Did you watch the second Democratic debate tonight? It was better than last night’s. Here are the highlights, according to Self:

  1. Kamala Harris won it going away. She was sharp, aggressive, and took chances (e.g., tearing into Joe Biden, and criticizing Barack Obama). She totally dominated the stage. It wasn’t even close. The only time she faltered was in her closing statement. Back in January, David Brooks wrote a column praising her strengths as a Democratic candidate. It was all on display tonight.
  2. Joe Biden choked. He looked old, unfocused, and unprepared. He was the night’s big loser.
  3. Bernie Sanders also seriously underperformed. He had the old Sanders fire, but it’s starting to sound ranty and stale.
  4. Pete Buttigieg did well. He’s smart and calm without being soporific. He’s probably not going to be the nominee, but if Warren or Harris wins the nomination he’s going to be their vice presidential pick.
  5. None of the other candidates on stage tonight are in the same league. Gillibrand is Tracy Flick, without the charisma. Swalwell was a dweeb. Hickenlooper and Bennet are wallpaper. Yang is a stunt candidate. And New Age authoress Marianne Williamson beamed in from the Planet Zork to slap Donald Trump across the face with her space glove:
  6. The Democrats have gone off the left-wing deep end. They all favor decriminalizing being in this country illegally, and giving government-funded health care to illegal aliens. After watching last night’s debate, as well as tonight’s, you would reasonably conclude that the Democratic field cares far more about the well being of illegal immigrants than actual Americans. It’s absolutely bizarre. And tonight, Kamala Harris ripped Joe Biden up for having opposed — wait for it — school busing, one of the most unpopular policies of the 1970s. And Biden didn’t have a good comeback, either! Watch this. He surely couldn’t have foreseen being attacked for opposing busing, for heaven’s sake, but he has apparently been thinking that his association with Barack Obama would be sufficient to protect him from left-flank attacks on race. Kamala Harris put him on notice tonight that he’s vulnerable. The interesting thing is that Biden couldn’t muster a defense — against a candidate beating him up for having opposed busing! This would have been a perfect place for Biden to claim some centrist ground … but he choked. Of course, Harris might win the Democratic nomination by running on (I can’t believe I’m saying this in 2019) the glories of school busing, but boy, try running a general election campaign on that. Similarly, on immigration, Donald Trump is going to mop the floor with these open-borders mushheads.

As far as I can tell, this is now a five-way race: Biden, Sanders, Harris, Warren, and Buttigieg. If he has another debate like Wednesday night’s, Cory Booker could boost himself. Beto O’Rourke is fading fast.

I leave you with more New Age love from the Grand Mystic Royal Priestess of the Alibaba Temple of Zork, or Marin County, can’t figure out which:

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UPDATE: Ur-#NeverTrumper David Brooks is dazed by how far left the Democrats are going. He says he could never vote for Trump, but that doesn’t meant he can bring himself to vote for a Democrat, given how far to the left they’re racing. Excerpts:

The party is moving toward all sorts of positions that drive away moderates and make it more likely the nominee will be unelectable. And it’s doing it without too much dissent.

First, there is health care. When Warren and Kamala Harris raised their hands and said that they would eliminate employer-based health insurance, they made the most important gesture of the campaign so far. Over 70 percent of Americans with insurance through their employers are satisfied with their health plan. Warren, Harris and Sanders would take that away.

According to a Hill-HarrisX survey, only 13 percent of Americans say they would prefer a health insurance system with no private plans. Warren and Sanders pin themselves, and perhaps the Democratic Party, to a 13 percent policy idea. Trump is smiling.

More:

Third, Democrats are wandering into dangerous territory on immigration. They properly trumpet the glories immigrants bring to this country. But the candidates can’t let anybody get to the left of them on this issue. So now you’ve got a lot of candidates who sound operationally open borders. Progressive parties all over the world are getting decimated because they have fallen into this pattern.

Yep. Seems to me like the big winner from these first two nights of Democratic presidential debates is … Donald Trump.

UPDATE.2: Reader Jonah R., from the “Democrats Invite The World” comments thread:

I’ve written here before about how my affluent and formerly stable suburb, a “sanctuary county” in all but name, is now dealing with overcrowded schools, strained social services programs, overburdened law enforcement, and MS-13. County politicians are apportioning millions in tax money to pay for teenage gang interdiction programs and English-as-a-second-language classes, and they keep trying to find ways to give large amounts of taxpayer money to private groups that provide gratis legal services to illegal immigrants. Our taxes are going up, and in the future my wife and I may not be able to afford to retire in the community we call home. Maybe I’ll leave anyway, if my county and state continue to see me as nothing more than a wallet.

Our county is a one-party state with zero Republicans in elected office. And yet I talk to legal Hispanic immigrants; they tell me they’re not for open borders. Neither are immigrants from Africa, India, or Asia; they’re often the ones at county meetings protesting our county’s policies, because they came here through the tedious official process. Black people, who have the highest unemployment rate in our county, aren’t for it either. Among my neighbors and in my larger community, the only people I can find who favor these policies are affluent white people, whose identity is wrapped up in wokeness, who benefit from having cheap labor nearby, and who don’t have to send their kids to the overcrowded school with the round-the-clock police presence.

My conclusion, at least locally, is that support for Democratic immigration policies would waver if the Republicans had a less ridiculous national spokesman on these issues, but they might totally crumble if a prominent Democrat stopped worrying about being tainted by having something in common with Trump and just came out and articulated a policy that was sensible and restrictive without being anti-immigrant.

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