I've got a Guardian piece up about the debate -- basic takeaway point is that when the Democrats turn away from trivia and toward substance, one is overwhelmingly reminded of the lack of big disagreements between them. Watching the race you get caught up and, of course, since it's an important decision even small differences loom large. But objectively the most noteworthy thing about it is how small those differences are. One note of worry:
Few big disagreements about big ideas are in play on the Democratic field. For now, most liberals find that consensus heartening, but we may come to regret it if it means that the eventual winner emerges into the field of battle without having really tested his or her arguments against a candidate willing to draw sharp lines of contrast.
Indeed, even though these are views I don't hold, I wish someone in the field was saying the surge is working. I wish someone was saying that an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 was unrealistic and likely to cripple the economy. I wish someone was saying we can't afford the kind of health care spending these folks are putting on the table. I'd like to see the candidates dealing with the obvious opposition arguments. Instead, this was probably the high point:
It's not, though, an incredibly beefy moment. Like Josh Marshall, I was a bit confused by MSNBC's rush to proclaim Hillary Clinton the winner. What I think she did was turn in a front-runner's performance. But that's only a win if she's really the front-runner and I don't think that's clear at all.