There were a lot of good politicians on the debate stage in Houston. But the night rang hollow as they clung to the old conventions — the overcoached performances, the canned lines, the pandering, the well-worn childhood anecdotes meant to project “relatability.”
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Tactics superseded passion and vision. Everyone seemed one tick off. Unlike with Barack Obama in 2008, none made you feel like you wanted to pump your fist in the air and march into the future behind them.

“Being a good politician doesn’t matter anymore,” lamented one freaked-out congressional Democrat afterward. “It’s like being a great used car salesman. We need a Holden Caulfield to call out all the phonies.”

It’s a paradox wrapped in an oxymoron about a moron: Trump’s faux-thenticity somehow makes the Democratic candidates seem more packaged, more stuck in politician-speak.