Matthew Vadum: SATURDAY NIGHT LEFTIST LUNACY

American television viewers were subjected to the usual smorgasbord of left-wing dhimmitude, foreign-policy impotence, bleeding-heart lunacy, lies about America, and ugly class-warfare rhetoric by the three radical leftists still standing in the Democrats' presidential primary race in a debate that aired on the weekend.

The winner, of course, was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, because Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley refused to lay a glove on her over her deadly bungling of the Benghazi terrorist attack and its aftermath, her dangerous, illegal, email system, and the international clearinghouse for bribes and future presidential favors known as the irredeemably corrupt Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation.

Americans were told in the debate Saturday night in Manchester, N.H., that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is a racist and a fascist, taxes need to go up, gun control needs to be strengthened, America is a terrible, racist, Islamophobic country, and Muslims are our best hope for combating Muslim terrorism.

Although all three candidates are committed to forcing America to accept thousands upon thousands of potential terrorists posing as Syrian refugees, they tried really hard to sound like they actually care about U.S. national security and the threat that Islamic State poses to America and the rest of Western civilization. (Time magazine provides a transcript of the debate here.)

Clinton said "we must work more closely" with Muslim-Americans because they're trying "to stop radicalization." Such people "will be our early warning signal," she said, ignoring the fact that groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) aggressively encourage Muslims not to cooperate with the FBI.

"That’s why we need to work with them, not demonize them, as the Republicans have been doing," she said, even though no prominent Republicans have been demonizing Muslims.

Clinton appeared to compare Second Amendment supporters to Islamic terrorists. After discussing building a coalition to fight terrorists abroad, Clinton, who, not too long ago suffered a traumatic brian injury, clumsily segued into incoherent commentary in which she seemed to argue that gun owners are a greater threat to the republic than jihadists:

Because I think if you only think about the coalition abroad you’re missing the main point, which is we need a coalition here at home. Guns, in and of themselves, in my opinion, will not make Americans safer. We lose 33,000 people a year already to gun violence, arming more people to do what I think is not the appropriate response to terrorism. I think what is, is creating much deeper, closer relations and, yes, coalitions within our own country. The first line of defense against radicalization is in the Muslim American community. People who we should be welcoming and working with.

I worry greatly that the rhetoric coming from the Republicans, particularly Donald Trump, is sending a message to Muslims here in the United States and literally around the world that there is a “clash of civilizations,” that there is some kind of Western plot or even “war against Islam,” which then I believe fans the flames of radicalization. So guns have to be looked at as its own problem but we also have to figure out how we’re going to deal with the radicalization here in the United States.

We have to be careful not to hurt the feelings of Muslims, Clinton said.

So what I would say is, number one, we need to be united against the threats that we face. We need to have everybody in our country focused on watching what happens and reporting it if it’s suspicious, reporting what you hear. Making sure that Muslim Americans don’t feel left out or marginalized at the very moment when we need their help.

When a moderator pointed out that New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), who supports Clinton, said “we should halt acceptance of Syrian refugees until U.S. authorities can assure the vetting process, halt Syrian refugees,” Clinton said halting the processing of those individuals from a major terrorist-producing was not needed.

What we have to do is put all of our resources through the Department of Homeland Security, through the State Department, through our intelligence agencies, and we have to have an increased vetting and screening.

Clinton also twice refused to answer a question about how much responsibility she bears for the current chaos in the Middle East because she caused the catastrophic so-called Arab Spring. No one nailed Clinton for supporting Egypt's leading terrorist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, or for the fact that she employs jihadist-friendly Huma Abedin as her top aide.

O'Malley argued against securing U.S. borders, saying the nation's "enduring symbol is not the barbed wire fence," and smeared Trump for proposing to block Muslim immigration. Americans need to "hold true to the values and the freedoms that unite us, which means we must never surrender them to terrorists, must never surrender our American values to racists, must never surrender to the fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths," the former governor said, ignoring the fascist pleas of Democrat-funding billionaire George Soros.

O'Malley also used the unusual phrase "combat assault weapons," saying these things need to be cracked down on. Depending on what he means, of course, such weapons are already illegal to buy in the United States.

During a discussion of the Middle East, O'Malley interjected with a clever put-down that threw light on the age of his geriatric competitors. "May I offer a different generation’s perspective on this?" he said.

Self-described socialist Sanders said "a strong coalition of forces, major powers and the Muslim nations" needs to be assembled to fight Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh). He praised King Abdullah II of Jordan not for doing anything against Islamic State, but because his "small country has welcomed in many refugees."

Candidates competed to denounce America.

"We have systemic racism and injustice and inequities in our country and in particular, in our justice system that must be addressed and must be ended," Clinton said.

"I think we need to make wage a major effort, to come together as a country and end institutional racism ... police officers should not be shooting unarmed people, predominantly African-Americans," said Sanders.

There was also the strange moderator-initiated voir dire between Bernie and Hillary over voter data. It came after the Clinton campaign accused the Sanders campaign of stealing some of its voter data late last week.

As Sanders explained the kerfuffle during the debate, somehow on more than one occasion DNC vendors provided his campaign with data belonging to the Clinton campaign. In one instance, Sanders campaign staff "did the wrong thing" by looking at the information, he said. The DNC then "arbitrarily" shut off "our access to our information crippling our campaign," he said adding that the dispute was resolved late Friday.

Sanders apologized to Clinton during the debate for accessing her data and the apology was accepted.

Political pundits across the fruited plain have been wondering for some time why the DNC insists on scheduling odd, inconvenient times for those few presidential debates it deigns to allow.

Leftist Jack Mirkinson at the hate site Salon was befuddled by the scheduling of the debate on the Saturday evening before Christmas:

Whether to protect Hillary Clinton—a very capable debater who certainly does not need protecting—or for some other obscure reason, the Democratic Party has decided to hide their candidates as much as possible from the voters. (The next debate is on the Sunday before Martin Luther King Day.) Apart from the annoyance of having to tune in on a Saturday, it’s a baffling ceding of ground to Republicans ...

Could it be that the DNC officials who control the timing of the debates are clear-headed enough to know just how appallingly out-of-touch Democrats are with American voters and just how awful all three of the remaining candidates are? Instead of hyping the debates and scheduling them for when voters are likely to tune in, it seems top Democrats much prefer to influence public opinion through their wholly-owned subsidiaries such as the New York Times, and the so-called news-gathering apparatuses of the broadcast TV networks. Letting Americans see the candidates pitching their insane, economically suicidal, anti-American, pro-jihadist policy prescriptions live at a convenient time may be a bridge too far.

Clinton is taking a beating in New Hampshire at the moment, but she remains far ahead in national polls. Clinton enjoys a whopping 25-point lead nationally, according to the RealClearPolitics average at time of writing. Clinton weighs in with 56.3 percent support, compared to 30.6 percent for Sanders, and 4.3 percent for O'Malley. But in New Hampshire, Sanders leads with 49.2 percent support, compared to Clinton at 44.9 percent, and O'Malley at 2.2 percent, according to HuffPost Pollster.

Meanwhile, the electoral cycle presses on.

The next Democratic debate is scheduled for Jan. 17 in Charleston, S.C. The next Republican debate is set for Jan. 14 in North Charleston, S.C. The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses are tentatively scheduled for Feb. 1, followed by the New Hampshire primaries tentatively set on Feb. 9.