If the disappointment of everyone expecting fireworks at the first Democratic debate exhibited itself as perspiration, we could declare the California drought over. A few soggy matches might have been lit but that was it. Heavy on the smoke: non-existent on the flame.
This initial gathering of liberal presidential wannabees did highlight the differing styles of the two parties. Both may be big on giving away government money, but Democrats prefer ladling it out to poor people, while the Republicans want to slip it to the rich. Republicans live in Potterville and the Dems call Bedford Falls home.
Even their debating styles are as different as rocket-propelled grenades and rainbow-streamer pinwheels. During their recent spate of infernal internal face-offs, the GOP demonstrated a penchant for biting off big chunks of red meat, which they spat into each other's faces while Democrats barely summoned the energy to crack the crust of their crème brulee.
At Democratic family functions everybody sits at the kids' table. With the adults, (Bernie and Hillary) on one side and the three other guys crammed together on the other. They sat up straight and affected nonchalance, but it was clear they were confused by their forks. Overall, civility reigned, with no one pointing out Lincoln Chafee's eerie resemblance to Grandpa Munster.
Martin O'Malley, languishing in the low single digits in polls with margins of error of mid single digits, squandered his big chance to secure a passport to Legitimate Contender Ville, by putting the shill in shilly-shally. All the vision and energy of chilled molasses. Uncaptivating crowds by calling for the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall which sounds like a Vegas high roller knick-knack.
Jim Webb approached the whole thing as an audition for a Democratic John McCain tribute band, going so far as to creepily grin while recounting the killing of a Communist. Quick, get his opinion on Sarah Palin.
And no need to break out the drug tests for Lincoln Chafee. No performance-enhancing drugs to be found in his urine. And speaking of Glass-Steagall, this self-described "block of granite" might want to lay off informing people that his vote to repeal was due to the death of his dad. Doesn't make much sense and loses points for lack of wit.
Focus groups and unrepentant hippies declared Bernie Sanders the winner for his lovable irascibility and corkscrew explanation of how to be a socialist and a good capitalist at the same time. He then inexplicably encouraged them to look to Denmark.
Hillary disagreed, "We are not Denmark," which surprised a significant portion of the audience who had passed the Eiffel Tower on the way there. But the signature moment was when the Vermont Senator handed the former Secretary of State a political gift the size of Ted Cruz's ego by saying, "the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails." His graciousness was trumped only by her insincere laughter.
Although Bill's wife's command of the room and the facts made her look, dare we say, presidential, progressives feel the Bern. First a charismatic young black guy, now a charismatic old white guy. Throw in a beret wearing bimbo and Hamlet waiting in the wings and people are starting to misquote Shakespeare... "2nd Place, thy name is Hillary."
Copyright 2015, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed columnist and comedian. Go to willdurst.com for info about personal appearances, and the documentary "3 Still Standing" premiering soon at a theater near you.