Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Did It Land?

Look, we all remember 2000, right?  Gore cleaned the floor with Bush; it was a game changer!  But then everyone became obsessed with Gore sighing and being snobby about facts and stuff, and eight years later, C-Plus Augustus had launched a terrible war, let a city drown and triggered a global economic meltdown.

Good times.

Last night, Clinton was smooth, polished and on-point.  She didn't make any gaffes; she smiled; she didn't take the bait; and she effortlessly stuck the shiv into Trump where you couldn't see the bleeding, but you could hear the howls.

Trump started strong and on-message, but as soon as Clinton started needling him about inheriting all his money, you could see the volcano brewing.  When she suggested his taxes might reveal he wasn't rich, he blew.  From there on, the debate was a meaningless word salad of incoherent boasting and hurt fee-fees.  When Trump said he had the "best temperament" the audience laughed out loud.

Last night was Trump in all his Trumpiness.  Here was the economic nationalist.  Here was the emotive demagogue.  Here was the person who would say the things you weren't supposed to say.

Here, also, was the guy who can't tell the truth.  Here was the misogynist.  Here was the guy who couldn't be bothered to prepare for a fact-based debate.

The idea that anyone above the 27% Crazification Factor would look at that trembling, sniffling pile of rage, grievance and hair product and conclude that he should be put in charge of anything more important than a beauty pageant...Wait, he shouldn't even be put in charge of THOSE!

Clinton, the old pro, got in the dig about Alicia Machado right at the end.  Then her campaign followed it up with a video.

Trump, being Trump, called into Fox News and called her fat again.

As I told my classes, debates are attempts to do two things: fire up your supporters and win over those fickle undecideds.  To a certain degree, Trump probably fired up his supporters, though even some conservatives admit he was weak.  I think Clinton probably smoothed the frazzled nerves of her supporters who have watched the polls narrow.

As for those undecideds...really, people?

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