Debate Night 2

 (image-thefederalist.com)

DAMIENS’ DEBRIEF

After a somewhat tepid opening encounter less than a month ago, Donald Trump wanted to grab the second debate by the pussy and show how America can be great again.

There was no greeting handshake this time around. Rumors circulated early that the Clinton camp were planning a ‘psyche!’ attack, forcing ‘The Don’ to play it cool. Such drama.

The economy, the endless wars, terrorism, race riots, unemployment, trade deficits, all important topics, but apparently not as pressing as a rich guy having a blue conversation about fame groupies over a decade ago.

So it was ‘pussy-gate’ that would provide a nice underarm pitch for Clinton, to whack with the good ol’ misogyny stick, lashing sanctimonious blows relentlessly to a softened Trump rump. The first five minutes or so appeared a continuation of the last meeting, until Trump did what so many expected him to do earlier. He went on the attack;

“If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words and his was action. His words, what he has done to women. There’s never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that has been so abusive to women.”

Bawdy Bill’s face turned sour as Trump rattled off the names of his sexual assault accusers, before turning his attention to the alleged bullying of these women by Hillary. Audience members saw the almost prosthetic grin melt from Clintons’ face, as for the first time possibly in her political career, she was confronted with someone willing to tear her history apart, publicly shatter the caring, loving paradigm she and her media cohorts have so carefully manufactured.

After basing the entirety of her campaign on labelling Trump a racist, sexist, homophobe and so on, not to mention his ‘deplorable’ supporters, Clinton declared that her “friend”, Michelle Obama, with whom she has had a very long and unfriendly relationship, offered her the advice; “when they go low, you go high”, without one hint of irony whatsoever.

Thankfully, it wasn’t all T&A and finger wagging.

Trump as expected, was strong on security and defence. He managed to explain the sheer lunacy of publicly announcing battle plans during a war. In response, co-moderator Martha Raddatz inanely suggested; “There are sometimes reasons the military does that. Psychological warfare.” , whilst Clinton proudly proclaimed she would “arm the Kurds”.

Just what America needs, more guns in the Middle East.

Don’t forget the planned intake of a further 65,000 “refugees” from the region, which Trump suggested was a bad idea due to the difficulty in vetting, a position Clinton herself agreed with just 2 years ago. Of course, on this particular night, she disagreed, and accused Trump of causing “great distress”. However, fear not, as Clinton stated earlier in the night; “I want to send a message. We all should, to every boy and girl and indeed, to the entire world. That America already is great, but we are great because we are good. And we will respect one another and we will work with one another and we will celebrate our diversity.”

Solid.

Hillary was once again at her obfuscating best throughout the night. Pivoting out of direct questions, laying on the sophistic motherhood statements, or with Obama’s “line in the sand”, and her missing emails, just lying altogether.

Trumps’ performance was a marked improvement on the first debate. He didn’t allow himself to be drawn into petty side issues, he spoke clearly and directly, and most importantly, gave the Clinton camp some real fires to extinguish over the remaining weeks of the campaign.

Trump with a pussy grabbing victory, Clinton with an uphill battle to win in the third unless a change of approach is taken.

VARUNS’ VIEW

‘All the world’s a stage’. Shakespeare’s timeless line from As You Like It is a fitting analogy for what has become simultaneously the most awe inspiring but also the most infuriating election cycle in memorable history. Awe inspiring because of the grandness of the ideas that the two candidates represent. Infuriating because of the shallow medium through which they have to express it.

Act 2 was full of sex, lies and video tapes. And so, we move from grand narratives to Kardashian tier garbage.  Let me be blunt – faux outrage deeming private conversations between two men and their sexual fantasies more ‘rapey’ than actual rape and cover up of said rape(s) is just low. It’s ludicrous and it earns political points based on a crime. Especially when at least one of those victims is a minor. Anderson Cooper’s relentless stabs at Trump regarding his admittedly lewd comments, were certainly valid. Does Trump know what he was describing is sexual assault? Well, does Clinton know what she was defending and gloating about is rape? By all accounts grounded in reality there is only one sordidly evil candidate here.

Where Trump failed in the first debate, he more than made up for in the second. Hillary was backed up into a corner. This was most evident when asked about the leaked emails where she admitted to holding different public and private positions. In response to the inquiry she launched into a Rotten Tomatoes style film review of Spielberg’s Lincoln. Was this a maneuver to swivel away from the glaringly obvious contempt in which she holds her own voter base? Or was she seriously comparing herself to the great Lincoln? That in itself would make a great pitch for a Hollywood comedy. Trump nailed her on it and Hillary knew that she lost that battle.

In his attacks on Obama care, Trump forced Hillary to admit that if she could start the policy all over again they would rethink and do some things differently. Obama Care is a massive fiscal burden spinning out of control. This is not just a mistake. This mistake is affecting millions of people. Hillary again took a hit. There was no dodging that bullet and Trump shot it with pin point accuracy.

And while we’re on shooting bullets, let’s take a look at the topic which has earned Trump most criticism – Syria. No he didn’t have an Aleppo moment. He simply answered Martha Raddatz’s ridiculous question with the casual bluntness that it deserved: ‘Aleppo has already fallen’. As a former secretary of state Hillary should have known that but let’s not call a lemon sweet. Libya, arming factions that formed ISIS, voting for the Iraq war, backing the removal of Assad’s chemical stockpile without any action, the list is quite long. Let’s just add one more to that list, warning ISIS that America will attack Mosul giving them time to escape. Trump wins yet again if we apply logic.

Trump presented a more composed and polished demeanor. It appears that the Vice Presidential debate taught Trump a lesson or two ensuring that Hillary’s bait did not achieve the desired outcome this time. In all honesty it was expected. She does not have much going for her policy wise. Her scandalous past is a scathing indictment of her character. Through out the three debates she can only bring her aptitude for political debate. However, without much substance such tactics can only take a candidate so far. Unless of course the audience is simply there for that zinger line of a great act.

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