Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hillary won the debate. But by default.

Well, it's over. Hillary won. Whew.

But based on past winning presidential debate performances, it's not as if Hillary knocked it out of the park last night. Yes, she won. But given her opposition, especially the version of Trump that showed up, which even by his standards was weird and incoherent, did she truly dazzle us and clean his clock? I think not. And that's fine, by all means.

Last night, she simply needed to not screw-up, to avoid any unforced errors, and let Trump lose the debate on his own. She did just that, with perfect execution, saying enough taunting remarks to get under his skin, doing so without coming off as a pretentious or prodding, and successfully inciting him to be his true self -- an oafish, thin-skinned blowhard.

Yet it was not an A or even A- performance by Hillary. Sure, she knows her stuff, her answers are very credible and she is and remains poised. But she's certainly not her husband in his prime. Then again, who is or has been? Almost not a fair comparison.

But watching her performance last night made me reappraise Obama's debate performances. He's had his duds and he often could come off has stilted and even wooden, yet he's turned in many more impressive debate performances than not. And coming back against Romney, after losing the first debate, to then just smoke'em in the next two, was something to behold -- and not necessarily expected. We were scratching our heads after the first debate, wondering what was wrong with Obama, what just happened? Was he doing rope-a-dope? Not to worry, it quickly became game over, done.

We know debating is not Hillary's strong suit, I get it. And I'm not saying she was disappointing last night, not at all. In fact, she could've have screwed up with such a volatile foe and allowed him to back into a win (it's inconceivable at this point, but I suppose possible). She played great defense, not offense, but so did the 1985 Chicago Bears, worked for them.

Considering she's a weak debater, and her campaign is not particularly where it could be, perhaps we should be thankful she's up against a wealthy, bloviating Alfred E. Neuman.

But then again, it is difficult to hold onto an eel. P. T. Barnum did much with very little. If Hillary were facing a more conventional Republican opponent, one emphasizing policies and tempering the non-stop lies, she may conceivably be much farther ahead in the polls at this point.

All of that aside, the strategy for the next two debates is a no-brainer. Hillary, don't change a thing. You won this one, handily, and Trump does not know how to change. It's not as if he'll come out more muted or actually informed (!). His handlers must realize this and are simply cashing paychecks at this point. As in the OJ trial, Hillary, do NOT make him try on the glove.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Trump (finally) says, "“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period."

Trump finally admits Obama was born in the U.S. But what about that team of investigators Trump sent to Hawaii a few years ago, who were supposedly hot on the trail, are we to just assume they found nothing? To help refresh your memory:
"I have people that have been studying it and they cannot believe what they're finding," Trump said an interview that aired Thursday Morning. Asked if he has assigned people specifically to search in Hawaii, Trump said, "Absolutely."
Of course we can assume there never was a team sent to Hawaii. It's like nearly everything Trump utters, fictional hot air.

But this is another instance where the media needs to follow up and ask him about these investigators, whether or not they found anything. If Trump is allowed to continue lying with no follow-up by the media, then how is the public expected to realize that he's lying? People are busy, with work and family, sure they should be better informed, but unfortunately many (most?) are not. That's why the media is so important, it's their job to get at the truth because the public does not have the time to do the necessary digging.

That will be a disturbing legacy from this election, regardless of who wins, the way the media has dropped the ball when covering a candidate like Trump. We've seen false equivalence in the past, but this is getting to be absurd.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

GW/Cheney kept us safe (well, except that one time....)

Today marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11, a day that remains as one of the most tragic in our nation's history.

And yet it's as if many Republicans have completely forgotten about this horrific act of terror against the United States. The video below includes just a small sample of the convenient amnesia that has befallen many notable Republicans.

Needless to say, if 9/11 occurred with a Democrat in the White House, we would have never heard the end of it, never. Republicans in conjunction with the far-right screech machine would have been reminding us of who was president then 24/7, non-stop, to this day and into the future.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Placing The Blame

Incredible. Trump continues to publicly state his preference for Putin over our own US president. Recall when GW was commander in chief and many Democrats questioned going to war in Iraq, how they were regarded as being unpatriotic. And yet we have Trump embracing and praising Putin over Obama -- where is the Republican outrage over this blatant unpatriotic act?! 

Then we have Trump stating that he could tell by the body language of intelligence officials that they were displeased with Obama's policies. Again, incredible. An egregiously false assertion that is beyond the pale. Intelligence briefers are career professionals who's primary role is to deliver intel in a neutral fashion. 

Look, as much as we continue to be shocked by Trump (just when you think it was no longer possible!), the fact that needs to be continuously stressed is there is no Trump without his GOP supporters.  Who is truly to blame here? Yes, Trump is an ignorant and dangerous sociopath, but he would be that same person high up in a tower in NYC and NOT a presidential candidate if not for his supporters. Republicans put him where he is (and I'm convinced Trump never expected to be the nominee) so they are the real problem.

If someone brought a skunk into a room, are you going to blame the skunk for the stench? The skunk didn't just saunter into the room!

This fact always comes to mind whenever I hear a Republican friend admit wholeheartedly that Trump is a nut and they will not vote for him. They say it as if they want me, the liberal Democrat, to congratulate them or pat them on the head, as if they're proudly making it known, "see, I'm not one of those crazy Republicans!"

But what they fail to say or recognize is that their own party spawned this mess. Trump hatched from their party. They act as if Trump is some kind of one-off mistake, an outlier event that certainly won't happen again in their party. Huh?! Why not? 

The only way to prevent another Trump from happening is for the Republican Party to undergo a massive transformation, top to bottom. Short of that occurring, at the very least they need to find a way to lock up their crazies in the basement. 

Reagan was very good at pretending to hear the extremists, and then ultimately ignoring most of them. But as we know, the insane are now running the asylum.