Two straight nights of CNN’s three-hour-long Democratic Primary debates might feel like some kind of punishment. It’s definitely punishment for something, but no matter how brutal the last two nights have been, it’s still not nearly the punishment this dumb country of ours deserves.
The problem isn’t with the Democratic candidates, per se, or the notion of a debate. It’s with CNN, and how the cable news industry prioritizes witless glitz and gotcha infighting over substantial discussion. There’s absolutely no reason these debates had to be on two nights, other than CNN wanting to double their ratings and insure some juicy spats by tossing hopeless dead-enders like John Delaney and Michael Bennet onto the stage alongside the real candidates. One night, two hours, with the top six candidates in the latest polls, and then Marianne Williamson just for her soothing energy, and maybe Inslee or Castro tossed in because they’re actually legit despite their poor numbers: that’s what we needed at this stage of the game. Really, everybody except Sanders, Warren, Biden, Harris, Buttigieg, Booker, and maybe Inslee and Castro should just drop out now—and the only reason Biden shouldn’t is so the other candidates can continue dunking his inexplicable lead into oblivion over the next few debates.
Anyway: tonight was torture. Even Twitter could’t help. Still, I can vouch for all the tweets below: each one brought a brief moment of mirth to an otherwise miserable and meaningless night. Enjoy!