On the Republican side, now that "Jeb" is gone, we talk about "Mr. Trump" or "Sen. Cruz" or "Sen. Rubio" or "Governor Kasich." But among Democrats, it's always been "Hillary" and "Bernie."
She, on account of gender, suggests she is entitled to be president. He, a demagogic socialist, promises free everything for votes.
And there was something odd about their debate in Miami - the national anthem seemed out of place. Here was Hillary, who would continue Barack Obama's legacy of race and class warfare; yet Obama rejected American exceptionalism while he started to transform America into a third world country. And there was Bernie, a socialist who sided with our country's communist enemies during the Cold War.
Here is what I remember about last night:
The incongruity of Hillary talking about entrepreneurs and small business. Her regulations and taxes, like Obama's, would further discourage entrepreneurs, and her (and Bernie's) $15 minimum wage would destroy many marginal small businesses and exacerbate the unemployment of African-American youth.
Bernie's "rigged economy" and "income inequality." An ideologue, Bernie doesn't understand the cause is Big Government and crony capitalism, all of this is even worse under Obama, who borrowed staggering amounts to produce an anemic recovery.
"A progressive who likes to get things done." That's how Hillary tries to co-opt Bernie, but Bernie highlights her credentials in The Establishment. She and Bill have taken in $150 million in speaking fees.
High marks to Jorge Ramos finally going beyond immigration. He asked Hillary about her emails and whether she would quit the race if indicted. The audience booed Ramos when he played a video of the mother of an American slain in Benghazi. "Some of the families think you lied to them," Ramos said. "Secretary Clinton, did you lie to them?" Bernie graciously deferred on Benghazi before putting (this enrages Hillary) his verbal knife into Hillary -- criticizing her regime change approach in Libya and her support for the Iraq war. Ramos was enormously credible when he probed Bernie: "Would you consider Raul Castro a president or a dictator?" This after they showed a video of Bernie praising Communist thugs. Congratulations to Hillary for faulting Bernie for his support of Fidel Castro in Cuba and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
Karen Tumulty asking Hillary if Trump is racist. Hillary would only say that Trump is "un-American" and not for "American values," and Trump insults "Mexicans and Muslims." But what are American values? Surely not those of Hillary and Bernie?
Pandering to the national African-American audience. Hillary said Trump used birther issue to try to"de-legitimize" Obama. Later Hillary noted "the Republicans" would deny Obama the next Supreme Court nominee; Sanders, pandering: "Nobody asked me for my birth certificate, maybe it has something to do with the color of my skin."
Pandering also to national Latino audience. "Comprehensive immigration reform" are code words for not securing the border first, but instead prioritizing amnesty and a "path to citizenship" to enlarge the Democratic voter base. Sanders says guest work program is a "race to the bottom" and pledges as president to use even more executive power than Obama for, in effect, amnesty. He he criticized Clinton for opposing New York drivers licenses for "undocumented immigrants." For good measure, Sanders says Hillary wanted to "send back" children to Honduras. Hillary says Sanders voted with "the Republicans" (she always uses those words with scorn) for "indefinite detention" of "undocumented immigrants." Asked a question in Spanish by an illegal alien, Hillary praises the woman. What message does Hillary thus send to those who want to come to America legally?
Hillary's integrity. Karen Tumulty is impressive in asking Clinton what she has done to "foster...distrust." Then Tumulty gives Sanders a softball: "Why do you want Hillary to release the transcripts of her Wall Street speeches?" Hillary retreats to her Jesse Jackson slogan, "No bank too big to fail, no executive too big to jail." Bernie implies this question -- would she jail people who paid her inflated speaking fees?
Dumping on Koch brothers. Both Hillary and Bernie relish attacking the Kochs, who failed to enhance their image last year and thus remain election whipping boys. In a weird attack, Hillary says Kochs praised Bernie's opposition to the Export-Import Bank, while Bernie boasts that the Goldman Sachs CEO said he is "dangerous."
Bernie's freebies. Colleges rip-off students with high tuition, and the students can't even get jobs. Yet Bernie wants more kids in colleges, which comprise the least innovative sectors of America. Under Bernie's plan, colleges would have little incentive to exploit Internet opportunities or reform their bloated bureaucracies. Bernie would fund all this with a $70-billion-a-year tax on "Wall Street speculators" which means regular folks buying stocks for their retirement. Hillary would "refinance everyone's student debt," those loans pushed by Democrats to underwrite the demand curve and thus fund unjustified tuition hikes.