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The Third Presidential Debate

The third presidential debate [1] was arguably the most substantive of the general election, but that wasn’t a high bar to clear. It was also probably Trump’s best performance against Clinton, but it still wasn’t nearly good enough to close the gap between them. His refusal [2] to say simply that he would accept the result of the election became the main takeaway from the debate and the banner headline in practically every newspaper. Trump was very likely to lose the election anyway at this point, but he seems determined to lose it in a way that will bring even more discredit on him and his supporters. He managed to overshadow everything else he said during the debate with that one answer, and anything else he said–for good or ill–will receive very little attention. Since Trump was already trailing Clinton going into the debate, the onus was on him to score a clear victory. He did not, and he missed his last major chance to make the election more competitive. That failure is his, and no one else did it to him.

Clinton was forced to dodge questions about donors to the Clinton Foundation and her support for a “no-fly zone” in Syria, but that was the result of tough questioning from the moderator. Her answers to these questions were woefully inadequate and evasive, but her opponent didn’t take advantage of them. Trump never really managed to get the better of Clinton the entire night, and he tended to ramble aimlessly in response to questions that might have worked to his advantage. On more than one occasion, he ended up railing against the nuclear deal with Iran in response to questions that had nothing to do with it. This not only kept him from giving a coherent answer to the questions he was asked, but it also showed how heavily he relied on discredited hawkish talking points when he ran into difficulty. At one point, Trump tried to attack Clinton over New START, which he laughably called “the start-up.” Even if there had been merit to Trump’s criticism, he made such a hash of it as to make his attack useless.

The result of all this was that Clinton was able to escape scrutiny of most of her record. She was never asked to defend her support for the Libyan war, nor did she really have to answer for anything else that she did as Secretary of State. Once again, her opponent didn’t know enough to know how to use her record against her. Despite her poor record on foreign policy, Clinton was able to get off almost completely scot-free.

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32 Comments To "The Third Presidential Debate"

#1 Comment By Viriato On October 20, 2016 @ 8:13 am

“The result of all this was that Clinton was able to escape scrutiny of most of her record. She was never asked to defend her support for the Libyan war, nor did she really have to answer for anything else that she did as Secretary of State.”

Yes. I would have expected this if Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush had been the GOP nominee, but I truly expected better from Trump.

To this day, I am dumbfounded that the Trump campaign has never used “We came, we saw, he died!” or “What difference, at this point, does it make?” against Clinton. To not replay these gaffes over and over again is quite possibly the worst case of political amateurism I have ever seen. Just think back to 2008: one of the Obama campaign’s most devastating tactics was to constantly remind voters of McCain’s “The fundamentals of the economy are strong” gaffe.

The GOP had a golden opportunity this year. Clinton is an incredibly flawed candidate. Yet the GOP blew it by nominating a bad person who is totally unqualified to be President. My only consolation is that Rubio or Bush would have been even worse candidates than Trump… and probably worse Presidents than Clinton.

At least Trump *started,* however haltingly, to put the Washington foreign policy consensus under scrutiny. That was a small but unprecedented step for a major-party presidential candidate. Hopefully, it will pave the way for a more serious, profound, and systematic critique of the Washington consensus from a major-party candidate in the future. Right now, I don’t see who that could possibly be, but then I never imagined Trump would ever actually throw his hat into the ring, much less win the GOP nomination.

#2 Comment By Dakarian On October 20, 2016 @ 8:26 am

Firstly, let me start up with a suggestion for the country: Figure out a way to clone Wallace twice and have each one of them run a debate. The only reason why this debate actually had a bit of meat to it is because of what Wallace put into it and I loved how he kept both candidates feet on the fire while actually letting them debate and go after each other at times.

The problem is that he had far too many issues to go over and not enough time to do it. This election has focused so (word removed by author) much on scandals about foundations and emails and groping and “OMG he said this” and “OMG she said that” that there’s no room left to talk about actual policy. That’s part of the problem.

The main part, though, is Trump. Not his original platform, which I’ve repeatedly said is appealing (even if I disagree with a good portion of it, it brings points of discussion that need to be addressed) or his voter base (some of which are crazy, but as we’ve seen, the crazies of the democrats are also fully active). Trump is leading a voice desperate to be heard and needing to be heard, but he’s the worst man for the job.

His record and past is incredibly flawed and wide open to character attacks. This allowed Clinton to pivot every question she didn’t like right into a character issue. Free trade issues? Trump used illegal Chinese Steel. Taxes? Trump never paid any. Jobs? Trump hires illegals and doesn’t pay his contractors. Foreign policy? Trump worships Putin and wants to nuke and grab all the oil. So on so on.

Of course you can do similar against Hillary and she’s just as open. But while the folks of TAC and other conservative areas have plenty of good ideas of how he could do it, Trump doesn’t do it. He just makes the same generic insults (“she’s a disaster, it’s a disaster, everything is a disaster, and everyone is smarter too”) but beyond the initial quote-worthy line he doesn’t press hard on specifics nor does he focus on enough specifics on what makes him better. Or he’s hitting points that hurt him more than help. He based his claim that Clinton wants open boarders on immigration on a wikileaks document that was about energy policy? He’s attacking the Clinton Foundation while holding a similarly shady Foundation of his own?

Though really all of this is moot since he tends to take ALL of the air out of the room with talking points that have nothing to do with Clinton’s policy issues or his benefits on policy but are all about Trump. I take note that everyone, from the analysis after the debate to the news sites to even TAC’s first point to bring up about the debate was Trump’s answer when asked if he’ll respect the results of the election. He could’ve spent the entire debate pinning Clinton to the wall with a powerful performance and it’ll all be useless because:

“Trump won’t commit to accepting election results if he loses”

is the big takeaway.

And that’s why I cringed when I saw what Republicans were selecting during the primaries. It wasn’t just because Trump is Trump, but also because a weak Republican candidate results in a weak Democratic candidate that wins anyway. Clinton is a candidate that started out with a lot of flaws and very low support from her base. A strong Republican Candidate would’ve either forced Clinton to clean up her act and pivot more into a populist stance or resulted in a stronger Democratic primary due to a desperate need to put up a more electable contender to follow up on Obama.

But we got Trump. Which, I remind myself, was still the best option from the primary (given that Rand Paul fell off a cliff somehow). And because we got Trump THIS is the election we got.

Honestly the folks I feel worst about are his voting base, and I mean in a “I feel for your loss” way. It’s full of people who are either losing their way of life, such as blue collars that used to be in manufacturing, and those who fear they are going to lose it, such as the evangelicals. They have real issues, and this election realized their party isn’t going to solve them, so they looked for an alternative that would help.

And they got someone who, after wooing them by showing how little he’s related to the GOP, spent all his time with a horribly managed campaign, attacks that don’t hold water even when they are valid, presents enough material to easily feed a political media hungry for viewers, and who pivots to become more like the GOP when he needs to get to specifics.

It’s like Samsung and Apple. Apple brings out an expensive, disliked phone, Samsung decides to throw a phone thinking “any phone will do that’s not Apple.” and now not only did it blow up in their face but the public isn’t as bothered about a phone with no headphone jack.

And so here. Trump was put up as an alternative to Clinton. And after we saw him a hawkish extremely pro-life perfect example of “typical politician” with a lot of skeletons doesn’t seem all that bad anymore. Perhaps she also needs an election win rivaling Reagan and supreme court slot left open just for her and her newly minted Democratic Senate?

I would say “perhaps this will result in a better, more reasonable, and stronger Republican party come next time” but I said that in 2008 with McCain. And instead I get Trump.

So I don’t know. Maybe folks like me who are left-of-center will be considered conservatives now after this Left-shift is over. I’m already on the TAC more than I’m in the more leftward sites.

But if there’s still hope for the current Right in 2020, please PLEASE, no more “anyone buts”.

And seriously. Wallace Clones. 10 of them. THAT would help Make America Great Again.

#3 Comment By Rugeirn Drienborough On October 20, 2016 @ 8:37 am

Look at this and tell me all he ways Trump is demonstrating his blatantly obvious dementia. Wandering speech. Inability to concentrate. Irrelevant replies to specific questions. Inability to remember his own talking points. Inability to recognize the meaning of what is said to him and around him. Inability to distinguish fact from fancy, his own fantasies from reality. The man is senile.

#4 Comment By Brooklyn Blue Dog On October 20, 2016 @ 9:58 am

Before we get too much into ego-salving revisionism about which candidates would have been better opponents to Hillary, let’s remember that the three biggest crackpots in the primaries – Carson, Cruz, and Trump – got more than 60% of the votes. So, before we go around trying to make ourselves feel better by telling ourselves that, without Trump, everything would have been fine, just imagine what a disaster the GOP would be facing if Ted Cruz were the nominee.

The alternative to Trump wasn’t Rubio the lightweight, Jeb the retread, or Kasich. It was Cruz. Just ruminate on that a bit.

#5 Comment By Carl On October 20, 2016 @ 9:59 am

Clinton lied through her teeth on the issue of the Clinton Foundation; which she made sound like God’s personal charity. He didn’t lay a glove on her on that issue. Why?

#6 Comment By J Russ On October 20, 2016 @ 10:10 am

Finally Donny succeeded in his deportation efforts. Adios Donny, you’re the one being deported, back to civilian flimflam artist, huckster, and master conman. The Party’s over, Trump GOP that is. Thankfully there will be no racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic totally self proven unqualified manically insecure President Trump. The Trump 9 month downward spiraling self disintegration ended last night with final and total vaporization.

#7 Comment By DanJ On October 20, 2016 @ 10:17 am

Overseas reader here. A little bit off topic, but I’d really like to have TAC’s writers (and commenters) take on how the political processes would work if Trump in fact won the election. A President totally unacceptable to all Democrats and many establishment Republicans, would he face a majority working against him on all issues? Would we see the office of the President cut down to the bare minimum the Constitution permits, or beyond? Would he be the lamest of lame ducks?

#8 Comment By Mac61 On October 20, 2016 @ 10:22 am

As a Christian, I find Hillary Clinton unacceptable. I also find Donald Trump unacceptable. I think most people who are not Christians feel the same way. 2016 is a loss for everyone. My hope is that a chastened Republican Party regroups and finds better leaders for 2018 and 2020. Trump is an idiot savant at best. You can’t assign thoughtful strategy to him. Our republic– I’m sorry, our oligarchy — is in bad shape. But to the debate: The election isn’t rigged if you are such an idiot that you are clearly losing it by your own fault.

#9 Comment By Viriato On October 20, 2016 @ 10:28 am

“… just imagine what a disaster the GOP would be facing if Ted Cruz were the nominee.”

¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿????????

I really don’t understand why no one likes Cruz. He seems like a well-spoken, principled social and fiscal conservative that has a healthy skepticism of U.S. interventions abroad.

He’s not perfect, and I understand our host’s point about his boundless opportunism.

But he would be trouncing Hillary in the polls right now.

If not, then, quite frankly, no GOPer would be… which means either that the GOP is still too wedded to Manchester School economics, that Clinton is a stronger candidate than she has often been credited with being, or, most likely, some both combination of both.

#10 Comment By Liam On October 20, 2016 @ 11:28 am

“I really don’t understand why no one likes Cruz. He seems like a well-spoken, principled social and fiscal conservative that has a healthy skepticism of U.S. interventions abroad.”

In case you forget or never understood, it’s because Cruz pokes all sorts of people (including people he needs as allies and voters) in their eyes, repeatedly, and then tells them it’s for their own good, when it’s perfectly apparent that his ego is so needy he will abandon his principles when the right opportunity arises (viz his endorsement of Trump as Trump looked likely to overtake HRC). It doesn’t help that his personality screams that he has Daddy Issues (his father treats him like a new Messiah). People see him and go “eew” in a different way than they go “eew” with Trump.

Rubio is an empty suit for the Israel-Saudi Arabia neocon set.

Cruz and Rubio were even worse than Trump. Which is saying a ton.

#11 Comment By GregR On October 20, 2016 @ 11:34 am

“I really don’t understand why no one likes Cruz. He seems like a well-spoken, principled social and fiscal conservative that has a healthy skepticism of U.S. interventions abroad.”

Because Cruz is a Dominist. Meaning he specifically wants to establish a Christian theocracy in America and thinks he was sent by God to create it. Claiming that the first amendment only applies to Christians is so antithetical to the American foundation it scares this even of us who dont share his beliefs.

And this isn’t some light weight Anglican theocracy, he wants to bring back Old Testament punishments for crimes… a woman who gets raped must be stoned to death and all of that.

Then Cruz wraps his amazingly scary theocracy nonsense in a creepy, slimy exterior.

#12 Comment By AP On October 20, 2016 @ 11:38 am

The alternative to Trump wasn’t Rubio the lightweight, Jeb the retread, or Kasich. It was Cruz. Just ruminate on that…

Not really. With no Trump, Cruz would have been this cycle’s Santorum. He would have eventually lost to Jeb or Kasich or Rubio or whoever this cycle’s Romney would have ended up being.

#13 Comment By Howard On October 20, 2016 @ 11:55 am

“I really don’t understand why no one likes Cruz. He seems like a well-spoken, principled social and fiscal conservative that has a healthy skepticism of U.S. interventions abroad.”

Well, for one thing, there’s the fact that he has stated that there is one country that if you don’t support, he won’t support you. That country is not the United States. Perhaps he should have run for prime minister of that country instead.

Then there is the whole way that he dealt with the Donald Trump endorsement. He withheld it at the convention, which would be fine if it showed him to put convictions ahead of party unity. Weeks later, when Trump was up in the polls and looked like he might actually win, Cruz gave his endorsement, thus negating any chance that he was acting on principles rather than on bad political calculations.

No doubt others who have paid more attention to him can say more than that, but those two items give me a pretty clear idea of his character.

#14 Comment By Alex On October 20, 2016 @ 12:04 pm

I hope that Clinton’s policies as the President will destroy the Democratic Party the way Trump destroyed the GOP.

#15 Comment By Uncle Billy On October 20, 2016 @ 12:48 pm

Foreign Policy is an area where Trump could have scored some points on Hillary Clinton’s rather flawed record, Libya, Syria, etc. However, Trump is so undisciplined and unfocused that he failed to really nail her.

He has some good ideas, but he fails to follow up and get specific on anything. He has this hard core of supporters who think he is great, but he has not captured many moderates or undecided voters.

On top of all of this, the Republican Party is fractured between the GOP Establishment and the GOP Base. The GOP Base strongly supports Trump, the the GOP Establishment is weak at best. Indeed, many of the GOP elite, such as the Bush Family cannot stand him and refuse to support him.

I really cannot see him winning. The math is simply not there. When you consider that African-Americans, Hispanics and educated women are strongly against him, it will be unusually difficult for him to win swing states.

So it looks like President Hillary Clinton.

#16 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 20, 2016 @ 12:55 pm

“It’s like Samsung and Apple. Apple brings out an expensive, disliked phone, Samsung decides to throw a phone thinking “any phone will do that’s not Apple.” and now not only did it blow up in their face but the public isn’t as bothered about a phone with no headphone jack.’

Interesting, if not for one little problem. The nominations was openly contested on the issues. The Republicans, unlike the democrats had a process in which the issues were hotly discussed. The debate indicates that there was absolutely no attempt to just thrown anyone in the race.

Hardly an indication that anyone watching the contest would come away with. The others just did not make an appeal that won. They for most part came across like the opposition. Mr Trump hardly reflects a ‘close eye’ grab bag candidate.

And don’t feel the least bit ‘egg on my face.’ What has been revealed is great confirmation of just how badly the country is on the wrong path.

Laughing. I read an article this morning describing how Mr. trump was able to avoid media scrutiny by using Twitter. No candidate has exposed himself through more media outlets than Mr Trump in our history.

Least of all escaping examination by using Twitter.

#17 Comment By EarlyBird On October 20, 2016 @ 12:59 pm

Trump has simply never been serious about this election. Last night only provided the 1,001st piece of evidence of that.

He knew the question about his accepting the outcome of the election should he lose was going to come up, and he know he could only hurt himself by the answer he gave. He intentionally shot himself in the foot, once again.

He has never, ever been interested in responsibility of the presidency. He alluded to that some months ago when he intimated that he may not be inaugurated should he win.

He went into this for attention, adulation and power, mostly attention. He is a deeply sick man, who I honestly feel some pity for.

#18 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 20, 2016 @ 1:06 pm

“I really don’t understand why no one likes Cruz.”

I like Sen Cruz. Lots of conservatives go. And until he pulled that delegate stump, it was not hard to defend him. But after the flap he initiated about Mrs. Trump and then complained about the response as in feigned innocence —

One of the aspects I appreciate Mr. Trump is that he is what he is. I understand the risks of situational leaders. But on the learning curve, no other candidate was able to respond to presses with any level of awareness of what the voters were seeking. The other candidates didn’t even acknowledge that the voters ha a different view than their own. Thy simply chastised them ignoring the content – not the least bit interest of interaction.

That includes Sen Cruz. Christ on the sleeve places heavy demands. And in my view Sen Cruz seemed to have crossed them more than once nonchalantly.

Mr. trump didn’t make those kind of admonitions up front, but he adjusted to expectations. That’s accountability – like it or not.

#19 Comment By rayray On October 20, 2016 @ 1:13 pm

I think the thing that the GOP still keeps getting wrong is policy. Yes, Donald Trump is a terrible candidate and really reflects no constituency or ideology other than old white male america and inchoate racism. But the real problem with Mr. Trump is that he is ignorant and incompetent. And that ignorance and incompetence have become the core of the GOP brand.

Bill Maher, a man I don’t normally like, said it very well when he pointed out that it seems to be an election between a party that lives in reality versus a party that lives in fantasy.

The distrust of intelligence and competence goes all the way to the core of what the party currently represents. This is what leads to crazy anti-scientific rhetoric, impotent intolerance, and generalized conspiracy theory that is killing the GOP.

Hillary is problematic in many ways. I disagree with her on many things, including foreign policy. But she is not an unprincipled monster, to the contrary she is thoughtful, observant, intelligent, knowledgeable, experienced, and to the contrary of the sentiments of @Alex she is massively unlikely to significantly embarrass the Democrats in any way. In fact, she is cannily building up the brand.

IT’s been said and ignored a thousand times, but the GOP doesn’t need new faces as badly as it needs new ideas. Truly new ideas. Not old nonsense tarted up.

How wonderful would it be if the GOP could figure out how to be the intelligent party of the future rather than the ignorant party of the past?

#20 Comment By Liam On October 20, 2016 @ 1:25 pm

“With no Trump, Cruz would have been this cycle’s Santorum.”

Yes, but without the charm.

#21 Comment By Brendan Sexton On October 20, 2016 @ 3:12 pm

rayray has it right:” I think the thing that the GOP still keeps getting wrong is policy. Yes, Donald Trump is a terrible candidate and really reflects no constituency or ideology other than old white male america and inchoate racism. But the real problem with Mr. Trump is that he is ignorant and incompetent. And that ignorance and incompetence have become the core of the GOP brand.”
And further, the Trump-Davidians are not just clinging to male supremacy and anti-science ignorance and racism, they have elevated these to VIRTUES they are proud of. Go to a Trump rally if you don’t believe me.
The Republican party has now taken the role of enemy of science, enemy of compassion, of literacy, of women, of the poor. I am admittedly an outsider to the party, but i can’t see how this will ever be made into a winning strategy.

As of now it has discredited the Party, has damaged –maybe severely, we’ll see–whatever moral authority the ‘Christian” Right used to claim, and several key individuals along the way–notably Ted Cruz (who is so hard to like to begin with that he didn’t have much popular appeal to spare).

I think the result will be a party that is not much changed in policy, but which has deservedly lost some percent of its supporters. Maybe never to return.

#22 Comment By Howard On October 20, 2016 @ 3:46 pm

“Trump has simply never been serious about this election.” I give up on trying to understand what’s going on in his mind. Sometimes he looks like the political equivalent of a suicide bomber, trying to collect a crowd around him so that he will explode with maximum damage, but there are three problems with that: (1) I don’t think any reasonable person could have expected him to have been this successful; (2) I don’t think he has the humility to self-immolate for a cause, good or bad; and (3) in his whole life story, I see no evidence of him having the self-control or acting skills to pull that off. On the other hand, I find it equally impossible to accept that he actually believes half the things he says. He doesn’t act like a real Republican, let alone like a real conservative; he acts like Leon Podesta’s conception of a Republican. He seems to be playing a role — the role of Herod the Great in a medieval play.

#23 Comment By cecelia On October 20, 2016 @ 4:10 pm

It is unfortunate that Trump was such an appalling candidate because it obscures something important – most Americans do not support the standard GOP platform. Most assuredly they do not support Cruz’s theocratic extremism.

Most Americans as per polling support free trade, a clear majority while preferring limits on abortion still support legal abortion, Americans do not support GOP proposals re: social security and medicare – totally reject them in fact. The majority of Americans reject the GOP tax plans. We reject the obstructionism of the GOP Congress. And most Americans have no major problem with immigration and support a pathway to make illegal immigrants legal. A majority of Americans support gay marriage and do not support discriminatory practices against gays (or African Americans). Americans also do not support the GOP’s attacks on women’s access to birth control. Finally – a majority (slim) also think climate change is real and needs addressing.

All of these assertions are supported by polls if you have any doubt.

Yet despite Trump and the implosion of the GOP – McCain still claims the GOP will not allow an elected President of the United States to nominate a Supreme Court judge. The same GOP refuses to allow the US Navy to harden their coastal bases against rises in sea level – which are already causing flooding at Norfolk. Ryan proposes a budget with the usual tax cuts for the top 10%.

Trump is rightly being criticized for his refusal to accept the results of the election – but how is that different from the GOP’s refusal to accept an elected President’s – the will of the people having been expressed – nominee for the Court?

McCain and other GOP claimed they supported Trump because it was the will of the people – well John – Obama is also an expression of the will of the people and you refuse to accept that. If Clinton is elected it will reflect the will of the people and you are already refusing to accept that. Trump is not an aberration – he is the GOP.

The GOP is demographically a minority party with views that a majority do not support. It is ironic to me to listen to Trump supporters complain about a Beltway bubble without acknowledging that they too live in a bubble – cut off from what their countrymen and women think.

#24 Comment By Anthony On October 20, 2016 @ 4:13 pm

Trump didn’t score the knockout, but he did win and I think he won the previous debate pretty handily. Regarding the knee-jerk MSM headline about “accepting the election” (long before it has even occurred), isn’t really resonating much like I think the establishment thought it would. The Al Gore example and tons of examples of real corruption of the voting process like 14% of illegals aliens being registered to vote, not to mention Trump’s own clarification today, took the wind out of sails. Sorry guys!

#25 Comment By c matt On October 20, 2016 @ 5:58 pm

I hope that Clinton’s policies as the President will destroy the Democratic Party the way Trump destroyed the GOP.

Trump didn’t destroy the GOP, it was long dead before he showed up. If any one single person destroyed it, it was W and his disastrous foreign policy (continued by O and to be continued by The Beast). Hildebeast’s policies won’t just destroy the Dems, it will take the rest of the country with it.

Funny, I don’t recall Democrats rubber stamping Reagan’s first choices for supreme court nominations, despite his absolute trouncing of both Carter and Mondale. So much for cecelia’s “the people have spoken.”

#26 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 20, 2016 @ 6:10 pm

Here’s what is unfortunate. That one has sift through a bevy of peculiar and stunning false arguments that are attributed to Mr. Trump. And it makes one wonder if reality exists at all.

The only party that had a foreign policy debate at all were the Republicans. Upfront and out loud in no uncertain terms, Mr Trump called out the ambitious misguided policies of intervention for regime change. In the fact the rebut by Mr Trump was considered nearly unheard of heard, only matched by Sen Rand Paul when he called the entire episode criminal and thought called the admin under Pres. Bush criminal – even I was a bit off kilt. And that debate has gone on since 2008 with increasing vigor among Republicans.

That is the reality.

White Male supremacy — huh? This is an attempt to turn the aggressive policy into a ‘softer gentler Sec Clinton. Ahh, that male supremacy, that wants to kill children in the womb. If the party were honed in on maintaining male supremacy, it need no better advocacy than abortion in which black women are more likely to kill their children in the womb.

Furthermore the turn doesn’t work because Sec Clinton is aggressive in her foreign policy as any white male and indications are she may be more aggressive. Reality in that instance would suggest that supporting her candidacy further’s male aggression because she isn’t invading white countries and sending millions int the streets homeless. As such she well suite be the epitome of while male supramacy in spades. Furthermore, there’s no indication she intend to fir all of the male generals and combat officers
. . . She didn’t brandish WS on the white male dominated presence and advocacy for regime change or foreign deals —

The level of unbridled corn scrawed feed being served up here as analysis just more bizarre by the minute.
__________________
“Most Americans as per polling support free trade, a clear majority while preferring limits on abortion still support legal abortion, Americans do not support GOP proposals re: social security and medicare – totally reject them in fact.”

Most of Americans support fair trade. What they oppose if what appears to be unfair deals for the US or unfair or not deals that damage the US citizen.

________________

“And most Americans have no major problem with immigration and support a pathway to make illegal immigrants legal. A majority of Americans support gay marriage and do not support discriminatory practices against gays (or African Americans). ”

There is a pathway for people to become citizens. I am not even going to post the data sets on what they believe about our current immigration policy.

No one supports discrimination against those who choose a homosexual expression. As for discrimination against this population, as noted repeatedly, this population has never been at threat from the law since the 1960’s. And by and large prior to that. What they have faced is a social stigma. The law cannot and will not change that. Furthermore, Mr. Trump supports said protections and has stated as much repeatedly — I was sure someone said something about reality, but i’s not present in these comments.

There are two objections on birth control and only two

1. no killing children in the womb
2. no forcing religious organizations to provide method that violate the tenets of their faith

There is no attempt to limit anything from anyone that dos not involve killing a child.

As for the current executive —

most of Replican Party supported – regime change led by the admin

most of the party has favored more trade deals despite the damage they do at home.

and apparently , you seems to have missed the debate in the Republican party over immigration

There’s virtually nothing stated in comments above that reflect either the party, the disposition of the party or Mr. Trump or what Mr Trump presses for on policy issues.

As for whiteness — whites make up the majority in this country by a long shot. If history is any indicator whites of both parties have no intention of letting their influence be a fore front.

#27 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 20, 2016 @ 6:15 pm

As for the Supreme Court I have but two names;

Justice Thomas and Judge Bork.

It would be nice to have a debate how many Republicans have ever invaded and blocked court rooms verses the tactics by democrats to thwart democratic processes.

After the disgraceful episode with Justice Thomas, no one should be surprised by democratic tactics.

#28 Comment By FiveString On October 20, 2016 @ 7:38 pm

“Clinton lied through her teeth on the issue of the Clinton Foundation; which she made sound like God’s personal charity. He didn’t lay a glove on her on that issue. Why?”

Why? Glass house, that’s why.

The Clinton Foundation lacks transparency and has indefensible conflicts of interest. Even Dems have been exhorting HRC to step down.

On the plus side, the CF actually does a lot of good around the world. Trump’s “charity” is a joke: it seems to benefit only Trump. And it makes the CF look 99% legit by comparison.

#29 Comment By Liam On October 21, 2016 @ 8:53 am

“I don’t recall Democrats rubber stamping Reagan’s first choices for supreme court nominations”

Sandra Day O’Connor was confirmed 99-0.

Antonin Scalia was confirmed 98-0.

Rehnquist’s confirmation was contested, but enough Democrats joined to confirm him.

Bork – that was contested and defeated.

Anthony Kennedy – confirmed 97-0.

#30 Comment By ELiteCommInc. On October 21, 2016 @ 11:26 am

‘Sandra Day O’Connor was confirmed 99-0.

Anthony Kennedy – confirmed 97-0.’

Neither standout conservatives.

You bet they made hay over Judge Bork. But you seem to have completely ignored the craziness and gutter scooping over

Justice Clarence Thomas.

#31 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 21, 2016 @ 11:31 am

Sidenote:

The reference to Sen Ryan was to highlight the internal debate and discussion withing the party over the issue of military intervention —

It does no mean I think Paul Ryan should have been the nominee or better represents the party.

#32 Comment By Milo D. Venus On October 21, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

With regard to the Democrats and Supreme Court nominees:
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary held hearings.
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a vote.
The full Senate held a vote.

The cries of “But, Johnny did it!” are a fantasy.

With regards to the debate: Hillary Clinton showed the value of preparation. The fact that she has built a competent campaign organization and the willingness to do the work required of a candidate is what separates her most clearly from Donald Trump.