Monday, 10 October 2016

Hillary failed to shine in debate, despite the tape


I had hoped the debate last night (this morning my time) would be grand guignol. Titus Andronicus. Unfortunately not.

I only watched a few highlights but it seems Donald Trump didn't do well but rather better than Hillary in the debate. He achieved a great deal by not doing badly. This was the opinion of Tim Stanley in the Telegraph.

Donald Trump won the second presidential debate, but only according to the terrible standards of this election. Bearing in mind that his candidacy was believed to be over, his own party was rejecting him, and he was widely predicted to go nuts on air – he actually did okay.
Many others thought so too. A CNN poll of debate watchers thought Hillary won, but Trump exceeded expectations. Bear in mind that CNN is a Democrat channel, however, just as Fox is Republican. 

This article by Matt Walsh, entitled 'Donald Trump won the debate because Hillary Clinton is so incredibly bad at this', is worth reading. I agree with him, except for the accusation that Bill is a rapist. He has been accused by women of raping them but it has not been proven.
On Friday, a tape surfaced of Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. Two days later, in the midst of the fallout, Hillary Clinton managed to lose to him in a debate. It was a historic feat of political incompetence.
What we have to understeand is that Hillary Clinton, based on her own personality and skill, would at this point in her life have risen as far as the position of DMV shift supervisor. Maybe community college gender studies professor if she got the right breaks. But her actual resume is entirely the result of her fortunate (and also extremely unfortunate) marital arrangement.
She didn’t get here on her own. She is not the feminist hero her supporters want so badly for her to be. She’s an ill equipped, corrupt and viscerally unlikable woman whose greatest accomplishment in life was marrying a serial rapist. She’s not ready for prime time, never has been, never will be, and it showed tonight.
Trump will not stand down, but I don't imagine that he can win and perhaps he'll lose by a landslide. Had he chosen, without overt pressure, to leave the ticket Hillary would have been very worried.

I agree with Matt Walsh that both candidates are awful. Awful human beings, that is. 

However, Trump, unlike Hillary, deserves great admiration because he became nominee against all the odds. She had her path cleared for her by the Democrat establishment. 

He has proved he can do big things. Her main achievement to date is the destruction of Libya. 

Curiously it is Trump, the non-politician, who has proven to have huge political skill. Hillary, the former Secretary of State and senator, has very few. But this is understandable, since she made her career by marriage not political skill.

The Republicans had a reasonably good chance of winning the White House had they chosen a centrist candidate like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio - but would there have been much point? The real story of 2016 is the cultural revolution in the GOP and the beginnings of one in America as a whole. 

In any case, it is hard for Republicans to win the White House. In the last quarter century the GOP candidate only won the popular vote once, in 2004, and that by a small margin. It is very closely linked to the declining proportion of the population that is white and Protestant.

Trump is a demagogue but he has succeeded up till now because he represents an inarticulate wave of unhappiness with 'the system'. 2016 has shown in the USA and the Brexit vote that Western democracies are, despite appearances, ruled by the people, not by oligarchies of like-minded people. Ultimately. Sometimes.

Mike Pence has kept quiet since he issued a statement two days ago disapproving of Trump's groping boasts. In private Pence was keeping his options open before the debate, according to sources close to him, which is almost always journalese for the person himself speaking off the record. Trump argued in the debate for keeping out of Syria, a contradiction of Pence's declared view, but Trump did well enough for it to be difficult for Pence to leave the ticket and sink his running mate beyond any chance of recovery.

The real story of 2016 is the cultural revolution in the GOP and the beginnings of one in America as a whole. It's a revolution against internationalism and is happening in Europe too.

It looks like the internationalist will win this election and more liberal wars are in prospect. Hillary Clinton said last Monday that removing President Bashar al-Assad is the top priority in Syria.


  1. After watching what was the verbal equivalent of standing down in the sewer defalcating into ones own hand and hurling it at HC, how you can call Trump's display a win rather lowers my already diminished opinion. He came across as less presidential than comical.

  2. Threatening to imprison your opponent, as Trump did, is something you might see in a banana republic in the 1930s. Incredibly crass and threatening, plus the American system does not work that way.

    1. Certainly, if one is running for the presidency of the Philippines or Tadjikistan. And a bit rich from someone who may be facing a few judges himself when this campaign is over. It's raised a few of Trump's own irregular dealings.

    2. A perverse reading of a killer line. It is what people remember of his debate performance and why some people think he won.

  3. "He has proved he can do big things." Trump? What big things did you have in mind?

    1. Becoming Republican nominee against the opposition of the entire party leadership and with no political experience.

    2. Remember that Trump has decades of celebrity status. But yes, he really mauled, humiliated and destroyed the other GOP candidates. You can tell it frustrates him no end that he cannot seem to do the same to Mrs Clinton.

    3. The format was different of course. One to one is different from shouting out soundbites when you are one of a dozen. Much of this election is about the power of television - which likes Trump and shows up Hillary as old, cold and rehearsed. It reminds me of that film I saw a long time ago, 'Network'.

    4. "No one doubts Trump’s effectiveness to get things done. That conversation ended sometime between his overthrow of the Republican leadership and his complete dominance of every media outlet. I think it happened at about the same time you watched him dismantle the Bush dynasty and the Clinton dynasty, in that order.

      So you know he can do things."

      Scott Adams

    5. "Mrs. Clinton, I knew Abe Lincoln, and you’re no Abe Lincoln."

      Scott Adams on the debate:

  4. A letter in the New York Daily News:

    Dumont, N.J.: I am neither a Hillary Clinton nor a Donald Trump fan. I think that she is as crooked and dishonest as a politician can possibly be, and I think that he is an egomaniacal sideshow barker and slightly unhinged. I wish there were a decent third choice running, because I would surely vote for him or her.

    That said, after watching the first presidential debate two weeks ago, I thought that Hillary Clinton clearly won. If I had to score it on a scale of 100, I’d say that she won 60 to 40. However, after watching the second debate Sunday, even a blind person would have to say that Trump won by a mile. He wiped the floor with Clinton. It was not even close. If I had to score this debate, I would say that Trump won, 90 to 10.

    For the liberally embarrassed Daily News to say that Clinton won just further shows how totally toward the liberal loon left The News has gone. Your editors and columnists have surely been blinded by liberal-colored glasses. John Scott

  5. I also watched the debate and thought Trump won. Despite being who he is (or perhaps because of it), he called out the Clintons on a number of things none of the other Republican candidates would have had the nerve to do. He exposed Hillary as a typical politician - and I don't think the establishment of either party really understands how strongly politicians are despised by the population (outside of certain social circles). In a way, the Republican establishment showing its true colors by backstabbing Trump in the last moment might actually help mobilize people to vote for him. In a perverse way, Trump showed to the people that there is not much of a difference between the Clintons and the Paul Ryans (or other Republican politicians) - and I think this is a good thing.

    1. It might be better for Trump's cause if he does not win and someone better expressing (some of) his ideas does next time.