Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Democratic Ohio Town Hall in Columbus

I have just finished watching the Ohio Town Hall on CNN. Here are a few observations.

Bernie Sanders was on first, and as usual, he came across as more sincere. Yet, one of the first questions regarded the protest at Chicago that shut down Donald Trump's rally this week. Trump had pointed out that many of the protesters identified themselves as Sanders supporters. Sanders responded by calling Trump a pathological liar.

Clinton, when asked about the Chicago incident put all of the blame on Trump with his incendiary rhetoric. She did not say anything about the fact that the loud and violent protest had caused the event to be cancelled. She did not criticize the protesters. Neither candidate condemned what happened in Chicago. It was all Trump's fault. (I am not absolving Trump of his recent rhetoric, which in my view, has been irresponsible.)

Clinton also used questions from a couple of audience members to indict law enforcement and the criminal justice system, the latter of which she called racist. She specifically blamed the states for their justice systems and their prisons.

When the subject of capital punishment came up, she was asked why she was on record as supporting capital punishment. In reply, she criticized the state system, but said that she still supported the federal death penalty for certain terrorists like the Oklahoma City bomber and the 9-11 terrorists. Her reasoning was that she had more faith in the federal system than that of the states.

Then a young lady told her about a couple of recent shooting deaths in the black community where innocent children were killed. What would she do to end this kind of violence?

That became a talking point for Clinton to rail about gun control and bash the gun manufacturers. Not one word about those who pulled the trigger. Of course, she had already condemned the criminal justice system and state prisons. How could she go back and say that people who committed these acts should be put away and executed? All the while I was thinking about that recent case in Chicago, where a 9-year-old boy was lured into an alley and shot in the head because his father was the member of a rival gang.

Of course, the Democratic audience loved most, if not all of the responses from both candidates.

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