The first whammy in Miami
reviewing the 1st Democratic debate (Night 2)
June 28, 2019 – The first Democratic debate of the 2020 campaign is in the books. The second set of 10 candidates debated last night and Ballotball referees had to call 5 penalties for candidates not answering the question or changing the subject. See below for details.
night 2 candidates
California Senator Kamala Harris
Penalty for changing the subject – The Senator swiftly answered a question about how she would combat climate change. She put a great deal of blame on President Trump’s environmental policies before attacking him for his foreign policy, and collusion with Russia.
New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand
Penalty for changing the subject – When comparing economic capitalism to socialism, the Senator changed the topic to combating greed while mentioning the need to fight the NRA and pharmaceutical companies.
California Congressman Eric Swalwell
Penalty for not answering the question – When asked how he would prevent workers from losing their jobs to automation, Swalwell mentioned a number of solutions that have very little to do with the question. These solutions include paying off teacher’s student debt, solving climate change, ending gun violence, and having the older generation pass the torch of leadership to the younger generation.
Author Marianne Williamson
Penalty for changing the subject – Ms. Williamson was asked how she would lower prescription drug prices. She answered the question but then pivoted to connect this issue with “chemical policies,” food policies, and environmental policies.
Penalty for not answering the question – When asked what she would do on day one to stop the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, Williamson focused on criticism to current policies. She opposes family separation and inadequate detention facilities, but did not comment on an alternative plan.
Candidates can receive a penalty for the following infractions:
- Failing to answer a question
- Failing to stay on topic
- Candidates can receive a technical foul by comparing their opponents to the Nazis.
- Nazi comparisons are lazy. If you'd like to compare Donald Trump's ban on Muslims entering the country to a historical precedent, why not try McCarthyism, or the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, or the Jim Crow south? Instead, people always grab the low-hanging fruit of the Nazis to make their point.
- Nazi comparisons ignore the fact that there are still Nazi parties alive and well in many countries. They have not receded to the dustbin of history and currently have at least one member sitting on the European Parliament.
- This is a debate. And nothing shuts down a debate faster than a Nazi comparison. It is our strong opinion that such comparisons send all parties to the barricades and prevent anyone from actually communicating. Disagree strongly, and make your case the best you can, but leave the Nazi metaphors at home, please.