The Democrat Debate – Too Few Tough Questions and Even Less Answers

I was looking forward to the Democrat debate, both to see whether the candidates would have tough questions directed at them, as well as what their answers would be. To be fair, there were some fairly good questions asked, but the follow up questions weren’t there. For instance, Secretary Clinton was asked about her email server, but in a way that let her spin her answer to claim that it was all a Republican effort to discredit her. She admitted that while it was a mistake on her part to have private server, that was nevertheless something she was allowed to do. Bernie Sanders then jumped in to support her regarding the whole affair. She could have been questioned about how many classified emails have since been found on her sever after she had claimed that nothing of a sensitive nature was ever sent. She wasn’t asked why so many new work-related emails have been recovered after she had claimed all such emails had been turned over. Those follow up questions weren’t asked.

I also hoped that some questions about the Clinton Foundation and possible conflict of interest would be asked. They weren’t. Or maybe there would be questions about the foreign policy failures such as with the Arab Spring, growth of ISIS, and the Russian Reset debacle. Instead she was allowed to claim that the Iranian nuclear deal would keep them from getting a nuclear weapon. It could have been pointed out that the same was said of North Korea deal once upon a time, but that wasn’t brought up either. She even went so far as to claim that, thanks to her polices, Libya was better off without Gaddafi even though the whole country has descended into chaos. Any policy failures in regard to Benghazi were glossed over without criticism.

Democrat CandidatesOne question that I had hoped would be brought up was how the candidates would address our nearly 19 trillion dollar debt and how all of them, especially Senator Sanders, would pay for all the wonderful programs they endorse. Apparently the debt and deficit aren’t considered problems and somehow making all those evil rich people start paying their “fair share” would make everything all right.

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There were no questions about how to deal with sanctuary cities, but we did hear about giving the undocumented more benefits and improved health care. It seems that all the problems we currently face are ultimately the fault of George W. Bush and obstructionist Republicans. The labor participation rate, which hasn’t been this low for 38 years, wasn’t brought up, nor was the decline in median worker income. No one was asked to explain how the current economic policies haven’t worked all that well, or why many more people are currently on food stamps than before the Obama administration took office.

Of course the candidates were asked about gun control. They all agreed that more background checks would somehow keep criminals from getting guns, but weren’t asked how the tough gun laws in places like Chicago haven’t succeeded all that well. This was on the same day a video of an Israeli citizen taking down a clever welding Palestinian with a handgun was released. The mayor of Jerusalem has even urged Israelis to arm themselves at all times. A timely question would have been to ask them about that.

The candidates were asked whether black lives or all lives matter, a question Secretary Clinton was allowed not to answer directly. They all seemed to agree that in spite of an election and reelection of an African-American president that racism is alive and well in America, so more must be done to improve treatment of minorities.

One thing was made clear. None of the candidates has much if any issue with the direction Obama has taken the country. Mostly they endorsed the President’s job performance and promised to do even more of the same kind of things he’s done. They wanted to “build on the successes of President Obama,” to quote Secretary Clinton.

I came away convinced that CNN wasn’t interested in trying to contrast the proposed policies of the different candidates, as they did during the second Republican debate. The questions not asked and the failure to ask critical follow up questions allowed all the candidates to advance the Democrat party talking points. We were told that climate change is not only real, but the most important problem facing us. They were able to pronounce that women and minorities aren’t being treated fairly and that even more entitlements are due the American people without having to explain how to afford them.

The debate seemed designed to advance the Democrat cause more than to reveal any problems with their proposed polices. If the debate was supposed to enlighten American voters, it failed.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Nicholas Wishek

Nicholas Wishek. Retired teacher. 40 years classroom experience. Served in California National Guard 6 years. BA in history, MA in education. Married 35 years. Two sons. Many columns published in OC Register 2009-2014.

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