Debate 2: Now With Muting!
October 22, 2020 6:07 PM   Subscribe

Here's the CNN livestream, go to it, you crazy kids.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (217 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
A few dozen of us are also on the Chat. My suggestion of the three tabs is the LiveWatch one.
posted by daisyace at 6:10 PM on October 22, 2020


All I want from this debate is an indicator light that goes on when a candidate soils himself.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:10 PM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]


Trump is managing to control himself so far, so this might be pretty dull.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:11 PM on October 22, 2020


I'm following the C-SPAN feed with Crooked Media team text commentary because I need the comic relief to get through this.
posted by longdaysjourney at 6:11 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


I tried, but i'd rather watch 2 teams with 2 combined wins play NFL football than listen to DJT for more than 15 seconds. I'll be here for the hot takes tho'....
posted by OHenryPacey at 6:11 PM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]


Biden should just stick to the My Cousin Vinny approach: "Everything that guy just said is bullshit."
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:14 PM on October 22, 2020 [22 favorites]


Yeah, I am not gonna criticize Fox (broadcast, not News) for showing the NFL tonight.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:14 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


He hates his mic is muted... he may explode on stage...

Or, stomp off before this is over. I'm betting he stomps off.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:14 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


I wonder, specifically, which drugs Trump is on right now.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:15 PM on October 22, 2020 [14 favorites]




Kristen Welker has been an excellent moderator thus far.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:17 PM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]


Okay, I miss the yelling and interruptions. This is beyond boring.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:17 PM on October 22, 2020


Biden just say you’ll send people money. Just say it. It’s so easy
posted by theodolite at 6:18 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


I wonder, specifically, which drugs Trump is on right now.

I'm thinking a well-tuned cocktail of a beta-blocker and a little xanax.
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:18 PM on October 22, 2020 [10 favorites]


This debate needs a fly.
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 6:20 PM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


When it comes to debating, Trump is old school, bar stool. Whoever shouts the loudest the longest wins. Content is optional...
posted by jim in austin at 6:20 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


I truly hope Biden finds a way to bring up the fact that the President can't be trusted to secure his own Twitter account.
posted by MrVisible at 6:21 PM on October 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


America: We should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.
posted by y2karl at 6:22 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


New York is in no way, shape, or form Trump's fucking city.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:22 PM on October 22, 2020 [31 favorites]


Biden!! when Trump talks about how everything is awful, REMIND HIM THAT HE’S THE PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW
posted by theodolite at 6:22 PM on October 22, 2020 [17 favorites]


New York is in no way, shape, or form Trump's fucking city.

It also is in no way, shape, or form a "ghost town".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:24 PM on October 22, 2020 [16 favorites]


I just want to say to everyone in these threads, thank you for being my own personal eclipse-viewer shoebox, helping protect me from the permanent harm that could come from viewing the debates directly
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:25 PM on October 22, 2020 [123 favorites]


New York has ghosted Trump, more like.
posted by nubs at 6:26 PM on October 22, 2020 [6 favorites]


I don't think Trump's pandering to Wall Street and "blowing away any record" will appeal to voters.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:26 PM on October 22, 2020


Trump is boasting about how much money he could raise from Wall Street?
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:26 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


First round to Biden!
posted by piyushnz at 6:26 PM on October 22, 2020


Trump just said he could commit felonies, but he hasn't, so he should get credit for that.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:27 PM on October 22, 2020 [13 favorites]


Biden's doing well. This is the first of many times I've posted about him and actually had something positive to say.
posted by davedave at 6:27 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


It's always tremendously comical when American politicians whip up some outrage about people interfering with other countries' elections.
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 6:28 PM on October 22, 2020 [31 favorites]


What is Trump on about?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:31 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


I heard a "sir". Everyone take a shot.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:33 PM on October 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


the part where they accuse each other with taking money from foreign agents has been abysmal - is this what we've come to?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:33 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Generally you can assume whatever he's accusing someone of is something he himself is doing but realizes on some level is shameful.
posted by johnofjack at 6:33 PM on October 22, 2020 [19 favorites]


Lies. Trump's mirror.
posted by porpoise at 6:33 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


What we have come to is indescribably lower than this.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:34 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


What is Trump on about?

Not releasing his taxes.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:34 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


What is Trump on about?
posted by mollweide at 6:34 PM on October 22, 2020 [9 favorites]


What is Trump on about?
posted by piyushnz at 6:36 PM on October 22, 2020 [16 favorites]


Muller and 18 Angry Democrats would be a good band name.
posted by nubs at 6:37 PM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]


Biden is a punching bag.
posted by ovvl at 6:38 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


The moderator at least is doing an admirable job controlling the debate this time. The muted mics must help a lot too.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:39 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Trump: "The bank account you know about—everyone knows about it—is 'listed'."

Implication here, of course, that there are other accounts that are not 'listed'.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:39 PM on October 22, 2020 [11 favorites]


Mueller and 18 Angry Democrats is my new Dead Kennedys cover band.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:39 PM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


Now clear that Trump doesn't understand how tariffs work, either.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:41 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Return of Malarkey
posted by phunniemee at 6:42 PM on October 22, 2020 [11 favorites]


so trump doesn't give a fuck about my family?

i knew that
posted by pyramid termite at 6:43 PM on October 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


I hate the weird little baby voice Trump does sometimes.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:45 PM on October 22, 2020 [26 favorites]


calling repeal and replace in 30 seconds
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:47 PM on October 22, 2020


Is ... is he bragging that Kim Jong un likes him better than he likes Biden?
posted by 1adam12 at 6:48 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


Trump wants credit for not deliberately fucking up healthcare?
posted by FishBike at 6:48 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


trump's just lying rapidly and repeatedly, and hoping enough of it sticks. These debates are worse than worthless without strong, live fact-checking. Also, cutting the mic, trump's constantly playing the "get the last word in" game. And he's getting it.

I'm also wondering how long the drugs he's on are going to last. In past debates, he hasn't had the stamina to keep up the whole way, and he's already starting to get riled. Biden, of course, sounds unprepared and unforceful.
posted by mrgoat at 6:48 PM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


Biden forcefully talks about he protected the health insurance companies. People everywhere are throwing open their windows and cheering into the street. A parade spontaneously forms
posted by theodolite at 6:51 PM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]


Also, cutting the mic, trump's constantly playing the "get the last word in" game. And he's getting it.

Huh. I don’t think Trump has ‘got anything’ this debate.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:51 PM on October 22, 2020


I had to give up. Every exchange is like this:

T: Stream of lies
B: That's not true because X, Y, and Z, also if I -- [time]
T: Stream of lies

I don't need it! I don't need it. If I did, I could find it on Twitter or Facebook. Biden doesn't look bad, but he doesn't look great. It's a farce.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:53 PM on October 22, 2020 [20 favorites]


What
posted by sixswitch at 6:54 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


All Biden has to do is look and sound like someone you would rather have in the news for the next four years other than Trump. That is an exceedingly low bar...
posted by jim in austin at 6:54 PM on October 22, 2020 [9 favorites]


I love being threatened with socialized medicine.

Oh no.
Please.
Anything but that.
Stop.
posted by phunniemee at 6:54 PM on October 22, 2020 [97 favorites]


"We're going to have socialized medicine which is going to do away with Medicare."

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:55 PM on October 22, 2020 [32 favorites]


Trump is dominating the conversation. I thought they were going to cut mics when they went over time. She keeps giving Trump a few more minutes.

Also, this is not likely to change anyone's mind about either candidate.
posted by shoesietart at 6:57 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Speaking as someone from a country with “socialized medicine”, I find these discussions incredibly tiring; it’s so weird/exhausting to hear it described as some horrible bugaboo.
posted by nubs at 6:58 PM on October 22, 2020 [40 favorites]


this is (one of many of) my problem(s) with Rs:

"Dems want to socialize your medicine!"

and also:

"Dems want to destroy Medicare! And Social Security!"

ELI5 how those three are not all socialist.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:58 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


A date called November 3rd
posted by 1adam12 at 6:58 PM on October 22, 2020 [9 favorites]


The way expectations are set, if Trump doesn't drop a load in his pants, reach in and eat a fistful, were going to get NYT articles about how he finally acted presidential.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:00 PM on October 22, 2020 [18 favorites]


Trump is dominating the conversation. I thought they were going to cut mics when they went over time. She keeps giving Trump a few more minutes.

Sadly, just the first two minutes for each question. She should have a mute button to truly moderate the question. Baby steps, I guess?
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:00 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Next debate instead of mutable mics can we outfit them with push button incendiary pants
posted by phunniemee at 7:00 PM on October 22, 2020 [10 favorites]


btw if you’ve already voted you’re exempt from having to watch this
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:00 PM on October 22, 2020 [23 favorites]


Welp, once again I shouted SHUT THE FUCK UP at Trump. I'm hoarse as hell.

Pretty sure it's widely accepted that debates don't change minds. However, I mind that the US is showing this literal political circus to an international audience.
posted by vers at 7:00 PM on October 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


"Dems want to destroy Medicare! And Social Security!"

ELI5 how those three are not all socialist.


Medicare and Social Security aren't socialist because people like them.
posted by mrgoat at 7:00 PM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]


Biden's not blowing it. My stomach is noticeably less upset than the last one. Not that I think Biden blew the last one. Guess I'm just getting better at this. Like a soldier in combat. The sheer terror of the situation has to subdue at some point ... either because you get annihilated or you just used to it.
posted by philip-random at 7:01 PM on October 22, 2020 [14 favorites]


Trump is dominating the conversation.

He is and he isn't. He is in terms of volume and quantity. But I think Biden is doing a good job of staying focused on how things affect regular people, while Trump keeps trying to attack. You're right, though, that this debate isn't likely to change anyone's minds.
posted by star gentle uterus at 7:02 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


Ok, time to walk the dog - I’m not listening to Trump on this issue.
posted by nubs at 7:04 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]



I hung in there for over an hour. Biden did fine. Nothing more to be learned from this.
posted by nanook at 7:07 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


This is awful
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:08 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Man, Trump clearly caught himself before he said that thing about only low IQ people coming back. I wonder what racist thing he was about to say.
posted by star gentle uterus at 7:09 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


The moderator is doing a little better about pushback.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:09 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]



Trump is dominating the conversation.

He is and he isn't. He is in terms of volume and quantity. But I think Biden is doing a good job of staying focused on how things affect regular people, while Trump keeps trying to attack. You're right, though, that this debate isn't likely to change anyone's minds.


Right, it's just logorrhea, but nothing convincing. Biden is more succinct, but focused and impactful.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:11 PM on October 22, 2020 [7 favorites]


Fill in the crying people square on your Trump bingo card.
posted by FishBike at 7:12 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


I’m not sure it’s entirely possible to keep Trump from interrupting aside from judicious use of the mic kill switch.
posted by SillyShepherd at 7:12 PM on October 22, 2020


Trump's drugs seem to be wearing off.
posted by vers at 7:12 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


"cried in my office" now marked to go with "sir" on debate bingo....
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:12 PM on October 22, 2020 [6 favorites]


When Biden says 525 kids don't know where their parents are and Trump says "Good"
posted by toddforbid at 7:13 PM on October 22, 2020 [32 favorites]


I’m not sure it’s entirely possible to keep Trump from interrupting aside from judicious use of the mic kill switch.

They should have gone with the shock collar instead.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:13 PM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]


Man, Trump clearly caught himself before he said that thing about only low IQ people coming back.

Best explained as projection. For all this guy's lawsuits, when was the last time he was dragged into a courtroom? 2007?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:14 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Not Biden's best night. He keeps jumping from one thing he wants to bring up to another without explaining what any of them mean, and doesn't make it clear when he's paraphrasing Trump when saying something awful.
posted by one for the books at 7:15 PM on October 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


In Debate 1, Trump kept talking over himself and babbling and no message could get through. Problem tonight is that the structured format gives him uninterrupted segments to tell lies in.
posted by gimonca at 7:16 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


I had to tap out at "Nobody is better at Black People than me." I've already voted anyway. Joe is holding his own, and may convince a few Republicans that voting for him isn't the end of the world, but probably not, because I believe anyone who says they're undecided is actually just too embarrassed to admit they're voting for Trump. The racism is fine with them, they just wish he'd stop saying the quiet part out loud.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:16 PM on October 22, 2020 [28 favorites]


Not Biden's best night. He keeps jumping from one thing he wants to bring up to another without explaining what any of them mean, and doesn't make it clear when he's paraphrasing Trump when saying something awful.

To be fair, Trump is such a piece of shit about so many things, on so many levels, I can understand it being hard to focus.

He's like a Mandelbrot douchebag.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:17 PM on October 22, 2020 [28 favorites]


tbh it was weird when Biden made "pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon" his campaign slogan
posted by theodolite at 7:17 PM on October 22, 2020 [6 favorites]


Okay, Poor Boys saved this debate. lmaooo
posted by theodolite at 7:18 PM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]


I had to tap out at "Nobody is better at Black People than me."

You missed him calling himself the least racist person in the room and almost literally saying the Colbert line that he can't see color.
posted by star gentle uterus at 7:18 PM on October 22, 2020 [7 favorites]


Wait, what? Goddamn it, I mute the debate and *then* it gets interesting? Fucking 2020.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:19 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


"this guy has a dog whistle as big as a fog horn"
posted by piyushnz at 7:19 PM on October 22, 2020 [7 favorites]


tbh it was weird when Biden made "pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon" his campaign slogan

Say what?
posted by bz at 7:19 PM on October 22, 2020


This is minor, but it really bothers me that both of them keep using confusing shorthand like "you'll keep pre-existing" or "do away with mandatory". I like people who complete sentences. Oh, and Biden just called them the "Poor Boys", instead of "Proud Boys".
posted by mrgoat at 7:20 PM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


'People are learning to live with it?' People are learning to DIE with it.

911? Murder! I need to report a murder!
posted by adept256 at 7:20 PM on October 22, 2020 [10 favorites]


yes. this futilitator has been marginally better than chris wallace. at least she has tried.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:22 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


Where's this famous mute button
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:22 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


yes. this futilitator has been marginally better than chris wallace. at least she has tried.

If only there were some way to mute the speakers.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:23 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


Where's this famous mute button

The rule appears to be that the other person's mic is only muted during each person's first response. After that, they're on the honor system.
posted by star gentle uterus at 7:24 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


The mute button can only be used during these initial 2-minute opening statements for each question. She has had to use it against Trump once.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:25 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


I believe the mute button is somewhere in the control room, the moderator doesn't control it.
posted by FishBike at 7:26 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


I’m glad I voted today and this is all just a shitty reality show now. Although with all the panopticon technology and targeted advertising these days, you would think there’s an app of some sort that would stop showing you political ads once you vote. Come to think of it, that could push voter turnout to levels never before seen here.
posted by TedW at 7:27 PM on October 22, 2020 [11 favorites]


What does Trump mean by saying AOC has "a good line of stuff"?
posted by Beardman at 7:27 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


What does Trump mean by saying AOC has "a good line of stuff"?

My wife just asked me the same thing. I think we all know.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:28 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


I think a bidding system for unmuting your mic, where the cost came out of the candidates personal bank account, starting at $1/minute, would work to Biden's advantage
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:29 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


I think a bidding system for unmuting your mics, where the cost came out of the candidates personal bank account, starting at $1/minute, would work to Biden's advantage

Only if it's pre-paid.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:29 PM on October 22, 2020 [11 favorites]


This mute switch is sounding like the one W wanted installed in the Oval Office - the one that would stop the Internet
posted by Rash at 7:30 PM on October 22, 2020


Oh goody, the who-loves-fracking-more part of the debate
posted by Beardman at 7:30 PM on October 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


In honor of their return, I really want Yakko or Wakko to wield a giant cartoon mallet in this debate.
posted by metabaroque at 7:31 PM on October 22, 2020 [8 favorites]


What does Trump mean by saying AOC has "a good line of stuff"?

I think "stuff" = "bullshit". I think he's implying she's some weird kind of flavor-of-the-month Svengali that has been hoodwinking the Dems.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:32 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Why does he say industry like he read the word for the first time just this morning.
posted by phunniemee at 7:32 PM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


A senseless exchange about climate change between two clueless people. No mention whatsoever about biodiversity, wildlife, plastic, loss of habitat, etc. etc. etc. etc.
Not that I was expecting it. I'm not stupid.
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 7:33 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


Is anyone changing their minds given this? Moderator getting run over by Drumpf.
posted by Farce_First at 7:34 PM on October 22, 2020


Why does he say industry like he read the word for the first time just this morning.

Every few seconds is a new day for a man who lacks object permanence.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:35 PM on October 22, 2020 [25 favorites]


Muting was a benefit to Trump. He came off as such an asshole in the first debate, and turned off so many people, with the constant interruptions.
posted by diva_esq at 7:37 PM on October 22, 2020 [7 favorites]


Abject permanence?
posted by vers at 7:37 PM on October 22, 2020 [6 favorites]


Well, he didn't explosively shit himself, so I guess that counts as a semi-win
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:38 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Biden is a lame debater.
He reminds me a bit of John Kerry.
He mumbles & digresses into vague discussions.

He did a good conclusion!

Trump pushes his lies hard, and he always clearly frames his false arguments.
Biden vaguely responds.

Well, I hope the undecided voters aren't watching too closely.
posted by ovvl at 7:38 PM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


Lmao at Biden reaching for his mask when Melania got on the stage
posted by Beardman at 7:39 PM on October 22, 2020 [17 favorites]


Muting was a benefit to Trump. He came off as such an asshole in the first debate, and turned off so many people, with the constant interruptions.

I think the more you can understand what he's saying, the dumber he sounds, particularly compared with Biden being able to complete his sentences and be heard.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:39 PM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


Trump probably did enough not to turn off too many more people, compared with the first debate. So I think we'll still see the polls tighten a bit as seems to be the usual dynamic in the closing weeks.
posted by piyushnz at 7:40 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


PBS, inexplicably, thinks the first subject worth talking about in detail in the post-debate coverage is Hunter Biden's China Crimes. Like they had a graphic ready and everything. What the fuck PBS??
posted by theodolite at 7:40 PM on October 22, 2020 [32 favorites]


I'm reminded of the West Wing episodes leading up to the Bartlett-Ritchie debate (which wasn't actually shown for the most part). The whole thing was the "expectations game" and also getting President Bartlett to stop being Uncle Fluffy.

Ritchie had an advantage because if he could not trip over his own shoes he'd win the expectations game, so they told Bartlett to take the reins off and just go for it. To not be afraid of complex answers, to not be afraid of being the smartest guy in the room, to not be afraid of telling people, "This guy is an idiot."

Really, really, really wish some Biden higher-ups had taken that episode more to heart. I'm not saying Biden was totally Uncle Fluffy, but with all that's at stake, it'd have been better if he had NO Uncle Fluffy to him.
posted by metabaroque at 7:42 PM on October 22, 2020 [10 favorites]


ovvi: He mumbles & digresses into vague discussions.

He has a stuttering issue. He's been pretty amazing with it with kids who stutter.
posted by metabaroque at 7:44 PM on October 22, 2020 [27 favorites]


I just want to wish you all good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:46 PM on October 22, 2020 [15 favorites]


I take full responsibility. It's not my fault.

- Donald Trump, piece of shit, October 22nd, 2020.
posted by adept256 at 7:47 PM on October 22, 2020 [22 favorites]


It was super weird for Trump to be calling Biden out for not doing more against structural racism/prison populations. I agree, but anyone who agrees is not going to think highly of Trump on this. How does that benefit him?
posted by lab.beetle at 7:49 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


It was also weird when Trump blamed Biden for Trump becoming president... as if to say, "Yes, things have gone to hell, but that's your fault for making me want to run for president."
posted by FishBike at 7:53 PM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


At least Seth Meyers can stop being blamed.
posted by Marticus at 7:55 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


Trump's strongest argument against Biden was simply why didn't Biden do something about his platform in the 8 years he was VP and 40+ years he was serving as capacity of an elected official. This is traditionally what makes lifelong politicians such weak candidates. If Trump were anything resembling a regular candidate he would have just rode that train hard all night.

The ridiculous laptop thing makes no sense to anyone who doesn't watch FoxNews 24/7, even then it is beyond absurd.

Trump might've had a shot at this election if he formulated a cohesive, moderate stance that he took tonight. Hillary Clinton was a gift completely wrapped in a bow to him. All his delusions and paranoia and the seeming hatred of Hillary Clinton in some circles created a perfect storm for him winning that he'll never see again.
posted by geoff. at 7:56 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]


"Plexiglass is extremely expensive."

I guess that explains why you find huge slabs of it in cheap restaurants covering their table cloths -- it's so chic.
posted by JackFlash at 8:07 PM on October 22, 2020 [13 favorites]


even with that massive tailwind he lost the popular vote
posted by um at 8:09 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


You missed him calling himself the least racist person in the room

I know for a fact that every single person in this room has tweeted a video of someone shouting ‘White Power!’ at least twice.
posted by XMLicious at 8:10 PM on October 22, 2020 [9 favorites]


who built the cages?

Ahhh passing the blame. At least that is acknowledging that it's evil. And I mean evil. Y'know I was orphaned? When I was 11yo. It was hard but, people die, it was always going to happen, and it was nobody's fault.

I wasn't orphaned like this, as policy, by a government agency, a government headed by a racist fuckwit.

It took me a long time, I had to become mature before I could understand that what happened to me wasn't unfair, it's just the reality of life and death. If I learnt that there was someone responsible? Woe unto them.
posted by adept256 at 8:30 PM on October 22, 2020 [48 favorites]


We spent about $2K installing 4x8 plexiglass barriers in my wife's studio, reconfiguring spaces to minimize contact with equipment, and otherwise prepare her relaunch mid-july. Plexiglass isn't cheap, particularly when you need pieces large enough and sturdy enough to be vertical and be able to withstand a modicum of abuse. The likelihood that we'll recoup that money before the middle of next year is low.

That's right - even if everyone is masked. Even if everyone has their temperature taken. Even if every station and piece of equipment is sprayed down and /or steam cleaned between sessions , her attendance is during her best week 75% of what it was for that side of her work, and 40-50% of what it should be on the yoga side... Keep in mind - this would still be within capacity guidelines for the space and the building.

And cases just crested above 1K again today for the second time this week and the new local maxima since our low back in July. No amount of stimulus or loan or what have you will help restore people's security in physical health and well being in a studio setting - even with all the precautions clearly followed. No plexiglass barrier will make enough customers feel safe enough to return at levels necessary to keep things open without cash infusions from the side. So now we consider... was the 2K in plexiglass the cost of staying open for a few additional months? Or is it wise to wait to bounce back, maybe pick up the clientelle of a different studio that makes the decision to shutter their doors... because business capitalist cannibalism seems like a good thing to pray for... PPE Loan forgiveness for truly small businesses would go a long long way.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:38 PM on October 22, 2020 [12 favorites]


Hillary Clinton was a gift completely wrapped in a bow to him. All his delusions and paranoia and the seeming hatred of Hillary Clinton in some circles created a perfect storm for him winning that he'll never see again.

I'd say the biggest single nudge he got was Comey sending the letter to Congress about the private e-mail server. He's hoping to recreate that. That was eleven days before the 2016 election.

Friday the 23rd of October is eleven days before the 2020 election.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:46 PM on October 22, 2020 [10 favorites]


I know two people who were pro-Trump and are now waffling. They both mentioned to me that they heard this rumor that Biden has Alzheimer’s and sometimes can't complete sentences, so I assume this FUD is being pushed hard behind the scenes to Trump supporters. In my opinion, they only have to see Biden being reasonably intelligent in a debate and they'll realize they've been had and the last remaining thing preventing them from voting for Biden is gone.

So that's what I looked for in the debates. Biden countered every Trump lob--maybe not as strongly as some people here would have liked, but I don't think that matters. He came across as sharp and responsive. So, my former pro-Trump friends, you can now go ahead and vote for Biden. There aren't any more excuses.
posted by eye of newt at 8:49 PM on October 22, 2020 [18 favorites]


I think the more you can understand what he's saying, the dumber he sounds, particularly compared with Biden being able to complete his sentences and be heard.

I was watching CSPAN, and I saw that when the moderator asked the question, they left it on screen as Trump babbled nonsensically. That was vicious.
posted by mikelieman at 8:50 PM on October 22, 2020 [17 favorites]


It occurs to me that in any debate, the sophist has the advantage because lies and distortions are easy to create. The sophist can collectively gaslight the audience. Whereas truth and justice require actual work to produce, which is boring; in comparison sensitive and thoughtful people get mistaken for being lame.
posted by polymodus at 8:50 PM on October 22, 2020 [23 favorites]


There aren't any more excuses

You misunderestimate Trump voters.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:52 PM on October 22, 2020 [16 favorites]


BS, inexplicably, thinks the first subject worth talking about in detail in the post-debate coverage is Hunter Biden's China Crimes. Like they had a graphic ready and everything. What the fuck PBS??

From the National Review re NPR: The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

Sigh...
posted by shoesietart at 8:52 PM on October 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


Okay, Poor Boys saved this debate. lmaooo

Biden calling them "Poor Boys" instead of something else, was pure genius and I hope everyone in the media makes a replay out of it. It was the only knock-out punch of the night, because it insulted about a hundred-thousand whiners who collect guns in massive debt, out of clinical paranoia, and who want us to be afraid of their dysfunctional mental illness while they are on parole or struggling to pay child-support.
posted by Brian B. at 8:58 PM on October 22, 2020 [23 favorites]


There aren't any more excuses

You misunderestimate Trump voters.


I'm talking exclusively about the ones for whom Trump has been so bad for so long that he managed to put even them on the fence. Yes, there are a few. And they are the only ones that matter for these debates. For everyone else these debates are just a side show.
posted by eye of newt at 9:03 PM on October 22, 2020 [4 favorites]


Well the post debate snap polling and focus groups with undecided voters are starting to trickle in and why I think they have limited value outside of determining a "winner" and "loser" it seems like Biden had a strong debate and even Trump on better behavior wasn't really able to convince people he won. It even seems like Biden got a bit of a favorability boost from this.

Strong debate performance will almost certainly dominate news coverage tomorrow outside of wingnut-o-sphere where it will be all Hunter all day for the next 11 days but the reality is that Trump needed to have a strong performance her to staunch the bleeding. Debates rarely have a ton of impact on the outcome of an election but the Trump campaign has really really dug themselves a deep hole and can't even spend their way out of it since the traditional Republican cash advantage has disappeared and key parties are beginning to focus more of their efforts on desperately holding onto the Senate rather than throwing more money for Trump to embezzle.

And that's not even counting the massive early voting numbers coming in which seem to be a bellweather for really high levels of voter turnout and higher turnout means a much better chance for Biden especially if Trump continues to be toxic in the suburbs.
posted by vuron at 9:16 PM on October 22, 2020




So it sounds like Biden did good enough to hold serve? I'm glad I watched the football game instead. I already sent in my vote for Biden anyway. It's all I can do at this point. The election was so close last time I get the feeling that the general state of the world alone would be enough to swing things the other way even before getting into all shit Trumps got himself into. That's what I hope anyway.

I hate both of them though.
posted by eagles123 at 9:25 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


I have to admit that I'm going to have to steal that FNCU quip. Is there a wikia out there that we can peruse to make sure we are following all the twists and turns because now they are beginning to throw a whole bunch of guest "stars" that seem to show up for like a day. Like hold up 50 cent is talking about the election I gotta listen into this.

And it appears like Aubrey O'day (Don Jr's Ex) is spilling the tea about the Trumps so it looks like we will have dueling supermarket tabloid nonsense over the next 11 days.
posted by vuron at 9:36 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


CNN Instapoll:
Biden 53, Trump 39
32D-31R party ID

No meaningful change in favorability for either candidate before and after the debate

CNN undecided focus group in North Carolina:
9 say Biden won.
2 say it was a draw.
0 say Trump won.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:41 PM on October 22, 2020 [22 favorites]


Ex-cellent.

*steeples fingers*
posted by darkstar at 9:52 PM on October 22, 2020 [6 favorites]


Once again ... who are these undecided morons/liars? Where they frozen in carbonite for the last 12 years? I refuse to be believe it’s possible for people to honestly be undecided.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 10:08 PM on October 22, 2020 [10 favorites]


I'd say the biggest single nudge he got was Comey sending the letter to Congress about the private e-mail server. He's hoping to recreate that.

Yep, and it's hard for the rest of us to understand because Hunter Biden isn't running for president. Seems like the absolute worst-case Fox News fantasy scenario would be "Gosh, I'm sad to hear my son committed crimes and I hope he gets the help he needs."

But if you understand how a narcissist's brain works it makes perfect sense. Trump doesn't see his children as people, he sees them as extensions of himself. They don't serve any purpose other than to work for Donald Trump and to extend the Donald Trump name and empire and to make Donald Trump look better with their achievements.

So in Trump world it's like Joe Biden did the {undefined email-related thing} himself.

See also Trump freely mocking Joe Biden's dead son without realizing it makes him look like a monster. Because to him a dead son is just another of the father's failures.
posted by mmoncur at 10:09 PM on October 22, 2020 [26 favorites]


look... I know. This is a person that doesn't recognize that taking children away from their parents is evil. You and I, we're normal, when we hear a child ask for their mom and dad, we'd probably help them. This person we saw tonight, they're not like us. They...

One of the emails supposedly has Joe telling his son that he loves him unconditionally. This is not seen as a virtue everywhere.
posted by adept256 at 10:44 PM on October 22, 2020 [12 favorites]


Once again ... who are these undecided morons/liars? Where they frozen in carbonite for the last 12 years? I refuse to be believe it’s possible for people to honestly be undecided.
Undecided voters are just reality tv contestants for people who watch the news.
They know the role they are expected to play.
It's Duck Dynasty for "grown ups".
Keeping up with the centrists
posted by fullerine at 11:12 PM on October 22, 2020 [9 favorites]


And cases just crested above 1K again today for the second time this week and the new local maxima since our low back in July. No amount of stimulus or loan or what have you will help restore people's security in physical health and well being in a studio setting - even with all the precautions clearly followed. No plexiglass barrier will make enough customers feel safe enough to return at levels necessary to keep things open without cash infusions from the side.

I'm sorry for your wife's studio and the financial hardships you are under. It's relevant to understand though that people are behaving rationally in not attending because the guidelines are woefully inadequate at preventing infection. If you had SARS-CoV-2 infected animals breathing in a lab, you would be mandated to wear bunny suits with their own air supply. It's a cruel lie to tell people that masks and plexiglass will save them from what is essentially a biological gaseous weapon which accumulates in enclosed spaces and increases with respiration. The reason it is not being phrased this harshly is to hold out magical hope for "reopening" despite the virus still being reasonably prevalent.
posted by benzenedream at 11:30 PM on October 22, 2020 [35 favorites]


The “undecided voter” thing is a collection of lots of different types of folks, including at least the following:

1. There are the “shy” decided voters. People who have definitely made up their mind, but they aren’t inclined to share their opinions because of the potential for blowback and loss of social standing among those of their friends/family/coworkers/clients who might disagree.

2. There are those who find making a decision stressful and so postpone it as much as possible. These range from the mild cases, where people just feel like they need a little more information and need to keep their options open (the “P” in the Myers-Briggs types), to the other extreme, where people are pathologically indecisive.

3. There are folks who, on some level, rail at the political process in general and thus refuse to choose a candidate, but they explain it instead as being “undecided”, because that’s a less socially alienating way to manifest their rejection of the whole train wreck.

4. There are those who, as fullerene notes, are just playing the role of an undecided voter, because of the attention pundits and journalists and politicians lavish on them.

5. And there are those who, by virtue of lack of information, have enough presence of mind to realize that they don’t know enough to state a preference. To a political junkie like me, these are the most alien. Because it is incomprehensible to me that, after the last four years, someone wouldn’t have heard enough about Trump to know what kind of person he was. But I take it on faith that such people nevertheless exist.
posted by darkstar at 12:22 AM on October 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


This afternoon during my nap, I had a nightmare that one of the universities I work for had Trump come and speak. I was up the back of the room when for some reason, Trump picked me out and wanted to know what I thought of him (????). I said "an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Everything in the dream went to shit at that point - I had to run away from secret servicemen and vice chancellors and so on, but damn, quoting Shakespeare in my sleep - that was pretty good. (Btw, Australian, voted today for state elections)
posted by b33j at 1:55 AM on October 23, 2020 [39 favorites]


I'd like to see Internet-crowd-voted mute buttons for all participants (including the moderator!) in this kind of debate, where only the speaker who has collected the fewest mute votes within the last rolling 60 seconds gets an open mic and everybody else's is shut down. There would need to be a pretty solid mute-voter registration process to prevent bot and campaign organizer attacks but I think the results would be really interesting.

For events with live audiences, every seat should be equipped with mute-vote buttons. This wouldn't even need registration.
posted by flabdablet at 1:59 AM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


> There would need to be a pretty solid mute-voter registration process to prevent bot and campaign organizer attacks but I think the results would be really interesting.

given that there is no easy way to separate democratic involvement from campaign organizer attacks — honestly, democratic involvement and campaign organizer "attacks" are basically synonyms — this is basically a proposal to transfer all power to the kpop fans.

and let me tell you, i am here for it. let's do this. next time around, the debates should be run by bts.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:28 AM on October 23, 2020 [11 favorites]


The “undecided voter” thing is a collection of lots of different types of folks, including at least the following

Don't forget 6:

The voter who knows one of the candidates is awful, but has been told so many times the other guy is evil that they need a push to vote for the other guy
posted by LSK at 2:34 AM on October 23, 2020 [7 favorites]


But if you understand how a narcissist's brain works it makes perfect sense.

And the fact that Trump has so many supporters shows how endemic narcissism is to the American psyche.
posted by JohnFromGR at 3:41 AM on October 23, 2020 [7 favorites]


I'm sorry for your wife's studio and the financial hardships you are under. It's relevant to understand though that people are behaving rationally in not attending because the guidelines are woefully inadequate at preventing infection. If you had SARS-CoV-2 infected animals breathing in a lab, you would be mandated to wear bunny suits with their own air supply. It's a cruel lie to tell people that masks and plexiglass will save them from what is essentially a biological gaseous weapon which accumulates in enclosed spaces and increases with respiration. The reason it is not being phrased this harshly is to hold out magical hope for "reopening" despite the virus still being reasonably prevalent.

SARS-CoV-2 is BSL-3 (much to the frustration of many scientists, but in any case infected animals would presumably be animal BSL-3 even if virus in culture was BSL-2), rather than BSL-4, so doesn't that mean animal handling can be done with respirators and standard medical PPE rather than BSL-4 PAPRs and suits? (Still wouldn't go to Yoga indoors under current conditions though)
posted by atrazine at 3:43 AM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Also, it is so fucking funny to me watching Republicans rage about Hunter Biden. Yes these emails are clearly fake and this is an obvious attempt at an October surprise but the underlying story of a politician's son being up to no good no longer has any grip whatsoever on the public imagination anyway.

Is it dodgy that the children of politicians work on behalf of shady people to advance their interests? Sure, of course it is. The problem they have is:
-The entire American elite is implicated in this kind of conduct. Every person who gives a speech and is paid wildly inflated speaking fees, every non-job advising or consulting for the Turkish government or the Bulgarian-American friendship association, or the association of French wine exporters where politicians, their former aides, or members of their families are paid hilarious salaries for part time jobs compromises the system.

-To the extent that there were any norms at all, Donny and his merry bunch of crooks have pissed all over them. There was a least a veneer of decorum. A set of rules that let you do this kind of thing in a legal if not morally unquestionable way. Every written and unwritten rule has been flagrantly and publicly violated again and again, and then they have bragged about how it makes them "smart" and how people who aren't doing this are suckers.

-Trump's own children in particular have gone so far beyond any post-war-consensus norm on acceptable conduct in their business dealings, including with dubious individuals from countries not considered friendly to American interests that even to Trump supporters this Hunter Biden stuff sounds flat.

Trump used to have a kind of political killer instinct, a weird cruel charismatic sense of the jugular. Remember when he invited all those victims of Bill Clinton to a debate in 2016? It meant he didn't even have to come out and say to Hillary "you covered this up, you knew" (although he did say it) for that to dominate the news. That was an awful thing to do but it also showed a sort of genius. Compare to him begging suburban housewives for their votes now. Sad! He's completely lost whatever instinct matched that 2016 moment and is trying to cargo-cult re-enact it without understanding the underlying logic or the conditions that made it possible then.

Well now you get to reap. They spent four years laughing at liberal outrage and pointing out that it doesn't seem to make a difference to how the public votes, and now its their turn. I don't doubt that many of the people voting for Biden in 2020 have doubts about his past (rape allegations), about his legislative history, and about whatever it was that Hunter has been up to, but plenty of people had similar doubts about Donald in 2016 and still voted for him.
posted by atrazine at 4:01 AM on October 23, 2020 [20 favorites]


One of the emails supposedly has Joe telling his son that he loves him unconditionally. This is not seen as a virtue everywhere.

The right wingers expressing disbelief and contempt over a dad saying "I love you" are telling on themselves in the most elemental way... just really making it clear where the roots of their damage come from.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:43 AM on October 23, 2020 [30 favorites]


5. And there are those who, by virtue of lack of information, have enough presence of mind to realize that they don’t know enough to state a preference. To a political junkie like me, these are the most alien. Because it is incomprehensible to me that, after the last four years, someone wouldn’t have heard enough about Trump to know what kind of person he was. But I take it on faith that such people nevertheless exist.

I don't know. The "undecideds" who spend tons of time following politics in one way or another, who know all sorts of details about what's been going on but still claim they don't know enough to decide, are alien to me.

But someone who works a million shifts, is constantly exhausted, has no free time to themselves, doesn't have spare hours to keep up with the news or follow stuff on social media - and who is surrounded by people in similar situations - I think that describes a whole lot of people. In that situation you might hear some vague outlines of stuff ("the economy is good, Trump thinks masks are stupid, Trump's a successful businessman, Biden = Obama, the scientists don't understand the pandemic") but not really any of the details. So maybe you vote (if you even feel like you have time to vote) the way your friends do. And if your friends are split, maybe you feel like you're still undecided yourself. Or maybe you're just waiting for some theoretical window of free time, which might never come, when you can do the research you think you need to do to reach a conclusion. But on a day-to-day level, you just do not have the ability to keep up with or even think about a world of politics that seems so distant from your immediate life, and feel like you have no way to sort through and judge the relatively few things you do happen to hear.
posted by trig at 5:49 AM on October 23, 2020 [16 favorites]


the underlying story of a politician's son being up to no good no longer has any grip whatsoever on the public imagination anyway.

Hunter Biden's story is pretty damn unexceptional. Everything I've heard about him — the drug abuse, the wasted years, the empty sinecures — reads to me as the fairly typical path taken by the mediocre children of public figures, trying hard with meager talents to live up to a family legacy. It's hardly a condemnation of Joe Biden that one of his kids is having trouble figuring out what to do with himself and is leaning hard on his name.

People know damn well that Joe Biden didn't go to the board of Burisma (or whatever shocking aspect of Hunter Biden's career we're supposed to be focusing on now) and explicitly say, "hey, give my fuck-up kid a job to keep him busy, and I'll make it worth your while." Big wheels never have to and never have had to. The talentless scions of Pierponts and Carnegies and Rockafellers and Fords and Kennedys and their ilk have landed in soft seemingly pointless high-up corporate positions for at least a century now without their dads having to explicitly grease the skids. Does doing so actually help the prospects of their employers? Dunno, but they see the potential of it doing so as worth the (often pretty small, in context of a large business's finances) gamble of giving them a salary and some work to do. It's corruption, sure, but it's corruption which is a drearily familiar part of our social system, an furthermore the sort which someone themselves entrenched in the mutual-backscratching world of the upper crust can hardly deploy. A preferably nonwhite, preferably nonmale person who wasn't themselves firmly part of that system (the likes of an AOC or Maxine Waters) could thunder against the privilege of the rich and famous and maybe make it stick, but coming from Trump it's comical weaksauce to try and make it a thing how Hunter Biden was born on third base and has been there all game.
posted by jackbishop at 5:58 AM on October 23, 2020 [19 favorites]


Just once, I'd like to click into a "Fact Checking the Debate" thinkpiece and find that the entire article is just the statement: Look, if it matters to you when someone lies, you're already voting against Trump anyway.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:25 AM on October 23, 2020 [18 favorites]


But someone who works a million shifts, is constantly exhausted, has no free time to themselves, doesn't have spare hours to keep up with the news or follow stuff on social media - and who is surrounded by people in similar situations - I think that describes a whole lot of people

Hard agree - and, y'know, a lot of these people aren't stupid (I know you didn't call them that, a comment above did.) It kinda grinds my gears to hear people less connected to or interested in politics than I am described that way. It's ok to disagree with that position, but none of us know other people's struggles, what may be preventing them from being politically engaged, so calling them "stupid" is insulting.

In any case, one thing several political pundits have noted is that the Biden campaign is doing something fairly old school (but with previously proven effectiveness) to reach these people, the ones who just don't have the spoons to pay much attention until maybe just before the election. They've been hoarding their dough to some extent and are now spending it on massive TV ad buys in these last two weeks. Now is when you're going to catch their attention, and if you convince even a small percentage of them that Biden is a better person and/or would be a better President than Trump, it can make a big difference in the results.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:53 AM on October 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


Mueller and 18 Angry Democrats is my new Dead Kennedys cover band.


Mine's Mandelbrot Douchebag.
posted by Paul Slade at 6:54 AM on October 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


They've been hoarding their dough to some extent and are now spending it on massive TV ad buys in these last two weeks.

This is true. I'm in Florida and I watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy on broadcast TV, this is Ground Zero for political advertising. For months there were tons of Trump ads and hardly any Biden and the Biden ads that aired were blandly positive, and as of this past Monday the Biden campaign has gone in hard, probably four Biden ads for every Trump and they are not hesitating to go negative.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:01 AM on October 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


Mueller and 18 Angry Democrats is my new Dead Kennedys cover band.

One Angry Democrat And 200,000 Solemn Faces
posted by saturday_morning at 7:07 AM on October 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


Just watched debate highlights from CNN & the Guardian and I think Biden did well.
posted by dmh at 7:10 AM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Maegan Vazquez tweeted a comment by CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale:
For a fact checker, you’re kind of sitting there w/Biden. Occasionally you’re like oh that’s wrong. With Trump you’re like the ‘I Love Lucy’ episode in the chocolate factory. You don’t know which one to pick up because there’s just so much.
posted by cheshyre at 7:25 AM on October 23, 2020 [41 favorites]


Republican modus operandi is to introduce a scandal via one news source with sketchy fact-checking a tendency to dramatically overstate the supposed facts of said scandal. Then you have opinion writers that start to go "ohh this is really serious" and other news outlets can say "reports out of X are indicating that Y did Z. Of course they are independently fact-checking the initial story because often there is limited validity to the claims and ultimately proving a claim isn't really their goal. Then said scandal gets amplified by talk radio and facebook so that conservative voters are bombarded with fear, outrage, smug superiority, etc so they get mad and then finally politicians and political leadership in the administration start launching investigation that they know will go nowhere but in the meantime it poisons the well with some percentage of the electorate.

In the meantime they trust main stream media to engage with any supposed scandal in a whatabout or bothsideism which reports on the allegations as if they might have substance. It also means that any attempts by Democrats to refute said allegations are generally treated as partisan spin of X as if the possibility that X is fictitious is impossible. It's definitely a strategy that has had significant impact on elections and other issues and while there are some signs that people are becoming more media savvy and news organizations are less willing to trust the reporting of other media organization as being well vetted it's clear that roughly 35% of the country is completely unwilling to consume anything other than conservative news sources and as such rarely if ever get confronted with evidence to the contrary of their opinions and if they do get confronted with it they quickly disregard said evidence as fake news or with false equivalencies that allow them to view even minor transgressions by liberals as being equivalent to actual convictions/impeachment of Republicans.

The fortunate aspect to this is that 35% of the electorate is most likely going to fail to win national popular votes and while the EC rewards lower population states with outsize influence on elections and that 35% of the electorate is definitely uneven in geographic distribution changing demographics the sun belt appear to be chipping into the solid block of republican states at a rapid pace. The shift of Virginia, NM, Maine (state wide) and Colorado from being battleground states has resulted in Democrats having a floor of 212 EC votes outside of a wave election. In comparison Republicans really only have a floor of 163 (counting Texas as a reliable 38). In order to get to 270 Democrats just need 58 additional in comparison to 107 needed for Republicans. If we count states that are fairly reliable for Democrats (Nevada, NH, Minnesota) we add 20 more to Democrats which leaves them a need to just pick up 38 additional EC votes. The rust belt states of PA, MI, WI and OH easily get there and while all 4 seem to be trending long term towards more conservative viewpoints due to racial makeup and educational attainment (flight of college educated whites from the Rust Belt being a significant factor) these states other than OH generally go blue with good voter turnout. In contrast Republicans are facing some significant issues in the Atlantic coastal states where it looks like tech corridors in NC will likely result in NC continuing to follow the pattern VA did. I still feel like GA is republican territory but it's becoming a matter of whether Metro Atlanta can negate the rest of the state and that tipping point is becoming more and more likely. Arizona still seems to be holding out as the one last western state that is even remotely reliable for Republicans and snowbirds in Phoenix and Scottsdale can only delay the inevitable so long.

So right now Republicans depend on rampant election fuckery in NC, GA and FL as well as trying to grab at least 2 rust belt states. The Trump formula was appealing to white voters in the Rust Belt with lower levels of educational attainment and higher levels of racial resentment (plus some added misogyny) while forestalling demographic changes in the rest of the country through voter suppression and other forms of disenfranchisement. Such a strategy might be viable in 2020-2028 but it will need to be abandoned eventually. And that's assuming that the suburban exodus from the Republican present in 2018 and being telegraphed in 2020 won't undermine that strategy even sooner.

Honestly though just increasing the number of representatives in the house to be more aligned to population densities would render the Republican party into near permanent opposition unless they make a very significant shift in policy. Democrats can basically use the elimination of the filibuster and a trifecta to lock in a ton of structural modifications that Republicans are terrified of.
posted by vuron at 7:25 AM on October 23, 2020 [10 favorites]


In the meantime they trust main stream media to engage with any supposed scandal in a whatabout or bothsideism which reports on the allegations as if they might have substance.

As Cokie Roberts famously said, "it's out there."

Then the narrative becomes whether the Democrat addresses the issue, because it "raises questions," and hey presto, they can turn a bogus Republican narrative about email server best practices into an issue that torpedoes a candidacy.
posted by Gelatin at 7:39 AM on October 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


Hard agree - and, y'know, a lot of these people aren't stupid (I know you didn't call them that, a comment above did.) It kinda grinds my gears to hear people less connected to or interested in politics than I am described that way. It's ok to disagree with that position, but none of us know other people's struggles, what may be preventing them from being politically engaged, so calling them "stupid" is insulting.

I hear you but I find it hard to believe that a person can be here, now, in late October 2020, and be undecided because they've been busy.
posted by nushustu at 7:44 AM on October 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


I find it hard to believe that a person can be here, now, in late October 2020, and be undecided because they've been busy.

Believe it. We're all political information junkies here, but people who consume new thru the top-of-the-hour news break during drive time get the media doing its best to bothsides everything and no in-depth reporting (in which stations like NPR do their best to bothsides everything).

Many awful things Trump does are presented as "critics say" or "Democrats say," leaving room for confusion and doubt, even in matters of objective, verifiable fact.
posted by Gelatin at 7:48 AM on October 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


There aren't any more excuses

You misunderestimate Trump voters.


This morning one of the Trump voters in my office actually called BIDEN a pathological liar. Yesterday is was how crazy Pelosi is.

It is kind of terrifying really.
posted by domino at 8:00 AM on October 23, 2020 [7 favorites]


This morning one of the Trump voters in my office actually called BIDEN a pathological liar. Yesterday is was how crazy Pelosi is.

It is kind of terrifying really.


and yet, if you assume the Trump voter isn't a troll and actually believes they've got a functional brain, then what other explanation is there? Because if Biden isn't a pathological liar and Pelosi isn't crazy, then ... !?!?

No, can't go there.
posted by philip-random at 8:10 AM on October 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


It's like many commenters have been saying today -- Trump talked the language of the Fox News information bubble, but that left ordinary people wondering what the heck he was talking about.

It's deliciously ironic that the party that for decades branded itself as anti-Communist is now following the Soviet Communist Party into irrelevance and in much the same way, trying to wall itself off from reality with a propaganda bubble.
posted by Gelatin at 8:11 AM on October 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


rampant election fuckery

This week's Full Frontal has a good summary of the techniques being used: Part One; Part Two.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:11 AM on October 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


Here's a non-porn 'Cokie's Law' explainer.
posted by box at 8:34 AM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


I hear you but I find it hard to believe that a person can be here, now, in late October 2020, and be undecided because they've been busy.

Yeah I'm sorry but nobody is too "busy" not to notice the raging Covid pandemic and/or the economic crash. There are multiple political events going on right now that are a threat to physical survival to the vast majority of people and *at best* have turned daily life upside down for everyone.
posted by rue72 at 8:35 AM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


[Deleted the accidental oops-this-explainer-was-hijacked-by-porn-spam link.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:42 AM on October 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


Yeah I'm sorry but nobody is too "busy" not to notice the raging Covid pandemic and/or the economic crash. There are multiple political events going on right now that are a threat to physical survival to the vast majority of people and *at best* have turned daily life upside down for everyone.

Presidents do, rightly or wrongly, tend to get the credit/blame for the economy. But the connection you're missing is not "do low information voters notice the economy sucks and the pandemic is out of control" but "do low information voters correctly assign the blame to Trump's policies?

As an analogy, most people didn't blame George W. Bush for 9/11, partially out of a misguided sense of "patriotism," especially by the news media, and partially because they were successfully able to obfuscate the extent to which they were culpable. (One recalls how hard they fought to avoid mentioning the title of the infamous Presidential Daily Brief warning that Bin Laden was determined to strike in the US, after which they smoothly changed their excuse from "no warning" to "no specific warning," as if it mattered the terrorists were so rude as to not send an engraved invitation.)

The news carries Trump's lies and denials, and it generally balances those with objective reality, but conveyed in a "critics say" framing, which implies there is doubt or the truth is a matter of partisan interpretation.

Yes, you and I know the truth, but the media is not liberal and little interested in reporting the truth when doing so makes it look partisan, to say nothing of their well-cultivated fear of bad-faith conservative complaints.

That said, the low information voters tuning in now are getting two different pictures from the candidates themselves, and it's pretty clear (TTTCS) they prefer Biden's.
posted by Gelatin at 8:55 AM on October 23, 2020 [11 favorites]


"...I find it hard to believe that a person can be here, now, in late October 2020, and be undecided."

Back to the future of the past: when we snorted and stuttered about "smoke-filled rooms." Remember when Mr. Smith went to Washington? We knew he was just a character in a movie, but we still believed that at least some of the members we elected were good at heart and would stand up for truth, justice, and the Amer...um, no, wait, that was another lifetime ago. We liberals let Kennedy slide when he and his brother were suspected of boffing Marilyn, and the other brother ran off the bridge and left Maryjo's body in the car. Feathers were ruffled, but we got through it. Then, Dick had his secretary try to erase the tapes, and we had had enough of that stupid adventure in Southeast Asia, and we fired him, and he didn't have to go to jail? Sure. The carnage mounted. Dead kids in SE Asia, and politicians gunned down before our very eyes. We took it all on the chin. Our tie-dyed T-shirts got put on the top shelf of the closet because our boss made us wear a tie to work. Our kids made it past grammar school and into junior high, and we stole Noriega just for yucks. Then Ollie took a hit for the Great Communicator, and that really pissed us off except that that guy, Ronnie (his motto was "What? Me worry?) was sweet and his wife cast runes at the breakfast table to guide him through affairs of state. Remember all that shit?

That was just the tip of the iceberg. We put up with the holes in the Constitution because we didn't want to read the whole goddam thing again and after the 8th grade; anyhow, most of us never had to look at it again. I got 98% on that goddam test, but I could never figure out what it had to do with OUR government.

You can look at Bush V Gore and Trump V Clinton, and wonder what the fuck voting has to do with putting these assholes into office. Sure. That's a valid question. You look at how all the pundits and precinct workers scurry around, announcing with great pride how much loot they've garnered for the candidates. The elected ones spend half their terms barnstorming to get bucks for the next campaign. The properly anointed leave office, bailing out via the golden parachutes supplied to them by the lobbies who've coddled them during their tenure.

Even the relatively untutored voter looks at the brazen featherbedding, looks and the brazen politics of the Gerrymander, looks at its manifestation in the "electoral college," and then looks at his ballot and sees it as having the same connection to government as buying a lottery ticket has to putting together a retirement plan. (...people sayin' hooray for our side...nobody's right, if everybody's wrong...we wait for the good king to take the reins of our democracy)

So then, you find it hard to believe that a person can, now, in late October, be undecided? Me too. It works like this: more or less at random, you blot in the space next to a name--all this on the down-ticket. You hit the party line dead center when your reps are up for reelection. You vote for your dufuss even though his party has been cosmically unsuccessful in controlling the other party--those fuckers are clearly trying to destroy our way of life and get rich in the process, and even the trickiest of our own dumbshits can't do anything about it. We rely on paper lions. We float down the river of political reality. They piss on our heads and tell us it's raining.

The undecided? I wonder. Maybe, given the choices, they are the most realistic. I'm kicking my feet and moving my arms around, but I still think I might drown.

Me, too. I had to switch back and forth between the football game and the debate. I'm trying to remember who won.
posted by mule98J at 9:00 AM on October 23, 2020 [14 favorites]


Yes to everything Gelatin says and also the limited media that hits low-info voters doesn't even have to "both sides" very hard to bypass the "who is responsible?" part - they just have to treat it like a surprising yet tragic natural disaster. Which, I mean, it is, but if they're not regularly and directly drawing a very simple and clear connection between "Trump mocks masks = more dead people" that idea doesn't sink in. People just go "Goddamn this really sucks oh shit how do I make another $200 for rent?"
posted by soundguy99 at 9:06 AM on October 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


With regards to polling and undecided voters, I think the obvious conclusion, given the tragic events of four years ago and the poll from the other day claiming more Democrats than Republicans know about QAnon, is that polls are not worthwhile indicators of public opinion because people don't give honest answers.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:07 AM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


the limited media that hits low-info voters doesn't even have to "both sides" very hard to bypass the "who is responsible?" part

Note that Republican obstructionism is often portrayed in the neutral terms of "partisan bickering" or "Congressional gridlock" rather than "Republicans blocked a popular bill."

Similarly, it's fun to recall how McConnell's abuse of the filibuster was portrayed by the sudden materialization of a "60-vote requirement" to pass anything without mentioning that it never existed before (or at least was deployed so often).
posted by Gelatin at 9:18 AM on October 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


if i was a trumper, i'd tell any pollster I was for biden, just to fuck with them
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:20 AM on October 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


We've done survey experiments and actually found that people are pretty good at telling the truth to pollsters. The "shy" Trump supporter simply doesn't exist in any substantial amount.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:35 AM on October 23, 2020 [10 favorites]


the poll from the other day claiming more Democrats than Republicans know about QAnon

Folks who are low-information are more likely to be taken in by cults, scams, and conspiracy theories. But folks who are high-information are *much* more likely to have heard of these things.

If we believe that the Republicans are the party of low-information and grift, and that high-information voters trend toward Democrat, we should naturally expect that more Democrats know about QAnon.

Believing in QAnon is a different question that was not asked.
posted by explosion at 9:55 AM on October 23, 2020 [17 favorites]


With regards to polling and undecided voters, I think the obvious conclusion, given the tragic events of four years ago and the poll from the other day claiming more Democrats than Republicans know about QAnon, is that polls are not worthwhile indicators of public opinion because people don't give honest answers.

Or, y'know, the Occam's Razor idea that Democrats have "heard of" QAnon because the mainstream and center-left media have actually run a LOT of stories explaining QAnon which Democrats have read because they're going, "Where the fucking fuck did all these weird ideas all over my Facebook come from?" whereas Republicans are consuming conservative media that has been very very very careful to spread QAnon ideas without actually mentioning QAnon by name.

That poll points out that 59% of respondents overall & 85% of Biden supporters think it's bullshit. "Heard of" just isn't that relevant.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:00 AM on October 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


Presidents do, rightly or wrongly, tend to get the credit/blame for the economy. But the connection you're missing is not "do low information voters notice the economy sucks and the pandemic is out of control" but "do low information voters correctly assign the blame to Trump's policies?

No. I'm not missing that connection. I'm saying there is no way you can just NOT KNOW what's going on enough to be undecided. You might be misinformed, and assign blame incorrectly or whatever. But I very much raise an eyebrow at anyone who has been too busy for the last four goddamned years to be on the fence about which way you're going to vote today, in late October, in the year of our Lord 2020. If you don't know which way to vote today, I would suggest that probably you should not vote. If you are that ignorant of the goddamned world in which you live, perhaps you should not accept the privilege of helping steer that world.
posted by nushustu at 10:05 AM on October 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


I'm saying there is no way you can just NOT KNOW what's going on enough to be undecided.


The undecided voter, comedy version by Blaire Erskine
posted by The_Vegetables at 10:38 AM on October 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


Undecided Voters by Mike Luckovich.
posted by Justinian at 10:47 AM on October 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


I was personally disappointed with the debate... but I have to admit that's because in my heart of hearts ❤ I wanted to see Trump flame out and throw a(nother) tantrum on stage on national television. It didn't happen because Welker and her team probably did just about the best job possible under the circumstances while still producing a watchable debate, both during the event itself and in properly setting expectations on the part of the candidates.

Biden's performance was certainly lackluster but after sampling a few bits of cable news coverage today, I think I can say that at least two positive things happened—
  1. Biden said that he'd been wrong about the twentieth-century crime legislation (while noting unanimous senate votes on it) and that he'd do better, which provides a stark character contrast to Trump who cannot admit being wrong about the tiniest thing, and which conveyed a type of strength and confidence not simply responding to Trump's empty pseudo-macho bluster in kind (malarkey!), and
  2. In the context of expecting a Biden victory, it's a positive that Biden mentioned a “transition” from energy dependence on oil and underlined it as “major” and that Trump characterized the same thing as “close down the oil industry” and “destroy the oil industry”
...even with all the crap about fracking, even though the Biden campaign has since backpedaled, and even though a Biden administration will have to be held to actually transitioning away from fossil fuels.
posted by XMLicious at 11:09 AM on October 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


I know this is not a new idea around these parts, but Fox News has started seriously inculcating people, cult like, into believing in a reality that is not in line with actual reality. I'm a GenX, most of my friends are genx, and we all have boomer parents. Who, after retirement, became somehow sucked into Fox news propaganda, despite having parents that were radicals in the 60s, marched on Selma radicals, traveled to protests and marches, Ken Kesey radicals, and yet, parroting lines from Fox news. My FIL, who is at heart a good man, who is heavily involved with his church and community, was spouting the exact same lines of logic as my other friend's mother. In just the last week, I've had multiple friends freaking out because their parents have suddenly gone off the deep end with stuff about Soros, and the Dems taking all their money, and socialism (oh no!) taking over our country. And the terrifying thing about getting these messages, is that the parents were all using the exact same verbiage.

I mean, I hate to seem like I need a foil hat, and I don't know how much people here believe that NLP is a thing, but in graduate school I studied semantics, memetics and the ability to influence people using targeted language. It's the basis of advertising in the 21st century.

And if you think of the effect of erosion, on how a repeated drop, moment after moment, will eventually wear away the strongest of boulders. I believe Fox news and the Sinclair simulacra may be an actual threat to the emotional well-being of a significant portion of our population, and I have no idea how to fix that. Well, legally fix it. I can think of a lot of ways to fix it which would get me visits from nice men in black suits. ;)

But the murdoch and sinclair disinformation machines need to be disassembled. their people scattered to the winds, and the earth salted where they stood.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:09 PM on October 23, 2020 [24 favorites]


I'm sorry for your wife's studio and the financial hardships you are under. It's relevant to understand though that people are behaving rationally in not attending because the guidelines are woefully inadequate at preventing infection. If you had SARS-CoV-2 infected animals breathing in a lab, you would be mandated to wear bunny suits with their own air supply. It's a cruel lie to tell people that masks and plexiglass will save them from what is essentially a biological gaseous weapon which accumulates in enclosed spaces and increases with respiration. The reason it is not being phrased this harshly is to hold out magical hope for "reopening" despite the virus still being reasonably prevalent.

You are 100% correct - agreed across the board. Hopefully I threaded the needle and kept my comment from being a complaint and kept it to more of a comment on stimulus and payroll protection isn't enough to keep businesses afloat.

I can make weird statements today like 'if we were forced to be shut down, we'd be better off' because it results in restarting again later at the same time as competitors. It would give a clear message to people to go back to their homes. It would give a clear message to other businesses that they have to enforce state mandates. It would ensure an immediate drop of revenue, but it would also prevent lies and misinformation being used by adjacent businesses to prop up their businesses for short term gains. It would protect customer bases. If we chose to shut down on our own for 5-ish months - while other businesses remained open, our clientelle base would be gobbled up by businesses we *know* are actively avoiding following the rules.

Since July, we've seen two training studios either fail to enforce masks and social distancing requirements (and get cited). We've seen local training centers affiliated with world renowned trainers insist that they had local dispensation to train indoors before they were allowed to (which involved the board of health clarifying for them). We've watched local yoga studios fail to protect *shared* teachers, by not requiring masks for staff (and *insisting* they not wear them) for a class that barely met the 14' requirements - for everyone except the teacher (cited twice, fined once).

I'm in total agreement - business owners in this space give tons of reason to question the credibility of their safety measures. There is sufficient stupidity, unintentional ignorance, willful ignorance, and lying by owners that the public should be scared. Add onto that the additional risk of people that don't think twice about participating in events because they want to and failing to disclose high risk behavior and willfully ignoring hanging out with their best friend for 'just 15 minutes' without considering that their best friend has had high risk activity... and passing a temperature screening that day, only to find out their friend fails a Covid test a few days later... There is so much reason to not trust the safety of any business - let alone one where you intentionally perspire and breathe... its bananas. We're at ground zero. We are banana mush. We're proto- banana bread.

And you see this... and yeah... we - non religious people - pray every day that Govenor Baker goes back to the early days of the virus and says 'see what I mean? you weren't safe. we need to shut down again.' only to watch him slide into the Republican governor mode of challenging schools that went to remote into 'waiting 3 weeks' and with allowing 'cities not in red for 2 weeks to move into phase 3 stage 2' (indoor dining) - even though we went form 23 to 47 to 78 towns in the red zone.... We're back to APRIL levels of the spread. We're on the second wave *that he had direct documentation cited from a task force consisting of several Nobel laureates, Harvard and MIT professors, public health officials and infectious disease experts from the best hospitals in Boston...* That document was online and it outlined the rough time of this second spike and he's just frickin ignoring it like the lapdogs republicans have been identified as. His response up until August was absolutely outstanding... and since September? Who the fuck is the governor of Massachusetts? What donor put so much of a squeeze on him that he's lost all sense of the measured approach he took before? So yeah... Trump's 'We're rounding a corner'. Yeah... that resonates like a tone deaf yodeler accompanied by a 6 year old playing the bagpipes.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:11 PM on October 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


I'm a GenX, most of my friends are genx, and we all have boomer parents. Who, after retirement, became somehow sucked into Fox news propaganda...

While it is the exact opposite of yours, I don't draw conclusions from my own and my friends' anecdotal data. Although I must admit that Oscar Wilde on the larger topic does come to mind.
posted by y2karl at 12:16 AM on October 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


If you don't know which way to vote today, I would suggest that probably you should not vote vote a straight Democratic ticket on all available ballots. If you are that ignorant of the goddamned world in which you live, perhaps you should take your cue from those less so.
posted by flabdablet at 12:55 AM on October 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


I wish that Biden had put in more questions about Trump's personal finances, because a lot of Trumpists describe Trump as a smart businessman who can improve the economy. I know we all know he just played one on television, but it is still an argument on their side, and there is a lot to talk about:
Donald Trump Has At Least $1 Billion In Debt, More Than Twice The Amount He Suggested (Forbes)
Loan payments loom as Trump fights for his political future – and the future of his business (Washington Post)
The Post article is from yesterday, but I'm feeling the Biden team should be getting at the direct connection between Trump's failed businesses and his failed corona-"strategy". After all, the NYTimes investigation series in late September.
posted by mumimor at 2:58 AM on October 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


Pollsters' Blues rolls across my shoes with ten more days in the chute:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUK6zjtUj00
posted by mule98J at 8:17 AM on October 24, 2020


Paranoia and Finger-Pointing in Trumpworld as Election Approaches (Politico, today) The finger-pointing is directed at Brad Parscale, Mark Meadows, the RNC, and Trump himself. Michael Cohen gets the closing quote: “It can never, ever be Trump’s fault. That’s the rule.”
posted by box at 8:34 AM on October 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


I watched (well, listened to) this debate while hiding under a giant blanket and scrolling through antique quilt listings on eBay. I wanted to watch, but at the same time, it was too painful to fully engage. I’m sure my boyfriend heard my muffled “shut the fuck UUUUPPPP”s throughout the evening.

Also? Shouldn’t viewers have access to the timer? Full transparency!
posted by sucre at 10:34 AM on October 24, 2020


Just finished the Guardians podcast and it essentially affirms that "undecideds" are Trump voters unwilling to admit. They also made some interesting points on the media reporting actually changing the election outcome and how it is a failure of journalist statisticians/pollsters when their reporting leads people to believe that their candidate is a shoo-in a-la Hillary Clinton.
posted by asra at 3:42 PM on October 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


posted by y2karl : While it is the exact opposite of yours, I don't draw conclusions from my own and my friends' anecdotal data. Although I must admit that Oscar Wilde on the larger topic does come to mind.

I know this was directed at me, but I fail to understand what you're trying to say. (And in my mid-fifties, I hardly think Wilde was talking about me, as I'm older than he was when he wrote it.)
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 4:37 PM on October 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Oh, jeez -- I just got back from the store and was planning to email you and apologize for going off on you. I was up all night, unable to sleep as usual and got rubbed the wrong way by what you wrote, the part I quoted, rubbed the wrong way without really looking at who wrote it. When I did look, I was mortified. I am so sorry.
posted by y2karl at 5:50 PM on October 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


I do have a couple on decades on you, though and having to read, in reference to the pending election, all this septuagenarian this and septuagenarian that, well, it has gotten so -- for lack of a better word -- old. Of all the isms condemned here, ageism is the odd man out more often than not. So I have gotten touchy. But to tell the truth, I would give anything to be even your age again. Anything that is but my memories... as faded as they are getting.
posted by y2karl at 6:00 PM on October 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


Y'all remember that fraudulent media group set up by Steve Bannon and Guo Wengui earlier this year? Somebody on there is now publishing alleged Hunter Biden sex tapes, and the fringe-right web is already trying to tie it into an ongoing Qanon smear campaign painting him and his father as child abusers. (At this point, it wouldn't surprise me if this was just table-setting for a straight-up deepfaked pedo video in the next few days.)

This is shit so noxious even Giuliani passed on using it, so I doubt it will get any traction in the press. But there's been a toxic undercurrent of virulent conspiracy-mongering against Biden on WhatsApp and other decentralized social media that really eats this up, especially when it has the whiff of being suppressed by mainstream media. The next week and change is going to be appallingly, viciously ugly.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:07 PM on October 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Pro tip: the Bannon/Guo media group Rhaomi mentions has a Youtube arm "路德社" which the group itself renders as "LuDe Media" romanized, but (at the moment at least) Google Translate renders it as "Lutheran Media" or "Luther Media"; so Trumpist chuckleheads often give themselves away as not really understanding what they're talking about by running the Chinese version of stories through GT without knowing to correct the name.

(To add the tiniest bit of rind of context from a deep pulpy story, Guo Wengui is the exiled-from-China millionaire whose yacht Bannon was arrested on in August.)
posted by Charles Bronson Pinchot at 9:23 PM on October 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


@misyrlena: "President Trump's policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they're complaining about, but he can't want them to be successful more than they want to be successful."

@misyrlena: Jared Kushner on Fox News about the black community: "You saw a lot of people who were just virtue signaling. They go on Instagram and cry or they would put a slogan on their jersey or write something on a basketball court and quite frankly that was doing more to polarize the country..."

This must be that pivot to the center that Ivanka has been pushing for over the last three years. Better late than never!
posted by tonycpsu at 7:36 AM on October 26, 2020 [2 favorites]




> “It can never, ever be Trump’s fault. That’s the rule.”

If you zoom out a bit, that's a big part of Trump's appeal to his base; it, whatever "it" is, can never, ever be the fault of men who are white, rich and/or conservative. He's the avatar of submediocre white male capitalist privilege and therefore to admit that he could ever be at fault for something negative would be to begin to call into question the entire societal edifice that created him, propped him up and propelled him forward as he failed again and again and again, and eventually launched him into the office of the President of the United States.

And that, in their minds, can never, ever be allowed to happen. It can't even be thought of as something that exists as a possibility. It's why former "Never Trumpers" like Rich Lowry are now writing shit like this.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:39 AM on October 26, 2020 [6 favorites]


Jared Kushner about the black community: "President Trump's policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they're complaining about, but he can't want them to be successful more than they want to be successful."

This is the same Kushner whose mediocre grades and test scores required that his father spend $2.5 million to buy his way into Harvard. While a 19-year-old at Harvard, Kushner owned and managed $10 million worth of rental properties given to him by his father. And then never having done anything in the form of public service in his life, his father-in-law hands him an office in the White House making government policy.

That's some awesome bootstraps there. Too bad everyone else doesn't have his desire for success.
posted by JackFlash at 3:52 PM on October 26, 2020 [12 favorites]


For anyone with a subscription, Foreign Affairs has a great piece: “U.S. Foreign Policy Never Recovered From the War on Terror: Only a Reckoning With the Disastrous Legacy of 9/11 Can Heal the United States” by Matthew Duss, a former adviser to the Sanders primary campaign—
Advocates of the war on terror believed that nationalist chauvinism, which sometimes travels under the name “American exceptionalism,” could be stoked at a controlled burn to sustain American hegemony. Instead, and predictably, toxic ultranationalism burned out of control. Today, the greatest security threat to the United States comes not from any terrorist group, or from any great power, but from domestic political dysfunction. The election of Donald Trump as president was a product and accelerant of that dysfunction—but not its cause. The environment for his political rise was prepared over a decade and a half of xenophobic, messianic Washington warmongering, with roots going back into centuries of white supremacist politics.

[...]

The United States will have to reckon with the scale of the disaster it has helped inflict on the world—and on itself—through three presidencies. To that end, the next administration should undertake a comprehensive review, along the lines of the 9/11 Commission or the 2006 Iraq Study Group, to explore the consequences of U.S. antiterrorism policy since 9/11: surveillance, detention, torture, extrajudicial killing, the use of manned and unmanned airstrikes, and partnerships with repressive regimes. The review should include perspectives outside of the usual national security circles, such as those of nongovernmental and grassroots advocacy organizations, minority communities that have experienced the most severe domestic effects of U.S. antiterrorism policies, and civilians in countries where the United States has waged war.

[...]

The United States has neither the ability nor the right to change other countries’ governments, but it can embrace an ethic of solidarity and use its considerable diplomatic and economic power to defend the rights and freedom of people in other countries who are working for positive change. To effectively advance the principles of free and accountable government abroad, however, the United States must practice them at home.
posted by XMLicious at 8:33 PM on October 26, 2020 [6 favorites]


The environment for his political rise was prepared over a decade and a half of xenophobic, messianic Washington warmongering, with roots going back into centuries of white supremacist politics

...to the utter chagrin of everybody everywhere else in the world who looked at W and Blair's totally irresponsible response to 9/11, and remembered Reagan and Nicaragua and the shameless mendacity of Oliver North and the unprincipled viciousness of Newt Gingrich and the delusional vacuous moon-faced idiocy of James Watt and the promotion by that crew of fools and zealots of deliberate and systematic destruction of public institutions everywhere.

We recoiled in horror on discovering that the Murdoch death star had actually worked to the point that two out of every three Australians now thought of John Howard's monstrous anti-terrorism laws as a good thing.

And we have spent the last two decades watching the whole grinding screeching wrenching slow-motion train wreck play out exactly as we feared it would as the big brass band in the entertainment car played on, while feeling hopelessly, wretchedly powerless to do anything about it because you can't stop a train that big and that fast from derailing once it's on a section of track that looks like that. You just can't.

To effectively advance the principles of free and accountable government abroad, however, the United States must practice them at home.

Gandhi was right. It would be a very good idea.
posted by flabdablet at 4:14 AM on October 27, 2020 [7 favorites]




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