I think Donald Trump won. He seemed more focused than in the first debate. He didn’t go off the rails, as he easily could have given his … difficulties this week. He pushed back against the moderators—who were hopelessly biased; who managed to confirm every fear and hatred that the average GOP voter has about MSM types—and did a good job of highlighting the absurdity of Anderson and Martha’s behavior.
Does it change anything? Maybe it stanches the flow of defections from Trump, I dunno. I’m not sure that this wins him any new voters. I also refuse to believe that most of the "undecided" voters at this townhall were actually "undecided." Oh, I’m sure that Gorbah Hamed, with the question about Islamophobia, is TOTALLY UNDECIDED. Right. Is she, like, considering Jill Stein?
As someone watching in a bit of a cocoon—I turned off Twitter and ignored text messages and gchats in order to get a sense of how this played to "average viewers," who, I presume, aren’t tweeting and gchatting, because Real ’Muricans communicate through grunts and arm-punches?— who has the priors of a bizarre neocon-libertarian hybrid, it seems like he came across as better? This was kind of like watching one of those bad free HBO heavyweight fights that gets super-punchy for a couple rounds but is mostly kind of boring and drawn out.
Anyway. My real time thoughts are below. Remember when Hillary was like "I saw Lincoln"? OMG. This is some good #content, you guys—eat it up like pigs at the trough. (It starts slow but it gets better toward the end.) I’m pretty excited to turn football back on; football is so much simpler than the garbage we all just watched.
Thoughts on the debate—starting at 9:00 PM
Two minutes late. I’m missing precious football time.
None of these liars in the town hall are undecided. And if they’re undecided at this point, they shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
"Are you a teacher?" I didn’t see the answer, is she? Shoddy camerawork, CNN; the NFL never would’ve missed that reaction.
Trump hitting on Obamacare stats, slamming the Iran deal in question about being a role model. Law and order, shot cops. Rebuilding inner cities.
Trump dodges, Anderson Cooper says "this is sexual assault." Trump replies with "this is locker room talk." Shifts to ISIS. "We’re going to defeat ISIS. ISIS. ISIS. I will take care of ISIS." [not a direct quote] Anderson Cooper hectoring, Trump finally says "No I have not." I assume this will wind up in a Clinton ad with a woman saying "Trump totally groped me."
Hillary never questioned their fitness to serve?
"We’ve seen him rate women on their appearance." Well, I mean. C’mon. That’s actual locker room talk.
Moderators interrupting Trump, letting Hillary ramble on at length. Bad look.
Trump coming to life a bit when getting into Bill, Hillary’s attacks of the women.
Audience applauds after Trump slamming Hillary’s behavior with women. Raddatz tells them to stop.
Audience applauds for Hillary and NO response from Raddatz. I mean, this is pretty absurd. Totally one-sided "moderation."
Hillary now shifting topics to Khans, Curiel, reporter mockery—"racist lie that the president was not born in America"
Trump did a better job of getting at who Blumenthal is, I think. The Wikileaks. Deleted emails. Acid washed. Boxes of emails. "I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say this – but if I win, I’m going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor"
He is hammering her on the emails.
She has a real "Love that Joker" smile on now.
Frankly, the idea of electing Trump solely on an "investigate Hillary" platform has appeal.
Cooper now yelling at the audience again. Let’s see if they do that when Hillary’s people cheer.
"I take responsibility for using a personal email account." What kind of responsibility? What actual responsibility has she taken?
Trump disappointed in congressmen—including Republicans. Probably smart to position as the outsider.
She is getting pissy. "exploding campaign" – there is fire in her eyes
"one on three" – and he’s right, it’s bullshit; it’s just reinforcing the rank and file Republican’s impression of the media.
"Obamacare is a disaster—you know it, we all know it." This is an understated fact of middle class life: increasing premiums, high costs. Arguing against insurance monopolies
"somewhat similar to Canada" BOO FUCK CANADA
why is he standing right behind her
Anderson is debating Trump. It’s ridiculous.
I’m sure "Gorbah Hamed" is undecided. I’m sure the lady with the question about Islamophobia is "undecided" about who she is voting for. That is laughable man, HAH.
I’m not really sure saying "I don’t want to bring tons of maybe-terrorists here" is a losing proposition for Trump?
Bernie Sanders says she has bad judgment – clearly something he’s been coached up on.
"Is it okay for politicians to be two-faced?" Oh fuck
I’ve watched Lincoln. Hillary Clinton is no Abraham Lincoln.
"Let’s talk about what’s really going on"—shockingly, Raddatz is not getting her back to the question at hand, whether or not she should be allowed to lie to voters
This is Trump’s big strength: I’m a straight shooter, these people are liars. She’s trying to shift to Russia, and that’s smart, but it’s a dodge.
"Now she’s blaming the lie on the late, great, Abraham Lincoln." That’s a pretty good fucking line and not something he could’ve been coached up on.
SHUT UP ABOUT THE POST OFFICE TRUMP
HIT HER ON LYING
THIS IS ALL A DISTRACTION
STOP TALKING ABOUT TAXES YOU IDIOT YOU DUMB IDIOT
[pours first drink]
He had two minutes to hammer her again on lying to the public and he got distracted by her tax slight. So dumb. (He still wins based on the Lincoln line.)
"Hillary Clinton is raising your taxes folks, look at me: raising them really high."
I don’t think "carried interest provision" means very much to the average voter? Does it? I barely know what that means and I am a super genius. Really, the best brain.
Third or fourth time with that Bernie Sanders quote. Wonder if he’s pushing it too hard? Those Brooklyn hipsters (read: failed writers hosting podcasts) don’t want to feel like they’re being used by Trump when they decide to stay home on Election Day.
SYRIA: It really is the craziest thing about this election, a total reversal of the Dems and GOP on intervention in the Middle East. Trump taking the line that we can’t trust rebels, we don’t know who they are. I mean, Trump is right, that the world laughed at the red line. But Trump is wrong to say Assad is killing ISIS.
CAMERA ZOOM ON HILLARY [dramatic hamster music] [SB NOTE AFTER THE FACT: Please tell me this is already a thing.]
Trump takes the line that Aleppo is unsalvageable. Probably not wrong, unfortunately.
And now Raddatz is debating Trump, saying that there are very good reasons to announce our plans in the Middle East. Shut the fuck up, Martha Raddatz. He’s not here to debate you.
Hillary obviously knows so much more than Trump about the specifics in the Middle East. It’s not even close. On substance, she just crushes him here. I’m just not sure it really matters, since the only thing Americans appear to want to hear is "we’re not doing nothing overseas."
Honestly, who cares about these gauzy ideal questions? What does it even mean to "be a devoted president to all the people in the United States"? No one is devoted to everyone! No one cares about everyone!
[Sonny pours second drink]
[Sonny considers muting debate and turning on "sounds of silence"]
[Sonny opts against this because he doesn’t want to give The Liberal Media something to attack him on]
[Sonny checks how his fantasy team is doing; Sonny grows nervous. C’mon Aaron Rodgers! Score—
[jfc she’s still talking about reaching out to everybody who cares]
[—more touchdowns and stop throwing interceptions, you dick]
I’ve turned off Twitter and Facebook to get a more "realistic" debate-viewing experience; does the average person drink as much as I do during these debates? I don’t know. Do they get annoying text messages? Hard to say. It’s unlikely!
"She has tremendous hate in her heart!"
He’s right to focus on "irredeemable," solid dog whistle to evangelicals.
Oh, Benghazi, that reminds me, I want to buy 13 Hours on Blu-ray. Michael Bay is the auteur of our time!
"I’m not unproud of it." Unproud? Un-fucking-proud? "Ashamed," "embarrassed," etc. SOMEONE GET TRUMP A COPY OF POLITICIS AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, STAT.
FINALLY A GOOD QUESTION — what would you prioritize in a Supreme Court justice?
(lol gop the supreme court is gone for a half-lifetime because you dummies nominated donald trump and he’s going to love by 200 evs good job)
Hillary wants the Supreme Court to outlaw speech that criticizes Hillary Clinton. THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT SHE WANTS TO DO. THAT IS WHAT ‘get money out of politics means’ IN RE CITIZENS UNITED MEANS. That is definitely not tyrannical at all.
Judges like Justice Scalia, Trump says. Yeah, okay. Like his sister, I guess.