Tag: Debate

First Debate Thoughts

  • What did we do to deserve this?
  • Judged as as pure debate, Clinton “won” as far as that goes. You can tell because the conservative blogs are calling it a draw. She didn’t get rattled. She appeared almost human. Her answers were coherent if alarming. Trump held his own for thirty minutes. But, as I suspected, having a one-on-one debate meant his catch phrases began to wear thin after a while. His ignorance of policy and his tendency to shaft other people kept coming back up. Trump avoiding rising to Clinton’s bait a few times, but he did bite more than once and was on the defensive a lot. This is was clearly intentional from Clinton because the one thing we know about Trump is that he can. not. let. anything. go.
  • That said, I don’t know how much of a difference it will make. Trump has been exposed as a lair, a fraud and a policy ignoramus for months now. His core supporters simply do not care. They either despise Clinton more or cling to the strange belief that he will trash the system without also trashing the country. He could literally have spent the entire 90 minutes masturbating and they wouldn’t have cared.
  • I thought Holt did an OK job. He mainly let the candidates go at each other, which is a format I prefer. There’s been some criticism of him for not going after Clinton (bringing up Benghazi, etc.). There’s legitimacy in that. It seemed odd to press Trump on his support for the Iraq while ignoring the woman who voted for it. But … most of the things that put Trump on the defensive were brought up by Clinton. Trump punched back a few times, making Clinton talk about the e-mail scandal. But he spent so much time trying to weasel about his tax returns, his bankruptcies, his birtherism that he wasn’t able to push her on other issues.
  • I suspect Trump will do better in the next debate because Conway will make sure he stays on the offensive.
  • What was with the sniffing? Based on the internet speculation about Clinton, I’m going to assume that Trump has Ebola.
  • Trump has already surrendered much of the conservative agenda. Among other things, he called for massive investments in “infrastructure”, mandated paid parental leave, restricted trade and more gun control.
  • In fact, I challenge anyone to go through that debate transcript and find anything either candidate said about basic freedoms. The subjects of mass surveillance, the War on Drugs and mass incarceration weren’t touched on. Foreign wars were barely mentioned and the only in the past tense. Obamacare wasn’t really addressed. Regulation wasn’t really addressed. What this came down to was which candidate is most qualified to tighten the screws on our liberty.

The Secret Debates

I’ll be following the debate on Twitter tonight, most likely and maybe popping in here for the occasional commet. But if you think tonight’s debate will be substantive, check this out:

There are the public rules for each presidential debate — how long the candidates get for each answer, how long they get to respond — and then there are the secret rules their campaigns agreed to in a memorandum of understanding with the Commission on Presidential Debates. That memorandum is now public, posted by Time’s Mark Halperin. What did the Obama and Romney campaigns demand?

Among other things: no reaction shots, no ad libbing of questions, no follow-ups (on threat of mic being cut off), no shout outs (probably a good thing), no accessories like powerpoint, no direct questions, no clapping. In other words, this is to be a 90-minute campaign commercial and don’t you forget it.

The CPD has already proven their uselessness many times. They’ve banned third party candidates and insured that no one will get a Bernard Shaw type question. But they have long passed the point of subservience into the bent-over position. The CPD exists for no other reason than to give the candidates the platform to say what they want without any fear of an actual, you know, debate breaking out.

At some point, we have to rebel against this bullshit. At some point, one of these things is going to degenerate into an actual town hall meeting when the questioners simply refuse to comply with this nonsense and start deviating from their prepared remarks.

I mean, they can’t audit all of us.