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A Republican's take on the 2nd Democratic debate

Rebecca Bahret is a freelance writer and proud Facebook junkie. After eleven years in law enforcement doing everything from evidence collection to undercover narcotics, she is content in her latest (and favorite) assignment: Mommy. She i...

Bernie and Hillary and O'Malley, oh my!

Did you watch the 2nd Democratic debate held last night in Des Moines, Iowa, last night? No? I’m not surprised. I’m sure most of you had far better things to do on a Saturday night than tune in.

The night started off somber with a moment of silence for the people of Paris. From there it quickly segued into yet another snoozefest of a debate with far too much crazy for this conservative. While the entire debate gave me much to worry about, should any of these candidates become president, these are the topics that almost had me curled into a ball weeping for our possible future.

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They are still blaming Bush

It took all of nine minutes for one of the candidates (Sec. Hillary Clinton) to blame President G.W. Bush for the ISIS crisis. Look, I’m happy to admit the Gulf War situation could have been handled differently. We’ve been there for far too long, and we can’t seem to leave without instability sucking us right back in. But to blame the current situation with ISIS on the president from almost eight years ago while ignoring the current president’s unwillingness to even acknowledge the problem — just hours before the Paris ISIS attack, President Obama claimed ISIS was contained — is highly disingenuous. Sec. Clinton did allude to President Obama’s head-in-the-sand tactics when she said “ISIS cannot be contained, it must be defeated,” but with blood running in the streets of France, pardon me for needing a little more.

Global warming: America’s greatest enemy

Every so often Sen. Bernie Sanders says something I almost agree with, then follows it up with something like blaming terrorism on climate change and I immediately turn into a white girl who literally can’t even. I get the theory: People are crabby when it’s hot. But to imply that this is the reason Western civilization is being attacked by radical Muslims (or “Mooslims” as Sen. Sanders says it) is just laughable. Or it isn’t, because this guy has a real shot at becoming the leader of the free world. Listen, there is an entire sect of people who hate us because of how we live, what we believe, and what their religion has taught them. I say this through the prism of a woman whose husband spent the better part of a year living among them in the military, not a Self-Appointed Internet Expert. We are infidels, and for the truly radical sect our defeat will hasten the coming of their lord. None of that has anything to do with the weather, and we cannot have a president who refuses to accept this reality.

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Neither Hillary nor Bernie have a clue how to pay for all the free stuff they want to give away

Both Sec. Clinton and Sen. Sanders were directly asked how they would fund all of the programs they are advocating, such as free college and free healthcare. Their answers were wholly nonspecific: tax the wealthy, close the loopholes, end corporate subsidies. But when pressed on details, neither specified. Sen. Sanders got closest when he said he’d tax the top-earners somewhere between 50-90%, but even that was vague. If you want to expend government programs extensively you need to have a better grasp on how you will fund them. As the old adage goes, the problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money, and these guys haven’t seemed to figure that out yet.

More: The 4th GOP debate — through the eyes of a conservative

So. Much. Irony.

While discussing the threat of ISIS and how to address global terrorists, Sen. Clinton began to mention a list of U.S. Embassies which were attacked in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Marinade on that for a second. The woman who refused to send additional security when Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens requested it, then called the Benghazi attack a response to an anti-Muslim video — not at all terrorism related — wanted to bring up terrorist attacks on embassies. Her moxie is astounding.

Later, Gov. Martin O’Malley (yes, he was at the debate too) was asked about how to improve race relations. The former governor of Maryland, home to Baltimore, was asked how to make things better among races. Again, I can’t even. At least Sen. Sanders was willing to call him out on it: “I think it’s safe to say Baltimore’s not one of the safest cities in America.” Feel the Bern?

Overall, if I had to peg a winner I would say Sen. Sanders. Once again he hit home a few zingers towards the other candidates, he was able to articulate well his (unrealistic) policy plans, and his “with all due respect” mantra towards the end screamed of a polite eff you to Sen. Clinton and Gov. O’Malley. Sen. Clinton did as she always does and again showed why she thinks she has this race in the bag. Gov. O’Malley desperately needed a strong showing and failed, so it’s likely he will fade away before the next debate on December 19. It will be interesting to see the two main candidates go head-to-head moving into 2016. Their policies aren’t all that different, so I’ll be looking forward to hearing them out-crazy each other for Democratic votes.

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