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The Debate: They Both Bombed It


#1

The Debate: They Both Bombed It

Robert C. Koehler

Painful, stupid, trite . . . America!

There was more than one loser in the big debate, but that’s no surprise. I hardly expected any issues of substance to get serious air time, let alone intelligent commentary, in Monday’s 90-minute presidential race spectacle, but something — something — matters here enormously. Maybe it’s nothing more than a question: Why, in this self-aggrandizing democracy, do the candidates for the highest office of the land fail so blatantly at addressing the issues most crucial to our future?


#3

lucky me! i have wifi so found other evening entertainment during the childish debate. however, i did catch most of it the next day on democracy now! with guest, jill stein. gary johnson declined an invitation to join with jill and host, amy, in the expanded debate.

bob koehler asks why do these candidates fail to address the issues most important. what i heard was two sixth graders hurling insults. although, i must admit that hillary looked nice in her power-red pants suit and the time she spent preparing for the debate by getting a facial worked well for her. neither candidate has the interests of the people--us commoners--at heart and that's why they cannot honestly discuss the issues most important to them.

Even Trump’s false insistence that he opposed the invasion of Iraq from the start brought a sort of antiwar consciousness to the debate that otherwise would have been utterly absent. Naturally, the mainstream media have devoted endless time and energy to debunking Trump’s assertion, while the hellish consequences of American policy in the Middle East are as absent from the public discussion as climate change is from Trump’s consciousness.

geesh! i could not believe hillary's accusation that the donald spoke for the invasion! excuuuuse me! trump had no more influence on the iraq invasion than you or i, however senator clinton actually voted for the illegal invasion of iraq!

journalist and editor, nick nurse, ofTomDispatch

This record seems to matter little to the presidential candidate who, as a senator, voted for the invasion of Iraq.


#5

The Clinton strategy seems to be to energize the Obama coalition. There was actually some substance in the debate. Trump presented his trickle down tax plan which Clinton called trumped up trickle down and Clinton presented a plan of investing in the middle class and small business and making the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Clinton's main point is that trickle down never works and that seems to be true. Trump of course was saying that America is falling apart while Clinton countered that things are getting better economically and not just for the rich now but for a wide spectrum of people. Real wages last year increased for the middle class to a greater extent than in many years and the poverty rate fell significantly. Trump was asked by Lester Holt how he would increase jobs and he had no answer. He just kept repeating that we have to stop job loss. Clinton argued that experts said her economic plan would create many jobs while Trump's would lose 3 million jobs. Although people might think Clinton represents big business there is little reason to believe that. She has a progressive agenda and even Elizabeth Warren, a champion of progressives, agrees. And another champion of progressives, Bernie Sanders, also agrees, although he notes they do have differences on some issues. Many people on the left seem to be in denial that Clinton is a progressive candidate, even though their two most high regarded politicians say so, It simply doesn't add up. Something is going on below the surface that must account for so many people on the left not being willing to support a progressive candidate who is running for president.


#7

You beat me to it. SR would be all over this one and, rightfully, so. I would also add, what democracy? I can remember a time when my teachers used to make jokes about Soviet Union and banana republic style elections and here we are in 2016 with Trump and Clinton. For sure, a great many of those countries are now laughing at us.


#9

I can't avoid thinking that now the US are facing a great Shakesperian moment: Macbeth. The Macbeths are back! Remember the chaos and bloodshed they provoked before being toppled. Now it is even worse, unlike Lady Macbeth, Lady Clinton is absolutely unable to repent, she laughs at the dead she has on her. I hope her illness will spare us of the horrors to come.


#10

Yeah, something is going on below the surface. The fact that shit is NOT getting better. Especially the big shit. Missed NODAPL#? - where was Clinton. Even Obama's response to NODAPL is too late and weak. Missed the ongoing wars in the middle east? Have you missed Obama pushing for TPP or his expanding nuclear arsenal? Clinton's appointment of Ken Salazar and Kane? Clinton's war mongering.

These are all HUGE misses. That's why so many of us are not "with her (Clinton)", instead we're "with her (Stein)." Clinton - if she walks, talks and acts like a puppet for the oligarchy, then ... she's clearly their bitch. That's whats going on below the surface mi amigo.


#11

I totally agree: the "debate" was, well actually nothing but two privileged, elite capitalists of the 1%. Two individuals who have taken total advantage of the many loopholes our elected officials have legislated and allowed the 1% to have. It was a show, and not a very good one. I will support Jill Stein. I hold the corporate DNC and RNC responsible for their chosen candidates. I hold the irresponsible, elite, "journalist's" of the MSM responsible. Right now, at this point in time, the US truly has no clothes!
Neither of these two candidates are capable of doing what is necessary to get this right; neither has the freedom from their corporate owners to do what is needed to be done. They have no integrity; they have no courage to do anything but "business as usual".


#12

would be just like Stalin.


#13

The Shakespearian MacBeth was somewhat unlike the real MacBeth, King of Scotland for about 16 years. However, looking back on history the USA has been running "MacBethian" moments since the USS Maine exploded in Havana's harbour.


#16

According to Krushchev, Stalin was someone quite thunderous, mixing grenade-like language with facts and stats. He was also left-wing, so we are told. A political antithesis of Hitler and Trump ideologically and yet much the same.

Bernie "sell-out" Sanders was a rather pale blue social democrat of sorts and certainly not a left wing version of Trump, even had he used grenade-like language.


#17

I wonder how an alleged democracy of more than 300million people can find only two "eligible, electable" candidates for the highest office.Normal humans have no influence on their policies, already in place under both Parties to extend the USA's excessive military and interfering actions all over the globe, regardless of the human and environmental disasters these policies cause.


#20

I dunno. Sorry.


#21

"Although people might think Clinton represents big business there is little reason to believe that. She has a progressive agenda and even Elizabeth Warren, a champion of progressives, agrees. And another champion of progressives, Bernie Sanders, also agrees, although he notes they do have differences on some issues. Many people on the left seem to be in denial that Clinton is a progressive candidate, even though their two most high regarded politicians say so, ...."

There is every reason to believe that - just look at who funds her campaigns - just look at who she speaks to at her fund raisers - Lrx, you may be the only person who really doesn't believe that. The fact that those 2 "champions of progressives" tout Clinton as a "progressive" only speaks to the fact that they a) both have tied their political fortunes to the DP and their political futures depend on staying in the DPs "good graces", performing their functions, which are to put prog faces on a party with a corrupt soul and/or b) both actually believe that TINA to the D/Rs and, given that, their choice in this LOTE farce is the DP - they may well want to "reform" it, but until that magical day, they will put their prog face on the party and try to put a prog face on the party's candidate to keep restless progs from bolting the party ...

"Something is going on below the surface that must account for so many people on the left not being willing to support a progressive candidate who is running for president."

What is "going on" is that more and more folks are catching on to what is actually above the surface, plain to see for any who care to look beyond the rhetoric ....


#22

i agree - i have seen more than one version of this critique of, what, in essence, amounts to style ... I have seen similar critiques of Stein v Sanders - "what the left needs" according to many, though they don't come out and say it, but let's be honest about it, is a man, a man with a tent revivalist style, like Sanders - if you listen to him, his presentation was fundamentally as devoid of "policy" as Trump's - he used the same approach as Trump - what the American public has come to want, apparently, is a WWF contest - like the bread and circuses of the Roman Empire ... That is a problem - do we have any big booming females who will not by the same token, be rejected as "butch" or "b**ch" .... who are also as smart, principled and gutsy as Stein ... lotsa luck - as long as we don't honestly face and deal with this prejudice, folks like Stein, who, as far as i am concerned, is the best candidate we have had in a long time, and we would be hard pressed to find another like her, will be dismissed because they are not big booming males ...


#23

The fact does remain, however, that it is indeed "we" who keep electing schmucks even when some of "us" nominate good folk ...


#25

But she did have one line we could steal for our own - "Screw your courage to the sticking place, and we shall not fail."


#26

Well actually, we have found another one, a damn good one who is both "eligible" and "electable" and it is up to us to elect her ...


#27

George - i suspect you are right, but though i may be wrong, i don't think that is precisely what arby was getting at (shucks, maybe i don't either, but i will wait and see if (s)he responds to my response .... (smile)