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Debates: Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris stole the show. But was Donald Trump the big winner?

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Thanks to NBC and the Democratic National Committee’s televised beauty-contest-turned-big-ugly last week, the Democratic Party no longer looks like the most zealous advocate for the economic plight of the tens of millions of American families for whom every week is a desperate financial struggle.

It was so bad, in fact, that NBC should count the overproduced, glitz-ridden doubleheader as an “in-kind” contribution to Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

The squandering of Democrats’ working-class advantage came quickly, when candidates took the reactionary bait from NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. “A lot of you have been talking tonight about these government health care plans that you proposed in one form or another. This is a show-of-hands question. And hold them up for a moment, so people can see. Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants.”

In an instant there appeared to be near-consensus, with nine of the 10 presidential hopefuls raising their hands to the delight of the studio audience.

But former Vice President Joe Biden appeared ambivalent, which prompted Guthrie to give the supposed frontrunner a chance to opt out of the lemming charge off the cliff.

“Vice President Biden, I believe you said that your health care plan would not cover undocumented immigrants. Could you explain your position?” asked Guthrie.

“I’m sorry. I beg your pardon. I didn’t hear,” explained Biden.

“I believe, at the show of hands, you did not raise your hand. Did you raise your hand?” asked Guthrie.

“Oh, no, I did. I — but,” Biden stammered, having fallen behind in Guthrie’s demeaning game........

© Salon