Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Say Anything, Joe. Anything at All.

 

I started the day gloomily thinking that last night’s debate was worse than useless. I’ve changed my mind.

Trump is Trump. He wins as Trump. He loses as Trump. If all his accomplishments (the astonishing progress made in bringing peace to the freakin’ Middle East?!) are not enough to persuade Never Trumpers, nothing Trump could’ve said or done last night would’ve done the trick. Had he conducted himself last night with peaceable, statesmanlike civility, he would have gained nothing but the startled alarm of viewers thinking they were watching a man having a stroke.

Trump should not try to appear to be other than he is and, anyhow, he can’t.

This is actually a huge advantage for the GOP, hard as that can be to remember. Pretending to be other than you are, even for a practiced liar, is hard work. Not only does Biden have to think carefully about which lies he is telling to what audience, his handlers have to monitor and remember too. They don’t just have to spin Biden’s gaffes, they often have to spin them in both directions at the same time.

“No, he’s not going to implement the Green New Deal/of course he’s going to implement the Green New Deal!” “Joe Biden loves America for all her flaws!/ Joe knows that this country is systemically racist!” et cetera, et-exhaustingly-cetera.

Contrary to popular belief, conservatives are a lot more tolerant than prog-lefties. Trump has latitude a Democrat could only dream of. Religious social conservatives cut him some slack on his sins, fiscal conservatives aren’t savagely attacking him for not tackling the deficit and, however much the Never Trumpers loathe Trump, he isn’t leading a party in which a significant minority has proven itself eager to, and I quote, “burn the system to the ground.” Expletives deleted.

Moderates mostly dislike Trump because Trump is Trump, and also because of abortion. This is why Never Trumpers get along so nicely with moderate Democrats; they basically are moderate Democrats. That’s not an insult–I was a moderate Democrat myself once. I get it.

The alt-left is very different. Disgruntled Bernie Bros, critical-theorists, identitarians, wanna-be dismantlers of Western culture, 1619 anti-racists … they have soaked the discursive landscape in gasoline and are standing by, matches lit, waiting for Biden to say the wrong thing. There are many, many wrong things.

The Biden campaign has obviously decided the best strategy is for him to avoid saying…anything. That way, voters can project onto him whatever they most want to believe. If you’re a rational, pragmatic moderate who longs for civility…so is Biden! If you’re AOC and Co., Biden’s just a puppet who, thanks to his own and Jill’s overweening ambition, can be manipulated into turning America into a Woke-Socialist Utopia.

There were some openings that, in my humble opinion, Trump missed. For instance, Biden’s “you’ve been in the bunker” jab (a golf thing) could so easily have been met with “Where have you been, Joe? You’ve been in the basement all summer long!” and then have called Chris Wallace to witness: “Chris, didn’t I talk with you, on the record, for two hours in the hot sun? Why hasn’t Joe done a two-hour interview with you?”

The “nobody goes to Biden’s events” was fine, but it’s not just that nobody goes to Biden’s campaign events; it’s that he doesn’t have them. Again, not (just) because he’s old, frail, gaffe-prone, and incoherent, though he’s all of that and more, but also because the campaign can’t afford to have him saying anything. To anyone.

It’s not (just) that Biden is a liar. Of course, he is. His problem–the Democrat’s problem–is that his candidacy consists of one truth and two lies. “I’m not Trump” (true), plus lies that not only directly contradict each other, but must somehow be told, convincingly, to two groups who share the same metaphorical and sometimes physical space: moderate, longing-for-normalcy Democrats, and the Alt-Left.

Of the two major factions, the moderates are marginally more flexible. They find Biden’s old shtick–“working-class Joe”–comforting. The alt-left? Well, “working-class Joe” doesn’t fly with people who don’t even know what a “lunch bucket” is, and for whom the term “working man” conjures privileged, oppressive white male construction workers (which is to say, ick).

The alt-left is not interested in The Workers, only in The Marginalized. In their worldview, there is no room for compromise and no grace for error. Joe Biden is already a Rich Old White Male. He can be useful…but he is despised. And if he strays too far from what the Alt-Left considers to be The Truth, they will abandon him and his expedient strategy of [temporary! Only temporary!] accommodation, and burn the system to the ground, or at least singe it around the edges.

Given all of that, the best thing that happened last night was that Biden was forced to say something–anything. He had to say something about the Green New Deal. He did not endorse it. Biden was forced to say something about law enforcement. He expressed lukewarm, ineffectual support.

Ironically or perhaps poetically, given that the left has made all speech, all debate, all dialectic dangerous … it is Biden, not Trump, who has to walk on eggshells. It is dangerous for Biden to speak. At all. Everyone in the Democratic coalition has good reason to be deeply suspicious of Biden, and to be alert for signs that he will betray them (which he will, in an arhythmic heartbeat).

In a just and rational world, Chris Wallace would’ve asked Biden when he completed a program in anti-racism training and what he learned. That’s not going to happen, but the next time Biden brings up anything to do with race (which he shall), Trump should ask Biden this. Or even just ask Biden if he–Biden–is a racist. As in “Joe, you’re a rich old white guy just like me. Are you racist?” Then he should (if he can) close his mouth and let Biden talk.

He can’t say anything. Even if his brain was working properly, it would not be able to produce the right answer because there isn’t one.

The debates aren’t about policies and plans. The debates are about debate–about who gets to have and express an opinion and why. Race, privilege, speech itself…these aren’t land mines in the ground, they are the ground, plowed, cultivated, planted, and guarded by the people who will…or won’t...vote for Biden. Not only for the sake of his campaign, but for the sake of the country, Trump should force Biden onto that ground, keep him there, and keep him talking.

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  1. Arahant Member

    GrannyDude: Not only for the sake of his campaign, but for the sake of the country, Trump should force Biden onto that ground, keep him there, and keep him talking.

    I like it.

    • #1
    • September 30, 2020, at 1:18 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    One of my immediate thoughts last night was that the President, by constantly interrupting Joe Biden, probably intended to fluster him and get him lost. I think it had the opposite effect. It kept his brain cells firing. I think if the President had just let Joe speak, we would have seen his evasive, meandering non-answers for what they were. Unfortunately, the President actually saved Biden by always talking over him.

    Anyway, there were a few times that Biden tried to give the moderate response, and Trump quipped “You just lost your leftist base” (or words to that effect).

    Of course, Biden was all over the place, first saying he opposed the Green New Deal, then in the very next breath, talking about how many great jobs it will bring.

    GrannyDude: Race, privilege, speech itself…these aren’t land mines in the ground, they are the ground, plowed, cultivated, planted and guarded by the people who will…or won’t...vote for Biden. Not only for the sake of his campaign, but for the sake of the country, Trump should force Biden onto that ground, keep him there, and keep him talking. 

    Completely agreed. Though I just don’t see that anyone is actually voting for Biden. They’re voting against what the President represents to them (real or fictional). So really, Biden can say anything and I can’t see that he’ll lose many votes.

     

    • #2
    • September 30, 2020, at 1:27 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  3. Stad Thatcher

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):
    One of my immediate thoughts last night was that the President, by constantly interrupting Joe Biden, probably intended to fluster him and get him lost. I think it had the opposite effect. It kept his brain cells firing. I think if the President had just let Joe speak, we would have seen his evasive, meandering non-answers for what they were. Unfortunately, the President actually saved Biden by always talking over him.

    I think Trump was using the tactic the Dems use on the Sunday morning talk shows, or any interview where there’s an opposite number ready to address lies he tells – yell early and often, interrupt, don’t let the other side make his point. I’m glad we have someone willing to use the left’s tactics against them. We’ll never be able to return to real debates where real information is exchanged and presented to voters.

    • #3
    • September 30, 2020, at 1:53 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    One of my immediate thoughts last night was that the President, by constantly interrupting Joe Biden, probably intended to fluster him and get him lost. I think it had the opposite effect. It kept his brain cells firing. I think if the President had just let Joe speak, we would have seen his evasive, meandering non-answers for what they were. Unfortunately, the President actually saved Biden by always talking over him.

    Anyway, there were a few times that Biden tried to give the moderate response, and Trump quipped “You just lost your leftist base” (or words to that effect).

    Of course, Biden was all over the place, first saying he opposed the Green New Deal, then in the very next breath, talking about how many great jobs it will bring.

    GrannyDude: Race, privilege, speech itself…these aren’t land mines in the ground, they are the ground, plowed, cultivated, planted and guarded by the people who will…or won’t...vote for Biden. Not only for the sake of his campaign, but for the sake of the country, Trump should force Biden onto that ground, keep him there, and keep him talking.

    Completely agreed. Though I just don’t see that anyone is actually voting for Biden. They’re voting against what the President represents to them (real or fictional). So really, Biden can say anything and I can’t see that he’ll lose many votes.

     

    Some number of “Biden voters” who are actually Bernie voters. They already believe—with excellent reason—that Bernie was maneuvered off the ballot twice, and that Bernie could actually have defeated Trump had he, rather than Hillary, been the candidate the last time around. I’m not saying they can be flipped for Trump.

    I’m saying they might refuse to vote for someone who is—clearly, blindingly, obviously—a creature of the system they believe—also with excellent reason—is going to be served no matter which of the two rich old white guys gets elected. 

    Oooh, that gives me another bit advice I can imagine myself giving to Trump: Donald! Whenever you get the chance, point out that you and Ol’ Joe are both old, rich, white men. Throw in “capitalist” too, as in “What did I think of the debate? I thought the better-looking of the two old, rich, white, capitalist men won, hands down.” 

    Remember back in 2000, when there were lefties who voted for Ralph Nader because Bush and Gore were essentially indistinguishable from one another?

    “None of the above” was a candidate in the last election, and I think NOTA is on the ballot this time, too. 

    • #4
    • September 30, 2020, at 2:02 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Stad (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):
    One of my immediate thoughts last night was that the President, by constantly interrupting Joe Biden, probably intended to fluster him and get him lost. I think it had the opposite effect. It kept his brain cells firing. I think if the President had just let Joe speak, we would have seen his evasive, meandering non-answers for what they were. Unfortunately, the President actually saved Biden by always talking over him.

    I think Trump was using the tactic the Dems use on the Sunday morning talk shows, or any interview where there’s an opposite number ready to address lies he tells – yell early and often, interrupt, don’t let the other side make his point. I’m glad we have someone willing to use the left’s tactics against them. We’ll never be able to return to real debates where real information is exchanged and presented to voters.

    Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to watch a debate between, say, Nikki Haley and Tulsi Gabbard? Or Dan Crenshaw and Tulsi Gabbard? Or Daniel Cambell and Tulsi Gabbard? (Sorry, Tulsi—I’m putting this on you because I can’t think of any Democrat I’d be remotely interested in seeing in a debate). 

    • #5
    • September 30, 2020, at 2:07 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  6. Django Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    One of my immediate thoughts last night was that the President, by constantly interrupting Joe Biden, probably intended to fluster him and get him lost. I think it had the opposite effect. It kept his brain cells firing. I think if the President had just let Joe speak, we would have seen his evasive, meandering non-answers for what they were. Unfortunately, the President actually saved Biden by always talking over him.

    Anyway, there were a few times that Biden tried to give the moderate response, and Trump quipped “You just lost your leftist base” (or words to that effect).

    Of course, Biden was all over the place, first saying he opposed the Green New Deal, then in the very next breath, talking about how many great jobs it will bring.

    GrannyDude: Race, privilege, speech itself…these aren’t land mines in the ground, they are the ground, plowed, cultivated, planted and guarded by the people who will…or won’t...vote for Biden. Not only for the sake of his campaign, but for the sake of the country, Trump should force Biden onto that ground, keep him there, and keep him talking.

    Completely agreed. Though I just don’t see that anyone is actually voting for Biden. They’re voting against what the President represents to them (real or fictional). So really, Biden can say anything and I can’t see that he’ll lose many votes.

     

    Some number of “Biden voters” who are actually Bernie voters. They already believe—with excellent reason—that Bernie was maneuvered off the ballot twice, and that Bernie could actually have defeated Trump had he, rather than Hillary, been the candidate the last time around. I’m not saying they can be flipped for Trump.

    I’m saying they might refuse to vote for someone who is—clearly, blindingly, obviously—a creature of the system they believe—also with excellent reason—is going to be served no matter which of the two rich old white guys gets elected.

    Oooh, that gives me another bit advice I can imagine myself giving to Trump: Donald! Whenever you get the chance, point out that you and Ol’ Joe are both old, rich, white men. Throw in “capitalist” too, as in “What did I think of the debate? I thought the better-looking of the two old, rich, white, capitalist men won, hands down.”

    Remember back in 2000, when there were lefties who voted for Ralph Nader because Bush and Gore were essentially indistinguishable from one another?

    “None of the above” was a candidate in the last election, and I think NOTA is on the ballot this time, too.

    Trump made his money before entering politics. Joe and his family got rich in and through politics. Shouldn’t that matter?

    • #6
    • September 30, 2020, at 3:26 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  7. Stina Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to watch a debate between, say, Nikki Haley and Tulsi Gabbard? Or Dan Crenshaw and Tulsi Gabbard? Or Daniel Cambell and Tulsi Gabbard? (Sorry, Tulsi—I’m putting this on you because I can’t think of any Democrat I’d be remotely interested in seeing in a debate). 

    I liked Tulsi, too. I wouldn’t vote for her, but I’d tolerate her presidency.

    • #7
    • September 30, 2020, at 3:51 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  8. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Trump did a better job than W, McCain, or Romney. His willingness to fight back against the bias and hostility is a plus, not a minus.

    • #8
    • September 30, 2020, at 4:29 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Stina (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to watch a debate between, say, Nikki Haley and Tulsi Gabbard? Or Dan Crenshaw and Tulsi Gabbard? Or Daniel Cambell and Tulsi Gabbard? (Sorry, Tulsi—I’m putting this on you because I can’t think of any Democrat I’d be remotely interested in seeing in a debate).

    I liked Tulsi, too. I wouldn’t vote for her, but I’d tolerate her presidency.

    Right? And she has some principles, at least. That would be an interesting debate. But that would also be a different situation, one in which someone like Tulsi could be the Democratic candidate. 

    Ai yi yi.

     

    • #9
    • September 30, 2020, at 4:54 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Bill Nelson Member

    Had he conducted himself last night with peaceable, statesmanlike civility, he would have gained nothing but the startled alarm of viewers thinking they were watching a man having a stroke.

    Since this has never happened we will never know.

    Tough men face facts and situations. Trump bullies. Tough men are prepared, Trump is not. And what is worse is that there is a whole bunch of “new” Republican candidates who imitate his style.

     

    • #10
    • September 30, 2020, at 5:30 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Ekosj Member

    GrannyDude: The debates aren’t about policies and plans. The debates are about debate–about who gets to have and express an opinion and why. Race, privilege, speech itself…these aren’t land mines in the ground, they are the ground, plowed, cultivated, planted, and guarded by the people who will…or won’t...vote for Biden. Not only for the sake of his campaign, but for the sake of the country, Trump should force Biden onto that ground, keep him there, and keep him talking.

    Somebody get Granny a White House pass.

    • #11
    • September 30, 2020, at 5:30 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GrannyDude: Ironically or perhaps poetically, given that the left has made all speech, all debate, all dialectic dangerous … it is Biden, not Trump, who has to walk on eggshells. It is dangerous for Biden to speak. At all. Everyone in the Democratic coalition has good reason to be deeply suspicious of Biden, and to be alert for signs that he will betray them (which he will, in an arhythmic heartbeat).

    GrannyDude: He can’t say anything. Even if his brain was working properly, it would not be able to produce the right answer because there isn’t one.

    Granny,

    I do believe you’ve nailed it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #12
    • September 30, 2020, at 5:34 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    There is a marked difference between the audio of the debate and the transcript. I haven’t seen all of it but I have seen some representative sections. Trump may have anticipated Biden behaving like he did with Ryan. At the end, Biden was getting there with insults but I agree Trump interrupted too much

    • #13
    • September 30, 2020, at 5:37 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. E. Kent Golding Member

    Trump should just have kept Biden talking.

    • #14
    • September 30, 2020, at 5:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Bill Nelson (View Comment):

    Had he conducted himself last night with peaceable, statesmanlike civility, he would have gained nothing but the startled alarm of viewers thinking they were watching a man having a stroke.

    Since this has never happened we will never know.

    Tough men face facts and situations. Trump bullies. Tough men are prepared, Trump is not. And what is worse is that there is a whole bunch of “new” Republican candidates who imitate his style.

    Of course it didn’t happen. Trump—as I believe I mentioned—is Trump. That’s who he is.

    And—he’s temporary. He’s in office for another few months or for another four years. Trump isn’t a common phenomenon—on the contrary, as politicians go, he is utterly unique. Something to be either grateful or regretful about, depending upon the task at hand. Given where I think we are as a country, I choose to be very, very grateful.

    He is a tool (yes, yes, in both senses) but not a scalpel. He’s a feller-buncher. I want him to stay in there, working that woodlot, clearing out as much anti-American, anti-free-speech woke-scold critical-theory nonsense as he possibly can, all the way up til the last moment of his time in office, whether that’s January 2o21 or 2025.

    Who is imitating his style? As far as I can tell, there is some really terrific young talent coming up, none remind me of the The Donald. By 2024, the GOP could field a smart, articulate, funny, experienced black/white, straight/gay, all-black or all-female (or black/female, etc) ticket without even having to break into a tokenizing sweat about it. Rick Grennell could wipe the floor with any of this year’s “look-how-marginalized-I-am” democratic primary poseurs without being even slightly Trumpish. Pence would have an embarasse des riches to choose from for his VP. (Ooooh, pick Rick! Just to make what few proglefty heads are still intact go pop!)

    By the way, I love that picture of Churchill—I’ve got it on my office wall at work.

    Not everyone can be Winston. {but I “liked” your answer, because I’m always happy that people are willing to argue with me , especially a Churchill fan.}

    • #15
    • September 30, 2020, at 6:13 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  16. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    This is a feller-buncher:

    • #16
    • September 30, 2020, at 6:16 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  17. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Bill Nelson (View Comment):
    And what is worse is that there is a whole bunch of “new” Republican candidates who imitate his style.

    Good. It’s about time the Republicans stopped being a party of globalist pansies.

    • #17
    • September 30, 2020, at 6:27 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  18. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Django (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    One of my immediate thoughts last night was that the President, by constantly interrupting Joe Biden, probably intended to fluster him and get him lost. I think it had the opposite effect. It kept his brain cells firing. I think if the President had just let Joe speak, we would have seen his evasive, meandering non-answers for what they were. Unfortunately, the President actually saved Biden by always talking over him.

    Anyway, there were a few times that Biden tried to give the moderate response, and Trump quipped “You just lost your leftist base” (or words to that effect).

    Of course, Biden was all over the place, first saying he opposed the Green New Deal, then in the very next breath, talking about how many great jobs it will bring.

    GrannyDude: Race, privilege, speech itself…these aren’t land mines in the ground, they are the ground, plowed, cultivated, planted and guarded by the people who will…or won’t...vote for Biden. Not only for the sake of his campaign, but for the sake of the country, Trump should force Biden onto that ground, keep him there, and keep him talking.

    Completely agreed. Though I just don’t see that anyone is actually voting for Biden. They’re voting against what the President represents to them (real or fictional). So really, Biden can say anything and I can’t see that he’ll lose many votes.

     

    Some number of “Biden voters” who are actually Bernie voters. They already believe—with excellent reason—that Bernie was maneuvered off the ballot twice, and that Bernie could actually have defeated Trump had he, rather than Hillary, been the candidate the last time around. I’m not saying they can be flipped for Trump.

    I’m saying they might refuse to vote for someone who is—clearly, blindingly, obviously—a creature of the system they believe—also with excellent reason—is going to be served no matter which of the two rich old white guys gets elected.

    Oooh, that gives me another bit advice I can imagine myself giving to Trump: Donald! Whenever you get the chance, point out that you and Ol’ Joe are both old, rich, white men. Throw in “capitalist” too, as in “What did I think of the debate? I thought the better-looking of the two old, rich, white, capitalist men won, hands down.”

    Remember back in 2000, when there were lefties who voted for Ralph Nader because Bush and Gore were essentially indistinguishable from one another?

    “None of the above” was a candidate in the last election, and I think NOTA is on the ballot this time, too.

    Trump made his money before entering politics. Joe and his family got rich in and through politics. Shouldn’t that matter?

    It does to me, Django! I feel a lot better about Trump’s money, for all his skeezie business practices, knowing that he wasn’t raking it in from taxpayers.

    I think that may be a nuance too far for proglefties. I say this as someone who was once memorably excoriated, at considerable length, as an old white b***h…because I am white (duh) and, as I had just explained, I accompany law enforcement officers on search and rescue operations in the Maine Woods.

    Yeah. I didn’t get the Klan angle on that myself. The upshot is that these are not deep thinkers. Even (or especially) the well-educated ones. 

    • #18
    • September 30, 2020, at 6:29 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  19. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    (Ooooh, pick Rick! Just to make what few proglefty heads are still intact go pop!) 

    I still hear from lefty friends how the President wants to lock up all the gays and take away their rights.

    The President who just told the UN that the decriminalization of homosexuality across the globe is a worthwhile goal.

    The President who is the first to appoint an openly gay man to a cabinet-level position.

    Yeah, that’s the guy who hates the gays.

    And sadly, you can point out this stuff to them, and it simply does not compute. No matter what he says or does, they can read his deepest thoughts, and he’s obviously anti-gay.

    As I said before, the President is incapable of hiding his thoughts — on anything.

    I hate the mind-reading garbage.

    • #19
    • September 30, 2020, at 6:30 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  20. Django Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    (Ooooh, pick Rick! Just to make what few proglefty heads are still intact go pop!)

    I still hear from lefty friends how the President wants to lock up all the gays and take away their rights.

    The President who just told the UN that the decriminalization of homosexuality across the globe is a worthwhile goal.

    The President who is the first to appoint an openly gay man to a cabinet-level position.

    Yeah, that’s the guy who hates the gays.

    And sadly, you can point out this stuff to them, and it simply does not compute. No matter what he says or does, they can read his deepest thoughts, and he’s obviously anti-gay.

    As I said before, the President is incapable of hiding his thoughts — on anything.

    I hate the mind-reading garbage.

    It comes down to this: unless you are willing to publicly and loudly acknowledge that a homosexual union is the moral equivalent of a monogamous heterosexual union, commonly called a marriage, no matter what your actions toward homosexuals have been, you are a hater.

    It goes no deeper than that.

    • #20
    • September 30, 2020, at 6:48 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. MarciN Member

    I think Trump was feeling very defensive last night, and his emotions affected the way he came across to viewers.

    Something similar happened to him one other time as dramatically–in the first foreign policy interview he gave in 2016 to the Washington Post. (That was the interview that caused Claire Berlinski to lose it. :-) I can’t get at it now because it is behind a paywall, but it comes right up with a search for “transcript: Donald Trump’s foreign policy interview Washington Post.”) In the transcript, he starts off when the reporters are being introduced to him by saying something to effect of, “You really don’t like me much.” Which, of course, was true. It was very clear to me when I read it that he was feeling extremely defensive, and he really wasn’t at his best. I saw a YouTube clip later of his rally speech that September when he discussed in detail the problems he saw with the Iran Deal, and he was as cogent as it was possible for anyone to be on that subject. So I was right about the Washington Post debacle.

    The Biden-Clinton-Clinton-Obama-Obama (Michelle has been wildly against Trump since day 1) crew has been relentless in pursuing Donald Trump on a personal basis. (Jean Valjean would be envious!)

    And for Biden to be making the accusations about Trump that he has been making for months, for the impeachment that somehow never got around to inquiring about Hunter Biden’s relationship with the Ukrainians, . . . Especially about how Trump handled the pandemic when it started. Unbelievable for the Democrats to be saying these things.

    It must have simply flipped a switch in Trump’s mind. He thought going into this that he could handle it. But we often surprise ourselves with the amount of heat in our emotional reactions to what people say to us when we are face-to-face with them. And this is why we need lawyers.

    I know Trump will do really well in the next debate. Last night was just a warm-up.

    • #21
    • September 30, 2020, at 7:50 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  22. The Reticulator Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    The President who is the first to appoint an openly gay man to a cabinet-level position.

    Yeah, that’s the guy who hates the gays.

    The gay agenda is not about gays. That’s why they hate him.

    • #22
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:07 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  23. Django Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think Trump was feeling very defensive last night, and his emotions affected the way he came across to viewers.

    Something similar happened to him one other time as dramatically–in the first foreign policy interview he gave in 2016 to the Washington Post. (That was the interview that caused Claire Berlinski to lose it. :-) I can’t get at it now because it is behind a paywall, but it comes right up with a search for “transcript: Donald Trump’s foreign policy interview Washington Post.”) In the transcript, he starts off when the reporters are being introduced to him by saying something to effect of, “You really don’t like me much.” Which, of course, was true. It was very clear to me when I read it that he was feeling extremely defensive, and he really wasn’t at his best. I saw a YouTube clip later of his rally speech that September when he discussed in detail the problems he saw with the Iran Deal, and he was as cogent as it was possible for anyone to be on that subject. So I was right about the Washington Post debacle.

    The Biden-Clinton-Clinton-Obama-Obama (Michelle has been wildly against Trump since day 1) crew has been relentless in pursuing Donald Trump on a personal basis. (Jean Valjean would be envious!)

    And for Biden to be making the accusations about Trump that he has been making for months, for the impeachment that somehow never got around to inquiring about Hunter Biden’s relationship with the Ukrainians, . . . Especially about how Trump handled the pandemic when it started. Unbelievable for the Democrats to be saying these things.

    It must have simply flipped a switch in Trump’s mind. He thought going into this that he could handle it. But we often surprise ourselves with the amount of heat in our emotional reactions to what people say to us when we are face-to-face with them. And this is why we need lawyers.

    I know Trump will do really well in the next debate. Last night was just a warm-up.

    People are already trying to set Trump up by changing the debate rules. I can imagine they will try to make the rules unacceptable to Trump as a means of getting Slow Joe out of the next debate. 

    • #23
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:17 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    GrannyDude: Moderates mostly dislike Trump because Trump is Trump, and also because of abortion. This is why Never Trumpers get along so nicely with moderate Democrats; they basically are moderate Democrats.

    Exactly on point! See Tom Ridge. See Cindy McCain.

    • #24
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:23 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  25. MarciN Member

    I now disagree completely with what I wrote in comment 21. :-) I was definitely wrong in the impression I formed of the debate. (And I’m really glad I was. :-) )

    I just read a fascinating opinion piece that Henry Racette linked to in his post on the debate. 

    I strongly recommend this article. It presents an entirely different picture. 

    • #25
    • September 30, 2020, at 9:28 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  26. Giulietta Coolidge

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I now disagree completely with what I wrote in comment 21. :-) I was definitely wrong in the impression I formed of the debate. (And I’m really glad I was. :-) )

    I just read a fascinating opinion piece that Henry Racette linked to in his post on the debate.

    I strongly recommend this article. It presents an entirely different picture.

    That is a great piece but I don’t disagree entirely with what you wrote earlier either. I think the first debate was a warm up in some ways. Every single thing Trump said was, in fact, valid, but he didn’t need to talk over Biden quite so much because that was exhausting. I think Biden can wear himself out by talking more and Trump can pounce and rip him to shreds immediately on completion as he did in the Beau example. Biden is shameless- the loss of his son was a tragedy but he allows it to be brought out again and again for political use. Biden planted Beau as a political landmine which Trump savvily spotted from a mile away and deftly sidestepped, and went for the Hunter jugular which Biden was trying to protect and frankly, hide. The point of that article was that Trump’s appeal is his ability to upend old politics and to that end, let Trump be Trump. But I think he will make a few more tweaks to seem less defensive and more offensive next time.

    • #26
    • October 1, 2020, at 4:58 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  27. Stad Thatcher

    GrannyDude: Trump is Trump. He wins as Trump. He loses as Trump. If all his accomplishments (the astonishing progress made in bringing peace to the freakin’ Middle East?!) are not enough to persuade Never Trumpers, nothing Trump could’ve said or done last night would’ve done the trick.

    Trump is “The Man in the Arena.” Most never-Trumpers are sideline pundits with nothing to lose by criticizing Trump for being himself. Their criticism is so vitriolic, they blind themselves to what Trump is doing. And for the few who do see, their adherence to their lofty moral principles prevents them from saying they were wrong . . .

    • #27
    • October 1, 2020, at 6:00 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  28. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    From the piece Marci referenced:

    One of Trump’s main functions and biggest appeals is that he exposes the occupational elites that are credentialed but not expert in much of anything. Everyone knows it. Imposter syndrome is rampant. And Trump preys on their insecurities which is what provokes such outrageous reactions from his enemies. But a lot of Americans who live in interior America and get unglamorous jobs at slowly declining wages, raise their families want nothing more than to be left alone by the credentialed but unaccomplished strivers who hate them. For those people, Trump is their champion.

    They probably don’t aspire to be like Trump, but they like the fact that he exposes the bankruptcy of the undeserving ruling class.

     

    • #28
    • October 1, 2020, at 6:55 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  29. MarciN Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    GrannyDude: Trump is Trump. He wins as Trump. He loses as Trump. If all his accomplishments (the astonishing progress made in bringing peace to the freakin’ Middle East?!) are not enough to persuade Never Trumpers, nothing Trump could’ve said or done last night would’ve done the trick.

    Trump is “The Man in the Arena.” Most never-Trumpers are sideline pundits with nothing to lose by criticizing Trump for being himself. Their criticism is so vitriolic, they blind themselves to what Trump is doing. And for the few who do see, their adherence to their lofty moral principles prevents them from saying they were wrong . . .

    You are absolutely right. He is! 

    • #29
    • October 1, 2020, at 7:20 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. MarciN Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    From the piece Marci referenced:

    One of Trump’s main functions and biggest appeals is that he exposes the occupational elites that are credentialed but not expert in much of anything. Everyone knows it. Imposter syndrome is rampant. And Trump preys on their insecurities which is what provokes such outrageous reactions from his enemies. But a lot of Americans who live in interior America and get unglamorous jobs at slowly declining wages, raise their families want nothing more than to be left alone by the credentialed but unaccomplished strivers who hate them. For those people, Trump is their champion.

    They probably don’t aspire to be like Trump, but they like the fact that he exposes the bankruptcy of the undeserving ruling class.

    I’m so sorry you picked up that paragraph. It’s the only paragraph that made me wince. The author is using the term “imposter syndrome” exactly oppositely from what it means. :-) That said, I know what his intention is in that passage. He’s saying they are not as clever as their degrees say they are. :-)

    He just needs an editor to review his work. :-) :-) Someday he’ll make the big leagues. :-) He’s an excellent analyst and writer. :-)

    • #30
    • October 1, 2020, at 7:25 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.