The Running-Away Diary: Trumpster Fire
It’s been almost a full year since the last debate running diary, and I’ve gone through some withdrawals. A little over fifteen months ago, we were teased to the dynastic rivalry of Jeb vs. Hillary. Then it was Carson vs. Sanders, Cruz vs. O’Malley (just kidding), and now it’s finally between Hillary vs. Trump. Or more accurately, between a rock and a hardass. And we have no commercial breaks!
5:55 – The topics are ‘America’s Direction’, ‘Achieving Prosperity’, and ‘Securing America’. Trump’s answers, in order: ‘Make America First Again’, ‘Make America Work Again’, and ‘Make America Safe Again’ – three of the RNC’s nightly themes. There, we’re done already!
6:00 – Drinking games aren’t really appropriate anymore – I think we’ve built up a good tolerance by now. In celebration of how we have somewhere between a 40-43% chance of getting fucked, let’s try some fucking games instead. Every time…
Donald asks us to ‘believe him’, try the squat, since it has a high possibility of being a load of crap
There’s any mention of Twitter, attempt the sultry saddle, since they both cause us to turn on our sides in disbelief
Someone says ‘Barack Obama’ (not Obama or President Obama, but the full name), go for the edge of heaven, because that what the Obama presidency feels like in anticipation of all of us dying from President Trump
The audience cheers or boos (much to the chagrin of moderator Lester Holt), take a chance at the melody maker, since it probably makes a more appealing sound than the crowd will
Hillary calls him ‘Donald’ – a moniker which has the perfect blend of derisiveness and cold courtesy – explore the manhandle, because there’s nothing quite so Trump-ian in nature
6:06 – And there’s the first mention of Ronald Reagan. At least they’re not still going by the ‘Party of Lincoln’ right? Even though Lincoln was considered progressive for his time and supported an unpopular s-word (science) while condemning another (slavery). I guess the ‘Party of Nixon’ doesn’t have the same ring to it, since he was somewhat of a traitor and conspirator… oh wait.
6:12 – Quick tangent that’s been up my ass for a while… can we talk about the damn nuclear codes? The president doesn’t walk around with a ‘that was easy’ button taped to their finger. And they’re not called nuclear codes, they’re called the gold codes! Even after a president has said codes, the top nuclear advisor still provides guidance on what to do, and two operators stand by waiting to turn the physical keys to launch the nukes. It’s a bowel-stirring notion, surely, but let’s not get carried away. It’s in the same vein as calling them radical Jihadists instead of radical Islamists – not all nuclear is bad, guys!
6:17 – Two ways to NOT deal with The Donald’s penchant for interruption: shutting up, and continuing on with your point in the same monotone but slightly louder. Just have some zingers ready! The next time he interrupts: “you know Donald, you’re more intrusive than those Mexicans at the border you hate so much.” Or use his signature “excuse me, EXCUSE ME” with his annoying hand motion thing, and pair it with an eye roll for good measure.
6:23 – A little back-and-forth as Hillary and Trump harmonize over calling each other liars, while Lester Holt provides the bass vocals. Poor guy – he’s having a harder time than Jim Lehrer in 2012 when Obama was probably daydreaming about something for two hours. Speaking of which, doesn’t watching that make you wistfully nostalgic for the times of Mitt Romney and John McCain?
6:29 – Lester Holt gets mad at the audience for cheering about e-mails. Which brings up an interesting point about the notion of debates – aren’t they supposed to be debates? Shouldn’t we let the candidates actually go at each other for a bit? Give ‘em 45 seconds each (after the initial 2 minutes) and enforce that time limit. Have a buzzer every time a candidate veers even remotely off topic, and a ten second time loss every time a candidate interrupts. Go as hard as Paxman when it comes to getting to the facts, or as hard as Raddatz when it comes to specifics or policy!
6:40 – It feels like a stump speech from Donald so far. He’s gone from his usual “some people are saying it” bullshit to his “it might be this, it might be that, I don’t know” backup. No matter what question is asked, he goes back to one of his main talking points – the wall, his wonderful business, law and order. It feels like one of those in-class essays from high school where you don’t know the answer (or understand the question for that matter), and you try to get as many vocab words in as you can and write extra big to make it look longer. He’s praying that the teacher – the American voters – are going to skim and not read up.
6:45 – Secretly hoping that among all the endorsements Trump mentions tonight, Ted Cruz will be one of them. You know, the same Ted Cruz that called him a “serial philanderer” and “pathological liar”, and had to defend his wife being called “ugly” coupled with his dad being accused of killing JFK. I hope Cruz’s opponent in 2020 uses the campaign slogan ‘Vote Your Conscience’.
6:50 – Hillary completely botches the answer on guns by not providing Trump quotes where he suggested that (a) Hillary wants to abolish the second amendment, (b) that expanding background checks wouldn’t decrease gun violence, (c) schoolteachers should be armed, (d) he wasn’t really always against guns, or (e) that second amendment people could ‘act’ against Hillary. Are they allowed to have notes at this thing?
6:56 – A little saving face by Hillary, “I prepared to be President.” The weird thing is, she’s been preparing since 2006, which made it a little disingenuous when she suggested that Bernie Sanders should drop out mid-primaries. I mean, wasn’t he so desperate to be president?
6:58 – Hillary’s batteries malfunction as her smile gets stuck on her face for a bit too long. I think they call that the Carly Fiorina effect.
7:01 – “Palm Beach community, a tough community, brilliant community, very wealthy community, probably one of the wealthiest in the world.” What? For all Donald Trump talks about money, you can bet that it’s all Melania thinks about during sex.
7:04 – It seems like Trump loses his thought process when he sees a shiny new unconquered pair of tits in the audience and starts talking about something completely different. A response on birther-ism somehow turned into an ad for his Palm Beach club.
7:07 – “You don’t know who broke into the DNC… you don’t know” evokes vague memories of a similar orange child who’s also quite angry. Also Trump just dissed the very important 400lb sitting-on-his-bed hacker voter block – fatal mistake.
7:26 – “Words matter” should be Hillary’s new campaign slogan. She should bring a sign that says ‘lie’ and hold it up every time Donald says something untrue. Or just have a picture of Professor Umbridge.
7:33 – Trump says he could have made a much worse comment about Hillary than he did. Same overtone as when he talked about his Palm Beach property that didn’t get sued for housing discrimination. ‘Hey look, I might have been bad a couple times, but remember the one time I didn’t do the bad thing?’
7:35 – Proving again that he isn’t a huge fan of numbers, Trump somehow converts 800 illegal immigrants into 1800 legal immigrants, which violates Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration or something. He did the same thing earlier in the debate with murders in Chicago (3000 → 4000) and aid to the Middle East ($4 billion → $5 billion). Why isn’t anyone hitting harder on this?
7:40 – For all the clamor about Hillary making history, Donald was actually the first presidential candidate in history to go 0/6 in answering the question asked. At least he didn’t really talk shit about Mexicans… that would have really crossed the border.
It was a spectacular hour and a half of television, but a lackluster presidential debate as far as the words ‘debate’ and ‘presidential’ go. Here’s a tip for Hillary – free of charge, unlike her Wall Street speeches – don’t feed the troll. Don’t pay attention to the bully. Talk to the crowd. Treat him like the sidekick on a late night talk show. Ask whether the next debate can be held at Trump University instead of WUSTL. And most of all, don’t point out the erection he had all night long.