Over at NRO, my friend Jim Geraghty has the spot-on scoop:
Sure, this batch of candidates sounded like a bunch of loons. They contended socialism is mostly about standing up to the richest one percent and promoting entrepreneurs and small business; climate change is the biggest national security threat facing the nation; college educations should be free for everyone; all lives don’t matter, black lives do; Obama is simultaneously an enormously successful president in managing the economy and the middle class is collapsing and there’s a need for a “New New Deal” which is in fact an Old Old Idea, considering how FDR called for a Second New Deal in 1935. The audience in Nevada applauded higher taxes, believes that Hillary Clinton doesn’t need to answer any more questions, supports the complete shutdown of the NSA domestic surveillance program, and that Obamacare benefits should be extended to illegal immigrants. There are kindergarten classes with more realistic assessments of cost-benefit tradeoffs than the crowd watching this debate at the Wynn Las Vegas.
So yes, the candidates sounded like hard-Left, pie-in-the-sky, free-ice-cream-for-everyone, Socialist pander bears. But they do so because that is what the Democratic Party’s primary voters demand. Don’t blame them; blame the party rank-and-file that craves these promises, rhetoric, and worldview.
The Democrats have been going sideways ever since the election of 1972, when the young lefties seized control of the party and nominated George McGovern for president. He went down in flames, of course, but one thing the Left knows and the Right does not is that the Long March through the Institutions takes time, and that the more conservatives disdain them as crazies without stopping them, the closer they are to their goal. They never stop, they never sleep, they never quit.