The Third And Thankfully Last Presidential Debate of 2016

Last night's debate, sadly, lived down to my expectations.

third-debate

Last night’s debate, sadly, lived down to my expectations. I went into the evening believing Donald Trump to be the least qualified, most dangerous major party nominee in the modern era and Hillary Clinton to be qualified by experience but not in character. My views on both counts were reinforced.

While it is assuredly a low bar, this was by far the most substantive and best-moderated of the three presidential debates this cycle. While I was more than a little dubious of a Fox News anchor as the sole questioner, Chris Wallace chose far more substantive questions—encouraging policy-driven answers to questions that have taken the back seat to more salacious controversies over the course of the campaign—and respectfully and with comparative success kept the candidates in line. Both, as has been the norm, talked over one another and dodged questions to get in their jabs at their opponent. But this was far more like a traditional presidential debate than the previous two iterations.

Most of my social media friends and associates highlighted the same moment that all of the major press outlets did: Trump’s hedging on whether he would gracefully concede the election if the vote didn’t turn out his way. For a variety of reasons, I didn’t find that particularly newsworthy. First, because he has been screaming about the game being “rigged” all cycle, it wasn’t really a deviation from his baseline. Second, there are perfectly benign ways to take his answer. While the stolen election nonsense is potentially dangerous in theory, I’m not inherently opposed to a wait and see attitude in the context of an election where foreign operatives and computer hackers are playing a significant role. For that matter, it has been customary, going back to the 2000 election, to reserve the right to litigate close outcomes. Third, given the embarrassment caused to all of Trump’s primary foes in being forced to pledge to support the winner, perhaps some leeway is in order.

I was frankly more concerned by his general venality and continued lack of policy understanding. While I often disagreed, sometimes quite strongly, with Clinton’s policy prescriptions, she clearly understood the questions and provided plausible answers. Trump was, for the most part, winging it while slinging charges of corruption and otherwise calling names.

Aside from some grating personality ticks, Clinton was mostly fine. While she was frequently flatly dishonest, she knows her brief.

Most notably, while it seemed to have the desired impact of getting under his skin, claiming that Trump is some sort of “puppet” for Vladimir Putin is simply outrageous. While there is plenty of reason to believe that the Russian government and making mischief in this election and that they’re doing so mostly in ways helpful to Trump and harmful to Clinton, there’s simply no evidence that Trump is in any way colluding with Putin.

On the policy front, her contention that “the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people,” that “will stand up on behalf of women’s rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community,” and, especially, that “the Supreme Court should represent all of us” sounds wonderful in theory but is, in reality, part of why we’re in the mess that we’re in right now as a country. It is not the role of the judiciary to impose its policy views on the populace. We elect representatives, who are answerable to the voters and restrained by all manner of checks and balances, to make policy. The courts exist to ensure that those representatives don’t exceed their authority under the Constitution and to settle disputes between the executive and legislature and between the central government and those of the several states. A Supreme Court that ignores the will of the people in order to impose its view of justice will be seen as illegitimate and make the system indeed appear to be “rigged.”

Trump, on the other hand, seems to have never considered the issue before and essentially just repeated “Second Amendment” over and over.  Which then took the ensuing discussion down the gun control rabbit hole.  Before Wallace took it down the even less productive abortion rabbit hole.

Similarly, Clinton’s assertion that “I’m going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria” would be a laughably dumb answer for any presidential candidate this far into the war, much less a candidate whose main claim to having sufficient experience for the job is four years as Secretary of State. Alas, Trump’s answers could have been given by a twelve-year-old.  He started off with, “Let me tell you, Mosul is so sad. We had Mosul. But when she left, she took everybody out, we lost Mosul. Now we’re fighting again to get Mosul.” Things didn’t improve subsequently.  Most notably, he made the utterly bizarre claim of the ongoing campaign to take back Mosul: “the only reason they did it is because she’s running for office of president and they want to look tough.”

This exchange, coming off the heels of that assertion, pretty much typified the debate afterward:

Wallace: Secretary Clinton, it’s an open discussion. Secretary, please let Mr. Trump speak. Go ahead.

Clinton: He’s unfit. He proves it every time.

Trump: No, you’re the one that’s unfit. You know, Wikileaks just actually came out. John Podesta said some horrible things about you, and boy was he right. He said some beauties. And you know Bernie Sanders, he said you have bad judgment. You do. And if you think going into Mosul after we let the world know we’re going in and all of the people we really wanted, the leaders are all gone, if you think that was good, then you do. Now John Podesta said you have terrible instincts. Bernie Sanders said you have bad judgment. I agree with both.

 

It was all pretty disgraceful. She was petulant and unpresidential by any previous standard. And he was orders of magnitude worse.  It remains baffling that, in a nation of 310 million, these are the best choices we have.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2016, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Of everything going on in connection with the war in Syria/Iraq,, I think Trump’s worst response came when it became apparent that he seemingly didn’t know that the reason things were so bad in Aleppo was due largely to the anti-rebel offensive by the Syrians, with assistance from Russia.

  2. sam says:

    ” claiming that Trump is some sort of “puppet” for Vladimir Putin is simply outrageous. While there is plenty of reason to believe that the Russian government and making mischief in this election and that they’re doing so mostly in ways helpful to Trump and harmful to Clinton, there’s simply no evidence that Trump is in any way colluding with Putin.”

    How about ‘Vlad’s useful idiot’?

  3. reid says:

    One can be a puppet without knowing that one is playing the role. I’m not saying how much that is the case, but it is unprecedented for Russia to be so involved in our politics for one side, and for that side to be so friendly towards Russia. (Trump still won’t acknowledge that they perpetrated the email hack. Why?)

  4. James Joyner says:

    @sam: I’m not sure he’s that useful.

    @reid: I think this is the new normal in the age of easy email hacking. I don’t like it but don’t see any evidence to blame Trump.

  5. @reid:

    Trump still won’t acknowledge that they perpetrated the email hack. Why?

    This is a particularly interesting question given the fact that Trump is likely receiving information about this in the intelligence briefs he receives on a regular basis.

  6. Gustopher says:

    On the policy front, her contention that “the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people,” that “will stand up on behalf of women’s rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community,” and, especially, that “the Supreme Court should represent all of us” sounds wonderful in theory but is, in reality, part of why we’re in the mess that we’re in right now as a country. It is not the role of the judiciary to impose its policy views on the populace.

    I was a bit disappointed with Clinton’s response here. The Republican framing of “strict interpretation” sounds better in a sound byte, and needs to be countered with something more concise and which goes back to the founders.

    I would have preferred something like “the founders wrote the constitution in aspirational language, and over the years we have been getting closer to those aspirations — 14th amendment, equal representation, blah blah blah”

    We aren’t finding new rights in the constitution, or having judges impose their will, we are living up to the lofty language of the constitution.

    Also, most Supreme Court cases are about resolving conflicting rights — something that should be spelled out when saying that she favors justices who support the people over the powerful.

  7. Skookum says:

    James, if HRC were a man, you would not have called her petulant. Your characterization of her hurts every woman who has worked hard to have equal standing and power with her male peers without being called a name. Shame on you, on behalf of Nasty Women Everywhere.

  8. Gustopher says:

    Trump, on the other hand, seems to have never considered the issue before and essentially just repeated “Second Amendment” over and over. Which then took the ensuing discussion down the gun control rabbit hole. Before Wallace took it down the even less productive abortion rabbit hole.

    I thought this was one of the best parts of the debate — the balance of the Supreme Court is at stake, and it will have very real consequences. Pushing Trump on whether he supports overturning Roe v. Wade, and pushing Clinton on gun control was entirely appropriate.

    He should have pushed Clinton on gun control more, as she was trying to minimize some very real differences.

  9. Franklin says:

    Good analysis, all the way through. I share almost the same thoughts with regards to accepting election results. There’s a reason for recounts, after all! Of course Trump isn’t talking about accidental mistakes in tallying, though.

    Agree with Gustopher’s alternate answer as well.

  10. PJ says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m not sure he’s that useful.

    The ROI for Putin just saying nice things about him is astronomical.

    Trump doesn’t object in any way to the annexation of Crimea, he doesn’t object to what Russia is doing in Syria, and he’s not willing to defend NATO members if Russia attacks.

    Putin should try to give him some money, perhaps he’ll let Russia annex Alaska in 2017? Next year it’s only 150 years since the US bought it…

  11. Mikey says:

    Second, there are perfectly benign ways to take his answer. While the stolen election nonsense is potentially dangerous in theory, I’m not inherently opposed to a wait and see attitude in the context of an election where foreign operatives and computer hackers are playing a significant role.

    Come on, James. You are giving him FAR too much credit. Do you seriously believe there’s even a ghost of a chance Trump has 10% of this depth to his thinking?

    Of course, he doesn’t. He’s not advocating a “wait and see attitude,” he’s being who he is: a wannabe emperor who would pigheadedly refuse to accept even the most verifiably accurate and authentic election results.

  12. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    This is a particularly interesting question given the fact that Trump is likely receiving information about this in the intelligence briefs he receives on a regular basis.

    He asked Putin to fact check the intelligence briefs for him and Putin gave that part a “Pants on Fire” rating.

  13. Skookum says:

    @Skookum:

    I might add that the comments of others thus far in this forum have been on the _content_ of HRC’s debate performance, which I fully support, regardless if it is positive or negative.

  14. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Before Wallace took it down the even less productive abortion rabbit hole.

    It may not have resonated with you, James, but I woke up to about half of the women on my Facebook feed saying that her response to the abortion question was the response they had been waiting for a Presidential candidate to make their entire adult lives.

  15. JR says:

    It was all pretty disgraceful. She was petulant and unpresidential by any previous standard. And he was orders of magnitude worse.

    Both sides are bad……yeah whatever helps you sleep at night, James.

  16. Argon says:

    It is not the role of the judiciary to impose its policy views on the populace.
    […]
    The courts exist to ensure that those representatives don’t exceed their authority under the Constitution and to settle disputes between the executive and legislature and between the central government and those of the several states.

    Don’t forget that it is also the Court’s role to assess the Constitutionality of various laws and statutes. Opinions about what is covered by Consitutional protections certainly may change over time. We’re not talking about Platonic, unchangeable ideals about marriage or whether corporations are ‘people’.

    A Supreme Court that ignores the will of the people in order to impose its view of justice will be seen as illegitimate and make the system indeed appear to be “rigged.”

    Sorry, but yet another of court’s responsibilities is to ignore the will of the people in cases where Constitutional matters and rights are improperly impinged by the ‘will of the majority’.

    In both Loving v. Virginia & Obergefell v. Hodges, the courts have ruled that the states and federal government have imposed restrictions on marriages that run afoul of rights protected by the Constitution. If it truly is the will of the people to reverse those decisions we do have a defined mechanism for amending the Constitution.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    that “the Supreme Court should represent all of us” sounds wonderful in theory but is, in reality, part of why we’re in the mess that we’re in right now as a country. It is not the role of the judiciary to impose its policy views on the populace.

    Said mess being created by decisions like Bush v. Gore and Citizen’s United v. FEC…although I suspect you were referring to other decisions…

  18. wr says:

    Let’s not forget the substantive part of Trump’s answer about the Supreme Court: “RBG said mean things about me! I want justices who say nice things about me!!!”

  19. Mikey says:

    @PJ:

    Trump doesn’t object in any way to the annexation of Crimea, he doesn’t object to what Russia is doing in Syria, and he’s not willing to defend NATO members if Russia attacks.

    Even further, he actively takes Russia’s line on issues involving Russia and refuses to acknowledge the fact Russia is hacking American information systems in an effort to influence our election.

    He’s carrying so much Russian water that whether he’s a direct puppet or simply a useful idiot is irrelevant, because at this point the effect is the same.

  20. wr says:

    On a more substantial note, James’ usual tone-deafness to issues that most impact women leads him to miss that Clinton’s answer on abortion was vastly different than we’ve ever heard from a Democratic presidential candidate — usually they’re filled with bushwah about “safe, legal and rare” or “I really hate it, but we have to keep it legal.” She flat out said it’s a right, and that the government has no business meddling in the most personal decisions a woman makes about her own heath and body. This really was major.

  21. craig says:

    Most notably, while it seemed to have the desired impact of getting under his skin, claiming that Trump is some sort of “puppet” for Vladimir Putin is simply outrageous.

    This is a technicality, but Clinton didn’t call Trump a puppet; she said Putin wants a puppet (strongly hinting Trump might fit the role without actually leveling the charge). Trump, on the other hand, replied, “You’re the puppet.”

  22. dxq says:

    It may not have resonated with you, James, but I woke up to about half of the women on my Facebook feed saying that her response to the abortion question was the response they had been waiting for a Presidential candidate to make their entire adult lives.

    yeah, that’s what i see on facebook this morning. Hillary standing up for women’s most personal decisions, Trump implying that women just get abortions willy-nilly a few days before delivery.

  23. dxq says:

    @wr: it really was.

  24. gVOR08 says:

    Chris Wallace, the man with no face, asked about abortion, which is a legit issue and I didn’t object to his raising it, even though he used the conservative framing “pro-life”. But he threw out a couple of other conservative shibboleths as questions

    Do the founders’ words mean what they say or is it a living document to be applied flexibly, according to changing circumstances?

    Would President Trump make a deal to save Medicare and Social Security that included both tax increases and benefit cuts, in effect a grand bargain on entitlements?

    While I agree her answer to the first was pretty slippery, she did well to avoid going down a rabbit hole on philosophies of constitutional interpretation.
    On the second she gave a substantive answer that pretty soundly rejected Wallace’s framing. And as a bonus it drew the gratuitous “nasty woman” crack.

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @craig:

    Trump, on the other hand, replied, “You’re the puppet.”

    How fripping grade school can he get?

  26. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Mikey:

    He’s carrying so much Russian water that whether he’s a direct puppet or simply a useful idiot is irrelevant, because at this point the effect is the same.

    Exactly my sentiments. And yet James doesn’t see it that way, so much so that he labels it as an “outrageous” suggestion by Clinton.

  27. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Trump’s hedging on whether he would gracefully concede the election if the vote didn’t turn out his way. For a variety of reasons, I didn’t find that particularly newsworthy.

    OK, not newsworthy, because you anticipated it.
    Generally when something actually happens for the very first time in our country’s history, the rest of us consider it new and worthy of note.

  28. dxq says:

    Threatening to disrupt the peaceful transition of power? Pfft. Who cares? Hillary used IMAP when she should have used POP!

  29. Pch101 says:

    It is not the role of the judiciary to impose its policy views on the populace.

    The whole point of having a Bill of Rights is to affirm that rights are a birthright, not a gift to be doled out or taken away at the whims of the legislature or the public at large.

    Liberty is not a matter of majority rule. Gay people don’t have any obligation to win you or anyone else over in order to be entitled to freedom in a free society. It’s up to you to get over it.

  30. anjin-san says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m not sure he’s that useful.

    Really? A major party nominee for President of the United States basically repudiates our tradition of the peaceful transition of power that goes back to George Washington – and does it on TV – and you are not sure if that’s useful to Russia?

    Putin and his crew must have burned thru a vast amount of vodka drinking toasts to Donald Trump last night.

  31. An Interested Party says:

    Actually, James, what specifically has the Supreme Court done to put us in the mess that we’re in right now as a country?

  32. SKI says:

    She was petulant and unpresidential by any previous standard.

    I find this completely delusional, James. I can only conclude you are, at best, letting your previous partisanship color, shape and define your reaction.

    Wallace took it down the even less productive abortion rabbit hole.

    And when you also include the above assertion, which is so completely oblivious to how positively HRC’s answer resonated with so many women, I have to begin to wonder how much societal conditioning is impacting your perception of a female candidate.

    While she was frequently flatly dishonest, she knows her brief.

    Not according to the fact-checkers who identified a whole 4 “lies” or about 1 every 10 minutes she spoke. Contrast with Trump’s 39 – or about 1 every minute he spoke.

    This exchange, coming off the heels of that assertion, pretty much typified the debate afterward:

    Again, I have to question the reasonableness of your opinion here. That is a weird editing choice to use to accuse Clinton of being petulant. She was finishing her answer – which Trump had interrupted. The full sequence:

    HILLARY CLINTON
    Well, you know, once again Donald is implying that he didn’t support the invasion of Iraq. I said it was a mistake, I said that years ago. He has consistently denied what is a very clear fact,

    DONALD TRUMP
    Wrong.

    HILLARY CLINTON
    that before the invasion he supported it. You know, I just want everybody to go Google it. Google ‘Donald Trump Iraq’ and you will see the dozens of sources which verify that he was for the invasion of Iraq.

    DONALD TRUMP
    Wrong.

    HILLARY CLINTON
    And you can actually hear the audio of him saying that. Now why does that matter? Well, it matters because he has not told the truth about that position. I guess he believes that makes it look him look better now to contrast with me because I did vote for it. But what is really important here is to understand all the interplay. Mosul is a Sunni city. Mosul is on the border of Syria and, yes, we do have to go after Baghdadi and just like we went after bin Laden, while you were doing Celebrity Apprentice, and we brought him to justice. We need to go after the leadership but we need to get rid of them, get rid of their fighters, their estimated several thousand fighters in Mosul — they’ve been digging underground, they’ve been prepared to defend. It’s going to be tough fighting, but I think we can take back Mosul and then we can move on into Syria and take back Raqqa. This is what we have to do. I’m just amazed that he seems to think that the Iraqi government and our allies and everybody else launched the attack on Mosul to help me in this election. But that’s how Donald thinks. He’s looking for some conspiracy. He has all of these conspiracies.

    DONALD TRUMP
    Iran is taking over Iraq.

    CHRIS WALLACE
    Secretary Clinton, this is an open discussion. Secretary please let Mr. Trump speak.

    HILLARY CLINTON
    He’s unfit and he proves it every time he talks.

    It struck me at the time that Wallace’s interjection made no sense. She was giving an answer, Trump interrupts and Wallace admonishes her?!?

    Speaking of Wallace, it was unfortunate, if not surprising that all the policy questions presumed a conservative worldview where the National Debt is a massive issue and the stimulus package somehow is responsible for slow GDP growth . It would have been nice to have some questions on education, climate change, income inequality or any other issue which matters to the half of the country that aren’t Fox News watchers.

  33. James Joyner says:

    @Skookum: This line of argument is well past its sell-by date. She’s the odds-on favorite to be the next president of the United States. She’s going to be subject to the same scrutiny that any candidate for the office gets. She doesn’t get to hide behind her sex to invalidate criticism.

  34. James Joyner says:

    @Mikey: I despise Trump and have made that clear pretty much from the moment that he came down the escalator. I’m just saying that, given the baseline of Trump’s “rigged election” theme, this wasn’t particularly damning for me.

  35. James Joyner says:

    @SKI: She was filibustering. She was well over her two minutes at that point and Wallace was trying to get Trump into the discussion.

  36. Scott says:

    I guess I don’t understand what the campaigns believe is the true audience for the information spewed out by either side. I am always disappointed by the quality of the arguments and counter arguments. For instance, if the discussion is about the budget, economy, etc. I would expect a lot of facts and figures. Trump, in particular, just make assertions as to rates of growth unbacked by any kind of model.

    As for foreign policy, I’m also nearer to Trump than Clinton as far as approach. Not that I would think he has any kind of fundamental philosophy. I think a great question would be something like this: The Iraqi Kurds are our allies in the push on Mosul. The Turks just bombed the Syrian Kurds. What should be the US policy towards the Kurds?

  37. MarkedMan says:

    Most notably, while it seemed to have the desired impact of getting under his skin, claiming that Trump is some sort of “puppet” for Vladimir Putin is simply outrageous. While there is plenty of reason to believe that the Russian government and making mischief in this election and that they’re doing so mostly in ways helpful to Trump and harmful to Clinton, there’s simply no evidence that Trump is in any way colluding with Putin.

    James, I think by focusing on the Russian’s meddling in the election you are missing the other more important issues that Clinton directly referenced: the fact that he has assumed the Russian position on NATO, on Syria (note that Trump never mentioned what he would do, he only found fault with what had been done by his own country while praising Putin in a gross and outsize manner). In the past she has remarked on his acceptance of the Russian annexation of Crimea and hid ridiculous denial that they had interfered in the Ukraine. And of course the only changes made to the Republican Platform by Trump’s people was to soften language concerning disapproval of Russia. Calling him a puppet implies he has awareness that Russia is manipulating him. I could believe it as Trump is so venal he could be cultivating favor for personal financial reasons. But it also may be that he is just a useful idiot. In either case I think her charge was justified. It wasn’t just an insult, it was an analysis on something that is truly a make or break characteristic in a presidential election

  38. MarkedMan says:

    Chris Wallace chose far more substantive questions—encouraging policy-driven answers to questions that have taken the back seat to more salacious controversies over the course of the campaign—and respectfully and with comparative success kept the candidates in line.

    I have to agree. At the beginning of the debate I commented to my wife that I had low expectations. He was only one guy and he was from Fox News. One or two questions had a conservative bent, but nothing I would object too. And he was clear and direct and maintained control. The best moderator of the three debates.

  39. Tony W says:

    It is not the role of the judiciary to impose its policy views on the populace. We elect representatives, who are answerable to the voters and restrained by all manner of checks and balances, to make policy.

    If only those representatives would do their jobs…. And if only those voters would hold them accountable to do their jobs…..

    Democracy depends on a well-informed and responsible populace. Based on the latest polling, 38-40% of us fail the test.

  40. Tony W says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The best moderator of the three debates.

    His father would have been proud.

    On a side note, how could I not know Mike Wallace was his father?

  41. SKI says:

    @James Joyner: Uh, no. That isn’t accurate, James.

    Here is the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANT_ZBhpvtw&ab_channel=C-SPAN

    Trump starts his answer on Mosul at 1:12:30 and ends it at 1:14:57 – a2 minutes, 27 seconds.
    Clinton starts her answer immediately at 1:14:58 and gets interrupted by Trump at 11:16:37.
    They both try to keep tralking and Wallance jumps in to stop her at 1:16:44 – 1 minute, 46 seconds into her answer.

    Want to try again?

  42. MBunge says:

    @Pch101: Liberty is not a matter of majority rule.

    And relying on the judiciary and elite opinion to preserve liberty is how we wound up with our government spying on Americans without warrants and torturing foreigners without any of the people who authorized it, as far as I know, going to jail.

    Mike

  43. Franklin says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: I stand corrected. That was a pretty good answer, even if it was lost on half the population.

  44. MarkedMan says:

    I remember a year or so ago when one of the complaints against Clinton was that she had no core beliefs, that she would never take a high risk position, that she blew with the wind. I never understood it, because as FLOTUS and as NY Senator she was very consistent on her beliefs. And this debate should have put that trope to rest. No one should say that she wasn’t clear or specific. She is for abortion. She is for late term abortion. She supports Planned Parenthood. She believes we should have a military presence in Syria but not boots on the ground. She will raise taxes to finance SS and Medicare, and will not call for cuts in benefits. She will raise taxes on the wealthy, and will not on anyone making under $250K. And many of these things are backed up by “legislation ready” white papers on her campaign web site.

    Anyone can agree or disagree with these positions, but they are essentially what she has been saying her entire adult life. The partial birth abortion one in particular is a loser politically, and her reasoning requires a heck of a lot more understanding and time then the average person is going to bring to bear while watching a 90 minute debate. And the idea that she curries favor with the rich and is personally corrupt is belied by the sheer number of times she reiterated that people making more than $250K should pay more and she was making it a priority that they would.

    On her side this was the most substantive debate I can remember, and that wasn’t true for the first two. (On his side there was no substance, but that is all that can be expected.)

  45. wr says:

    @SKI: “Speaking of Wallace, it was unfortunate, if not surprising that all the policy questions presumed a conservative worldview where the National Debt is a massive issue and the stimulus package somehow is responsible for slow GDP growth ”

    And climate change doesn’t exist!

  46. C. Clavin says:

    Wow…the CDS is strong with this one.
    There is a lot to pick on here.
    Can you explain, for instance, how standing up on behalf of women’s rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, and that the Supreme Court should represent all of us, is setting policy?
    Republican Justices have set policy with Hobby Lobby and McCutcheon…to name just two horribly decided cases in recent memory.
    That’s what she was railing against.
    I can’t for the life of me see whats wrong with that.

  47. JKB says:

    The fact is that due to the current administration’s weakness, there is a lot of bad movements in the world. Putin is pushing things. Hillary Clinton won’t change any of that as she is part and parcel of the current US foreign and domestic policy. Trump would represent a change not only in the presidency but also of who is running the departments and agencies.

    In addition, if Hillary wins, we will have a commander in chief who can be taken out with a strobe light, flash photography or a disco ball. And her backup is Tim Kaine.

    If you like the spiral the world seems to be in, then by all means vote for Hillary. If you think any change is better than no change, vote for Trump.

  48. SKI says:

    And while I’m having fun (and avoiding redlining a contract)…

    Most notably, while it seemed to have the desired impact of getting under his skin, claiming that Trump is some sort of “puppet” for Vladimir Putin is simply outrageous. While there is plenty of reason to believe that the Russian government and making mischief in this election and that they’re doing so mostly in ways helpful to Trump and harmful to Clinton, there’s simply no evidence that Trump is in any way colluding with Putin.

    The phrase “useful idiot” springs to mind and doesn’t require Trump to be colluding with Putin.

    However, there actually is evidence that Trump’s team has been colluding – or at least in contact. Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime friend and political adviser (and conspiracy theory nutcase) has admitted to being in contact with Assange/wikileaks and having advance warning of the Podesta hack and release: http://miami.cbslocal.com/2016/10/12/trump-ally-roger-stone-admits-back-channel-tie-to-wikileaks/

    Roger Stone, a self-described master of the political dark arts and the longtime ally of Donald Trump, admits he has had “back-channel communications” with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over the release of thousands of emails stolen from the Hillary Clinton campaign.

    Stone, however, said he was not provided the hacked material in advance nor was he involved in the timing of their release.

    “I do have a back-channel communication with Assange, because we have a good mutual friend,” Stone told CBS4 News Wednesday evening.

  49. Facebones says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Wow…the CDS is strong with this one.

    Yep. Speaking of petulance, there’s going to be a whole lot of that on this website for the next 8 years.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    Second, there are perfectly benign ways to take his answer.

    James, this is how the Repubs got to where they are today: by essentially claiming that any statement by a Republican must be taken in the most positive way possible unless there is absolute proof of a different intent.

    And by the way, today Trump pretty much eliminated the

    “I want to make a major announcement today,” he told supporters at a rally in Delaware, Ohio. “I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election if I win.”

  51. Facebones says:

    @JKB: Do you actually read what you type? Or just copy-paste random comments off of Breitbart?

  52. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    You seem to think Trump is so tough…but he got his arse kicked by a nasty woman last night…in all three debates for that matter…and in this Presidential campaign in general.
    Maroon…

  53. Skookum says:

    @James Joyner:
    The point is that you would not have made the same criticism of a man–it would have been viewed as assertive, strong, macho–not petulant. I think you have made going over the time-limit an issue only with HRC. Prove me wrong–when have you complained about it for any other candidate? I’m sorry, James, but in the most respectful and sisterly way, I have point out that you have a double-standard. Perhaps it’s because you dislike HRC so intensely, but I think it’s because you’re not comfortable with a woman president. Get over it.

  54. Mikey says:

    @James Joyner: You really don’t see the significance of what he said, in the setting in which he said it?

    And as @MarkedMan said, if there were any possibility of a “benign interpretation” of his statement, he eliminated it this morning. He truly means he will not accept the result unless he wins.

  55. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner:

    She was filibustering. She was well over her two minutes at that point and Wallace was trying to get Trump into the discussion.

    A fair point.

    I notice that the RWNJ sites are convinced that Fox News was feeding her questions and answers because she kept looking down at a monitor on her podium. I assume the reality is more blase: the monitor had a timer on it and she was checking that. I assumed during that exchange with Wallace that she was over time and that’s why he made the comment he did.

  56. SKI says:

    @JKB:

    The fact is that due to the current administration’s weakness, there is a lot of bad movements in the world.

    This type of magic thinking is literally insane. It is the Green Lantern theory of leadership that brought us the Iraq war. If we just want to hard enough, we can do anything.

    Newsflash, there has ALWAYS been a “lot of bad movements in the world”. And while the United States can help (or hurt) situations with our actions, we don’t have the resources or ability to actually control everyone everywhere.

  57. DrDaveT says:

    @SKI:

    Speaking of Wallace, it was unfortunate, if not surprising that all the policy questions presumed a conservative worldview where the National Debt is a massive issue and the stimulus package somehow is responsible for slow GDP growth .

    This.

    I wanted Hillary to push back on the question — bring it into the open that the phrasing assumes things that are not true, as well as things that highly-regarded economists disagree about. Punch through to the real issue — the long-term ability to fund the government that best gets America into the future — and explain why that requires both taxing the very rich and spending on behalf of people you don’t personally care for. Contrast that with the Republican vision of transferring all wealth to the already wealthy, then allowing the impoverished to starve once they’re no longer useful as cheap labor. At which point, presumably America would be “great again”.

  58. MarkedMan says:

    @JKB:

    In addition, if Hillary wins, we will have a commander in chief who can be taken out with a strobe light, flash photography or a disco ball

    I can see I haven’t been keeping up on the latest RWNJobbery. What’s this all about? She has epilepsy now?

  59. DrDaveT says:

    @Tony W:

    Democracy depends on a well-informed and responsible populace. Based on the latest polling, 38-40% of us fail the test.

    This is not an accident. Republican long-term strategy has relied for decades on a large population of working-class people willing to vote against their own (and their children’s) best interest. The GOP fights all attempts at national educational standards and “education as infrastructure” for a reason. Local control of schools — and curricula — is an even bigger shibboleth for them than “States’ Rights”.

  60. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Man.

    She’s gonna win.

    Bigly.

  61. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @JKB:

    If you think any change is better than no change, vote Trump

    Continuing your advice :’And for goodness sakes, don’t bother with concerning yourself if that change is for the better or the worse…… just vote for change !’

  62. S. Fields says:

    @Argon:

    Um, what you said.

    A Supreme Court that ignores the will of the people in order to impose its view of justice is precisely what exactly how checks and balances should work in our system.

    I’ll grant that the SCOTUS is perhaps too politicized currently due to various reasons. But, the Court’s role is to use core principals of justice, the words of the Constitution and precedent to mitigate the impulsiveness of the peoples’ representatives.

    If monied interests hold too much sway over the policies coming out of the legislature (and I believe there is abundant evidence that they do), then the Court must balance that as Clinton states.

  63. SKI says:

    @DrDaveT: I kinda wanted her to do so as well but completely understand why she didn’t. The optics would have been played as her bickering with the moderator rather than addressing the question. It would have been a distraction from the main message/theme of the evening/campaign: “I’m competent and have good, solid plans and he is dangerous and unfit.” Anything that didn’t move that messaging – or otherwise appeal to important voting blocs – was the wrong play. Even if it would have warmed my heart to see a full-throated defense of reality.

  64. SKI says:

    Can’t believe I missed this one, James…

    in reality, part of why we’re in the mess that we’re in right now as a country. It is not the role of the judiciary to impose its policy views on the populace. … A Supreme Court that ignores the will of the people in order to impose its view of justice will be seen as illegitimate and make the system indeed appear to be “rigged.”

    Brown vs. Board of Education, Loving vs. Virginia and pretty much all the civil rights cases say “Hello!” and tell you to take your privileged blinders off and think about your “take” on the Court’s role in justice and what it says…

    That is EXACTLY what we need SCOTUS to do – to insist on Justice. To guarantee the rights of minorities against the tyranny of the majority. To champion the powerless against the powerful.

    T’zedek, T’zedek Tirdof

  65. gVOR08 says:

    @SKI:

    DONALD TRUMP
    Iran is taking over Iraq.

    Trump kept saying that last night and it really bugged me. Any number of pundits and experts said, as the first tanks rolled into Iraq, that it would inevitably lead to closer ties between Shiite Iran and the Shiite majority in Iraq. So Trump has a point, but his beef is with W.

  66. Neil Hudelson says:

    @JKB:

    You prefer a POTUS who can be taken out with a tweet?

  67. Lit3Bolt says:

    @James Joyner:

    She doesn’t get to hide behind her sex to invalidate criticism.

    1. When has she done this?
    2. You have more in common with Trump than you will ever acknowledge.

  68. anjin-san says:

    @SKI:

    in reality, part of why we’re in the mess that we’re in right now as a country. It is not the role of the judiciary to impose its policy views on the populace. … A Supreme Court that ignores the will of the people in order to impose its view of justice will be seen as illegitimate and make the system indeed appear to be “rigged.”

    Loving vs. Virginia

    My marriage would have been illegal in parts of the US in my lifetime. It would have been illegal in California in my parents lifetime. “the will of the people” does not mean that the majority can relegate minorities to the status of second class citizens.

    Shame on you James.

  69. DrDaveT says:

    @gVOR08:

    So Trump has a point, but his beef is with W.

    Didn’t you get the memo? Hillary is personally responsible for everything that happened while she was a Senator. She failed to prevent the 9/11 attacks. She failed to achieve peace in the Middle East. She failed to fix the economy. She’s been trying for 30 years. Trump said so; it must be true.

  70. al-Alameda says:

    @James Joyner:

    She’s going to be subject to the same scrutiny that any candidate for the office gets. She doesn’t get to hide behind her sex to invalidate criticism.

    Not really, she’s always going to be subjected to more scrutiny and criticism than any other candidate, and no, she’s never been able to hide behind her sex to invalidate criticism.

    The Clinton’s, both Bill and Hillary, have been the subject of multiple Republican-directed federal government financed investigations over the past 20-plus years: Whitewater Real Estate, Rose Law Office Billings, White House Travel Office, Vince Foster’s Suicide, Benghazi, Private EMail Server, just to name the obvious. I’m sure that if Republicans had ample time and opportunity they would launch a full investigation, perhaps multiple investigations, of the Clinton Foundation too.

    From the Right there has been nearly 25 years of unrelenting scrutiny and criticism of Hillary Clinton.

  71. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:

    If you think any change is better than no change, vote for Trump.

    Dude…are you serious? WTF?
    The stock market is more than double what it was.
    The GDP is growing faster and there are millions more private sector jobs than under the last Republucan President.
    Government is smaller per capita.
    Millions more have insurance.
    The cost of health care is rising more slowly.
    We aren’t killing thousands of our troops and spending trillions of our dollars in the Middle East.
    My Gay friends can marry and serve in the military.
    I bought pot legally last week.
    The list is far longer.
    That’s real change you stupid fvck.

  72. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:

    If you think any change is better than no change, vote for Trump.

    One thing hasn’t changed…you’re still free to own your precious guns…and you’re still free to be stupid.

  73. An Interested Party says:

    I’m still wondering how, exactly, has the Supreme Court put us in the mess that we’re in right now as a country…

  74. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    I forgot to mention that we haven’t lost 3000 citizens to a terrorist attack on our homeland like we did under the last Republican President.
    That’s some change, you dummmy.

  75. dxq says:

    “Drinking changed my life! I changed from living in a house, to living in a dumpster.” -craig ferguson

  76. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    And one more thing…I paid 2.15 for gas today…instead of 4.00 under the last Republucan President.
    That’s some kinda change I can believe in!!!

  77. dxq says:

    seen on the internet:

    Libertarians are just the vegans of politics, really.

  78. Blue Galangal says:

    @dxq:
    @wr:

    She laid out a factual case for why late-term abortion is tragic, necessary, and a private decision. She advocated for limited government interference in a personal, medical decision. (How much more conservative can you get than that?)

    The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make. I have met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy. I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions. So you can regulate if you are doing so with the life and the health of the mother taken into account.

    She even called him out on using the rhetoric of hate to shut down the discussion. (Go on any Planned Parenthood post on Facebook to see the emotive language he used.) This is the woman that my daughter and I trust to have our backs in our fight to be recognized as equals, as adults, able to access the full range of healthcare options necessary for our lives and health.

    TRUMP: Well, I think it’s terrible. If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.

    Now, you can say that that’s OK and Hillary can say that that’s OK. But it’s not OK with me, because based on what she’s saying, and based on where she’s going, and where she’s been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day. And that’s not acceptable.

    CLINTON: Well, that is not what happens in these cases. And using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate. You should meet with some of the women that I have met with, women I have known over the course of my life. This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make. And I do not believe the government should be making it.

    You know, I’ve had the great honor of traveling across the world on behalf of our country. I’ve been to countries where governments either forced women to have abortions, like they used to do in China, or forced women to bear children, like they used to do in Romania. And I can tell you: The government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in accordance with their faith, with medical advice. And I will stand up for that right.

    And the question I have for DT, and any other person who thinks that women just dance through 8.5 months of pregnancy and decide to have an abortion four days before the child is due “just because,” is, if you think women are that irrational, venal, and, well, evil, why on EARTH do you want them to have the responsibility and oversight of a newborn baby, let alone be responsible for guiding that baby into childhood and, eventually, responsible adulthood? Is that baby going to miraculously turn this “horrible, evil” woman into a Madonna? How does that work, exactly? Absent angels on high, etc.

    Either women are rational adults capable of making rational decisions – which is what Hillary said – or we’re not. You can’t have it both ways.

    The anti-abortion side is basically promoting the same mixed, misogynistic message we have been hearing since before the Catholic Church argued over how much, if any, of a soul a woman possessed.

  79. C. Clavin says:
  80. Facebones says:

    @C. Clavin: Of course! Unlike Trump, they want to continue in politics.

  81. stonetools says:

    James sure is an example of a conservative guy who is face down in the anti Clinton Kool-Aid.

    She was petulant and unpresidential by any previous standard.

    I have been checking the post debate on Twitter. Not once have I heard her conduct been described that way. This must be some kind of right wing meme , I guess.
    This is not what most people said.
    Clinton was the most dominant debate performance to date, said Nate Silver. He had a chart showing the way Clinton surged after each debate. He characterized her latest debate performance this way:

    There was nothing flashy about Clinton’s performance at either the convention or the debates. She was just prepared, steady and tactically smart — such as goading Trump into feuds with the family of Khizr Khan, or Alicia Machado. Trump might seem like an easy opponent to take down, and he certainly hasn’t helped himself. But as Trump himself would probably point out, 16 Republicans failed to do so. We won’t know for sure for another 19 days, but Clinton may have finished him off last night.

    Vox put it this way:

    But the other reality is that Clinton has been, at every turn, prepared, disciplined, and coldly strategic. She triggered Trump’s epic meltdown purposely, and kept Trump off balance over multiple weeks that probably represented his last chance to turn the election around. She was ready for every question, prepared for every attack, and managed to goad Trump into making mistakes that became the main story the day after every single debate.

    Maybe Clinton isn’t petulant, but actually a damned good debater who took apart Trump with a calculated, targeted attack? But of course, that doesn’t fit the conservative view of women, who should be demure, emotional, and certainly can’t think strategically.

    James’ view of abortion rights as a distraction is of a piece with that outlook. Hey, abortion is an issue involving those icky lady parts. That shouldn’t be part of a presidential debate about real issues.I’ve nothing to add to the comments of the actual women above who are clear on the importance of Clinton’s stand on abortion.

  82. Jc says:

    James, let’s see you debate Trump while he attacks your family, shows zero policy knowledge, interrupts you constantly, spews massive amounts of absolute bullshit, craps on the Constitution…etc… And perform with the confidence and general coolness that HRC has. I don’t think you could do it. I don’t think the majority of pro pols could do it.

  83. Facebones says:

    @Jc: There are 16 republicans who couldn’t.

  84. dxq says:

    James, you’re a nice guy, I don’t think you’re a bad person, but you’re really fighting to keep up the bullshit w/r/t HRC, and it’s hard to watch.

  85. dxq says:

    also, drop the women’s stuff isn’t important garbage.

  86. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @PJ: And we bought if from the Tsar anyway, so there’s plenty of justification for voiding the sale.

  87. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @JKB:

    If you like the spiral the world seems to be in, then by all means vote for Hillary. If you think any change is better than no change, vote for Trump.

    Shorter JKB: Do something, anything, even if it’s wrong.

  88. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @C. Clavin: I’m so jealous! I paid $2.46; of course, my car is so small that I can fill up on about seven gallons, but still…

  89. Ravi says:

    @Jc:

    There’s only one other politician I can think of who could have handled Trump as well as Hillary did in these debates. Luckily for Trump, Obama wasn’t available to run.

  90. Jen says:

    @An Interested Party:

    I’m still wondering how, exactly, has the Supreme Court put us in the mess that we’re in right now as a country…

    They haven’t. James is angry that his party has pissed away the opportunity to be competitive to win the White House, and have nominated someone who is now threatening both the Senate and possibly even control of the House.

    That’s why he’s making uncharacteristically ridiculous comments about the Supreme Court needing to follow the will of the people (good grief…someone needs to please go back and read Federalist #10, this entire government was set up to prevent blindly following the will of the majority at the expense of minorities), and that churlish comment about Sec. Clinton not getting to hide behind her sex. It’s beneath him, and I hope he snaps out of this little streak quickly.

  91. cian says:

    While the stolen election nonsense is potentially dangerous in theory, I’m not inherently opposed to a wait and see attitude in the context of an election where foreign operatives and computer hackers are playing a significant role.

    This is the kind of statement that confirms James’s true heart. He’s a good guy but he just can’t let the old party go, you know, the one that created Trump by wilfully turning a blind eye to the dangers of what they were doing. Trump is not being cautious, he’s setting up his supporters, laying the ground work for a serious confrontation with the American democratic process. He’s not saying I’ll wait and see, he’s telling them that the powers that be are cheating them right now. And as we have seen, this is an audience that is easily riled up and the real powers that be, the Bannons and Bossies in the background, are already deep in the planning process for what come’s next. I’ve no doubt that what comes next will be deeply shocking to James, and yet, you know, if you angle it just so in the early light, it doesn’t seem so bad.

  92. C. Clavin says:

    @cian:

    While the stolen election nonsense is potentially dangerous in theory, I’m not inherently opposed to a wait and see attitude in the context of an election where foreign operatives and computer hackers are playing a significant role.

    Now James, a military man, is supporting sedition.
    Anything for your team, I suppose.

  93. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jen:

    That’s why he’s making uncharacteristically ridiculous comments about the Supreme Court needing to follow the will of the people (good grief…someone needs to please go back and read Federalist #10, this entire government was set up to prevent blindly following the will of the majority at the expense of minorities), and that churlish comment about Sec. Clinton not getting to hide behind her sex. It’s beneath him,

    Is it, though? Or is it just him?

  94. Jen says:

    @Rafer Janders: I think so. Hope so?

    Stress, anger, and frustration–and more than a smattering of depression and resignation–have made some of my Republican friends (and family members) a bit snappish as of late. Perhaps I’m projecting that experience a bit.

  95. I can´t see Rubio or Kasich losing to Hillary in these debates. Under normal circumstances that would be an easy election for Republicans.

  96. C. Clavin says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:
    I agree…the Jenoses and JKB’s and bill’s and Guarneri’s of the world really f’ed up by thinking Trump ever had a chance.
    But they show us with their every comment that they aren’t very bright. If you think Donald Trump should be the President of these United States then you have serious mental health issues.

  97. Mikey says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    I can´t see Rubio or Kasich losing to Hillary in these debates.

    Why can’t you? Mrs. Clinton did very well in her own right, regardless of Trump’s awful performances.

    I mean, I’m sure Rubio or Kasich would do better than Trump, but that’s the lowest possible bar.

    The major difference would be both candidates would be competent and speak substantively, rather than just Mrs. Clinton doing those things.

  98. anjin-san says:

    You have to feel, just a little bit for Jenos. From where he sits, Donald Trump must look sort of like like James Bond. And now, how the mighty have fallen. The fact that we all told him this is exactly what was going to happen is salt in the wound.

    I have a few Facebook friends, people I grew up with, that are Trump supporters. The sheer incoherent rage coming from them is shocking. The only thing I can figure is that their lives have not turned out as they hoped, and Trump is very good at helping folks in that position blame someone other than themselves for that.

  99. SKI says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    I can´t see Rubio or Kasich losing to Hillary in these debates. Under normal circumstances that would be an easy election for Republicans.

    Keep seeing this take. Don’t understand it and think it is flat out wrong.

    Economic growth is positive (not great but consistently growing).
    Current President has an approval rating of 54%
    Demographic changes favor the party of diversity. There is a reason that in three weeks, we will have seen the Democratic Party win 6 of the last 7 popular vote totals.

    More to the point, no GOP candidate could win the nomination without pandering to the base – a base which demands they take positions that are anathema to a majority of the electorate. Unless the GOP figures out how to get a candidate through a primary without having to take horrific positions on immigration and civil rights, they aren’t going to win nationally. They need to broaden their appeal.

  100. C. Clavin says:

    @anjin-san:

    You have to feel, just a little bit for Jenos.

    No…I don’t.

  101. bookdragon says:

    @stonetools: This exactly. She performed in the debate in exactly the way she knew would unhinge Trump. As John Scalzi put it:

    …This is one reason, incidentally, why the current GOP shibboleth that Clinton would have been defeatable if only she had been up against a different candidate is mostly wishful thinking. Clinton isn’t winning just because she’s up against Trump, and she didn’t cream Trump in the debates just because Trump is so very fabulously incompetent. She’s winning because she’s prepared — she knows her opponent, she knows his weaknesses, and she made him reveal them himself. And she would have done it to anyone the GOP would have thrown her way.

    Honestly, now: Does anyone really think that Clinton wouldn’t have shredded Ted Cruz, that pulsating globule of smugness, in any debate they might have had? Yes, Cruz was a nationally-ranked debater in college. That’s very nice for him. Clinton would have walked him into his own wankery, the off-putting self-regard that makes everyone want to find a way to stop talking to him five seconds after he opens his mouth, and let that awfulness happen while he spewed his dominionist nonsense. And let’s not even imagine what she would have done to poor, unprepared Marco Rubio, although the words “chew toy” do come to mind…

    Why Clinton Is Winning (One Reason Anyway)

  102. Mikey says:

    @bookdragon: I think the “she only won the debates because her opponent was terrible” line is kind of sexist, actually. It’s like saying “any competent man would have beaten her.”

    I can’t wait to see what happens when both major party candidates are women…

  103. SKI says:

    @Mikey: Yup.

    And appropo of James’ blind spots in the original post…
    Why Hillary Wins

    Hillary Clinton is a terrible candidate. Hey, that’s what pundits have been saying ever since this endless campaign began. You have to go back to Al Gore in 2000 to find a politician who faced as much jeering from the news media, over everything from claims of dishonesty (which usually turn out to be based on nothing) to matters of personal style.

    Strange to say, however, Mrs. Clinton won the Democratic nomination fairly easily, and now, having pummeled her opponent in three successive debates, is an overwhelming favorite to win in November, probably by a wide margin. How is that possible?

    The usual suspects are already coalescing around an answer — namely, that she just got lucky. If only the Republicans hadn’t nominated Donald Trump, the story goes, she’d be losing badly.

    But here’s a contrarian thought: Maybe Mrs. Clinton is winning because she possesses some fundamental political strengths — strengths that fall into many pundits’ blind spots.

    When political commentators praise political talent, what they seem to have in mind is the ability of a candidate to match one of a very limited set of archetypes: the heroic leader, the back-slapping regular guy you’d like to have a beer with, the soaring orator. Mrs. Clinton is none of these things: too wonky, not to mention too female, to be a regular guy, a fairly mediocre speechifier; her prepared zingers tend to fall flat.

    Yet the person tens of millions of viewers saw in this fall’s debates was hugely impressive all the same: self-possessed, almost preternaturally calm under pressure, deeply prepared, clearly in command of policy issues. And she was also working to a strategic plan: Each debate victory looked much bigger after a couple of days, once the implications had time to sink in, than it may have seemed on the night.

    Oh, and the strengths she showed in the debates are also strengths that would serve her well as president. Just thought I should mention that. And maybe ordinary citizens noticed the same thing; maybe obvious competence and poise in stressful situations can add up to a kind of star quality, even if it doesn’t fit conventional notions of charisma.

    Furthermore, there’s one thing Mrs. Clinton brought to this campaign that no establishment Republican could have matched: She truly cares about her signature issues, and believes in the solutions she’s pushing.

    I know, we’re supposed to see her as coldly ambitious and calculating, and on some issues — like macroeconomics — she does sound a bit bloodless, even when she clearly understands the subject and is talking good sense. But when she’s talking about women’s rights, or racial injustice, or support for families, her commitment, even passion, are obvious. She’s genuine, in a way nobody in the other party can be.

    So let’s dispel with this fiction that Hillary Clinton is only where she is through a random stroke of good luck. She’s a formidable figure, and has been all along.

    (emphasis mine)

  104. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jen:

    Stress, anger, and frustration–and more than a smattering of depression and resignation–have made some of my Republican friends (and family members) a bit snappish as of late.

    But if the stress, anger and frustration comes from the fact that a neo-fascist bully-boy is losing to an accomplished woman, is that a sign that they’re actually good people, or that deep down they’re not so nice and what you see from them normally is just a thin social veneer?

  105. SKI says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    But if the stress, anger and frustration comes from the fact that a neo-fascist bully-boy is losing to an accomplished woman, is that a sign that they’re actually good people, or that deep down they’re not so nice and what you see from them normally is just a thin social veneer?

    That is a remarkably uncharitable way to phrase it….

    How about if the stress, anger and frustration comes from the fact that the party they have identified with, have devoted time and money to, has been hijacked (from their perspective) by this “neo-facist bully boy”?

    Imagine others complexly. It is what makes us better.

  106. bookdragon says:

    James,

    First:

    pet·u·lant
    ˈpeCHələnt/

    adjective: petulant

    (of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered.

    There was only one petulant person on that stage and it wasn’t Hillary. You are literally the only person I seen describe her that way. And that includes a guy I know who thinks she’s the ‘rebirth of Chairman Mao’.

    That pretty much calls all the rest of your observations into question.

    Second:

    No, HRC “doesn’t get to hide behind her sex to invalidate criticism”. However, neither do you. Being a man does not excuse you from seeing that the issue of whether women can be accorded the assumption of being responsible adults who should be trusted to make make serious medical decisions for themselves and their families is in fact important – even if you don’t have a vagina.

  107. Pch101 says:

    I wouldn’t be too eager to oversell Hillary Clinton as a popular figure. Her unfavorable ratings remain on the north side of 50%, which would suggest that the debates didn’t win over many hearts even if they won a few minds:

    http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/hillary-clinton-favorable-rating

    However, she is a fine political strategist. I didn’t bother to watch the third debate, but based upon what I’ve read about it and what I saw in the first two, I would suggest that she made two wise moves:

    -She used the “A Few Good Men” tactic that I hoped that she would, turning Trump’s hubris against him. The guy does not know when to ease off on the aggression — he’s a one-trick pony, not a tactician — and his bull in a china shop tendencies were turned against him.

    -From the start of the first debate, she goaded the audience (and by implication, the media) to fact check Trump. During much of the campaign, Trump did a fine job of getting the media to do his bidding, but Clinton turned the tables on him and turned this stretch of the campaign into a barrage of what is wrong with Donald Trump.

    That doesn’t mean that she’s a charmer. But she is clever, and she does find effective ways to compensate for her lack of charisma. She has been coping with political setbacks for decades and often stumbles early in the game, yet she always manages to find a way to claw her way back.

  108. Jen says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    But if the stress, anger and frustration comes from the fact that a neo-fascist bully-boy is losing to an accomplished woman, is that a sign that they’re actually good people, or that deep down they’re not so nice and what you see from them normally is just a thin social veneer?

    Well, yes. If “bully boy losing to accomplished woman” is the stressor then they are likely not so nice down inside. That isn’t what is bothering my Republican friends and family. The stress/anger/frustration is with the members of the base who nominated this ridiculous hot mess of a candidate.

    My F&F are nice people. They hang out with other nice people. They have also long believed that the vast majority of self-identified Republicans are just like them. They are, I think, startled and shocked to realize just how much of the base is not just tolerating Trump, but actually like and support him. It’s this realization, I think, that is making them unhappy–realizing that it’s going to be very difficult to rebuild the party because you can’t purge these folks and win, but you can’t win if they keep nominating folks like Trump either.

  109. dxq says:

    You guys know that Jenos, JKB, and Jack are all alter-egos for James Joyner, right? The J’s were the clue he put out there.

    The comments he makes in his own name are just the professional, public ones. Deep down, he’s truly a Republican.

  110. Stonetools says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    So why didn’t these guys beat Trump- the guy who crushed them?
    Hillary would most likely have beaten them another way. There is no such thing as as a generic Republican candidate- there are only candidates, and they all have their weaknesses. Clearly, Rubio and Kasich have weaknesses,, or they would have beaten Trump. Not sure why you think Hillary wouldn’t have found those weaknesses too.

  111. Blue Galangal says:

    @bookdragon: I was just thinking that this morning on my way in to work, and it goes back to something that is simultaneously annoying and disgusting: Hillary’s spent the last 20 years, probably, preparing for this run. She does her homework. She’s not a stupid woman. She has thoughts, and policies, and even causes.

    And yet she has to go up on stage with this petulant, spoilt toddler and pretend to take him seriously. That she has managed to do that three times is nothing short of amazing. I’d say she deserves an Emmy but I don’t think she was acting. I think she probably is that poised and that probably is the result of the 30+ years she’s spent being pilloried for everything from her headband to her name.

    If she had been facing Jeb! or Marco or Ted on that stage, she would have also been prepared and she would have also been collected and poised, but she might have been able to have some substantive debate with people who also – no matter what I think of their politics – take the process more or less as seriously as she does (less, on the Ted side, but still).

    I take it somewhat personally that Trump is who the first female candidate from a major party is up against, like the GOP couldn’t be bothered because they were all certain even a head of wilted cabbage with the IQ of rabies could beat a woman.

  112. Moosebreath says:

    @dxq:

    “You guys know that Jenos, JKB, and Jack are all alter-egos for James Joyner, right?”

    No, and neither do you. I would strongly doubt it anyway, as they each have different writing styles, and never seem to slip into one another’s.

  113. Jen says:

    @Blue Galangal: That has bothered me too. For many, there will always be a mental asterisk by her name: First Woman President* (*=yeah, but she was up against Trump, ya know?)

    Irritating, but those are the cards we’ve been dealt.

  114. JR says:

    @SKI: Yeah, I have said it before, but the thinking that Rubio or Kasich would be beating Clinton is just conservative wishful thinking. Trump is terrible, but he isn’t the biggest problem with the GOP.

    Demographics and conservatism is the problem. But GOP arrogance will never let them admit that what they stand for has no appeal to anyone who isn’t a straight white man over the age of 35. Until they accept this reality, then they will continue to lose presidential elections.

  115. Nick says:

    The problem for this site is that James and Co. are realizing that the only people willing to have sane arguments about any of this are liberals.

  116. gVOR08 says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: @Mikey:
    Except, of course, they both lost to the guy Hillary gutted. Kasich might have done OK in a debate with Hillary. He does a good job of hiding his background as an over-churched bankster who tried to give the state of Ohio to his cronies. Little Marco win a debate with Hillary? I don’t think so. His repeated, “Let’s dispel this notion that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing, He is trying to change this country.” handed his head to Christie. And let us not forget that this memorized line was a false and scurrilous RWNJ attack on the President.

  117. Loviatar says:

    @dxq:

    The comments he makes in his own name are just the professional, public ones. Deep down, he’s truly a Republican.

    You can’t say that around here. People on this site get very, very offended if you point out that James Joyner is a Republican. They can’t seem to accept that James while better credentialed/spoken is as retrograde in his thoughts and actions as Jenos, JKB, and Jack.

  118. Jen says:

    @Loviatar: I get offended when people paint with too broad a brush.

    I know plenty of Republicans who are good, thoughtful, decent people. I can disagree with them about policy prescriptions and we each walk away with not an agreement, but an understanding of a varied perspective. We can even compromise on solutions without compromising our principles. There is a difference between that category of Republicans and the Jenoses and JKBs of the world, who think compromise means capitulation and they’d rather drink hemlock than engage in agreement.

    The biggest difference between the two factions is the desire to accomplish the work of the country. Without those Republicans who are willing to work with Democrats, NOTHING will get done. There IS a difference. Unfortunately, they are not the strongest element, nor the loudest voices.

  119. Pch101 says:

    @Loviatar:

    Mr. Joyner is not mean-spirited. Some of us give points for style and good intentions.

  120. Loviatar says:

    @Jen:

    I know plenty of Republicans who are good, thoughtful, decent people. I can disagree with them about policy prescriptions and we each walk away with not an agreement, but an understanding of a varied perspective.

    I’ve said this before, but I think it bears repeating.

    The Republicans you describe left the party years ago, the dead-enders left after getting a view of Bush the lessor. What you have left calling themselves Republicans are the bigots, racists, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic base along with those greedy, immoral and unethical enough to take advantage of that base.

    I’m sorry, one of the hardest things to do is look at someone you respect, even love and realize they are who their actions portray them to be. James Joyner is a Republican, as much as Jenos, JKB, and Jack he is the party and all that it entails. If that paints with a broad brush then too bad.

    —–

    P.S.

    You should ask James, did he vote for his junior Senator?

  121. Loviatar says:

    @Pch101:

    Mr. Joyner is not mean-spirited. Some of us give points for style and good intentions.

    And you know this how?

    I’ve seen James in this very thread denigrate and downplay the accomplishments of a very talented and accomplished woman. I’ve seen him in previous threads pass on scurrilous rumors about a previous President committing rape. How is that not mean spirited?

  122. Pch101 says:

    @Loviatar:

    And you know this how?

    The difference in tone is pretty obvious.

  123. Mikey says:

    @Loviatar: The thing about James that both gives some of us hope and frustrates us is the fact he’s come a long way in the last few years. His political outlook has moderated quite a bit.

    He, like all of us, is an imperfect person. Good people can still hold bad opinions, for a myriad of reasons even the scientists of the mind don’t fully understand. James still displays these moments of lesser understanding, and has a puzzling but significant blind spot when it comes to Mrs. Clinton, but he has made progress. And this indicates a willingness to consider alternative viewpoints, and even change his opinions, that is utterly lacking in Jack/JKB/Jenos. James may not be perfectly open, but they are entirely closed. And that’s why I don’t equate him with them.

  124. Andrew says:

    After almost thirty years of seeing Hilary Clinton as opposition, and someone who has been beat up on by the GOP on the regular… To then to have less then two years to realize she is more in tune with standard Republican polices than the actual Republican on the ticket. What I am trying to say is, it can be extremely surreal even for the more educated among us. Such as James. Who is also normally inline with the GOP.
    And old habits obviously die hard.

  125. Jen says:

    @Loviatar:

    The Republicans you describe left the party years ago, the dead-enders left after getting a view of Bush the lessor.

    I think you’re wrong. There is a group of Republicans who are still clinging to the representation of what they believe the party to be, rather than it really is. It is a type of blindness or self-delusion, certainly. They’ve been hanging on despite all of the horrible stuff the party has been engaging in because it’s a big part of their self-identity.

    This election has removed the blinders. They are coming to realize what they are left with, and perhaps they’ll be the next wave to leave. Or, they’ll stay and fight. I’m not sure which.

  126. Jen says:

    …on a completely different note, is anyone else freaked out about the scale and sophistication of the DDoS attacks today?

  127. Loviatar says:

    @Jen:

    I think you’re wrong. There is a group of Republicans who are still clinging to the representation of what they believe the party to be, rather than it really is. It is a type of blindness or self-delusion, certainly.

    You beat me to my question along those lines

    A couple of simple questions for those defending James Joyner (who is a stand-in for every “decent” Republican).

    1) Who do you believe make up the Republican party? Not the pre-Civil Rights party, not even the Nixon or Reagan party, but the modern Republican party.

    2) Where does James Joyner fit in that party?

    —-

    My belief:

    The modern Republican party is made up of a bigoted, racists, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic base along with those greedy, immoral and unethical enough to take advantage of that base.

  128. Raoul says:

    I barely comment on JJ’s posts anymore (for which I am sure he is gleeful).I am glad others noted his sexism- and he has yet to backtrack his untruthful assertion that a foreign government hacked Hillary’s email. Would it not be ironic if his source was someone who was knowingly leaking classified information – in other words he would be doing what he accuses Hillary of doing. Anyways I tend to agree that Trump’s lack of concession at this stage is kind of silly. On the other hand – Hillary’s response on the Syria question was more nuanced than advertised here and in fact it went out of its way to allay Russians fears, so I think that was important. I have said this before and I will say it again: the GOP is where it is because of people like JJ and I further note that he hasn’t changed- he is perfectly comfortable having a North Carolina legislature discriminate against its own people while chastising the courts for bringing justice- and to be clear I am not saying he supported the original bill but he is content in allowing the suffering to continue. What was it that he wrote about character and Hillary?

  129. Pch101 says:

    @Loviatar:

    Your belief is quite obvious, but rather narrow.

  130. DrDaveT says:

    @Loviatar:

    My belief:

    The modern Republican party is made up of a bigoted, racists, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic base along with those greedy, immoral and unethical enough to take advantage of that base.

    Yeah, we got that.

    Jen is hypothesizing that there is at least one other group — namely, people who joined the Republican party a long time ago because they thought it stood for fiscal responsibility, a particular moral code, an aversion to radical change, and a few other things that were described as “conservative values”. And they are still there through a combination of inertia, lack of alternatives, failure to notice what their party REALLY stands for (yes, even today), ignorance of the evidence debunking both their economic theories and their gradualist notions of how social change happens, etc.

    It’s deluded — possibly even self-deluded — but it is NOT (for those particular people) necessarily bigoted, racist, homophobic, sexist, or greedy. Their loyalty has immoral and unethical effects, through the actions of the officials they elect, but their intent was neither immoral nor unethical. Wrongheaded and ignorant, yes, but not deliberately so.

    I think Jen is right that such people exist. Dr. Joyner might be one of them; I can’t tell whether his obvious gender bias is implicit or conscious.

    Shorter DrDaveT — there are still some Republicans who agree with the liberals about goals, but disagree about means, despite all the evidence.

  131. Loviatar says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I wonder, what will it take for you, Jen, Pch101 and others to realize that self-deluded, wrongheaded, ignorant, unintentional has become intentional?

    When was the last time the Republican party stood for any of the “conservative values” you listed. James Joyner is an intelligent, extremely well read and well educated man. In other words he is not a Jenos, JKB, and Jack, so why is he voting for and supporting a party of Jenos, JKBs, and Jacks..

    None of the excuses you provided are valid any longer and James knows that; he knows that while he personally may not be a bigot, racist, homophobe, sexist, or greedy his party is. While he may have joined the Republican party for the “conservative values” you listed, the party no longer has those values. Finally, laziness and inattention to political trends by a Political Scientist is not a valid excuse to continue supporting a political party.

    Shorter Loviatar – James Joyner is too smart to not realize what has happened with the Republican party, its intentional.

  132. Pch101 says:

    To borrow from Hanlon’s Razor, never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by hope, nostalgia and cognitive dissonance.

    A lot of Republicans believe in a party that never existed.

  133. Loviatar says:

    @Pch101:

    A lot of Republicans believe in a party that never existed.

    And those Republicans will never have an incentive to change their beliefs as long as they are given a pass on their political choices and decisions.

  134. Blue Galangal says:

    @Jen: I agree, not throwing the baby out with the bathwater here.

    Just… I literally have my father posting memes about the election being in the bag for HRC and that’s why she’s not campaigning* – even though my mother has been a poll worker for many years. I said, “There are 8,887 precincts in Ohio. What you’re saying is every single one of those precincts – including both Democratic and Republican poll workers, like your wife – has been suborned to throw the election to Hillary? What does that look like, exactly?”

    “HRC is evil.”

    No. She’s not evil. She’s a moderate, more right of center than Obama politician, who was more right of center than Bill Clinton, for Pete’s sake. But the important thing, as Newt said, is what they “believe.” He’ll take his beliefs over our facts any day. How do you talk to people when they’ve retreated into a subjective, relativistic bubble and facts simply have no meaning any more?

    *Her campaign schedule, I told him, is a matter of public record. What is this crazy new thing? She’s not really appearing at her campaign appearances? She has a long lost twin sister? Does this have something to do with the disco ball strobe light thing? People think they see her but she’s not there?

  135. Pch101 says:

    @Loviatar:

    Who gave them a pass?

    It’s simply being noted that not every Republican is the protege of Josef Goebbels, and it might be possible to win over some of the reasonable ones if you don’t treat those particular individuals like storm troopers.

  136. Loviatar says:

    @Pch101:

    Ahh we’ve reached Godwin’s law. Nice try on shutting down the thread.

    I’ve never said and will never say James Joyner is the equivalent of Josef Goebbels. What I’ve said for sometime now is that James Joyner is a Republican, a better credentialed, more articulate and a better writer than the run of mill JKB, Jenos or Jack, but no different in thought or action. In other words a Republican.

    As far as giving a pass goes, if James advocates and votes for the same policies as JKB, Jenos and Jack do, why do you treat him differently?

  137. Pch101 says:

    @Loviatar:

    I hope that you’re a teenager, as your understanding of human behavior kind of sucks.

    You think that everyone signs up for the GOP because they have a fondness for jackboots and lynchings, but they aren’t all like that.

    As I noted, a lot of them believe in a party that never existed. They not only don’t see what you see but they actually see something that is quite different.

    They have constructed a mythos that does not resemble in their minds what it is that you are seeing. Are you capable of comprehending that?

  138. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @dxq: That was cold. And, perhaps, uncalled for. I believe Dr. Joyner when he says that he’s not a Trump fan and do believe that his position on Mrs. Clinton is HCDS or the less specific CDS. Having said that, I will also note that allowing his syndrome to continue to infect his writing after so many of us have told him how damaging it is to his credibility shows that while he may not be a Trump fan, he may carry Trump personality traits.

  139. Loviatar says:

    @Pch101:

    I think my understanding of human behavior in this case is better than yours. You’re asking me to have empathy for adults who through their advocacy and voting cause substantial, sometime deadly harm throughout our country on a daily basis.

    Why?

  140. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Stonetools: I’m not sure that the point related to Hillary being a weaker candidate that other potential Republicans is related to them not being weak as much as it is that she may not be well liked enough to prevail against a normal b.s.c. candidate compared to one as repulsive as Trump. Many people who will listen to (and agree at least tacitly) the dog whistles will become offended if by having their true colors (if you will) thrown in their faces and reject the overtness even as they will hold silently the reality (“I’m not really bigot, it’s just that those damn black lives matter people keep messing things up for the country, and I resent THEIR bigotry”).

    We don’t have the opportunity to test this theory now and won’t for 4 years, but an election featuring one candidate who triggers a lot of animus and one candidate who might merely be an unoffensive (eliminating Cruz) version of Donald Trump (for while Trump may not be a True Republican or Conservative, he certainly portrayed one well enough in my opinion) would have been much different than this one.

  141. dxq says:

    It was a JOKE, people, Geez. I’m sure that in real life, James is no more than one or two of those guys.

    😀

  142. DrDaveT says:

    @Loviatar:

    I wonder, what will it take for you, Jen, Pch101 and others to realize that self-deluded, wrongheaded, ignorant, unintentional has become intentional?

    Some actual evidence, for a start?

    I’m reasonably familiar with the literature on implicit bias. The key word is implicit — people (including me) do not know that they are biased, until you prove it to them. Which is hard to do.

    Not everyone out there has read the literature on implicit bias, or the economic effects of tax cuts for the rich, or the relative costs and benefits of handgun ownership by non-criminals, or the true relative threat of Islamic terrorism, or any of a dozen other subjects. Worse yet, the GOP has made a point of undermining the credibility of research. We are an ignorant, uneducated nation — even those of us with college degrees and white collar jobs — on average. Ignorance is still a more convincing explanation than malice, for many of the lifelong Republicans out there.

    There is no cognitive dissonance involved in believing that Trump supporters are racist morons and yet still believing that tax cuts for the rich will grow the economy, Affirmative Action doesn’t work, abortion is tantamount to murder, welfare programs simply create a parasite class, and labor unions lead to communism. It’s just ignorance, not malice. The cure is education, and some (many?) people are curable.

  143. Loviatar says:

    @DrDaveT:

    On your call for actual evidence. I posit from this thread alone that Dr. James Joyner has proven he a typical Republican, differing from JKB, Jenos or Jack only in credentials, tone and reputation.

    It was pointed out to him repeatedly that his characterization of Sec. Hillary Clinton debate performance was unfair and sexist. His response, “so what. I don’t like her, plus she is a woman and woman get away with things because they have woman parts” (paraphrasing here). Of course Dr. Joyner did his sneering characterization in a sophisticated tone and with better punctuation than the run-o-mill Republican, but the content was the same. This same repeated tactic can be found in many of Dr. Joyner’s posts and comments.

    You would think someone who was an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council would know that characterizing women in that manner was wrong. You would think someone who was a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet and who earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama would appreciate Sec. Clinton’s self-possession, calmness under pressure, preparedness and command of policy issues.

    In your opinion, how much additional education does this intelligent, well educated, well read adult man require to cure him of his disdain and disrespect of women?

    In your opinion, how much additional education does this intelligent, well educated, well read adult man require in order for him to appreciate the political talent shown by Sec. Clinton?

    Dr. Joyner is a Republican. It is his choice, an educated and considered choice, an intentional choice.

    h/t Dr. Paul Krugman

  144. DrDaveT says:

    @Loviatar:

    His response, “so what. I don’t like her, plus she is a woman and woman get away with things because they have woman parts” (paraphrasing here).

    You misspelled ‘caricaturing’.

    My paraphrase: “Hillary was strident and unpleasant. It was unseemly. No, I’m not saying that just because she’s a woman. Of course I respect women. Some of my relatives are women.”

    You have a very high opinion of people. You give them credit for much more self-awareness than they actually have.

    You would think someone who was an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council would know that characterizing women in that manner was wrong.

    No, actually, I wouldn’t assume that. I also wouldn’t assume that, even if they knew it was wrong, they would recognize when they themselves were doing it.

    …which leads to the fork in the road between your path and mine, since we seem to agree on what is desirable behavior. You choose to assume that all who act badly, even obliviously, are unsalvageable — which could easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy if sufficiently widely adopted. I think education is possible, and sometimes even effective. My own experience probably contributes to my optimism.

  145. Scott O says:

    Can we lay off the Joyner bashing please? Or at least if you want to tell him that he sucks, do so politely?

  146. Jen says:

    Evidence that some people live in the past, clinging to an ideal that has long since evaporated, can be found at almost any high school reunion of more than 20 years.

    Good people can remember when the party was populated by Jack Danforths and Christine Todd-Whitmans and Nancy Landon Kassebaums, and even Massachusetts-era Mitt Romneys.

  147. Loviatar says:

    I always end these discussions wondering what is it that I’m missing.

    Dr. Joyner, a well read, intelligent, educated adult man chooses to be a Republican. In that intentional considered choice he has also chosen to associate with bigots, racists, sexist, homophobes and xenophobes. Whether he personally is one doesn’t matter in that he advocates and votes for a party whose policy positions lend themselves to those extremists points of view.

    Also, defending him with “he needs to be educated” infantilizes him, have you thought that a man with a PhD in Political Science is already educated and is making an informed choice.

    Finally, how is calling Dr. Joyner a Republican impolite.

  148. Pch101 says:

    @Loviatar:

    You’re just as dogmatic as the people whom you despise.

    In that intentional considered choice he has also chosen to associate with bigots, racists, sexist, homophobes and xenophobes.

    He doesn’t see it that way. But you’re never going to figure that out, obviously.

  149. Matt says:

    @Jen: Anyone with half a clue about electronic devices and the internet knew that this was going to happen. The internet of things was a stupid fracking idea that will continue to bite us in the ass as more appliances are plugged in. There were already many cases of refrigerators being used by spammers years ago. We can’t get people to update their computers. How do you think we’re going to get people to update their thermostat/refridgerator/lightbulbs and more?? Even better… How are you going to ensure that those same products being made cheaply in China will have any sort of real protection? Remember the baby monitors that people hacked into? The computer for kids that was severely compromised? That’s all easy low hanging fruit in the world of hackers.

    BTW the internet is a lot more vulnerable these days compared to when it was a DARPA project. I had no issues as I use my own custom DNS so I had no idea anything was even occurring.

  150. Mikey says:

    @Matt:

    The internet of things was a stupid fracking idea that will continue to bite us in the ass as more appliances are plugged in.

    Whether or not it’s stupid is irrelevant. It is as inevitable as the sunrise.

    Eventually the concepts and execution of security will catch up. Until then we’ll just have to see how fast we can learn.

  151. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Matt: You mean sort of like Hillary’s?

  152. Matt says:

    @Mikey:The concepts and execution of security will never catch up to the hackers. Companies have a limited amount of time and people they are willing to put into securing devices as time and people cost money. From the makers point of view there is a finite amount of resources they are willing to put into securing their devices. Even with a team of hundreds working 24/7 you can’t keep up with the millions of hackers doing it for the LuLz or for the money (usually mafia like groups but there are some state actors that are willing to pay). This is why not even the NSA can secure their website from hacks. In the security world all you can do is make it as hard as possible and respond as quickly as possible when the inevitable breach occurs.

    What would be needed is some sort of gateway on a house level run by a super effective AI and I just don’t see that happening for some time. Even then the hacker side will have access to the same technology to counter it. Your average Joe has no real chance at securing their devices…

  153. Matt says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Considering that the DOD’s emails and more have been hacked multiple times…..

    Hell a group of hackers stole detailed plans for the f-35/f-22 and more a while back (probably the Chinese)…