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You know it’s a bizarre debate when Bernie Sanders is the one calling for calm.

The Democratic debate took a strange turn when Martin O’Malley started accusing his rivals of being weak and unreliable opponents of gun control.

Whoa whoa whoa, let’s calm down a little bit, Martin,” interjected Bernie Sanders, usually the loudest man in any room.

Let’s tell the truth, Martin,” added Hillary Clinton.

Behind this exchange lie the peculiar dynamics that have made O’Malley the unexpected trouble maker. According to the polls, he’s far behind both Clinton and Sanders, averaging 3 percent or less. And in this debate the ABC News hosts have been avoiding him like he’s someone with the cooties.

So O’Malley has started to pump up the volume, leading to the unexpected moment when Bernie Sanders is a soothing presence.