The decisive moment in tonight's debate was the exchange on guns. It was decisive not just because it rehashed the already well-trod turf of Bernie's weakness on the issue, but because it underlined as never before the hypocrisy that destroys his broader argument, his core self-definition.
He's the purist. Every issue is a moral choice in his world, and he's the independent defender of morality. And yet here he was saying, "You can want something all you like, but you have to acknowledge when something is never going to happen. There are 50 states in this country." (I may be getting the exact quote wrong -- video and/or transcripts haven't been posted yet. I'll correct it when they are. But this was the thrust.)
Really. The guy who never heard a pie-in-the-sky leftwing policy he wouldn't laud with no real idea of how to make it happen criticizes Hillary for pursuing gun control -- and he does so for the most realpolitik of reasons: because it's politically impractical. Because in many of those states, the NRA is just too powerful.
What if we had a citizens' revolution to fight against them, Bernie? How'd that be?
And, of course, he revealed his lack of moral and emotional sechel by laughing while Hillary was raising the topic. And she nailed him on it. The chuckle slowly faded from his lips, and he was left silent.
The truth is, Bernie Sanders is not a courageous person. He's a pedant who's all talk. He found a progressive sinecure early in life and settled into it like a comfy couch. He's a professor who reads the same notes to every class for 50 years, never learns much of anything new, certainly never rethinks any of his idees fixes. He gets tenure, and then repeats the same schpiels at faculty meetings while his colleagues tire of him. He, on the other hand, never tires of those smug, self-righteous diatribes.
Update: Delusion vs. facts. Tie-breaker. Of course, the real verdict will come Tuesday.