Trump Won the Debate Big

by Scott F. Aikin and Robert B. Talisse

The first of the US Presidential debates between incumbent Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden is complete, and from the looks of the political landscape after Trump’s positive COVID test, it may be the only debate for this election cycle. Most who watched the debate called it a ‘food fight,’ a ‘brawl,’ or worse. Trump interrupted Biden, there was too much crosstalk, there were insults, and Biden even told the President to “Shut up, man!” Anyone who tuned in to see two candidates for America’s highest office exchange well-reasoned arguments, hold each other accountable to challenge, and answer each other’s questions was sorely disappointed.

But the reality is that debates never have been that idealized exchange. For sure, many debates have better resembled it than this more recent one, but no debates have been close to that aspirational posit. Rather, the debates are more simultaneous campaign events, where the candidates can recite clips of their stump speeches, drop practiced one-liners, and play at having rapport with the moderator when being held to the rules of the debate. What makes them important in this argumentative regard, then, is how well they enact their brand within the rules of the forum. It’s along these lines that we think that Trump is right that he won the debate.

Biden’s brand is that he is the moderate who can beat Trump. Trump’s brand is that he is the powerful disruptor, the one who is so strong that no rules can constrain him. Seen from this perspective, the debate was wholly a case of Trump’s singular dominance. He, again, interrupted Biden, he derailed Biden’s argument about his disparagement of the military with a shot about Biden’s younger son, he squabbled with the moderator about whether the rules were right, and he consistently went over his allotted times. He indeed was a disruptor, one to whom the rules do not apply. He was consistently and manifestly on-brand. Read more »

Monday, March 7, 2016

Compared To The F-up Presidents That Reagan, Clinton And George W. Bush Were, Donald Trump Will Be A Brilliant President

by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash

UnknownRonald Reagan cut the top marginal income tax rate from 50% to 28%, made war on labor unions, and saddled us with massive income inequality.

Bill Clinton exported our manufacturing jobs with NAFTA, and signed the two bills that repealed Glass-Steagall and removed derivatives from all oversight — to bequeath us the crash of 2008 and the Great Recession.

George W. Bush lied America into committing a war crime by invading Iraq and causing the deaths of over 4,000 of our young men, and giving countless more soldiers brain damage, loss of limbs, PTSD, and driving many to suicide, and killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi women and children.

There's no way that Donald Trump can be that bad as our president.

He's not that dumb, for a start.

In fact, he's smarter than the entire GOP (not that this says much).

What people forget is that Trump is basically bullshitting his way to the nomination. After Eric Cantor lost to Dave Brat, who played the immigration card hard and accused Cantor of being in favor of “amnesty,” Trump stuck his finger in the wind and realized he could get somewhere as a presidential candidate if he got hard-assed about immigration.

He was right.

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