The venue for the third debate, taking place in Sin City, seems particularly appropriate this year. The media, and to a lesser degree, the electorate, seem to have gone mad, focusing on unproven allegations of boorish behavior on the part of Donald Trump, all a decade or more in the past, and all done while he was a private citizen, while essentially ignoring actual proof of Hillary Clinton’s many crimes, her absolute disdain for the American people, and even the men and women unfortunate enough to protect her very life, and incontrovertible evidence of her intentions to destroy the American energy industry, the economy, the health care industry, the military, and to begin her obliteration of the Constitution with the First and Second Amendments.
“Oh, but what Trump is alleged to have done is a character issue!” Sorry. You can’t have it both ways. All we have on Trump with any certainty is an eleven-year old, single boorish private conversation recorded without his consent or knowledge. Hillary Clinton has actually committed a huge number of felonies that would put anyone else in prison. She is directly responsible for the deaths of innumerable Americans and others, and for setting the Middle East aflame. And the lies, oh the lies. Her scandals come so fast and are so despicable, so criminal, so utterly indicative of a women with no concern for anyone save herself, a cruel, angry, hateful women, it’s impossible to keep up with them all. The public is suffering from outrage exhaustion. As the Wikileaks documents continue to prove, she corrupts everyone and everything she touches.
Oh yes, no one can claim she actually loves America or Americans with a straight face. At least Donald Trump cares about America. Shouldn’t that have some bearing on the voting decisions of Americans?
And so, gentle readers, I pause to watch the debate so you won’t have to. I’ll update and post this article tomorrow, Thursday, October 20. See you then, if I’ve sufficiently recovered…
I took voluminous notes, but will cover only the more significant exchanges and comments. Perhaps the most meaningful observation of this debate is both candidates are deeply flawed. America has come to a very low place that this is the best both parties can produce in 2016. It does not bode well for the future of our Republic.
Donald Trump: Trump was much better prepared than in his first two debates. Obviously, he is capable of learning and adapting when he chooses, as one would expect of a businessman of his accomplishments. Even though he did not explain his positions or his plans as clearly and eloquently as I would have preferred, they are reasonably clear and represent a stark contrast between Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Trump is the candidate of change. He promises to reduce the size of government, reduce regulations, repeal Obamacare, support the constitution, including the Second Amendment, do what he can to limit abortion, lower taxes, reduce the national debt, stimulate economic growth, and make America more friendly for business. He promises to rebuild our military, aid our veterans, demand that our NATO allies pay their fair share and honor their military obligations, support our allies and clearly identify and prosecute our enemies, putting America first.
Hillary Clinton: Clinton remains the mechanical, humorless, hectoring harridan, repeating entirely rehearsed, unchangeable talking points delivered in a grating monotone. Her smiles never reach her eyes. Perhaps her only honest emotions are hatred and disdain; those she clearly displays. When she encounters anything unexpected, as she did several times during the debate, she actually blinks and stutters. One can almost see the relays clattering as she searches her spin banks for a plausible answer. Often, she fails, as she did on this occasion.
Clinton is the embodiment of the Age of Obama, typified by not only big government, but ever-enlarging, voracious government. She wants higher taxes, more and more expensive entitlements, open borders, full extension of rights and entitlements to illegal immigrants, unregulated voting, ever-increasing national debt, and a Supreme Court dedicated to rubber stamping every progressive desire. She never mentions the Constitution as though it were holy water to a vampire. Likewise, she cannot identify our Islamist enemies. She would build on every Obamite debacle, harry and harm our allies and support our enemies.
Oh yes: she is the champion of the Middle Class, of women, and of children and has worked her entire life fighting for them. She will continue to fight for them by taxing the living hell out of the wealthy and corporations, yet will simultaneously make the economy grow.
Chris Wallace: Of all of the 2016 “moderators,” Wallace was the most professional and moderate. He asked demanding questions of both candidates, and actually tried to keep Hillary Clinton somewhat on track on the many occasions she was evading questions. Compared to Wallace, every other moderator in recent memory is a vicious partisan hack. His topic areas were issues barely touched on, or not discussed at all, in the first two debates.
Supreme Court: Clinton’s answer on the direction she would take the court was revealing indeed. She said the Court needs to “stand on the side of the people.” This means rights for women, “the LGBT community,” and reversing the Citizen’s United decision. She would keep, of course, “marriage equality,” and Roe v. Wade. She ended by observing “The Supreme Court must represent all of us.”
No, Hillary. The Supreme Court “represents” no one. The Congress does that. The Court upholds and preserves the Constitution, and keeps the other two branches within constitutional lines. As with “Islamist terror,” she did not mention “Constitution” once.
Trump made all the right assertions here. He mentioned Justice Ginsberg’s recent intemperate comments, for which she was “forced to apologize,” making the point that she was not the kind of justice he would appoint. Perhaps his best point is that he would appoint only justices that would interpret the Constitution as intended by the Founders: “The Constitution the way it was intended to be.” Trump also pointed out that Clinton did not mention the Constitution, and also would never say “Islamic Terrorism.” He was right.
Second Amendment: Trump promised to appoint Supreme Court Justices that would support the Second Amendment—“and all amendments”–because they support the entire Constitution. He said it Clinton is elected, she would make the Second Amendment “a very, very small replica of what it is now.”
Clinton claimed, repeatedly, that she respects, understands and supports the Second Amendment, but it is subject to “reasonable regulations,” such as: comprehensive background checks (making any transfer, even between husband and wife or parent and child, illegal without government permission and paperwork), closing the gun show loophole (no such thing exists; it’s a subterfuge for harassing and closing gun shows) and closing the online loophole (no such thing exists; all transfers, even if ordered via the Internet, must be done through a licensed dealer and all federal paperwork and background checks completed; it’s an attempt to shrink the gun market).
Wallace brought up Clinton’s statement that the Heller Decision was wrongly decided. She reiterated her respect for the Second Amendment and launched into a bizarre historical revision, claiming that the Heller decision was about DC trying to protect toddlers.
Fact Check: Heller was about a 66-year old special policeman who was prevented, by DC law, from keeping a handgun in his own home. DC law made it impossible to keep handguns, and to use any firearm for self-defense, even within one’s own home. Toddlers had no part in the decision.
Trump observed that after the Heller decision, which recognized the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental, unalienable right of the people—not the government—deserving of the highest level of constitutional protection, was well crafted, and it made Clinton upset and angry.
She admitted being angry, and trotted out toddlers again, and said there was “no doubt I respect the Second Amendment. She then attacked the NRA and said she regrets that people can’t “come together,” which she would cause everyone to do.
Hillary Clinton. Bringing everyone together. The hypocrisy was knee deep.
Trump countered with Chicago, which has America’s most draconian gun laws, but out of control violence. He said he is proud to have the NRA’s endorsement, and will appoint justices that will not damage the Second Amendment.
Abortion: Both took predictable positions. Clinton ended by observing that government shouldn’t make personal decisions for people. This was the height of hypocrisy coming from a woman that wants government to make every other health decision—and decisions in every other facet of life—for everyone.
Immigration: Trump was extraordinarily strong and effective. He wants border control first and foremost, including a wall, the Border Patrol endorses him, he wants to stop the flow of drug, no amnesty, and when the borders are secure, the rest can be discussed.
Clinton wants “comprehensive immigration reform,” and focused on not separating families, pointing out we have 11 million illegals and four milllion anchor babies (that’s an argument for illegal immigration?!) She is for border security, but stated we can’t deport people, though we should deport people that should be deported. It’s not an Onion parody. She actually said that. And of course, she wants an immediate “path to citizenship” for all illegals.
Trump responded that we either have borders or we don’t have a country, and making illegals citizens is unfair to people that legally immigrated. He also observed that Obama has deported millions.
Bizarro World: Wallace asked Clinton about her ridiculously compensated speech to a Brazilian bank where she said she wanted open borders in the entire hemisphere.
Clinton responded that she was talking about energy. She wants an electric grid that crosses borders! She immediately began loudly and angrily claiming that Trump is in league with the Russians, Wikileaks, and Trump is somehow responsible for Russian espionage and isn’t a real American and she is, and she’s standing up for American values and America, so there!
Wallace asked Trump if he rejects foreign espionage and interference with American elections. Trump didn’t take the bait and strongly denounced it. He quipped that Clinton’s comments were a “great pivot from the fact she wants open borders.” He also observed Vladimir Putin has no respect for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and he has outsmarted them at every turn. Which he has.
Exposing National Security: She did it again. She said when the president gives the order to use nucs it takes four minutes to be carried out, and the order must be carried out. It was unclear what she was talking about until she claimed some ten military leaders have expressed concerns about Trump and nucs. It appears she gave away information I’m sure our military would rather our enemies not have. Of course, the Clintons have always had a rather casual relationship with nuclear weapons. Bill once lost his card with the launch codes. It was never known how long it was lost or what became of it.
Trump responded that he has the endorsement of 200 generals and admirals. He said Hillary is a known liar and this is just another of her lies. Well, yes.
The Economy: Again, their positions were predicable. Clinton is all in for big government, pandered to the middle class, thinks government creates jobs and promised a huge jobs program and infrastructure program, clean energy to fight climate change, which she called a “serious problem.” She’ll increase the minimum wage, and give women equal pay for equal work. She’s going to make college debt free, give free tuition, and pay for it all by soaking the wealthy and corporations. All of this “could produce ten million jobs.” All of her spending was characterized as Obamite “investments,” though she will not add “one penny to the national debt.”
Clinton will double down on the Obama stimulus, and she claimed Obama “saved the economy,” which is something of a surprise to most Americans. We must “invest from the middle out and the ground up,” whatever that means. Oh, and we’re seeing an increase in wages! That too is a surprise to most Americans. Oh yes, and she is going to appoint the first ever “trade prosecutor.”
Clinton’s grasp of economics is miniscule. One could seize every penny the rich possess—everyone making over a million a year–and it would pay only about a third of the budget deficit for a single year. The national debt would continue to skyrocket. The same is true for fleecing corporations. And if such punitive tax rates were imposed, the rich would simply quit working, finally killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.
Trump’s economic ideas were not well expressed. I suspect this is a function of his relative inexperience in this arena. In general, they’re the opposite of Clinton’s. He would save some money by getting NATO countries to pay more for their own defense, and would cut income and business taxes.
Trump observed that Clinton had experience, 30 years of it, but it was all bad experience. She talks but accomplishes nothing. He asked, incredulously, how the State Department under her leadership could have lost six billion dollars. “How do you lose six billion?” Good question.
Clinton had no answer, but said she worked for kids, saved kids, went to Bejing, and sat in the situation room when they killed Bin Laden.
Trump responded with her disasters in Syria, Libya and elsewhere, and the vacuum she and Obama created in Iraq and elsewhere that created ISIS.
The Latest Trump Woman Issues: Trump said he doesn’t know the women, and they were probably an invention of the Clinton Campaign. He also asserted their stories are mostly debunked. Clinton responded with high-toned moralizing, pretending to be shocked, shocked! She also said she celebrates diversity and we shouldn’t pit people against each other. Yes. Hillary Clinton actually said that.
Trump observed that what is not fiction is Hillary’s destruction of 33,000 e-mails under subpoena. He brought up the General being prosecuted for a single instance of Hillary’s multiple lies, saying she lied hundreds of times to the people, Congress and the FBI. This had Clinton stumbling, until she came up with the idea that Trump never apologizes–I guess she wasn’t conscious at the last debate when he did just that–and claimed Trump incites violence at his rallies. I guess she hasn’t been keeping up with the news. Trump noted Hillary caused that violence.
The Clinton Foundation: Wallace asked a question about the Clinton Foundation, noting that in her 2009 confirmation hearing, she promised not to have even the appearance of a conflict of interest with the Foundation. He specifically asked about pay for play.
Clinton said all she did as Secretary of State was for the furtherance of American interests and values. She began to praise the Foundation, calling it a world-renowned charity that gives 90% of all its money to charity. The actual figure is 6%. The Foundation spends 90% on the Clintons, jet travel, and similar things. She dodged the question and Wallace tried to get her to answer to no avail.
One of Trump’s best moments came when he went after Clinton on women’s rights and asked if she would give back the millions she received from countries that kill women and push gays off buildings. She dodged that as well, and Trump didn’t follow up. Consider this from Wayward Mittens:
However, in watching the debate, I was completely ‘creeped out’ (to say the least) to this reaction: SICK! Watch Hillary Clinton Laugh When Trump Mentions Gays Being Tossed Off Buildings.
First off, if this had been (almost) anybody else, the media circus would have savaged them terribly by now, and would demand their head, so to speak. But this morning, from the major news sources, there’s nary a peep. Even in this Daily Mail post dealing specifically with Clinton’s continual weird smiles, there is no mention of some of the most inappropriate times that they came up.
Is The Election Rigged? Wallace asked, and Trump replied the Media are dishonest and corrupt, the voters are seeing through it. He said there are millions of people that shouldn’t be on voter roles.
This led Clinton to speak of Trump’s comments about rigged primaries, and she pretended to be horrified that Trump is denigrating “our democracy.”
Trump responded by bringing up the corruption of the FBI and DOJ, and Loretta Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton, which he characterized as a disgrace. That brought one of the rare instances of applause from the audience.
Wallace asked a gotcha question: would Trump recognize the results of the election? Trump replied that he would keep Wallace in suspense and decide at the time.
It was a perfect gotcha question. If Trump said he would, and had to contest any part of it, the media would mercilessly attack him. If he said he wouldn’t, or he would withhold judgment, the media would mercilessly attack him.
The media, including Fox News, have since characterized that as a horrible mistake and an attack on American institutions and customs. Nonsense. Any candidate has the right to contest an election. That’s a part of our Democracy. The Democrats have no standing to complain. Many of them, including Hillary Clinton, still claim George Bush stole both of his elections. That’s accepting election results? Not so much.
Foreign Policy: Wallace asked if ISIS is pushed out of Mosul, what would the candidates do to keep ISIS from seizing it again?
Clinton ruled out troops, because that would just inspire ISIS. Of course. You wouldn’t want to actually kill all those terrorists. They might get mad and act like terrorists or something.
Trump again went after Clinton for telling our enemies what we will and won’t do in advance. He said Obama is acting tough because he wants to make Hillary look good. It’s Iran that will be taking over Iraq, not ISIS. HE also noted that John Podesta, in the Wikileaks e-mails, said Clinton has terrible instincts.
Wallace brought up Aleppo, and Trump blamed Obama and Clinton for the migration of refugees, and for terrorists entering America: “thanks a lot for doing a great job,” he quipped to Clinton.
Wallace asked about a no fly zone. What would we do if a Russian plane violated it? Shoot them down?
Clinton didn’t answer, saying only that a no fly zone could save lives and shorten the conflict, and we would do careful vetting of Syrian refugees, ignoring the FBI Director and others who have testified we have no way of doing that. Strangely, she also said the nightclub killer in Florida was born in Queens–she added that Trump was born there too–apparently trying to claim that he wasn’t an Islamist because he wasn’t foreign born. What Trump’s being born in Queens has to do with an Islamist slaughtering gays in a nightclub–Trump didn’t hit that point either–is anyone’s guess.
National Debt: Wallace noted the national debt is already 77% of the Gross Domestic Product and will get higher. Trump’s answer was somewhat confused. He proposed hiring smart business people rather than political hacks to make trade deals, and vaguely asserted he would build a powerful “economic machine.”
Clinton claimed Trump is mean to America because he is criticizing things and says everything isn’t dandy. Her policies won’t add a penny to the national debt, and she’ll go where the money is: the wealthy and corporations. She certainly has plenty of experience at “going there.”
On dealing with entitlements, which Wallace said were 60% of the federal budget, Trump spoke of repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Wallace asked Clinton how she would keep Social Security and Medicare from running out of money. She replied that she would put more money in the “social security trust fund,” and she won’t cut benefits. In fact, she will raise them for women. In fact, Obamacare actually helped keep Social Security solvent!
Trump replied, with one of the few decent zingers of the night: “Your husband disagrees with you.”
Clinton will reach out to all Americans–except the deplorables, Catholics, etc.–and make America fairer and make it work for everyone. Oh yes, she’s for children and families, and corporations–from whom she has taken tens of millions of dollars–are evil.
Trump began with “She’s raising money from the people she wants to control.” He will fix our military, help veterans, and restore law and order. The inner cities are a disaster, and he’ll actually help blacks and Latinos, noting that Democrats get their votes, and then leave them for another four years. He closed thus:
We can’t take four more years of Barack Obama.