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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Impressions of the debate

It's the superficial impressions of the candidates that will determine how the electorate feels about them. Here are a few of those.


He has a hard time speaking in complete grammatical sentences, and as a result doesn't come across smart. Trump also uses the same limited vocabulary over and over again.

And he always seems to fall back on boasting about the "beautiful company" he built. (Who thinks of a corporation as "beautiful?")

He's florid, like a rich guy who enjoys his steak dinners and the drinks and dessert that go with them. His bone structure is perfectly good, but all the fat makes his eyes look somewhat piggish, which doesn't help his case given that he's constantly being accused of being a chauvinist pig.

Constantly interrupting Hillary by saying "wrong" does not prove your point; it just means you're an interrupter.

A more skilled debater could have skewered Hillary with more adroit references to the recent revelations from Project Veritas and Wikileaks. A skilled debater could have tied together the Department of Justice and the FBI and made the case for collusion.

But all Trump can do is shake his head and say something like, "Her husband and the Attorney General meeting on that plane on the tarmac for half an hour. Very bad. Very, very bad."


Hillary is the far more polished debater. She pivots, avoids answering questions, lies brazenly, and knows how to keep her easily distracted opponent off balance.

But has there ever been anything phonier than Hillary's smile? It's meant to be dismissive, to imply that a criticism leveled at her is so far off base it's actually amusing. But the smile never seems to reach her eyes. And laughing every time you're attacked is simply not a credible response.

If you looked at Hillary's eyes, you saw that she would mostly look down as she talked, occasionally look up, and whenever she looked at Trump while he was accusing her of something, she looked extremely stressed out. She also looked unhappy and bitter.

Part of the bitterness must have come from not having been able to just tell her Secret Service agents to shoot Trump -- in that hectoring, strident voice of hers.

Speaking of her security, an article which came out yesterday claimed that when Hillary broke her elbow, her security detail secretly exulted. (How incredibly unpleasant do you have to be for them to react that way?)

Hillary comes across as if she is filled with fury. Her original hatred of her father (he was reportedly a martinet) spread to Bill, and now it includes Trump. But really, it encompasses all men. And now she wants revenge.

That dumpy body may be near death (you can understand why Trump offered to take a drug test if she would), and her face has been lifted so many times that it's started to look like a mask. But, she's absolutely determined to be the first woman President, and she's not going to let anything stand in her way.

Not a sense of ethics, not a sense of shame, not a desire to play by the rules, and certainly not Donald Trump.

Sadly, it looks as if she is going to get her wish.

The Arab Spring

While listening to the debate last night, and hearing the discussion about Syria, it occurred to me that one phrase you never hear any more is "Arab Spring."

Back in 2011, when some of the worst of the corrupt, despotic dictators in the Middle East had either been toppled or were in the process of being overthrown, it seemed as if hope and change were in the air in that part of the world, all with either the tacit or overt encouragement of the Obama administration.

It's all fallen apart since, either into anarchy or hard-core theocracies. Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, and Egypt are all big messes now.

"Spring" has a nice, fresh, rejuvenating sound to it. It's the start of something new, when the long, cold winter is finally over and the buds are emerging.

Unfortunately, what has blossomed most has been Islamic terrorism. And, like an invasive weed, it's spread to areas where it hadn't existed before.

And if Hillary gets elected, and gets her way regarding the Syrian immigrants, we can expect even more of it here.


Luqman said...

Did you happen to see this John?

I find it fascinating what an apparently flattened and robotic affect Hillary has. This comes across as insincerity but I think it is more. The impulse is to blame it on sociopathy, which is attractive but I think not the full story. More likely she has developed the poorly expressive face of someone with Parkinsons. It is quite a stark difference in how human either appears, Trump at his worst still looking like he came from a womb rather than a lizard egg.

Incidentally did you happen to watch the press conference of the latest Trump accuser? Another quite alienating piece of insincerity:

Anonymous said...

We need to be hopeful for a Trump win. Don't give up.

Some commenters on this blog have suggested the general idea that Trump is a flawed candidate, and if he loses, oh well - his movement will continue, and someone new will carry it forward.

However, this is actually a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is extremely unlikely that we are going to get another billionaire who is independent of the political structure and new to politics. Trump aint beholden to nothin' or nobody. His agenda is pure anti-establishment and pro-'common man'. In addition the inevitable demographic death march is continuing, and in 2020 the probability for a populist win decreases no matter what.

I've spoken with a number of life-long Democrats who are voting for Trump, and have spoken to others who have said the same of some of their lifelong Democrat friends.

I attended a Trump rally recently. The huge crowd consisted of a great mix of men, women and children - with a decent representation of minorities. One of the things they asked was for people to get out there and convince three people to vote for Trump.

Get out there and talk to people and see if you can sway them.

This is our last chance.

Wait for 2020, and you'll have the same choice we've had for the last 25 years: Remocrat or Depublican.

- Ed

John Craig said...

Luqman --
I hadn't seen that about Hillary's robotic affect. Interesting, thank you. You're right, it could be any number of things, and sociopathy and Parkinson's are both possibilities. I'd add plastic surgery to the mix: botox famously robs people of their expressiveness, and it's quite possible she's had that along with her many face lifts (which also tend to rob a face of its expressiveness).

I had seen that latest accuser. It looked as though she had something shiny applied below her eye to give the impression she was tearing up as she read her tale of woe in that tremulous voice, with Gloria Allred by her side. Too bad Allred's now 75, otherwise she's be the perfect choice for Hillary for the Supreme Court.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand Hillary Clinton. If she is in power, our country is as good as gone. Hillary will let her mask come completely off and simply be the tyrant that she is in private. She must not be elected to the WH.

- R.R.

John Craig said...

Ed --
Couldn't agree more. I have that same feeling, it's now or never. Unfortunately, I'm a bit more pessimistic, and think "never" is the more likely outcome. But it won't stop me from voting, and I hope discouragement doesn't stop anyone else, either.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ed, appreciating his suggestion to remain hopeful. I will definitely vote and be in prayer over this election. This election is serious business.

- R.R.

Anonymous said...

1. John/Luqman -

The link Luqman supplied doesn't indicate robotic or Parkinson's - it indicates "surprise." Look at it.

This is interesting, because I've read in several places that Hillary has been carefully coached to show surprise. It was a compromise with her coaches - she just can't do a pleasant look. So they compromised on surprise, which is at least not negative.

Do you recognize that annoying pointing thing she and Bill do, when they are on stage? Coached. I saw Hillary do it on the street once. Someone called out to her, she turned around, opened her mouth, and did the pointing thing. I fucking hate it so much I can't express how much I hate it, but some dopes go for it.

2. Hillary will be elected. We have to get read for that. This is power consolidation on a massive scale, John. The only "hope" normal human beings have is that she gets too big for her britches and does something stupid in foreign affairs which results in a non-nuclear military defeat, and disgraces herself in front of her own crowd.

3. This is, like WOW:

You have GOT to view this, all 16 minutes of it. It's Trump being Trump in front of NYers, who he has known all his life.

Look at Hillary at 3:59. I have to give her props - she knows how to behave in public. Truly, she will be our most "prepared" President ever!

I totally agree with you about Trump's shortcomings as a debater. Something occurred to me as I watched this video - Trump should have gone into the military. I really think he would have made a terrific officer. Not the wordy type, but the kind who inspires by just being who he is. A lot of great military leaders were in peacetime conditions unbearable.


John Craig said...

Puzzled --
Yes, the pointing thing that Bill and Hillary do. I talked about it here:

Just listened to the Al Smith speech. I liked it, though it was less self-deprecating and a little more aggressive toward Hillary than it was supposed to have been at that dinner. But I'm not so sure it was Trump being Trump. He was basically reading a speech that his writers had written for him; he's simply not that witty. I've alway felt that politicians get way too much credit for their "wit" than they deserve there, or at the White House Correspondents dinner. They didn't come up with any of those jokes, their writers did. To me, giving them credit for those speeches is like giving Tom Cruise credit for the lines that Jack Reacher says in that film. I remember when Sarah Palin gave that great speech when she was introduced as McCain's VP pick. A number of newscasters said something to the effect of, a star is born. Yes, there were a lot of great lines, but I'm quite sure she didn't come up with a single one of them. And she never shoed that kind of "wit" again.

Yes, Hillary did a good job of being game at the Al Smith dinner.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, you nailed it.

I'd like to give Trump one big slap in the face. I firmly believe that he tested the waters back in 11 for the presidency. I listened to him on the Michael Savage show, and I loved his policy on no longer funding military for foreign nations and his policy on trade. Sadly, he chose to concentrate on the birther issue, and it blew up in his face.

After he decided not to run, I believe he set his sights on 2016. He had four years to prepare for the highest office in the land. In those four years he could have learned from the best debaters. He could have also brushed up on every policy. There's so many things he could have done better by following simple advice from people who were in his corner. No one has ever accused me of being a member of MENSA, but I know his initial speech on illegals was a disaster. For the record, i agreed with him, but people only remember the rapist and drugs in that part of the speech. He could have framed it so much better by not being as harsh and using statistics to back his claim. Even the most hardened liberal would have had a hard time arguing with it. It would have also created a certain amount of controversy, which would have garnered him free TV time.

Like my ancient ancestors wrote about thousands of years ago, every person has a tragic flaw. His is arrogance. It was arrogant on his part not to prepare for the first debate. It went all downhill after the first debate. I think that had more of a negative effect than pussygate and the march of the bimbos.


John Craig said...

Spartan -
Ah, you're Greek! So that's where your nickname comes from.

Well, unfortunately you nailed it too. Trump had all the issues on his side, and the mood of the country was such that he could have own had he been prepared, but he just never bothered. Too arrogant, and too much ADHD.

So, sadly, this is Thermopylae II, with the Democrats as the Persians, and it wasn't exactly a fair battle this time around either, what with the media and the pollsters and all of the upcoming election fraud on their side.

Anonymous said...

"Don't interfere when your enemy is destroying himself."

In the spirit of Greece, John & Spartan - what is a Pyrrhic victory?

Quiz: why do I use that quote, and ask that question?


Anonymous said...

I agree w/you about the speeches. Nowadays our pols are just actors.

I just gave the link because it showed Trump being very Trumpy - and that's why he won't be elected.

Unlike you, I'm actually hopeful that a Trump defeat will be a victory for our side. Among many other things, we've seen how utterly in the tank the media are.


Anonymous said...


I don't know why I subject myself to this torture, I really don't, but I read someone's FB account (a leftie, I told you it's torture) and she linked to this:

It's a compendium of literally stupefying leftist cant. Here is my favorite:

" We talk about what country might make a good safe haven if a Russian-backed presidential candidate whose foreign policy agenda can best be described as "gross negligence mixed with a spicy dash of treason"

I find this sentence particularly galling because I strongly believe that during the next 4.5 years, a NATO/Russia military engagement will occur, under C-i-C Hillary, and NATO will lose.

I agree w/Spartan about Trump's laziness.


Pangur said...

I hadn't realized that Just One Minute was my one stop shop for defeatist, depressive conservadad talk. Sack up ladies.

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
I'm guessing you're talking about a Hillary victory being enough to really sicken everybody of the obvious corruption. The thing is, half the population is blind to that corruption, and will remain that way, since they're willfully blind.

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
I don't think a Hillary victory will be a victory for our side; I see this more as a last chance scenario, given the demographic direction our country is taking. And if he doesn't win, the Republicans will feel justified in shutting out similar stances in 2020, saying, "But look at what happened to Trump!"

Yes, the insanity of the Left knowns no bounds. Hillary wanted a "reset' with Russia early in her tenure as Secretary of State, but that didn't work out for her, and now she's trying to paint them as our greatest enemy. A liberal saying, bring back the Cold War! yet she's the one who approved the sale of 20% of North America's uranium-minting capacity to Russia because of contributions to the Clinton Foundation, which is downright treasonous.

John Craig said...

Pangur --
Fair enough. But the point of this blog is not to say things are great when they're not. I'm rooting for a Trump victory as much as anyone, and as I said above, my pessimism is not going to stop me from voting and I hope it doesn't stop others. But at this point, I don't see it, especially with the electoral fraud I anticipate. At least this time around people will be talking about the fraud, though, unlike in 2012.

Anonymous said...


It's never a last chance. I just don't agree with that. My vision, which I admit depends on a lot of contingencies, is that a Hillary presidency will lead to a catastrophic military defeat and when that happens, it's Coriolanus time, baby.

Half the country isn't blind to her corruption. They know it, they just don't care. She's THEIR girl. She does what they want, because they are happy with the status quo.

When the status quo blows up, she's finished.

Yeah, I know these guys' job is to get us upset so that we support the Military Industrial Complex, but the alt-right view of Putin as the White Knight just isn't true. He's a dictator of a nuclear powered country, he's going to make a move into the Baltics at some point, and when that happens this country will go apeshit and Hillary will look terrible.

That's my point. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that's what is going to happen. I'm not saying I want this to happen and that I'm beating the war drums and that I think American boys should die for Estonia. I just think it's inevitable.

And what do you think about Duterte's pivot to China?


Anonymous said...


Sorry, I gave a link that I didn't mean to.

First I want to make clear a couple of things. One, because Putin has become some kind of white knight to the alt-right, because he's anti-Hillary doesn't mean he's a good guy. He's really a thug and a dictator. Nor do I think American boys should die for Estonia (which I think I said, sorry for the repeat). I'm totally neutral on the subject of Russia. I think we should never have put the 3 Baltic states into NATO.

I just think, in the most realistic way, that there is every reason for Putin to go into the Baltics at some point, if he thinks he can get away with it. And he can:

We (or rather NATO) would be "annihilated":

More, for spice:

But maybe it's all disinformation:

I know what the Rand Corp. is. They are sinister war mongers, kind of Dr. Strangelovian types. But MacGregor is a good guy and he agrees with them.

When Hillary falls, who will pick up the pieces? Us.


Anonymous said...

"I hadn't realized that Just One Minute was my one stop shop for defeatist, depressive conservadad talk. Sack up ladies."

LOL. I had a vision of Homer Simpson sitting on the couch, eating donuts. That's not my vision of what John is. John's a 61 year old crouching tiger - although I think he's probably wearing the dad jeans now. (Just joking John, I know u r fit as a fiddle.)


John Craig said...

Puzzled --
I honestly don't think Hillary wants a military confrontation with Russia, it won't do her any good. (And it own't result in more contributions to the Clinton Foundation.) She probably wants to show she's as "tough" as any male leader, but a better way to do that would be to pick a fight with a smaller country.

You're right, actually, half the country isn't blind to her corruption, they just don't care is closer to the mark.

Putin IS admirable in some ways. first, he sticks up for his own people (Russians, including those in the Ukraine), which is more than you can say of the white liberals in the country. Second, he scoffs at political correctness. Third, his attitude toward immigration is, if they want to adapt to the country, fine; if they want to bring their own culture, then they should stay in their own country. Which is a far more commonsensical attitude than we show.

I sure hope American boys don't die for Estonia.

Not sure what to make of Duterte's pivot. He's actually a lot like Putin, a no-nonsense ruler who cares about his own people but cares little for human rights. I can't justify some of the things he does; but I have to admit, his methods are effective.

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
I skimmed the first article, that's a little too much homework you're assigning me, I don't have time to read it all now.

to semi-repeat what I said in my previous comment to you, yes, Putin is a thug, and I believe he stole his last election. But he's a thug in the service of his people, which is better than being a political whore-for-money like Hillary.

Maybe DO get into some sort of proxy war with Russia, I don't know. But I don't see Hillary failing in the same way that you're suggesting, by losing a major war. I see a Hillary administration as basically a continuation of Obama's Presidency, with more or less the same values and only slightly less desire to stay out of unnecessary wars.

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
Ha. I think Pangur's getting the name of the blog wrong is an honest mistake, but the "defeatist, depressive, conservadad talk. Sack up ladies" comment did give me a vague desire to prove my masculinity somehow.....

Ah, never mind, I'll just continue to sit here on the couch. In my Dad jeans. And stay depressed.

(Though I promise to be happy if Trump does somehow win.)

Pangur said...

Yes, my mistake, I know this is Just Not Said! Didn't mean to get you confused with Just One minute, they're REALLY depressive cucks over there.

There's nothing wrong with accepting the real possibility of defeat, but I don't view any of the possible outcomes in the election as defeat. Trump's rise is part of a process, not the end of it, even if he loses. I think he'll win.

John Craig said...

Pangur --
You sound like my son, who calls me Depressing Dad, or something like that. (Along with "Ovulato," "Colonel Raisin Balls," and a few other choice phrases.)

Not sure I'm wild about the way you said that other blog are REALLY depressive cucks, as if I'm only MILDLY one. (Don't see myself that way, anyway.)

Coincidentally, at about the same time you sent your comment, I got an email from a friend in which he called me and some of the commenters "a bunch of Eeyore, glass half empty bunch whiners."

Hmm. Maybe I'll have to rethink my attitude. But I probably won't change. The idea of this blog from the start was not to be an unbridled id like Chateau Heartiste, nor to preach to the converted (which is actually what I seem to have ended up doing for the most part anyway), but to convert those in the middle who might conceivably be swayable. And the way to do that is to at least appear balanced and open-minded myself. And if you don't admit your own side's faults, you won't appear that way. In fact, you won't be that way.

At a certain level, I suppose you're right. The mere fact that Trump has opened dup the discussion is a victory of sorts. But if he's defeated electorally, I don't think we'll see another Trump in '20, all we'll get is a Cruz or Rubio or Ryan, all of whom, along with their cronies at the RNC, will view Trump's campaign as a cautionary tale.

Pangur said...

I agree with your last paragraph, although I'm not sure the US will have elections in 2020.

I appreciate your desire to convince the open-minded, but I'm not convinced they exist, at least in the context of this election (i.e., it;s all over but the voting).

Your son sounds like a young man; I cannot imagine what would've happened had I tried that on my father, or for that matter, what would happen should my son try this on me.

Anonymous said...

OK, more homework (easy to read):

My hope is that a shock to the system will rouse this country - or parts of it. Only a shock will do. Otherwise it's a slide into the drain.

Your son sounds like a handful.


John Craig said...

Pangur --
Agreed, this election is all but over.

My son is young. And I would never have tried that stuff on my father, but I've always encouraged both of my kids to banter with me, and my son is in fact quite loyal.

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
That one was so enjoyable it didn't even feel like homework. Reed is consistently excellent.

Not so sure about the shock to the system rousing the country. Reed is probably right that we're doomed anyway. And a large part of that is our changing demographics.

Anonymous said...


In these dark times, I have found a true leader in the most unlikely of places: Rodrigo Duterte of Philippines! He makes Trump look like Romney. The Europeans scolded him for killing drug dealers and said, "fuck you." (Those words, look 'em up.) Obama scolded him on something (I forget what, that pussy is always scolding people, isn't he?) and he called him a "son of a bitch." The Pope said something else and he called him a "son of a whore."

My kind of guy!


John Craig said...

Puzzled --
Yes, Duterte has been getting a lot of ink recently, the latest is his "separation" from the US. I can't defend what he does (he's undoubtedly killing a fair number of innocents along with the drug dealers), but his methods are effective. And I do love his outspokenness. When I first heard that he had called Obama a "son of a whore," I thought, hmm, I guess he knows about Stanley Ann Dunham, but then I realized that he was just using the expression the same way people here would say "he's an SOB."

Anonymous said...


Forgot to say I liked this: "He's florid, like a rich guy who enjoys his steak dinners and the drinks and dessert that go with them." This is part of his problem. If he were 30 (or 40?) pounds thinner his impact would be greater, despite his inability to finish a proper sentence and his obsession w/repeating himself. (Not to be unfair to the guy: I appreciate enormously his courage and the fact that he's broken the Overton window, etc.)

Some homework about Duterte, which confirms what you've said about Obama:

Obama's arrogance is simply unacceptable. Do you think Reagan would have treated Duterte that way? I can think of lots of criticisms of Reagan's policies in hindsight, but even his enemies admitted that on a personal level he was quite deft.

And the way Obama is idolized by uber-libs like writers for The New Yorker, who normally should be critical of US Presidents who are arrogant to 3rd World leaders...I can't stand it.


John Craig said...

Puzzled --

Couldn't read the article because I don't subscribe to the WSJ. But yeah, no question about Obama's arrogance. He demonstrated that as soon as he got to office by giving to Queen Elizabeth the gift of an iPod with his speeches on it -- as an official state gift. People seem to have forgotten about that, but it was quite telling. It's not at all surprising that he high-handed Duterte in some way.

europeasant said...

"If you looked at Hillary's eyes, you saw that she would mostly look down as she talked, occasionally look up"

To me it looked like she was reading from some prepared text.

I wonder how people will handle their social relationships in the upcoming months? Maybe just not bring up the elections during social events? I used to attend a social event where the host laid down the ground rules and one of the rules was that there was to be no political discussions.
There are some people in my social circles that will vote for HRC. If people are not not careful with how and what they say this election cycle can ruin some friendships. I once mentioned that I attended a TRUMP rally and I was met with a shocked response. This was the same person who referred to my conversation topics as crazy talk. I guess most people don't really know each other that well as most of us only talk about the weather, sports and other superficial subjects.

John Craig said...

Europeasant --
I don't think they were allowed to bring written material with them, they were only allowed to take notes while up on stage, at least that's what I heard about the second debate.

It is interesting that politics are so divisive these days. It's also interesting that Trump supporters are under pressure to stay in the closet, at least in some communities. goes to show who controls the debate. And who sets the Overton window, as Puzzled mentioned above. (i actually had to look that up.)

Anyway....nice weather we're having, eh?