the last debate of the decade
reviewing the 6th Democratic debate
December 20, 2019 – The last debate of the year is also the first since President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives. Will this historic event change the course of the Democratic race? Find out who was penalized below.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren
Penalty for not answering the question: When asked why more Americans don't support impeaching President Trump, Senator Warren criticized the President for corrupt practices, and Senate Republicans for failing to act as impartial jurors in the future Senate trial, but she never directly explained why Americans believe what they believe.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Penalty for not answering the question: Mayor Buttigieg committed the same penalty as Senator Warren. When asked about why impeachment wasn't more popular, he stressed the importance of rejecting cynicism and a hope for a better future.
Vice President Joe Biden
Penalty for not answering the question - Vice President Biden was asked to convince a hypothetical voter who was happy with the current state of the economy, that change was needed in the White House. Biden rejected the premise and instead declared that the economy is not in good hands and that much improvement is needed.
Penalty for not answering the question – Tom Steyer was asked if he would support a federal subsidy for people moving out of areas effected by climate change. Steyer said that addressing climate change was his number one priority and that he would declare a national emergency on the subject, but never specifically endorsed the federal subsidy.
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.