This Is What An Issue Oriented Debate Looks Like


No one was berated on national television Wednesday night as ten Democratic presidential candidates sparred on issues and policy moves as the process for the party nomination moves forward.  It was most refreshing not to have a candidate talk about the looks of another candidate or the size of his body parts.

E.J. Dionne, Jr. put into print what I thought after the first hour of the debate.

It was impossible to watch this serious exchange of views and not ponder the 2016 Republican debates and their dominance by Donald Trump and his antics. No Democrat (and we can be thankful for this) tried to stand out in the ways Trump did. Their swipes at each other, such as they were, were mostly subtle, respectful and substantive. No talk of small hands or low energy. Perhaps that reflects a collective Democratic campaign promise: No more indecency, no more recklessness — and, it is not too much to say, no more idiocy.

Just another reminder of how far this nation has fallen that we even need to compare and contrast such matters—and manners–among the political parties in this nation. Can you image Ronald Reagan in 1980 talking about his penis in a debate as Donald Trump did in 2016?