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Debate (Fight) Night... Bloomberg Gets Frisked

On this episode of democracy-ish, Touré and Danielle discuss the Democratic field post-New Hampshire and what, if anything, it tells us about the race overall.

  • With Biden’s poll numbers tanking, Mike Bloomberg gathers steam. Unlike Trump, he’s an actual billionaire. But will “stop and frisk” sink his candidacy?

  • Bernie’s the front-runner despite the fear among many on the left that he’s too socialist. What does that really mean, and does it matter?

On Wednesday night in Las Vegas, everybody was kung-fu fighting. Befitting its venue, the Democratic debate was an actual brawl.

Finally! Some real action.

With just six candidates remaining on stage prior to the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, everyone’s gloves came off. Hardly five minutes had elapsed before Elizabeth Warren threw the first punch. She might as well have lit the $300 million-plus Bloomberg spent so far on fire and roasted him alive over the embers.

Warren warned us against the danger of a billionaire who refers to women as “fat broads and horse-faced lesbians” –– which seemed like a dig on Trump until she revealed it was a quip from Bloomberg.

“I screamed,” says Danielle. “I lost it.”

Gauntlet thrown, the rest of the candidates piled on Bloomberg –– and each other. But Warren wasn’t done with the new kid on the soapbox.

In a pointed critique of Bloomberg’s liberal use of NDAs among female employees, she put him on the spot and insisted he release them from their legal obligation to stay quiet about lord knows what.

In the words of Sarah Silverman, who live-tweeted the event: “Holy shit this show is going to get picked up.”

Who emerged victorious? Well, if you’re a democracy-ish listener, you know that’s a matter of (strong) opinion. Danielle and Touré explain.

Episode Highlights — Say Goodbye to Our Little Friend

Why Bernie won, according to Touré

Front-runner Bernie Sanders turned in a classic, on-brand performance, dealing with two of the strikes against him head on.

“The heart attack –– he completely normalized it. I'm totally healthy. I'm ready to do the job,” says Touré. “And when he talked about economic empowerment being for the working man and socialism being for the rich, he completely turned it into a positive for himself.”

And in the other corner: Danielle and Elizabeth Warren

“My sleeves have been rolled up since I walked in the door,” says Danielle. “That motherfucker didn't win a thing.”

“Elizabeth Warren came out swinging. She has facts and plans and a desire to actually be president of the United States. She smacked everybody up and down the line. Why? Because none of their plans amount to a damn thing.”

Her favorite moment was when Warren called out the Midwest moderates for their inadequate healthcare plans. (Buttigieg’s was less a plan than a PowerPoint, while Klobuchar’s was “like a Post-It –– insert plan here.”)

“I said, bitch, you better run with it.”

Warren’s war on the media blackout

Danielle sees Warren’s MO right now as a “fight for people to recognize she's still in the race.” She observes, “The media has totally blacked [Warren] out.”

And Danielle thinks that she unambiguously won the debate.

“Why –– because she attacked everybody?” asks Touré.

Not so. Danielle points out that Warren found ways to bring people of color “thoughtfully, strategically, into every single conversation ... There isn’t another goddamn candidate who can, or would, do that.”

Warren connected the Dems’ core points –– like climate change –– to issues like environmental justice. The other candidates would rather ignore its disproportionate impact on communities of color. She also talked about childcare, HBCUs and the racial wealth gap.