During Wednesday night’s broadcast of The Rachel Maddow Show, host Rachel Maddow spent a lot of time talking about the previous night’s Democratic debate and how it has energized liberal and progressive voters. Specifically, she noted how it was a good night for not only the two major candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but how it was also a raging success for the Democratic Party as a whole and liberal ideals specifically. She also pointed out that the debate presented the major contrasts between the Democratic and Republican Parties in regards to maturity, knowledge of the issues and solidarity within one’s party.
At the beginning of the 15-minute segment, Maddow could barely contain her glee at how well the debate did. She presented reviews in major publications highlighting Clinton’s dominant performance, balancing those with additional articles praising Sanders for his. She even tossed a bone towards former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who was able to get noticed on the stage due to a few strong moments and great closing statement.
This segued into a discussion of the debate’s ratings. The MSNBC anchor first brought up the strong television ratings displayed during the 2008 Democratic primary, where typically 2 – 4 million people tuned in due to a strong field. That culminated in 10+ million viewers watching the last primary debate between Clinton and then-Senator Barack Obama. In contrast, this week’s debate, the first one for Democrats this season, pulled in over 15 million viewers! All this despite not having a huge field and without a clownish cartoon character leading the field.
Maddow then contrasted and compared the Dem debate with the two debates the GOP have held so far, stating that there was one specific moment that helped Democratic voters get “psyched” about their party and its candidates. Of course, the moment she focused on was when Sanders defended Clinton on the so-called scandal around her private email server, saying that people are sick of hearing about “her damn emails!”
“If you’re looking for a contrast between the two parties, here’s the Democrats getting their biggest cheers, their biggest reaction, their biggest takeaway moment that’s good for both candidates involved, and it’s on the occasion of two candidates standing together. In contrast, the Republicans have just had two debates in which what they showed off to the country was candidates literally calling people stupid and making fun of each other’s looks. So, yeah, Democrats are psyched about last night’s debate.”
And there it is. That tells the whole story. While Republicans, and especially their current frontrunner, are busy sniping at each other and trying to figure out who can look like they know the least about governing, the Dems are actually presenting real ideas and actual knowledge on a wide range of issues. Instead of embracing stupidity and coming up with their best third-grade schoolyard insults, they are focusing on how best to solve specific problems. Rather than hype up their anti-intellectualism, they spoke coherently about substantive policy positions while simultaneously exuding passion and excitement.
Below is video of Maddow’s segment, courtesy of MSNBC: