics that don’t lend themselves to easy soundbites like “all the little people would lose their jobs” or whatever.

        “Break up the banks, and then all the little people keep their jobs and the banks lose their power.” Not too hard.

    2. doug s.

      no excuse for sanders not responding millions DID go under & millions more are still paying for it BECAUSE criminal Bankers invested $14 Trillion we loaned them into the market instead of the community! If Bernie can’t make his case he fails.

    1. Jason Boxman

      And overwhelmingly tax cuts. People aren’t gonna remember that, sadly.

      And JB just let everyone know he did not have a heart attack.

  40. Acacia

    Next: Bailouts. Okay, now the moderators are offering an issue on a silver platter.

    Will he question Biden/Obama? Okay, finally he’s distinguishing his position from Biden. “Joe should know.”

  41. John

    Biden says some on Wall Street should have gone to jail.

    Hey it was your administration Joe didn’t put even one of them there.

  42. OIFVet

    Biden is full of sh!t. But Sanders is not destroying him. Right ideas, wrong man. Sorry, we need a killer, not a nice guy.

  43. Carey

    Well, Sanders was right about one big thing: “Not me, Us”.

    Looks to me like the Senator’s been quietly but firmly gotten-to.

    1. campbeln

      So Biden loses to Trump… He’ll get MASSACRED by Trump in debates, just because Trump will piss him off.

      At least Trump will steer us toward the cliff that much faster.

    1. Jason Boxman

      And HAM was a true scam, beyond the pale, and covered here at NK extensively for years. But Sanders isn’t going after any of the Obama administration track record, so Biden gets to stand on a pile of sand.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I lost mine twice. And that happened under Obama. I voted for him twice, and, oh, do I regret that.

        I’m not voting for Obama (Biden) a third time.

      1. ShamanicFallout

        Sanders is leaving so much out there tonight. Really disappointing. And whatever they did to Biden, it’s working. He hasn’t been this coherent for a long time.

      2. Doug Hillman

        Looks like Bernie forfeited. No fire in his belly Too respectful where none is due. He should’ve nailed Biden and DNC corruption publicly and loudly, the low-hanging fruit. If Biden and the DNC can roll him so easily without counterattack, he’d be a worthless president. He’s done.

        Guess he got the message: “You won’t leave the studio alive…unless…”

  44. chuck roast

    Joe is totally out-classing Bernard. He is doubtlessly a highly professional bulls**t artist. Bernard is not even senatorial. He has a chance to demolish Joe on the bank bailouts and wanders around and says nothing. Joe responds by making the banks look like saints…and he carries it off. Without the banks we were doomed. Sorry, Bernard is completely ineffectual and amateurish. This primary is over…

    I’m going back to binge watching Breaking Bad.

    1. OIFVet

      I’m gonna binge on the most dystopian series and movies I can find. Might as well do research on what awaits.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      Biden is an inveterate liar and anyone who paid attention will recognize this.

      So he’s suddenly against fracking, eh?

      He never advocated for cuts to SS, did he?

      He was always a champion of Women’s Rights, was he?

      He now favors free college, does he?

      This only strengthened my resolve to never vote for him.

  45. Acacia

    Biden claims he saved the economy. Bernie blew his chance to get in a very easy punch on Biden’s terrible record.

    Now on to immigrants and coronavirus.

    If Bernie missed this opportunity, it really bodes ill.

  46. freedomny

    I must be missing something. I thought this was a debate between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Was it announced that all of these other non-candidates would be on the stage? Because I do try to keep up with the news and I don’t remember seeing this memo.

  47. Hank Linderman

    I am wishing Bernie would say:

    The old ways that Joe represents and was part of, are not coming back. We need to recognize that the challenges we face will need much more capacity than the old ways are capable of.

    The old ways have brought us here – you speak of results, and yet here we are, the result of declining wages and a corrupted health care system. What we are experiencing now is a systemic failure, brought to us by NAFTA, by allowing Big Pharma to buy Congress, by giving away our domestic supply chain. Even our drugs are made in China.

    The Revolution I represent will give results – results America needs. Higher wages for people who work, health care that costs less, covers us all, is easier to use and gets better results. These are the results America needs – affordable college, the elimination of predatory loans for education that cannot be remedied by bankruptcy. Those are results that nostalgic policies will not solve.

    As to this crisis, I would prosecute excess profit taking, including what appears to be going on within the Trump business empire. I would begin a stipend for those who are unable to work, a check sent to Americans who needs it. I would arrange to convert cruise ships to auxilliary hospitals….

    And so on…

    1. Carey

      Agree that Sanders should take this *one* opportunity to speechify as you suggest, if only that were allowed™. It’s not.

  48. Samuel Conner

    JB’s plan is not more likely than Sanders’ to pass Congress unless the composition of both Houses changes radically.

    JB doesn’t under what Sanders means by “revolution”, but maybe few others do also.

  49. Acacia

    Now onto Bernie’s heart attack. Biden gets to say he’s in good health.

    Stick a fork in it.

  50. flora

    Biden’s an idiot who knows how to reach for personal power and make an ‘authoritative appearance’.

    Bernie know exactly what needs doing but is still making a ‘call to conscious appearance.’

  51. Jason Boxman

    I gotta be honest, I’m not seeing senile Biden. I’m not even sure how Biden is gonna get destroyed by Trump in a debate. The guy is a good debater.

    I’m glad Sanders is finally stepping up right now; these are good questions to be asking. And he’s telling. Who controls America. Who has the power.

      1. Jason Boxman

        He’s giving it a shot. But asking Biden over and over about whether he’s talking about cutting stuff is silly. He’s not going to say he did. That’s a fail.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          I think Bernie was right to make him deny it THREE times, but I grew up in the church.

  52. John

    Sanders this is your chance to BASH Biden.

    If you don’t, this is over for you and Trump is winning in Nov.

  53. .curlydan

    Not going well so far. Biden is offering free ponies and unicorns without saying how anyone will be “made right.” How can Bernie go against that?

    Unfortunately, there’s not much to debate between Biden and Bernie on COVID-19.

    Joe unfortunately knows how to own Bernie. Biden kind of sits back, stares incredulously, raises his eyebrows, and implicitly says, “Look at this crazy guy.” And the CNN cameras pick it right up using the perfect side/profile shot. Where are the profile shots going the other way? It’s definitely a choreographed look by Biden.


  54. Samuel Conner

    The Senator from MBNA boasts about his decades old proposal for public funding of campaigns.

  55. AdamK

    I give up. Both are too old. What we need is a young, passionate, young, full of energy candidates. Seems to me Trump won.

      1. AdamK

        I know. The USSR in its last days had 3 leaders who died in few months of starting their job. It sound so familiar…

  56. Librarian Guy

    Bernie finally did answer strongly. Too late?

    Biden totally lying about who funds him. And I’m sure the corporate “fact checkers” will not point out the lie.

  57. Jason Boxman

    The constitution amendment is a nice dodge, because it’s impossible to get it passed. The bar for getting an amendment ratified huge.

    But Sanders’ reply is finally fierce. And Biden couldn’t list any of them; he doesn’t even know. This is the real bulldog I want to see.

  58. Lambert Strether Post author

    Biden: Join me on my amendment to Federalize campaign funding. Thirty years ago.

    Biden: “I won when I didn’t have any money.”

    Biden: “You have nine SuperPacs”

  59. Librarian Guy

    Biden lying shamelessly about his past, including not “eliminating the safety net”. How many times did he boast of trying to cut Social Security?

  60. Jason Boxman

    The dividend tax cut for most is actually 15%. I guess Biden has some nice stock investments and a nice income.

    I’m glad Sanders is calling him out. And Biden is lying flat out.

  61. JohnMinMN

    Another Bernie fail in the how you pay for it. He obviously didn’t read Wendel Potter.

    Dammit. Call Biden a liar!

  62. Librarian Guy

    Bernie calls him on it!! The MSM won’t . . .

    What is “the Social Security admin” that ranks Joe 96%? Pure astroturf

  63. Librarian Guy

    Joe, you just contradicted yourself . . .

    Bernie’s gotten there now– but I doubt the masses will bother with facts.

  64. John

    Sanders going after Biden for calling to cut Social Security.

    Biden lying about doing that.

    Why can’t Sanders use Biden’s words against him?????!!!!!!!!!

    1. Jason Boxman

      And now CNN just hosed him on his comments about Social Security. And now he’s gotta defend it.

    1. John

      Sanders needs to say the Biden has be calling to cut Social Security SINCE THE 80s!

      And as recent as 2018 he was calling to cut Social Security.

  65. Librarian Guy

    Joe praises Warren, lies about “first chance” to improve things!!

    ’09-11 was Dem pres, House and Senate– and all we got was Repub. ACA pro-insurance plan

        1. run75441


          He did have a big hand in it. He could have protested it, He did not. He signed on. Years later he is telling students about boot straps. Years later and in 2016, I confronted Stabenow on her vote on the 2005 bill at one of her public picnics. I made her sh*t list. She no longer answers my letters on student loan debt. She did suggest they should learn some fiscal responsibility.

  66. nippersmom

    Biden lying about the bankruptcy bill now. I really wish the post-debate analysis would call out these lies, but I doubt that will happen.

  67. Jason Boxman

    The play for Warren’s voters is a nice touch. Not that he really needs them. I guess for the general.

  68. Lambert Strether Post author

    Grassley sponsored the Bankruptcy Bill. Biden: “I made it incrementally better.”


    Biden was one of the bill’s major Democratic champions, and he fought for its passage from his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He had pushed for two earlier bankruptcy reform bills in 2000 and 2001, both of which failed. But in 2005, BAPCPA made it through, successfully erecting all kinds of roadblocks for Americans struggling with debt, and doing so just before the financial crisis of 2008. Since BAPCPA passed, Chapter 13 filings went from representing just 24 percent of all bankruptcy filings per year to 39 percent in 2017. Melissa Jacoby, a University of North Carolina law professor specializing in bankruptcy, told Politico, “I doubt that the bill reined in the abuses that the bill was premised on, in part because they didn’t necessarily exist in the first place.”

    1. run75441


      I agree. This has hurt students who are stuck with debt. Biden has a history of pimping students. You did a nice job tonight, thank you for your commentary.

  69. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    If they give Joe the same cocktail of meds he’s on tonite when he debates Trump I’ll have to start thinking about a Biden presidency. Somebody remind me how that would be an improvement on Trump in the ways that really matter….

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Supreme Court? Didn’t Biden conspire with the Republicans to get Clarence Thomas onto the Supreme Court? Isn’t that WHY Biden mocked and persecuted Anita Hill in the hearings?

  70. John

    Why can’t Sanders say Biden supported the REPUBLICAN commission to cut Social Security?

    No, he has to say Bowles Simpson that most people have idea what it is.

    Oh my god.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Too bad Sanders couldn’t say “Obama’s Simpson-Bowles Catfood Commission to cut Social Security.”

  71. Librarian Guy

    Bernie does long litany of positions Biden wrong on . . .

    Biden “first to support gay marriage” on national TV!! Just after it polled 50%+, whoopdie doo!!

  72. Lambert Strether Post author

    Sanders: “I voted against ___ you voted for ___.”

    Biden: “This man voted against the Brady Bill.”

    The question is “What do you do from this point on?”

    (Biden really does have contempt for Sanders. The sneer comes through.)

  73. Jason Boxman

    And now Biden is lying about every single position that he supports.

    The last thing we need to do is restore this country’s soul. That’s the problem.

  74. Librarian Guy

    Joe supports everything that Bernie has stood for, suddenly!! While all the Joe allies smear Sanders as dirty, unelectable commie.

    MSM lets Biden have it both ways– just as long as someone who is not Sanders is the Pres. Can’t try to really change anything, it disturbs my stock portfolio

  75. John

    I am NOT going to vote for Biden.

    A corporate wh$re for 4 decades.

    So don’t say I will Sanders.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I’m with John. I voted for Obama twice and regret doing so. I will not vote for Obama (Biden) a third time.

    2. Massinissa

      I support Dems down ticket. All politics is local, and all that. But this is going to be my third presidential election, and its going to be the third where I put in the Green Party candidate at the top of the ticket. I just… I just can’t vote for Joe, any more than I could vote for Trump. I just couldn’t do it, it would make me feel terrible in defeat and even more terrible in victory. Why bother? At least with the Greens my conscience stays clean, as quixotic as giving them a vote is.

    3. Matthew

      We’d be better off with no President than either of the choices we’re likely to have, so leaving the space blank seems appropriate.

      I guess you could write in Gridlock as well.

  76. Lil’D

    The room here is unanimous (other than me…) that Biden looks presidential and Bernie is acting like a whiny loser
    I’m not getting that out of it but I’m not seeing Bernie effectively making the case for himself

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Biden looks presidential

      Biden is doing well, if you enter the universe where a restoration of the Obama administration is your goal.

      And Biden is playing that card very effectively.

      1. Carla

        Restoring the Obama administration is what at least 75-85% of my Democrat “friends” want.

  77. Librarian Guy

    Biden mostly seemed somewhat cogent based on what I saw. His campaign got him the right Rx combo to make it thru, evidently.

    All the lies will be ignored by corporate media, they will help drag Joe across the finish line for Dems.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > But can Biden last for another hour?

        If Sanders cross-examines him every time, maybe not. Joe doesn’t look good when cornered. His body language becomes very odd.

  78. Bill Carson

    I think Bernie is doing about as well as he possibly can, given that the narrative has changed so dramatically with the coronavirus crisis.

    He is calling Biden out directly, and Biden is lying, just like we would expect him to.

    1. Jason Boxman

      We know he’s lying, but how many other people are aware of Biden’s actual record? It’s he said-he said otherwise.

      1. Bill Carson

        If this were a court trial, then Bernie would be able to get into impeachment evidence, but on TV there is nothing.

  79. Which is worse - bankers or terrorists

    So we are back to ZIRP and swap lines open from the Fed. I thought that wasn’t going to happen yesterday. The Fed even said so.

  80. nippersmom

    Biden’s platform calls for rejoining the Paris accords, which is essentially useless. Is this another issue he’s changed his mind on? Because that’s not remotely the same as supporting the Green New Deal.

    1. ShamanicFallout

      Yes. Taibbi is, of course, not liking Bernie’s approach. Said something about any good boxer would know that if you have your opponent on the ropes, keep up the pressure! Biden can still blow it here, but man, Bernie is not doing well

  81. ChiGal in Carolina

    I think Bernie overall is doing very well and this format favors him, though Biden isn’t as awful as I might have hoped.

    Bernie forceful and holding Biden to account without being scornful or hostile, which would cost him. He isn’t being divisive, he’s inviting Biden to join him. Disagreeing without being disagreeable and trapping Biden in lies to boot.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      But does Biden look trapped to people who do not know which Biden statements are lies? And when the CFP MSM will censor any mention of Biden’s lies from its pages and frequencies?

  82. Hank Linderman

    The harsh realities of the virus and the self-quarrantines are going to affect some people in ways that make them nostalgic, craving the comfort and security that nostalgia gives.

    I feel that pull myself and it is strong, even though I can see that it is emotional rather than rational.

    However this all goes, whoever the next President is, there will be lots of work to do for decades, just to save humanity. I hope enough of us understand that.

  83. Lambert Strether Post author

    Biden commits to a woman VP.

    Sanders nails Biden on the Hyde Amendment.

    Adding, Sanders says “in all probability” a woman; has to be progressive.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I’m afraid to ponder the shortlist for the women he’s considering. This can’t be good. But it wasn’t going to be good anyway.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Hillary Clinton is more available. If the Catfood Democrats run a Biden/ hillary ticket, I will vote for Trump. We don’t need Hillary a slender 25th Ammendment away from the White House.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          Don’t forget the “Her” so many are still “With” despite that telltale arrow which always pointed right. . . .

          1. John

            The DNC elite are so delusional they just might try that. If they do, it will be Reagan all over again. This time Trump as the winner.

  84. Librarian Guy

    Biden pretends he wasn’t pro-patriarchy for decades.

    And moderator demands token woman for VP, regardless of positions or policy

    1. OIFVet

      There was a side shot which showed Biden standing, left hand in pants pocket, pure malice and contempt.

  85. VietnamVet

    I watched the debate for about 20 minutes and I couldn’t take any more. This is elder abuse. Joe Biden has early dementia. I get angry when I forget things. But I know I am not fit to be President. Bernie Sanders is not much better. He is overwhelmed by the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic too. Will they even make it to January 2021?

    The Tragedy is that the candidate who has the charisma, intelligence and youth to address America’s survival in a time of pandemic, economic depression and endless wars, Tulsi Gabbard, was kept off stage by the Billionaires’ toady, DNC Chair, Tom Perez.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I guess I don’t see what everyone else is seeing. Biden doesn’t look like he’s about to lose it. Maybe that’s comforting, but as someone that hasn’t seen Biden speak outside two other debates, he seems coherent and lucid.

      1. sd

        There’s no shortage of videos out there showing Biden speaking completely inchoherenly – it’s clear he has brain damage. Multiple speeches, multiple sources and multiple platforms. They’re not hard to find.

    2. anon in so cal

      Yes, it was outrageous to ban Tulsi Gabbard from the debate. She would have eviscerated Biden, and she appeals to voters across the spectrum. We’ve been half watching, half listening. Biden is coming across as *not* senile. (And I despise Biden and fully believed he was senile). Did JB get some drug cocktail for the debate? Biden is a practiced, smooth liar and Bernie is no match. Biden had no problem attacking Bernie on guns, etc. Bernie has always appeared weak and unprepared in debates, including in 2016, imho. Back then, I did the max for him, this time, only one or two small donations. He’s finished.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      If it is legal for a movement of petition passers and petition signers to sign petitions for getting Gabbard onto State ballots for President, why don’t a movement-load of petition passers and signers go right ahead and do it?

  86. Bill Carson

    Surge! Surge! An aid must have pressed him during the break to say that word more. It’s almost as if they’ve gotten Frank Luntz involved.

  87. Which is worse bankers or terrorists

    Given the 100 basis crate cut today, I’m curious to hear how the Fed can further stimulate, absent Congressional approval to buy stocks.

    Where is Hank Paulson when you need him to go to Congress and demand TARP 2020.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      There is a LOT the fed can do outside of rate cuts. They have an unlimited amount of money.

    2. chuck roast

      By 9:00 PM stock market futures tanked. Monday will be carnage. The Fed has given the perception of panicking and investors have noticed.

        1. KLG

          I am part of “Us” and have been since before I was a member of the predecessor of DSA 40+ years ago. More recently I have been part of “Us” as a substantial monthly and supplemental contributor to Bernie’s campaign (as I am to nc) and pointing out to fellow denizens of the PMC that Biden, Warren, Mayo Pete et al. are basically worthless vessels, way to leaky to hold any hope for a livable near or long-term future (not to mention unable to defeat Donald Trump, even with coronavirus on the loose). But Bernie is leading this effort, or was. And, yes, this absolutely was Bernie’s job tonight, to be prepared to fight to win. Why he was not up to it, I don’t know. If it is true that Bernie doesn’t practice for these things with his staff hurling likely topics at him rapidly and unmercifully, he is guilty of political malpractice: When Joe says he has always supported SS, what will you say?; when Joe brags about the economic recovery under BO, what will you say?; when Joe says M4A cannot help with the pandemic, what will you say?; when Joe says people are doing well in this political economy, what will you say? Anyway, “Our Revolution” is now very likely on hold if not dead as a hammer. And we do not have the luxury of being “on hold” now. Dead? That probably won’t make any difference. Namaste!

          1. Yves Smith

            I am told by a very seasoned political insider (not Stoller) that Sanders’ staff is weak. This individual attributes a lot of the Sanders campaign missed opportunities to that.

            1. The Will to Power Counts

              It could also be that Bernie does not want to win really. As in: whatever it takes to win.
              Biden does. He lies and distort the truth and takes money from whoever pays.
              Radio War Nerd interviewed a political operatives and in the discussion it came up that Howard Dean didn’t really want to win – would have been nice-win, yes, but really, at all cost-win, no – and therefore he didn’t.

              1. Aumua

                It definitely is that, and that does not reflect badly on Bernie, just on our expectations of him. HOWEVER… even within the bounds of his decency, courtesy and honesty he still was clearly not well prepared here, and that does reflect badly. We’re all just going to have to get over that though.

                1. KLG

                  Oh, it does reflect badly on Bernie. All that money, much of it from people for whom $27 is a significant thing? Joe Biden is getting his money, as he always has, from people who won’t miss it but have “expectations.” Bernie got his money from people who only wanted Bernie to be Bernie. If Bernie Sanders wasn’t in it to win it, even if that meant leaving his comfort zone, he was a fraud. Really, all he had to do was be prepared to tell the truth.

    1. Arizona Slim

      That’s probably what he’s planning. And look how well it worked for the Democrats in 2016.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      His 2016 strategy was move Clinton to the left until he took off, much to everyone’s surprise. I find it entirely possible he could be doing it again with his “good friend Joe.”

  88. Jason Boxman

    LOL. And what happened in 8 years of Obama with the “everything of the above” energy policy? I love how Biden can claim successes that didn’t even exist from the Obama administration.

    And who cares what the price tag is? That’s comical. The price tag is civil society if we don’t take the necessary steps.

  89. Xihuitl

    Did they maybe make a hologram of Joe Biden and program him? He seems so completely different and coherent than he has been lately. Spouting precise numbers and programs.

        1. jrs

          Do drug cocktails that make people not-senile even exist? And if so why aren’t all senile people on them? I mean who wouldn’t want their parents/grandparents lucid again. Yea cost, sure, but really I don’t think such drugs exist.

      1. Jason Boxman

        It’s true. But people probably gonna believe it. Biden’s shown everyone who he is over his entire career, but I guess the world doesn’t work that way.

        “I know your heart is in the right place” – really Sanders?

      2. skookum red

        I watched Bernie’s fireside chat and he said that he had sent Biden a list of the topics he was going to make sure they debated at the CNN debate. At this point, watching, I get the distinct feeling that Biden got the list and prepared and as a result, to defend himself, has decided to shift as left or as equal to Sanders as possible.

  90. Angry gus

    the biden let me know: islands are sinking .
    The longer the biden rants, the more he sounds like the biden we all know and luvz .

    1. Dan

      He had been really good up until around 9:25. He hasn’t done anything wild yet, but he’s starting to lose it a bit.

  91. Librarian Guy

    Biden sounds good on fossil fuels . . . But a Biden admin will be beholden to these industries, only a slight bit less than Trump, let’s get real.

    Some token astroturf environmentalism, Joe sniggers about “existential crisis”

    1. OIFVet

      A true Renaissance man, that Joe! I bet he will be the first to discover the Covid-19 vaccine, too!

    2. Librarian Guy

      Just like Ronald Reagan freed that Nazi death camp (in the brain glaze of dementia, on film)

    3. Charlotte Lukas

      I think not.
      This was 2009
      “The House passage of the bill was the “first time either house of Congress had approved a bill meant to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change.”[4”


    4. John Anthony La Pietra

      The folks at “Inside Climate News” seem to think he’s got a claim — not that the bill they describe looks like a lot.

      The casting isn’t right, but the scene reminds me of Shaw’s Man and Superman — the part where one character says to another as an argument nears its peak:

      You pose as an advanced man. Let me tell you that I was an advanced man before you were born.

      And the other replies:

      I knew it was a long time ago.

      Now, if Sanders could bring himself to get off a line like that. . . .

  92. Angry gus

    biden considers himself a “game changer”
    Did the game change for the better mista jo..?

  93. Jason Boxman

    “I did that while you were watching” says Biden. That’s ruff. Even though it’s China exporting solar panels below cost is what brought down solar panel cost.

    It’s a shame people still talk about it as if it’s money. It’s not. It’s resources. It’s deciding what resources we develop. The money is just how we call forth these resources. Money is just a unit of exchange. It’s unlimited.

  94. nippersmom

    Biden is changing his entire platform during this debate. His claims about his views on the fossil fuel industry are not at all consistent with his prior policies or statements.

    Really wish Bernie would bring up Saudi America.

    1. Librarian Guy

      Biden gets credit for feinting left more meaningfully than Hillbot in’16- not that it matters, nothing he’s promising here will be done if the DNC installs him in power.

      And will he immediately tack right/center like Hillbot when he has the nom? I’d put the odds at 95%+

  95. nippersmom

    How does that $90 billion for alternative fuels compare to the subsidies to fossil fuel industries, Joe?

    1. John

      Biden, China has changed the wealth of it’s people marginally.

      Right Biden.

      Double digit growth for 3 decades.

    1. Jason Boxman

      To her credit, she’s calling out the Obama administration. But Biden’s response is good, trying to get Cuba to change vs Sanders just loving authoritarians.

  96. Jason Boxman

    Here. We. Go. Florida is coming up. And we’re gonna get Sanders on saying a nice thing about a universal program, once, because a dictator it did once.

    And we need a clarification.

    And Obama opened up trade with Cuba. What. The. F.

  97. Librarian Guy

    Bernie could really contrast with Biden on foreign policy, but the MSM won’t let it matter.

    I won’t vote for Biden in the general, I’ll vote 3rd party, even if Sanders says to . . . I don’t doubt that Bernie started to prove the US Overton window left . . . however, the powers that be shut down the hope of an actual populist (as opposed to fascist white nationalist) President

    1. Jason Boxman

      Well, it’s so very top down. Without a serious threat from the working class, nothing changes.

      1. Carey

        >Without a serious threat from the working class, nothing changes.

        Sanders was a fine start, but someone suggested that he go politeness-man.

    1. Xihuitl

      Agreed. Biden is much better at plain speaking, general and specific points that the public can understand and relate to. So ironic.

      1. John

        Yes, but Florida is going Red in 2020.

        Don’t think that’s not happening after them electing Rick Scott for god’s sake for Senate in 2018.

  98. Librarian Guy

    Joe Biden wants war with China, 100% evil.

    What a moron– & nobody’s supposed to notice that US Empire supported “dictators” in Iran, Nicaragua, Chile, etc. etc. Bernie did it, he named Saudi “friends”

    1. John

      No Biden doesn’t. If he gets in he will be ramming the TPP down our throats that ends US sovereignty and gives Chinese companies power over the US laws by allowing them to sue us for any law that costs them corporate profits.

  99. Bill Carson

    Joe Biden is Mr. Cold War, and he would gratefully start a new Cold War if he is elected president, just like Hillary Clinton was prepared to do.

  100. Librarian Guy

    Biden “in the shadow of China”– moron, the US cannot control East Asia for an 8th decade, post-WWII

    Biden, “I learned not to trust the President”– you’ll be teaching Americans that if you ever get into office.

  101. Jason Boxman

    So I expended my supply of alcohol for this. I am sad about this.

    Words matter?

    He11. Look what happened in Iraq after Biden voted to destroy. Libya.

    And Biden is lying about the context for his vote.

    And Biden claims being responsible for getting troops out of Iraq.

    At least Sanders is calling it straight. That vote was a vote for war. People were in the streets, the largest protests worldwide in forever.

  102. Librarian Guy

    Now Bernie is really contrasting his record to Biden’s.

    If we had a remotely honest media, this might matter. Unfortunately it will be ignored.

  103. Jason Boxman

    The look on Biden’s face when Sanders talks about working with conservatives against the war in Yemen, that was priceless though.

  104. nippersmom

    If you think China is so terrible, why give it favored nation status?

    Glad Bernie at least got in a reference to our “allies” in the Middle East that are also dictatorships.

  105. Librarian Guy

    Bernie good on the War Powers Act, trying to shut down Yemen genocide by Saudi–UAE.

    The moderators quickly shift away from foreign policy– what’d they get, 6-7 minutes for that?

  106. Librarian Guy

    Biden praises Hispanics for being “high school educated”?

    Gross old man, no idea what happens outside his DC, corporate power structure.

  107. Jason Boxman

    “Joe I will be there for you” — It will be just you, dude, just you. And because young people aren’t “great voters”, no one cares about your support in the Establishment.

        1. JBird4049

          Somebody called someone a friend although I don’t remember who. I just remember being surprised at the stabbing being done so nicely.

  108. Librarian Guy

    Bernie’s right that he has the enthusiasm and the young people.

    Every item of Sanders’ that Joe pretends he’ll enact will die unsupported if Biden wins . . . & Sanders is right, youth will be lost to the Dems for the near future if Dementiacrat Joe is the nominee.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I wonder if that’s true? Maybe. But as a society, as a species, it probably won’t matter either way. This is the endgame. And this pandemic is only a preview of what’s to come.

      I’ve been going through the cache of photos I took and dumped somewhere; hoping to hang the ones that I like on the walls. Something to do, before it all disappears into the void.

      It’s worth remembering that on a galactic timescale, everything ceases to exist anyway.

  109. Angry gus

    “you were there at the signing ceremony w/ bush”
    Bern starting to nail the biden, and biden starting to change his rant…mid-rant…
    Bern CAN’T SAY “joe’ I’ll be there for you…”* NAIL him that he can’t win .
    *stop that familyblog.

  110. Lambert Strether Post author

    Biden did deal Sanders a blow on “energy and excitement.” Sanders brought out his voters, and the reactionary Democrat Establishment brought out more, in Red States the Democrats won’t win (Virginia is the exception, but that’s because it’s the heart of the Establishment and very wealthy besides, at least in the DC burbs.

      1. Massinissa

        In that case, his first mistake was running. He would have 0% chance winning a third party ticket.

        I vote Green every presidential cycle, but I realize that winning the presidency through a third party ticket is close to impossible. As difficult and unlikely to succeed as trying to take over the Dem party is, its still a better shot than running as a third party candidate. Trump wouldn’t be president right now had he ran as a member of the Libertarian party.

    1. Aumua

      Well Sanders is really having to fight with one or both hands tied behind his back on this point. He can’t bring up the massive nonstop propaganda campaign against him by the MSM without sounding a) unhinged or b) like Trump, even though this has been a MAJOR factor in manipulating public opinion. I guess that would also be a bit like calling American voters SHEEP lol… so I mean what are you gonna do?

      They are sheep of course, and deserve whatever they got coming.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        “and deserve whatever they got coming…”

        Hell no. No one “deserves” what they got coming.

        Right now, my kid and me are conversing 3X per day about the insane level of disregard for social distancing (in all age cohorts) among our friends and acquaintances. She has particularly vivid insight, via Instagram, into the biz-as-usual Spring Break Bacchanalia of the 20 somethings.

        We read international news and are less math-challenged than the average hairless ape. Hence our sense of amazed horror.

        They still don’t deserve what they got coming. And I sure as hell don’t.

        1. Aumua

          Well in all honesty we don’t actually know what we got coming yet. But those who voted for Biden deserve… Biden. Or Trump. How about that?

          1. Late Introvert

            Nope, still not correct. You’re condemning good people, family and friends, because they got tricked by a rapacious machine of propaganda run by the super rich?

              1. Late Introvert

                OK, you’re likely young and haven’t had any history of bad life choices of your own yet. Cheers mate.

                1. Aumua

                  I’m actually being a bit facetious here but… I still don’t think it’s excessive to say that “People who vote for Biden deserve Biden.”

      2. Carey

        >They are sheep of course, and deserve whatever they got coming.

        Really? Even though they’re propagandized 24/7 by six huge media companies, likely with some “intelligence community” (dog, I loathe that term) input?


  111. Librarian Guy

    Biden, “me, me, me”, they’re coming out for Meeeeeee!!!

    As big a narcissist sociopath as HRC and Trump, no wonder the Establishment picked him.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        I hate his speaking habit, “blah, blah, blah that’s number one, number two blah, blah, blah.

        Gets really annoying as he’s just buying time.

        1. Jason Boxman

          I feel like it brings focus.

          Forget what you just heard, I am going to do 1), 2), ect. It seemed effective.

    1. Jason Boxman

      But it makes the electability argument, demonstrably.

      So Biden has command, he has electability. He has this great liberal positions, even though it’s a lie.

        1. Bill Carson

          Don’t forget, he graduated in the TOP HALF of his law school class, Mr. Fatty McBucko, you lying dog-faced pony soldier.

          1. EoH

            Actually, near the bottom of his class at Syracuse University Law School. Geographically close to Cornell, it is not in the same league.

  112. doug s.

    Please people, Does anyone remember Obama’s campaign promises in ’08? He didn’t forget them, he fought against them! Biden’s told more lies & made more promises that go against his hoting tonight than I can remember.
    It would be nice if someone, anyone, would remind voters our wealthiest 10% own 84% of stocks, so why do we use stocks as the principal barometer to exclaim that our economy has been great?.

  113. Fern

    Why doesn’t Bernie Sanders say: “There was solid support for Medicare for All until YOU started attacking it with distortions and Republican talking points”.

  114. cripes

    Its creepy how coherently handsy Joe is lying tonight.

    I guess big pharma paid him back in drugs for all the work he’s done for them over the years

  115. Jen

    Thank god Matt Tiabbi didn’t include “situation room” in tonight’s drinking game rules. I’d be dead.

  116. John

    Sanders was weak tonight when he needed to be 100% on the top of his game.

    He always goes to another subject at the end of his time which is annoying and you are left thinking he didn’t answer the question.

    Biden did what he knew he had to do: LIE.

    (Like he’s lying the government is going to give people their mortgage payments for this virus crises. OMG)

    Lie that he’s a populist and has been for decades.

    I’m predicting a Trump win in Nov.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Depending on how this pandemic progresses, it may be Biden’s election to lose. It’ll depend entirely on the economy in November and the overall level of panic and fear. Biden can definitely get this.

      Sanders is spot on on what ails our society, the evils, but that’s a tough sell.

      But in any case, Biden or Trump, doesn’t really matter. Business as usual.

      1. John

        Business as usual means it’s all coming down faster.

        The weakness being shown in this economy when the tax cuts gave the rich and the corporation trillions and the Fed is throwing everything they can to keep the stock market up means bad, bad times are coming.

      2. John k

        It’s a tough sell to the comfortable people, who are the majority of the dem party.
        Progressive is an easier sell in the immediate aftermath of a deep recession, 2016 already too late.
        AOC in 2024…

  117. Lambert Strether Post author

    One thing is that Biden really doesn’t like to be questioned or criticized; he gets exasperated and whiney. Sanders did not in any way leverage that, though.

  118. randomworker

    All Biden has to do is get a draw. Mission accomplished. On to Tuesday. Florida will tell the tale.

    1. John

      Sanders will be clobbered in Florida.

      Not that it will really matter in the general.
      Biden is winning all the Red states that Trump will win in Nov.

      Trump will win Florida.

        1. Jason Boxman

          Rearguard action against the left. A memorable phrase you note occasionally in water cooler.

          Biden served his cause well tonight.

        2. John k

          You would think it would interest both parties for the closest states in the last election to hold their primaries first… until you realize this would favor populists. No way. Winning is not everything, and certainly not the only thing… keeping progressives out is the thing for funders.

      1. Bill Carson

        F*** those people in Florida. They will vote for Trump in November. Go die, old Floridians! Especially those whose grandparents were aligned with Bautista.

        1. Jason Boxman

          I get that sentiment.

          But death comes for us all.

          I prefer sadness.

          When I lived in Central Florida, we had a semi-functional Democrat Party. Even a young Democrats. Many voted for Obama, of course.

          But they seemed young, genuine, not grifters. Just not aware.

        2. Massinissa

          I don’t see the point in victim blaming voters. The entire establishment, and all of the major media outlets, are busy throwing propaganda noise at them and have been for what, half a century? Its hard to know better when the entire system is premised upon keeping everyone from knowing better.

        3. JTMcPhee

          Hey, I and a lot of old guys and gals in FL have voted the progressive line and worked the politicking for years. It’s the Dem Party that has lots of young and older selfishly enthusiastic people in it that has sold out the mopes and deplorables, all those working class folks, year after year.

          Maybe I should wish that your worst fears come to pass, and that you and all the rest of the people who throw all Floridians into a single pot you can sneer at and despise get a right full measure of what that kind of succumbing to divide-and-conquer morbidity is bringing?

          Just what the oligarchy ordered…

        4. Anon

          It’s Fulgencio Batista not Dave Bautista.

          The Cuban president of the 1940’s was duly elected. The US crony Batista of the 1950’s was re-installed and eventually deposed by the rural guerilla leader Fidel Castro. (Who opted for a socialist economy to mitigate the impact of US/Batista led crony capitalism.)

  119. Jason Boxman

    Oddly, the Obama administration did. not. care. about keeping people in their homes, making mortgage payments, so what’s this nonsense? But he’s speaking to the challenge of our time, even if he demonstrably didn’t care about the challenge in his time.

    Not sure how getting rid of Trump will fix income inequity. But I like the lie, that a vote for a Biden is a vote for what Sanders has fought for his entire life.

      1. epynonymous

        500 billion in treasury buyouts. 200 billion in MBS buyouts.

        8.6 billion to prevent the global virus disaster, and that haltingly and half-heartedly.

        Some day!

  120. ChiGal in Carolina

    weak close for Bernie, too doctrinaire and not enough of the nitty gritty in this moment

    oh well

  121. Lambert Strether Post author

    Well, I think Sanders held his own, but he needed to do better.

    The bright side for Sanders is that he absolutely nailed Biden on Social Security, which may cut into Biden’s base.

    The bright side for Biden is that he sounded, if not Presidential, at least like the simulacrum of a President. Trying to think if the Establishment had a better champion, and probably not.

    Gotta move from “Sleepy Joe” to “Slippery Joe,” I think.

    Adding, the Mushy Centrists were wrong. No sign of that.

    1. Jason Boxman

      But didn’t Sanders mostly press him on his votes (“Is it true that…?”, and Biden simply said “no that’s not true”. So it comes down to whether people believe Biden or not on this. And he came off tonight as having a strong command of our current reality, and that he has the experience and competence to save us.

  122. roadrider

    Not happy about this but my feeling is that while Bernie landed some punches Biden did enough to preserve his position. Of course, most of what he said was BS and lies but most voters won’t know or care about the difference. Biden is running on nostalgia for Obama and Bernie seems unwilling to go after Obama as much as he needs to to make his case.

    I’d also say that Biden seemed better prepared than Bernie. I read that Bernie disdains practicing for these debates. I think that was a strategic error in this case as he missed many opportunities to effectively respond to Biden’s lies and BS.

  123. Librarian Guy

    I’m reminded why I never watch CNN & MSM pundits. The follow-up is David Axelrod explaining that Bernie was surrendering tonight and asking for scraps, which Biden somehow “missed”.

    And vicious Gloria Borger says Biden had a wooonderful record, nothing to be defensive about. Righto, for the millionaire class she is in.

    1. Jason Boxman

      These people make more money than most people can ever imagine. They’re talking their book.

  124. cripes

    They’re counting on the viewers not knowing anything about what Joe Biden has done throughout his disgusting “career” and they’re probably right.
    Bernie tried but didn’t really succeed in unmasking this doped up, vapid, empty neoliberal fraud.
    Didn’t go for the kill shot.
    Trump will. It’s the only thing he’s good at.

    But they both said they’d like a female vice president. So that’s good enough for me.

    1. Bill Carson

      Republicans don’t care what Trump has done/is doing, so maybe Democrats won’t care what Biden has done or the positions he has held over they years.

  125. Randy Middleclass

    If Biden makes it to the general, Trump can use that social security video endlessly.

    1. Librarian Guy

      No doubt he will!!

      And when Trump hands Sleepy Joe his victory he’ll start his 2nd term the way Dubya did, with a tour to his base to recommend slashing or privatizing Social Security– & possibly pull it off with ConservaDem support.

      It’ll be another decade of Neoliberal beatings for the masses– but evidently our morale is good enough to allow that! (or the morale of those who “vote”, anyhow)

  126. Tim

    That’s all folks! Primary’s over.

    We hope you’ve enjoyed the festivities, and enjoy the remaining formalities.

    1. tongorad

      I was very optimistic given Sanders speeches this week and his Fireside chat.
      Where was that Sanders tonight?
      Sander’s response to the initial question was not up to his previous statements earlier this week, which were more specific (calling up retired Doctors and nurses for example) and Presidential.

      It was a strategic mistake for Sanders to revert to his broader political argument for Medicare For All during the first question about Corona virus. Biden appeared to have a more detailed and specific response (all lies and BS).

      Someone in Sanders camp should have told him to keep him mouth closed when Biden was speaking. Sanders looked terrible in the split screen with his mouth open.

      I don’t know what Pharmaceutical cocktail Biden was on, but the effect was borderline miraculous.

      1. John

        They finally got the mixture right.

        Sanders didn’t handle the question well.

        And to be honest, Biden does a speech trick.
        Very rat a tat tat forceful, a certain tone, that makes you feel like he is taking charge and makes it feel like he is a leader.

        Ugh, so depressing. We are doomed. Biden or Trump. It’s over for my lifetime of anything getting better for the people.

  127. Fern

    It says something truly scary about Biden that he went on a neoconservative, war-mongering, red-baiting rant against Bernie. It was strategically stupid. Given his position in the race right now, he needs to appeal to Bernie’s voters, or at least get their acquiescence, yet he went out of his way to infuriate many of them with his extremist, war-mongering attack on Bernie. Bizarrely, he even claimed that China had “only marginally” improved the economic lot of the Chinese people.

    He must really believe that stuff. I shudder.

    1. Aumua

      Well at least if we get Trump again, then they can squarely put the blame on you-know-who. It’s almost like the PTB they hold all the cards or something.

  128. Jason Boxman

    Great news! The liquor store doesn’t close until 11.

    God speed, everyone.

    And stay safe out there.

  129. Lambert Strether Post author

    WaPo’s flash headline via mail: “Biden-Sanders debate focuses on coronavirus and becomes argument over their records”

    As it should! I think the Establishment does need to come up with better framing than that, but it’s interesting that’s their first take.

    1. flora

      When Sanders pushed Biden hard on both his SS record and on Biden’s false statement that Sanders had Superpacs (he doesn’t have superpacs), Biden seemed to crumple up for a second or two. Either Sanders didn’t recognize the opening to push Biden even harder or decided to draw back, having made the point, imo. Wish Sanders had pushed harder.

      Trump doesn’t draw back when he gets an opponent on the ropes.

  130. katiebird

    Any chance more primaries will be cancelled this week. Or next? Long lines can’t be a good idea, can they?

      1. Randy Middleclass

        I think it was quite telling when asked why Bernie voters should vote for him, Biden provided absolutely zero reason to cast a vote for Biden.

        1. Late Introvert

          This will be the first presidential election since I was eligible during the Reagan/Mondale campaign in ’84 that I won’t pull the lever for the Dem’rats. I have a burned in memory of being at a bar with college friends and being super bummed that night. That feeling hasn’t really gone away, even though I kept voting DemocRAT every time, including for Hellary.

          Not this year, and probably never again. Family Blog Joe Biden.

        2. Matthew

          His minders probably drilled it into him not to say “go vote for the other guy.” Maybe they couldn’t think of anything either?

    1. albrt

      Me too. I’m sad Sanders blew it, but I’m not voting for any of the Bushbama gang of banker whores and war criminals, not ever.

    2. pretzelattack

      i’m not sure i’m ever gonna vote for a democrat again right now. green or hopefully a new party.

  131. Lambert Strether Post author

    If Sanders had stalked Biden on every exchange the way he stalked him on Social Security, he would have won going away. I don’t know why that didn’t happen: The staff and/or the candidate, I suppose.

  132. Librarian Guy

    I bet the Kos-sacks are elated that their guy has clinched it.

    He’ll be mincemeat in the general, but just as “Conservatism can never fail it can only be failed”, the same goes for Clintonism, straight (Hillary ’16) or watered down, Biden ’20

    1. John

      Yes, they are were unhappy about the Social Security attacks on Biden by Sanders.

      A brave soul or two over there were posting the Biden videos.

      The mob was angry about it and saying they weren’t true.

      Just like the Trump crazies who refuse to admit when something is true if it’s against Trump.

    2. Aumua

      The disruption from the pandemic could shift the tides in Biden’s favor, as much as I would dearly love to see Trump take him apart after Sanders failed to do it.

  133. KLG

    Trump now has a manual to attack Joe Biden in the general election:
    Yesterday’s Man: The Case Against Joe Biden by Branko Marcetic.
    He will use it. Well actually his reelection staff will use it, and use it well.

  134. Lambert Strether Post author

    It’s also interesting that Biden seems to regard his election victories as personal triumphs; he’s quite proud of them. They are not. They are solely the result of unanimous Establishment backing, and Establishment Democrat voters waiting for their cue.

    1. Donna

      I am moving on to the Greens. They may be a flawed third party but at least they have the infrastructure in place to get on the ballot in most states. If all Bernie’s backers migrated over to the Greens it would be a beautiful thing. Wine was my drink of choice tonight. I stocked up on it thanks to the heads up on self isolation recommended early on at NC.

      1. Massinissa

        As someone who votes Green at the top of the ticket every election, I like the Greens, but I really wish they would win more local elections somewhere, anywhere. Just having presidential candidates doesn’t cut it IMO. They won’t matter until they start having a ground game in at least one state. The Libertarians have been marginally more successful on that front.

      2. John Anthony La Pietra

        Welcome and thank you, Donna. Thanks also to both chuck roast and Massinissa — and for those who sympathize with Massinissa’s wish for more Green presence among elected officials on the state and local levels . . . so do I.

        It’s not for lack of trying . . . I think we’re still more often in the first-they-ignore-you and then-they-laugh-at-you phases of progress. But there are Greens who’ve overcome that.
        Here’s one list. And here’s another.

        Even a party that values decentralization needs to spend some centralized effort getting and/or staying on the ballot. But the more people who are willing to help bring Green values forward, the more energy there can be devoted to doing just that.

        Go WE go!

      3. Carey

        Who’ll be counting the votes? (voted Green in ’16, and doubt my vote was counted for Stein/Baraka).

        Emma Goldman 2024

    2. Aumua

      Yep and Bernie can’t really come back with how the deck has been stacked against him the entire way without sounding like he’s whining. There are a LOT of people who do realize that though.

  135. Temporarily Sane

    Sanders to Biden: “I know your heart is in the right place.”

    I’m not a masochist, I can’t watch this.

    When Bernie first announced he was running again in 2020 I told my jubilant hardcore Bernie supporting friends and family members that he would likely pull a 2016 and flake out again. I was called a cynic etc. and in the interest of social harmony I suspended my disbelief and gave him the benefit of the doubt.

    I cringed every time he failed to call out his opponents or adequately defend his policies but I played along. After Iowa when his numbers were going up and it seemed like he might actually be building enough momentum for a decisive victory, I was genuinely hopeful.

    But now I am done with Bernie (again). I honestly do not understand the logic behind his lame and weak strategies. What the hell are his advisors smoking?

    (Jimmy Dore is doing a great job giving a voice to the people who are stunned speechless by Bernie’s weaksauce debate performances and his idiotic habit of stumping for his rival…check him out on YouTube.)

    1. John

      The MSM turned up the hard core propaganda against Sanders and derailed his momentum.

      And now are in the tank for Biden and are pushing him hard.

      He didn’t really have a chance when most people don’t read the news they just get a few minutes a day from the propaganda media.

      1. chuck roast

        Sorry, I agree with Temp Sane. Bernard faced a guy tonight one-on-one who can fill a small volume with his political blunders. Bernie should have punched him silly. The corporate media didn’t get in the way tonight. Let’s face it shall we…Bernard is a weak-ass candidate and there is no fight in him. He can demonstrate indurance 15, 20, 50 rounds. So what! He has no clue about how to put an opponent, even the weakest of opponents, away.

        Somebody else said it best…right message, wrong messenger.

        1. Aumua

          Well yeah man, he’s not vicious, he’s a hippy. It’s amazing he got as far as he did, considering how principled he is. His temperament is not really weakness you know, but… it is ill-suited for the current political climate.

          1. pretzelattack

            in this context it’s a weakness. if it were a war situation i could see bernie as a heroic medic, willing to put his life on the line, but unwilling to shoot anybody. here it’s complicated by the fact the people he needs to “shoot” are his supposed allies.

          2. Aumua

            Politics is vicious and cut throat, now more than ever. Psychopaths make good politicians these days. We need to look beyond the political system. Beyond a savior rising up in that system.

    2. Matthew

      Joe’s heart belongs to Satan, that has been obvious for decades. He’s a loathsome person whose every accomplishment has made American life worse. At some point I think endorsing Biden’s character starts reflecting poorly on Bernie.

  136. John

    The one thing that is going to help Biden is the virus.

    He won’t have to hold rallies where it would apparent he can’t command any enthusiasm.

    Just like Clinton couldn’t.

    1. dcrane

      This. The virus could give the Dems the presidency that they manifestly do not deserve after three years of deflection of blame, #Resistance, #TrumpRussia, new cold war fear, and a partisan impeachment. Before covid-19, they were headed to likely defeat. Now, if Trump is perceived to have botched it badly enough, a fossil like Biden may beat him in November.

      But it won’t be with my vote.

  137. doug s.

    I’m voting 3rd Party, just like I did in ’96, ’12 & ’16, BECAUSE MY VOTE IS TOO IMPORTANT TO WASTE.

    1. Carey

      >I’m voting 3rd Party, just like I did in ’96, ’12 & ’16, BECAUSE MY VOTE IS TOO IMPORTANT TO WASTE.

      Joking with that all-caps part, right?

  138. Nax

    I thought that it was an unimpressive debate. Both candidate had some ‘senior moments’, Biden more than Sanders, but Biden needed to unequivocally fail in order to lose and he didn’t. Sanders struggled to get off his talking points which are great for keeping him on message but do get tedious.

    My impression was that Biden was telling a lot of lies and bullshitting but Bernie mostly didn’t call him on it, and when he did it was he said/he said, so it didn’t matter.

    In the after debate ‘analysis’ no-one seems to be even attempting to fact check.

      1. John

        The MSM has already decided “lunch bucket” Joe is telling the truth. No need to check.

        Anderson Cooper seems really freaked out all the restaurants in NYC will be closed.

  139. tongorad

    Sanders appeared frustrated and flabbergasted by Biden’s outright lies.
    Surely Sanders team must have anticipated Biden’s BS?

  140. skookum red

    Biden is now on record professing very progressive stands on a number of important issues. Bernie apparently has shifted the Overton window quite a bit. I am wondering how this dynamic is leveraged by Bernie, AOC and the rest going forward…how, now, to hold Biden accountable for what he is on record saying he would do if elected…

    1. John

      What does it really matter what the Overton window has “shifted to”?

      Obama was to be a liberal, progressive, populist for change and we all know how that turned out.

        1. pretzelattack

          we have no leverage on the democrats after we vote for them. it will be obama all over again.

          1. Aumua

            We have as much leverage as the dual power we build from the ground up. It was never any different.

            1. pretzelattack

              i’ve already decided not to vote dem, as i’ve stated, because we have no leverage or influence over the dnc. right now i feel it’s unlikely i will ever vote for a democrat again, because the dnc has even more of a grip on the process than i feared. i’m still amazed that such an otherwise incompetent party could orchestrate super tuesday so effectively.

    2. pretzelattack

      we cant hold him accountable if we vote for him. we couldn’t hold obama accountable, and we won’t be able to hold biden (or whoever the dnc replaces him with once the drugs wear off) accountable. jimmy dore had a good youtube video on this.

  141. juliania

    Very special thanks to Arizona Slim for providing the link to the Youtube discussion and audio! Apologies that I did not contribute till now here, but I will read comments as well. I thought Bernie did well, and while Biden was somewhat coherent, I do think his record speaks for itself, and I would not be able to vote for him. It was, I’m guessing, a better exposition of the candidates than any previous debate (I haven’t watched previous ones.) And it is a pity this wasn’t screened on PBS or even one of the main channels that isn’t cable. Thanks to all here also. The times really make this have an urgency -everyone stay safe!

  142. 3.14e-9

    Thank goddess I had the good sense not to drink during the debate. Have been in a deep depression since last week, and drinking would have made it worse. There was a thin thread of hope that Biden would lose it in tonight’s debate, but it’s clear that he did learn something from eight years as VP about how Washington works: When all else fails, lie through your teeth. Plus, never let a crisis go to waste.

    It doesn’t matter which party wins in November. Vae victus.

  143. jaaaaayceeeee

    I watched the debate (I’ve been for Bernie forever) and was disappointed by how courteous Bernie was as Biden lied about his past, current, and future policy positions (with lots of help from the moderators who would switch topics to prevent pushback and interrupted Bernie a bzillion percent more).

    I was also impressed by how easily and coherently Biden lies, how prepared he was with misrepresentations of Bernie, and Biden’s bogus attacks. The only senility I saw might have been that Biden’s brazen lying is more disinhibited than ever.

    I thought Bernie gave his new, ‘it’s time to ask yourself where power resides” and his “it’s time to ask how we got to here” approach a good try, but most voters are never ever going to hear the 2 things against Biden:

    1. How much and how easily Biden lies.
    2. How completely incoherent, and impossible, are Biden’s claims of what he would do as president.

    I loved Bernie talking about how leadership IS about where you have stood in the past.

    But I think that our ridiculously consolidated, corporate media is doing everything right to misinform voters effectively. We’re still going to go down, even if we are still saying “Bernie wuz right”.

  144. tongorad

    Very disappointed that Bernie did respond to Biden’s “how are you going to pay for it?”

  145. Anarcissie

    Under the Old Dispensation, if Sanders ‘destroyed’ Biden, then he could not win the general election; it would not be forgiven. Sanders is rational and wants to win the election, so he had to go easy on Biden on the slim chance things will turn in his favor.

    I am not sure what Biden and the Democratic Party establishment are doing. They can’t win the election without the Sanders-Proggie element, but they have made no offer to bring the them on board. Either they want to lose the election, or they are strategically incompetent, or both.

    However, that’s the Old Dispensation. We are entering a new world, when things will be Different, and the strategic considerations above may be totally irrelevant by November. Or maybe even by July.

    1. trya

      The Democrat Party does not care whether or not they win the election. Their main goal was to stop Sanders. In the next step you will also see they are very lazy — they will assume that the coronavirus will ensure their victory and they will run a lazy campaign where the only difference relative to the HRC campaign is more campaign spending for consultants and ads in the rust belt. My private hope was for Biden to have a public moment like when HRC collapsed, but with the coronavirus they now have an excuse to hide Biden even more from voters.

      1. Acacia

        Agree on this, except for the last point. November is months away and we could yet still be treated to news images of a comatose Biden on a respirator at Walter Reed.

  146. chuck roast

    Well, thank you very much Lambert for moderating this shit-show. If there is another “debate” I will forgive you entirely if ignore it and tune into the free Italian porn.

    How do I get that anyway?

  147. Youngblood

    Like everyone else, I would be happier if Sanders had bloodied Biden up more. But I think Sanders had to thread a needle in his temperament in this debate: the mass media is looking for anything they can grab to make Sanders look petty and/or desperate. Sanders had to hit Biden without creating any video moments that could be replayed out of context, and/or exaggerated by liberal talking heads and the papers.

    Sanders came back repeatedly to Joe’s record and got him to lie about it on camera, sometimes repeatedly. That’s perfect grist for TV attack ads, where Sanders’ campaign will show the lie moment and the historical record side by side. Joe has walked right into that. And TV ads are the way to reach the voters that Sanders needs to pull away from Biden – those people were never going to show up at Sanders’ rallies.

    By punching Joe, at least harder than Sanders ever punched Hillary, and the recent addition of Jesse Jackson in his campaign, Sanders has shown that he’s not folding this primary. I just donated, again, to his campaign, to help pay for those attack ads ahead of the next primaries.

    It doesn’t look great for Sanders to win, but he has to keep playing to win, and that includes managing that balance of hitting your opponent on the issues and in a way where your conduct is unimpeachable, even by a lying cheating DNC and their mass media accomplices. Anyone who believes in his cause should accept the realities of the tilted playing field and stay with him all the way to the end.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      “…Sanders had to thread a needle in his temperament in this debate: the mass media is looking for anything they can grab to make Sanders look petty and/or desperate.”

      Or “Angry”…both my parents have a big problem with Bernie being “Angry all the time”…as if “everything’s fine”….even with their eldest son’s life experience, as well as my wife’s, quivering on the table before them.
      when i counter with that…my dad get’s quiet…and my mom gets psychotic(because she knows in her heart that i’m right.sigh)
      that’s why the Red Faced Bernie is so effective with the TV News Only Crowd….political anger is not acceptable….since “we took care of all the problems in the late 60’s…so enjoy!…and quityerbitchin!”

      The Red Faced thing is a masterstroke, btw.
      so subtle, and with ample plausible deniability.
      Color me impressed.

      I’ll be voting Green in November, if they’re on the Texas Ballot.
      I guess Libertarian if they’re not.

  148. Bill Carson

    Hey guys, if there’s any good news . . . er, I mean tragic news . . . tonight, it is that Biden may have the coronavirus. That, or he’s taken up smoking again.

    Secrest out!

  149. Andrew Thomas

    I couldn’t handle any more than the first half hour, so I depended upon you good people for the remainder. And you were great. Between all of your comments, it was like reading a transcript of the late Jack Buck announcing a Cardinals baseball game. I still think that Biden was so overeager to answer the first few questions that it appeared he was informed in advance, beyond what Bernie himself told him publicly about his own strategy, about which I cannot add anything to what has already been said. But, as I have been mulling this whole ghastly month over, I have one possible insight. After the corporatization of the entire mass media, everyone who wouldn’t be regarded as obsessive compulsive by the large majority of our compatriots (and I think we all qualify) is by definition a low information voter. And that crosses all lines of class, race and gender. Joe Biden is extremely popular among African-American voters, who any Democrat has to have the vote of-big time- to win the presidency. What is the one thing that everybody knows about Joe Biden? He was willing to be second banana to a black man, and seemed to be very happy to do it. Given the horrible racial history in this country, that was enormously meaningful to black voters, and the older they are, the more meaningful it is. Even if it were in his nature to attack Biden, or anyone, doing so would have been self-destructive to any hope of winning in November. He was in a total no-win situation. The only reason for not giving up (IMHO)was his commitment to his workers, who are some of the best people I have had contact with.
    Not that I would vote for him under any circumstances, either. But kudos to whoever put together the drug cocktail that held him together for two hours. I just wish a Hunter Thompson we’re still with us to speculate as to what might have been in it.

  150. John k

    I’m back to what I thought in 2016…
    If biden wins in 2020 there will be no room for a progressive in 2024. If trump wins a progressive could have a chance next time. My state is a done deal, but I will not vote for either party’s nominee.
    Plus, AOC just might continue rising. She will be old enough, maybe by then the country will be ready for somebody younger, smart, female, and progressive that can take advantage of what Bernie began.
    More than youth, she has energy and, hopefully though less clearly, the killer instincts Bernie so obviously lacks… certainly she is not steeped in senate courtesies.

    1. trya

      AOC is another Obama. I believe she will not do anything that causes meaningful change or reform.

      I believe more and more that there will be no meaningful change or reform in this country until we have an existential crisis that threatens not just the continuity of the country but the continuity of humanity itself.

      If this is true, all we can do is behave locally and treat each other the best we can.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        sadly, that’s where i’ve been for at least 20 years.
        it’s gonna take a Collapse, with a lot of death…importantly, in the Comfortable Class(Lower Classes can be ignored, as usual)…for the Machine to be dislodged.
        It’s made certain that the 60’s can never happen again…educated cohort of energetic younguns who have a solid material basis for getting by…so they have the time end energy and inclination…and knowledge…to get out and shake things up.
        the Music and Radio(mass distribution) has been swallowed up, as well…no more Bob Dylans to agitate with wide appeal.

      2. anon

        Really? You think AOC is another Obama? I give AOC a bit more credit than that. She’s definitely more of a leftist than a neoliberal. That may change as she gets older and if she sells out her values to fit in with the Democratic Party, but that is yet to be seen.

  151. cripes

    I’m not sure why Ocasio-Cortez would say Biden “won fair and square” and there was no voter fraud, when exit polls discrepancies of 16% and twenty years of proven computer vote rigging AND voter suppression were in abundant evidence the entire primary season.

    Maybe she’s naive and too young to remember Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004, but how does she miss the 2000 polling places eliminated in California or 700 closed in Texas while voters were still on line LAST WEEK?

    Maybe she’s playing eleventy-dimensional politics to position herself for the Big Run in 2024, when she turns 35 in October of that year. /sarc

    Maybe she’s a fair-weather friend and saw which way the wind was blowing.

    Maybe she wants to make nice with Nancy.

    She could have said nothing at all. But she chose to pander dishonestly to the DNC party line, or displayed her ignorance for all to see. Especially the millions of voters who know better.

    Whatever it is, it’s not good.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I still remember when the election was stolen in Mexico, some years ago now. There were mass protests, but eventually they ceased. Nothing changed.

      Maybe she’s just being realistic about the outcome of any protestation on her part.

    2. a different chris

      You can’t believe the voting when it goes your way and the exit polls when it doesn’t.

      That just gets everybody nowhere. I wouldn’t talk to an exit poller to save my life. And I know why – not that I’m anti-social, but like pretty much everybody on here the choices I have makes me sick. But that’s not true of Bernie or Trump supporters. So they push their way forward. They’re excited. They wanna talk.

      In Trump’s case, against a field got morans he got early attention and leveraged it. Sanders just isn’t as good at self-promotion and the Dems were more ready for the challenge.

      So I’m left with believing the votes, not the polls.

      1. cripes

        a different chris-

        Yeah well, the Carter Center’s election monitors disagree with you. Several decades of exit polling around the world says so too.

        And none of that refutes the vote rigging and vote suppression or voter caging-when they strike millions of voters from roll because of their last name, and similar ruses.

        Why on earth would you think/say that you’re left with believing the votes? Do you sleep better at night when you believe?

        1. Watt4Bob

          I agree with you 100%!

          But considering all the effort put out over the last few years to discredit exit polling, I can understand a lot of folks have been convinced.

          They needed to discredit exit polling to allow them to hack the electronic systems with impunity.

    3. judy2shoes

      AOC also abandoned Bernie’s campaign when he needed her the most, ostensibly over Joe Rogan’s endorsement. And she said that Biden has run a fine campaign(!!), and she has been talking up the “unity” garbage. It seems to me like she’s signaling her shift of support to Biden. “Fair-weather” friend indeed. I’ve taken myself off her mailing list. I don’t trust her as far as I can throw her.

  152. Donna

    Biden is a “lyin’ dog-faced pony soldier.” He has lied repeatedly in the town hall answers that I have seen streamed. Can’t believe I didn’t see the same behavior coming on the debate stage. I guess Bernie didn’t see it coming either.

  153. Felix_47

    Biden looked a lot like a Mercedes or time share salesman somewhere between Palm Springs and Scottsdale. The blue suit with the latest cut, and the plastic surgery and the plastic teeth and the hair plugs. Sanders could give the concept of a third party a huge lift if he ran with the Greens. He has the money and he would have a decent chance of winning in a three way race. He would get my vote.

Comments are closed.