Open Thread: The Democrat debate or love festival

Since the festivities will be kicking off shortly after this posts, we’re going to forgo Quotes of the Day tonight and just leave this open, particularly for any of you who simply can’t find anything better to do on Saturday night than watch the three remaining Democrat contenders field questions from people at CBS News and a couple of local journalists. The details of where and how to watch the debate, either on TV or the web or your phone, may be found here. Only Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley will be attending. (No word at press time as to how Vermin Supreme felt about this.)

Originally, the plan for CBS was to primarily hit the subjects near and dear to the hearts of the SJW, especially wages and income inequality. (That, according to John Dickerson.) That’s what the candidates were preparing for and it’s at the heart of what most of them want to talk about to impress their base. They no doubt had many clever quips prepared about how the minimum wage should be a billion dollars a year and how Republicans want to lock everyone onto benches in some deep sea Viking ship and make them row venture capitalists around the Bahamas. Sadly, with the attacks in Paris last night, the agenda is rumored to have changed and the Democrats will have to venture into the dicey territory of what they plan to do about ISIS. (NY Times)

In the hours after the deadly attacks in Paris, CBS News significantly reworked its plans for the Democratic presidential debate it is hosting here on Saturday night to focus more on issues of terrorism, national security and foreign relations.

Steve Capus, the executive editor of CBS News and the executive producer of “CBS Evening News,” said in an interview late Friday that he was in the middle of a rehearsal for the debate when news broke about the slaughter in Paris.

The CBS News team immediately shifted gears and reformulated questions to make them more directly related to the attacks. Mr. Capus said it was important for the debate to go on because the world looks to the American president for leadership during international crises.

These three Democrats are great at talking about mass shootings and violence so long as the shooters are either American police officers or racist lunatics. They know just how to answer those questions in a way to most strongly impress their base. Go after the cops in the former case or the NRA in the latter. It comes as easy as a fish takes to water. But what will they say when the death and mayhem is being ladled out on a truly massive scale and the perpetrators are the villains of ISIS who Obama has been so completely ineffective in defeating? Can they afford to look hawkish? Will they endorse boots on the ground or will they suggest a continued policy of leading from behind and leaving their European allies hanging out to dry?

And what of Hillary Clinton herself? Will Dickerson or any of the others dare bring up her plan to import tens of thousands of Syrian “refugees” to the United States after France was just taken down, in part, by those sneaking in over Europe’s open borders? Will any of the three be pressed about the Europe’s refugee crisis and asked to comment on how that might play out here? What, in short, do they plan to do about the JV team?

Personally, I’ll be more interested in the meta-game. How “hard” will these dedicated servants of the Fourth Estate be going after the candidates to expose the weak links in their armor and reveal their flaws to the voters who must decide between them? I’m finding it difficult to imagine any of the three being asked if they’re running a cartoon super-villain campaign. I also can’t picture one of them being grilled about what their many social justice programs are going to cost in the same fashion that Republicans are asked about how much border security will run up the deficit. (The media only seems to be interested in the budget when they’re talking to conservatives about programs Democrats don’t like.)

Tune in, pour yourself a stiff drink and throw some popcorn at the screen here. I’ll try to sit through as much as I can take.

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