I wrote yesterday that I would be watching last night's Democratic debate in Las Vega for two things: (1.) Which Hillary Clinton would show up? (2.) Would the mainstream media panel protect her (i.e., would the subject of Mrs. Clinton's emails come up)?

On the first, the Hillary Clinton who showed up was self-assured, aggressive, and smooth. It is generally agreed that she won the debate. Some commentators are opining that after last night's performance a Joe Biden entry into the race is less likely. Commentary's Jonathan Tobin has a good piece arguing that Mrs. Clinton cinched her party's nomination last night.

The CNN panel certainly let Mrs. Clinton off far easier than it would have a Republican candidate, but it was Vermont's Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders who put the kibosh on talking about the emails:

The Vermont Independent defended the front-running Clinton after she gave a lengthy response about her use of a private server and email accounts when secretary of state. Clinton again acknowledged making a mistake but said she is “still standing.”

“I think the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails,” said Sanders, after the debate moderator suggested that an FBI probe and recent comments by President Obama make the issue legitimate and nonpartisan.

Sanders, running second in the Democratic polls, argued that Americans are more concerned about “real issues” such as campaign finance reform.

“Thanks, Bernie,” said Clinton as the two shook hands.

Reportedly, the press room cheered at Bernie's email dismissal, which tells you all you need to know to anticipate how the legacy media will cover the 2016 campaign.

As intriguing as my two points are, I have to say that what I should have been watching for last night is just how far left the Democratic Party has moved. National Review's Jim Geraghty summed up this in a post headlined "The Debate Lesson: America Now Has a Openly Socialist Party."

In what is likely to be an oft-cited cited post today, Geraghty wrote:

Sure, this batch of candidates sounded like a bunch of loons. They contended socialism is mostly about standing up to the richest one percent and promoting entrepreneurs and small business; climate change is the biggest national security threat facing the nation; college educations should be free for everyone; all lives don’t matter, black lives do; Obama is simultaneously an enormously successful president in managing the economy and the middle class is collapsing and there’s a need for a “New New Deal” which is in fact an Old Old Idea, considering how FDR called for a Second New Deal in 1935.

The audience in Nevada applauded higher taxes, believes that Hillary Clinton doesn’t need to answer any more questions, supports the complete shutdown of the NSA domestic surveillance program, and that Obamacare benefits should be extended to illegal immigrants. There are kindergarten classes with more realistic assessments of cost-benefit tradeoffs than the crowd watching this debate at the Wynn Las Vegas.

. . .

So yes, the candidates sounded like hard-Left, pie-in-the-sky, free-ice-cream-for-everyone, Socialist pander bears. But they do so because that is what the Democratic Party’s primary voters demand. Don’t blame them; blame the party rank-and-file that craves these promises, rhetoric, and worldview.

Whatever you think of Donald Trump, his tweets about the debate were a hoot.