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Warren, Biden, Sanders and that Big Rock Candy Mountain

By John Kass, Tribune Content Agency on

Watching the Democratic presidential candidate debate -- with Elizabeth Warren promising government health care for all without saying she'll tax the middle class to pay for it -- was like staring from a distance at the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

You don't know the Big Rock Candy Mountain? That's the gorgeous Democratic Socialist paradise where everything is free.

"Where the handouts grow on bushes ... And the sun shines every day/ On the birds and the bees and the cigarette trees/ The lemonade springs where the bluebird sings/ In the Big Rock Candy Mountains."

It sounds so nice, like Democratic economic policy written for modern Americans who've been trained to despise the freedom offered by capitalism, while yearning for free stuff promised by the federal masters.

It's an old hobo (can I still use that word?) song about a dreamy place where the cops have wooden legs, guard dogs have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft-boiled eggs all day.

But I concentrated on what the candidates were saying, and it completely harshed my mellow.

 

It wasn't that they rained hate on President Donald Trump. The debate sponsors, CNN and The New York Times are cheerleaders in the anti-Trump resistance. And all performed as expected. The one thing they stand for, clearly, is they hate Trump.

But I had hoped we'd hear a bit more about what distinguishes one candidate from another on policy. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a military veteran, tried to go there, mocking CNN and the Times and fellow Democrats for pushing the conflict in Syria, which she described as another "regime change war."

Gabbard's attempt was admirable but doomed. The last thing Democrats and the Beltway media want to be reminded of is that on Syria, they're now in bed with those "Never Trump" pro-war Republican neocons.

And so, a dense anti-Trumpian fog descended upon the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

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