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[OPINION] At the Democratic debate, much conflict but little clarity

Posted by   /  August 2, 2019  /  No Comments

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Booker to Biden: You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and don’t know the flavor

By Eugene Robinson | Washington Post Writers Group

Some of you Democratic presidential candidates need to focus on Donald Trump. Some of you others need to go home and run for the Senate.

(Editor’s note:Opinion pieces are published for discussions purposes only.)

After the second two-night Democratic candidates’ “debate,” Joe Biden remains a vulnerable front-runner. And it’s definitely time to start winnowing the field.

I put the word debate in quotes because this week’s encounter, hosted by CNN, was structured to maximize conflict and minimize clarity. In a typical exchange, one of the moderators — network stalwarts Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Don Lemon — would say something like, “Candidate X, your rival Candidate Y says you have poopy pants. How do you respond?” Candidate X would reply that Candidate Y’s mother has a moustache. Then they would go back and forth until Candidate Z chimed in with a touching story about meeting a mustachioed mother on the campaign trail who struggles with medical costs.

I’m being slightly unfair to CNN, but only slightly. I accept that there’s no way to have a truly satisfying exchange of views with so many candidates onstage. But orchestrating a series of gladiatorial battles was a poor choice.

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