A late 2018 Gallup poll determined the most popular couple in the United States. The honor goes to former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. The former president has a 95% approval rating among Democrats. By every measure, Obama is the Democratic Party's most beloved and successful figure since John F. Kennedy.
If the Democratic Party were in touch with ordinary Americans, its mainstream candidates for president would honor Obama's legacy. They would promise more of what he did. That did not happen during Wednesday's 10-person debate.
Incredibly, they threw Obama under the bus. He is just too far right for this bunch.
The Obama bashing came during an immigration spat about open borders and children in border cages built by the Obama administration. And, yes, that claim is true. Ask the left-leaning fact-check site, Snopes:
"Claim: The Obama administration, not the Trump administration, built the cages that hold many immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border."
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, a long-time friend of The Gazette's editorial board, stood up to hard-left candidates who want to decriminalize illegal border crossings. Bennet said he opposes open borders, but supports a pathway to citizenship and deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA).
Soon thereafter, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio went straight after Obama. He repeatedly tried to corner Joe Biden, Obama's vice president, with the former president's immigration policies. Did Biden, de Blasio demanded, try to stop Obama from enacting millions of deportations that outnumber those under Trump's watch.
"Did you use your power to stop those deportations?" de Blasio asked. "Did you say they're a good idea or is this a mistake and we shouldn't do it?"
Biden declined to reveal what he said to Obama in private.
Few Americans, even in New York, take de Blasio seriously. If it were just him, no big thing. It wasn't. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker quickly piled on at Obama's expense.
"Mr. vice president, you can't have it both ways. You invoke Obama more than anyone in this campaign," Booker said to Biden.
Other Democrats stayed quiet, leaving Obama as a target of derision second only to Trump. It highlights for all Americans the radical nature of the majority of primary candidates. It tells them this is not the party of Obama.
The debate consisted of Bennet; New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, of Texas; Booker; Biden; Harris; New York entrepreneur Andrew Yang; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; Washington Gov. Jay Inslee; and de Blasio.
The schism between mainstream Democrats and the radical left emerged first during Wednesday's health care segment, when Biden and Bennet challenged the viability of a health care giveaway proposed by Harris.
"It doesn't make sense to take insurance from people in this room and raise taxes on" the middle class, Bennet said.
Harris told Bennet her plan takes no individual's insurance. It merely separates health care from the employer, she explained, liberating Americans from jobs they don't like.
Bennet and Biden continued reminding Harris her plan would cost $30 trillion to implement, imposing a substantial tax increase on the middle class.
Other far-left platforms included Yang's pandering promise to give each American $1,000 a month for life if they make him president. Candidates promised to eliminate fossil fuels immediately to stop global warming. Even Biden promised to eliminate fossil fuels by phasing them out during his presidency.
Inslee balked at Biden's pledge, declaring we have no time to phase them out. Visualize life without fossil fuels immediately after the 2020 election. No one could charge electric cars.
Post-debate polls may show a bump for Bennet, who hadn't topped 1% in the polls before the debate. He had a breakout moment, leading to robust applause, when he spoke about education — a neglected topic Americans care about.
"This is the fourth debate and the second time that we have been debating 50 years ago with busing when our schools are as segregated today as they were 50 years ago," said Bennet, the former superintendent of Denver public schools. "We need a conversation about what's happening now. And when there's a group of kids in this country that doesn't get preschool through no fault of their own and another group does, equal is not equal.
"And we've got a group of K-12 schools that are good because families can spend a million bucks. And you've got the Detroit public schools that are as segregated as they were, equal is not equal.
"And let me tell you something else ... I believe you can draw a straight line from slavery through Jim Crow through the banking to the redlining to the mass incarceration we were talking about on this stage a few minutes ago. But you know what other line I can draw? Eighty-eight percent of the people in our prisons dropped out of high school. Let's fix our school system and maybe we can fix the prison pipeline that we have."
Bennet distinguished himself throughout the debate as a voice of reason and reality in a bastion of socialists gone rad.
It is hard to imagine the Democratic Party moving so far left of Obama, former President Bill Clinton and FDR. It is harder to imagine average Americans electing any of the party's leading, socialistic candidates. They are too extreme and doctrinaire.
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