Two things that matter happened in the third and final presidential debate: 1) Hillary Clinton spoke directly to the concerns of suburban women on choice and guns and to Latinos on immigration and 2) Donald Trump refused to say he would accept the results of the election, proving that he is fundamentally not an American.
Clinton’s arguments, in favor of choice on abortion rights, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and common-sense gun control, all should help her among the voters in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and other states where her positions are in sync with mainstream views and she is expanding her lead among women and Latinos.
“I will look at it at the time,” he first said.
“But sir,” Wallace came back. “there is a tradition in this country, in fact one of the prides of this country, is the peaceful transition of power, and that no matter how hard fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign, that the loser concedes to the winner… and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying that you are not prepared now to commit to that principle?”
“What I’m saying now is I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense, okay?” said the New York Narcissist.
This was such an extraordinary comment, so outside of the bounds of American civic theology, that the audience gasped and Trump seemed not to recognize that he had assaulted the most fundamental tenet of Western democracy.
Republican Recoil. “It’s a disqualifying moment,” Republican Steve Schmidt said on MSNBC. “It’s a moment of clear and present danger to our constitutional order, to the republic, it’s unprecedented in the history of the country.”
Moreover, Schmidt deadpanned, Trump was so incoherent discussing Mosul, he sounded “like an old man in the park feeding squirrels.”
There were plenty of other memorable moments, not the least of which was Trump’s unraveling to the point where he snapped “such a nasty woman” Clinton is (for suggesting he’d find a way to avoid paying higher payroll taxes to save Social Security). Within moments, nastywomengetshitdone.com was slapped up on the web with a link to Clinton fundraising. Trump’s reference to “bad hombres” he’d deport set off a firestorm of Latino outrage on Twitter. And twice Clinton tweaked Trump for using Chinese steel to built his Las Vegas Hotel. His defense? You should have stopped me!
Considering the bar was so low, Trump wasn’t as terrible as he has been previously, although he was a long way from changing the direction of the race by attracting any voters outside his right-wing base. Whatever good Trump might have done for himself among his Neanderthal and white evangelical backers, with his stands on abortion, immigration and gun control), he blew himself to smithereens with his expressed disloyalty to American constitutional government.
Given the status of the presidential race, the only question was whether Putin’s Puppet drove his own numbers down even further than were evident in the Fox News survey released before the debate. In that survey, only 35% of voters said Trump has the temperament to be president (compared to 61% for Clinton); just 37% of voters said Trump has the judgment to be president (compared to 53% for Clinton), and by a margin of 57-to-32%, voters said they trust Clinton’s prudence in handling nuclear weapons.
Our best guess: after Wednesday’s debate, the percentage of voters who say Trump is qualified to be president will drop to about 30%.
Such a nasty man.