The fact that the biggest national security news out of the debate tonight was Bernie Sanders emphasizing that he is not, in fact, against all military action, under all circumstances, at all times, tells you about all you need to know about the national security policy of the Democratic Party. These candidates are much more comfortable in discussing their dismay over the 2008 financial crisis, or the 2003 invasion of Iraq, or, in Sander’s case, their opposition to the war in Vietnam than they are in speaking frankly about the foreign policy legacy of the Obama administration.
Five old white people stood on stage Tuesday night and argued about who would be the best candidate to represent the “party of the future.” They all lost. The true winner of the contest was sitting at home in a fabulous tuxedo. No, not Mitt Romney. The winner of the first Democratic primary debate was Republican frontrunner Donald J. Trump.
Why did Hillary Clinton win tonight’s Democratic debate? The reason is simple. She’s the only candidate on stage who can win both the Democratic primary and the general election. And with today’s Democratic party, that is no small feat.
The Democratic march to the left is stunning. Having Bernie Sanders play Clinton’s chief foil may excite the left, but, as much as I hate to say it, David Brock is right: The man is unelectable. It’s not just that he’s proposing $18 trillion in new spending and trillions in new taxes. It’s his personal demeanor, which will turn off most Democrats long before it turns off swing voters in the general election. Martin O’Malley may not be as radical as Sanders, but he is certainly to Clinton’s left, and his record in Baltimore and Maryland, where he put many left wing ideas into practice, will be easily attacked by the Republicans.