Tonight was a fucking mess, and the 2020 presidential election (or maybe just the sweet, pre-climate change apocalypse release of death??) can’t come quickly enough. But at least one candidate emerged from the sludge pool that was Tuesday night’s Democratic debate mostly sludgeless: Elizabeth Warren, who shut down a few of her spineless, centrist competitors with an uncompromising, progressive, policy-driven vision.
The Massachusetts senator was one of 10 Democratic presidential candidates to debate live from Detroit’s Fox Theatre on CNN tonight. She was joined by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; best-selling author Marianne Williamson; former Maryland congressman John Delaney; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; among others.
From the top of the debate — the first of two this week, as 10 more Democratic hopefuls will take the stage on Wednesday — Warren joined candidates like Sanders and Williamson in calling for structural change in health care, immigration, education, and many other spheres to fix what is broken about the United States.
“That is not working for Americans across this country,” she said of the for-profit insurance model that denies life-saving health care to people every day. “‘Medicare for All’ will fix that.”
The Massachusetts Senator later called for a wealth tax to fund things like education and child care. She also advocated for a full decriminalization of illegal border crossing, calling such laws dangerous “tools that Donald Trump has used to break up families.”
“[Crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in search of asylum] is not a crime,” Warren said, defending her call for decriminalization from Gov. Bullock. “As Americans, what we need to do is have a sane system that … does not criminalize a mother fleeing for her safety.”
In one of her finest moments, she shut down Gov. Delaney’s claim that a plan like “Medicare for All” would take health care away from people, accusing him of repeating “Republican talking points” and turning the debate into fodder for the right.
“We are not about trying to take health care away from anyone,” Warren said. “That’s what the Republicans are trying to do, and we should stop using Republican talking points in order to talk with each other about how to best provide that health care.”
Thoughts and prayers to Delaney’s presidential aspirations at this difficult time!!