Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wrath and Ruin: The Clinton-Trump Re-Match!


 
Hi there! Welcome to I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, a blog that is to the internet what Donald Trump’s tiny hands are to his ego. I’m Dave-El  and the only locker room talked I’ve ever engaged in is “Help! Somebody get me out of this locker! The blood is rushing to my head!” 

 

Sunday night was the 2nd presidential debate between Donald “The Fondler” Trump and Hillary “Nickname Pending Review By Focus Group” Clinton. The stakes were almost the mirror opposite of the 1st debate; there Hillary needed to bring her A-game and Donald needed to just stand up right and not make a damn fool of himself. While Clinton’s game was more B+ than an A, Trump took up the slack with a total meltdown like no one had ever seen in a presidential debate before. For the 2nd debate, Hillary Clinton needed to at least hold her ground and do no harm while it was Donald Trump who had something to prove to bring his campaign out of the downward spiral it’s been in since the last debate and the nose dive towards the ground with the release of the 2005 interview where Donald made some really offensive comments about women. 

 

So how did they do? In the case of Hillary Clinton, if the goal was not to totally screw up, then mission accomplished. Mostly. When pressed about the whole email brouhaha while she was Secretary of State, Hillary delivered a concise and effective statement: it was a mistake and she’s sorry. Unfortunately, she didn’t stop talking as Clinton fell back into the old habit of trying to re-litigate the whole thing, a dissembling commentary that just underscores that whole “untrustworthy” thing Hillary struggles with. And she had her own controversial revelation to deal with as Wikileaks exposed the text of previously unreleased speeches Hillary Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs and other financial behemoths. The line that got Clinton in the most hot water was her assertion of having both a personal or private perspective AND a public or political perspective at the same time. The context of those remarks was a comparison to Abraham Lincoln who made different deals with different people of opposing interests in his efforts to hold the union together. Unfortunately invoking Lincoln gave Trump an opening to make a comparison of his own between Lincoln and Clinton: Honest Abe didn’t lie.

 

That line was probably Donald Trump’s high point for the night.  Donald did manage to avoid the epic fail that was the 1st debate by being less defensive and staying on offense more. He managed to tamp down his inner tantrum prone 5 year old but mostly by playing to his grumpy old man persona, the one who’s irritated if he doesn’t get to the 4:30 senior citizen blue plate dinner special until 4:35.  Trump lumbered about the stage, frequently lurking  behind Hillary Clinton while she was speaking, looking for all the world like a man-monster created by science gone wrong and running amuck in an issue of Tales From the Crypt.

 

While Donald Trump tried to rein in his worse impulses that came to the fore in the 1st debate, he otherwise brought nothing new to this 2nd debate. I was watching this with my wife and remarked that Donald was just repeating some of the bullet points from his previous debates, even the ones that had been fact checked and determined to be untrue then. They’re still untrue now and Trump is still saying them.

 

Some particular things with Trump that stood out:

  1. He referred to Hillary Clinton as “the devil”, a remarkably over the top comment that defied the rules of debate decorum.
  2. Trump said if he was President, Clinton would be in jail, a statement more in keeping with dictators than democratically elected presidents.
  3. Trump compared his “words” about women to Bill Clinton’s “actions” against women. Yes, Donald went there.
  4. He challenged the moderators that he was being treated unfairly regarding getting sufficient time to speak. In the final tally, Hillary Clinton spoke for 39 minutes. Donald Trump? 40 minutes.
  5. Trump threw his vice presidential running mate My Pants…Mike Pence, dammit!...under the bus when it came to policy in Syria, saying he hadn’t spoken to Pence and Trump disagreed with him. By the way, Pence’s position on Syria was espoused at Tuesday’s vice presidential debate. Nearly 5 days later and Trump and Pence hadn’t talked about that?

 

While those points and many, many others were cause for concern for me and millions of other people, it didn’t matter to Donald Trump. The good news for Donald is it was a performance that reassured his base supporters. All that stuff the scares the crap out of the rest of his? His diehard supporters eat this up. Republican supporters may be falling away but his base of support still holds up. And that’s what Donald is counting on. He really has no incentive to broaden his appeal because his core of support is blindingly devoted to the Trump candidacy.


So in the aftermath of the Clinton-Trump rematch, we have Hillary Clinton still struggling against her own negatives but once more looking professional and well informed. And we have Donald Trump who doesn't give a damn about his own negatives and is still appealing to the baser instincts of fear and anger that have propelled his campaign so far.


In other words, we ain't done yet. 


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Side note unrelated to today's topic. While Hurricane Matthew has moved on, the devastation in its wake continues to wreak havoc in areas of the United States where the hurricane struck. In the southeastern corner of North Carolina where my mom lives, there has been extensive flooding and loss of power. Thankfully, the assisted living facility where my mom lives is undamaged and has back up generators providing power. My 2nd home down there has had some minor water damage which I will need to address as soon as power is restored and some more of the flooding recedes.


A lot of people have been hit hard by this hurricane and its aftermath so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. And I'm sure charitable organizations like the Red Cross would appreciate your support as they help the victims of this storm and flooding.
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Coming up on the blog...


Wednesday: Supergirl  makes her big CW debut with a guest appearance by her cousin and mine, Kal-El aka Clark Kent aka Superman. How does the season 2 premier hold up? I'll share a few thoughts about that. I had to record to watch later. May not get to it before Wednesday's post.


Thursday: Two more episodes of Strangers Things were watched this weekend here at the Fortress of Ineptitude. God, I hate this show. And when I say "I hate this show", I mean I can't stand how good this show is and how much I'm enjoying it. Stupid Duffer Brothers and their stupid Netflix show! Anyway, I have a post about that on Thursday.


Friday: Is there a war between Hillary Clinton... and God? I struggle with the realization that a friend I assumed was reasonably intelligent is a Trump supporter of nearly Biblical proportions.


Saturday: I have no idea. Something stupid, knowing the standards of this blog.


Sunday: The continuation of my new Doctor Who fan fiction script. It's Cybermania, Episode Three.


Until next time, remember to be good to one another. 

All Things Must Pass

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