The first debate among Democratic presidential candidates will be held tonight. A few things to look out for and consider:
- It’s highly doubtful that there will be any – as in not one – personal attack. I’ve not seen any of these candidates really strike out in that way. Three of them have nothing to lose, so you never know, but Bernie Sanders in particular just isn’t “wired” that way. The most I could see him doing is making a comment about how Clinton didn’t speak out against TPP when it mattered (which would have been a few months ago during Fast Track negotiations) or how she’s only just now got a plan for college students, and he had one quite a while ago, but I sincerely doubt it would go beyond that;
You can bet the farm that gun control will come up, but it’s not for the reason you think. When it comes to liberal (or progressive) “street cred” the only thing that Bernie Sanders doesn’t line up on is the issue of gun control. Why? Because Vermont, his home state, is a “hunting state,” which opposes gun control. Bernie is reflecting the wishes of his electorate, whether liberals like it or not. I, personally, do not, but I understand and I must say that although I don’t agree with him on this, I respect the fact that he stands up for what his constituents want.
Two other points related to the gun issue: first of all, the other candidates tonight might attack Sander’s position on gun control because that’s a) the standard liberal litmus test, and b) that’s all they’ve got, however, they won’t have a gun control plan with “teeth.” It’s easy to shoot spitballs from the sidelines when you know that you’re not going to be able to “put up” the goods at any point in time. Secondly, I’m glad Sanders isn’t pushing for gun control. That sounds weird, right? Here’s the thing…he’s already fighting the biggest uphill battle ever being a Democratic Socialist who is battling corporations, the fossil fuel industry and extremely well-funded special interests. When you have this dastardly duo breathing down your neck