Master Debators 2016 – Round Three – FIGHT!

6:04pm MST – Starting a bit late here, but let’s get going! F5 to refresh, as always.


6:05 – First up, a question about SCOTUS, with a question about whether or not the Constitution is a living document. Hillary answers with an intelligent response, including mentioning that the Senate should confirm or deny Garland’s nomination.

6:07 – And now we get Trump, who believes that the Second Amendment is “under siege”. It isn’t, but arguably our citizens are. He’s also an originalist, which is a problematical point of view.

6:13 – Hillary is trying to square the circle when it comes to gun control, and make a broad appeal to the center. A wise course of action.

6:15 – Trump just made it clear that he’ll appoint justices who will overturn Roe v Wade. So again, if you’re on the fence about voting for Hillary, do so. She’s the pro-choice candidate.

6:17 – Hillary’s defense of abortion rights is full-throated and wonderful. Trump’s lies about what late-term abortion is are just what I’d expect.

6:18 – And she promptly slaps him down for that.

6:21 – “Right now, we’re getting the drugs and they’re getting the cash.” Sounds like an argument to legalize, to me.

6:23 – Putting minorities on trains. I’m sure that wasn’t an accidental image.

6:25 – Well, it took him 25 minutes to interrupt this time. Not bad.

6:28 – He keeps saying “bigly”. I don’t think he knows words. I’m also sure that Obama hasn’t deported “millions and millions of people”. We have fewer illegal immigrants in this country because many have left, because their own countries have improved.

6:30 – Here we go. Here’s the start of the meltdown.

6:31 – “He’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and intelligence professionals who are bound to protect us.” An excellent quote.

6:34 – Trump is coming off as a lot more controlled this time around. Still not good on facts, but there you are.

6:36 – Now Clinton is pushing improvements to infrastructure and clean jobs, as well as raising the minimum wage. And this is the first time I see Donald actually taking notes. Well, I assume he is. For all I know, he’s writing down the number of his coke dealer.

6:39 – Given a chance to talk about the economy, he pivots right back to our defense treaties. Obviously he doesn’t understand how international politics work, either.

6:42 – Trump’s comments are a word salad about all sorts of nonsense. Hillary’s is much more intelligent and nuanced.

6:43 – Now she’s praising some of W’s actions toward the start of the Recession. It’s not a bad idea, and will, again, help track toward the center when it comes to earning support for disenchanted Republicans.

6:45 – India and China are growing extremely fast. Do you know why? Because they started from a much lower position than we did. Also, in September we added 156,000 jobs, and unemployment remains under 5%.

6:48 – “Excuse me. My turn.” Yes, ladies, a man is talking! Keep to your place! He’s allowed to interrupt you, but you are not allowed to interrupt him.

6:51 – Again, the Status of Forces agreement, which is why we left Iraq when we did, was signed by W.

6:53 – So he’s specifically said that people were hired by the Clinton campaign, and paid $1,500 each, to cause violence at rallies in Chicago. He says there’s tape of this. He says this in the context of a question about the women accusing him of various inappropriate sexual acts. So, yeah, that makes sense.

6:54 – I suspect what Hillary is saying about the way Trump treats women is something that will really resonate with women on both sides of the spectrum. To give you an idea of how important that is, here’s Nate Silver’s map on what would happen if only women voted.


6:56 – Almost an hour before got to the emails. Such restraint!

7:02 – I strongly doubt that 100% of Trump’s charity money goes to charity. Even the best charities need at least some operational cash.

7:05 – Clinton’s one interjection was about his hotel being built with Chinese steel. Excellent.

7:07 – So for the first time, a major party candidate for president is poisoning the well by saying our elections are illegitimate. Let that sink in. And “millions” of people who shouldn’t be allowed to vote, are registered to vote. That’s interesting, if true. But, well, come on.

7:07 – “Let me respond to that, because that’s…horrifying.” Perfect.

7:09 – “He’s a great threat to our democracy and our democratic institutions. 240 years of peaceful transition of power could be in danger if he’s elected.” “Yeah, but email!”

7:12 – A “no fly zone” sounds like a good idea, but it’s a real problem, and I’m really iffy on whether or not that’s a good idea.

7:13 – Ah, the only reason we’re going on the offensive against ISIS is because of  Hillary running for president. We’ve been at it for about three years now. That’s some forward planning.

7:14 – I doubt strongly that Trump knows that Iran is one of our allies against ISIS.

7:17 – “Strong, nuanced take on what’s happening in Syria!” “Yeah, but Wikileaks!”

7:19 – The sniffing is still there, but less pronounced than before. His dealer must be giving him a new blend. Cocaine comes in blends, right?

7:21 – Again the argument that refugees are terrorists in disguise. It does make perfect sense that a terrorist would spend three years in refugee camps, going through the vetting and the like, just to come here and blow up stuff. I mean, just getting a visa and hopping onto a plane would be much more difficult.

7:28 – Boring, but reasonable responses to a question about the GPD vs debt. Even I’m tuning it out a bit, though. I imagine the average voter turned out minutes ago.

7:30 – A question about entitlements turns to him bitching about Obamacare.

7:32 – Hillary’s response is that she’ll at least be down with raising taxes. She also makes it very clear that cutting benefits is a non-starter.

7:34 – Hillary’s answer to the last question was very good and positive and didn’t mention Trump at all. His first words are about her, then he goes on to our “depleted” military, which certainly isn’t a thing. She framed her answer in terms of America and its people. He framed his answer in terms of her and how much he hates her. Also, mentioning that a vote for her is a vote for four more years of Obama is unwise, given that he’s got very good favorable numbers right now.

His performance was better still this time. Up from a D+ to a C. Hillary was, of course, just fine.

I leave you all with this piece from the Oatmeal.



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