Third Presidential Debate Marked By Trump’s Refusal To Accept Election Result

For better or worse, the third Presidential debate will largely be remembered for one thing.

Third Presidential Debate

By far, last night’s third and final Presidential debate was the most substantive of two Presidential debates and one Vice-Presidential debate that preceded it. Unlike the previous affairs, the main focus of the debate was 0n policy issues, and a real attempt to hold both candidates to both answer the questions that were asked and to explain the positions they’d taken in the past. To a large degree, thanks for that can be given to the debate moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday, who by many accounts did a far better job as moderator than any of the others selected this year, and who was certainly more successful at getting the candidates to actually answer questions than Lester Holt, Martha Raadtz, and Anderson Cooper were. Even the candidates seemed to be doing better, for the most part. Hillary Clinton hasn’t changed her game plan much throughout each of the three debates, mostly because she didn’t need to as the polls clearly seem to indicate, and once again accomplished her basic mission of coming across as the calm, rational candidate with grasp on the issues that the next President will have to deal with. In the beginning at least, Donald Trump was also managing to stay on message. Granted, most of the responses he was giving to questions on issues such as the Supreme Court and immigration, as well as Vladimir Putin or the central issue of his own campaign, immigration, were utter nonsense, but at least for a time he was doing a better job of sticking ‘to message’ than he had before. After that first half hour or so, though, the old Trump began to emerge. He started to interrupt Clinton again, often by saying “wrong” while she was still talking. He also began to ramble into nonsense territory again, especially when the topic turned to areas where he clearly had no idea what he was talking about. The biggest headline of the night, though, came when Trump said that he wouldn’t necessarily accept the results of the election if he were to lose:

In a remarkable statement that seemed to cast doubt on American democracy, Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he might not accept the results of next month’s election if he felt it was rigged against him — a stand that Hillary Clinton blasted as “horrifying” at their final and caustic debate on Wednesday.

Mr. Trump, under enormous pressure to halt Mrs. Clinton’s steady rise in opinion polls, came across as repeatedly frustrated as he tried to rally conservative voters with hard-line stands on illegal immigration and abortion rights. But he kept finding himself drawn onto perilous political territory by Mrs. Clinton and the debate’s moderator, Chris Wallace.

He sputtered when Mrs. Clinton charged that he would be “a puppet” of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia if elected. He lashed out repeatedly, saying that “she’s been proven to be a liar on so many different ways” and that “she’s guilty of a very, very serious crime” over her State Department email practices. And by the end of the debate, when Mrs. Clinton needled him overSocial Security, Mr. Trump snapped and said, “Such a nasty woman.”

Mrs. Clinton was repeatedly forced to defend her long service in government, which Mr. Trump charged had yielded no real accomplishments. But she was rarely rattled, and made a determined effort to rise above Mr. Trump’s taunts while making overtures to undecided voters.

She particularly sought to appeal to Republicans and independents who have doubts about Mr. Trump, arguing that she was not an opponent of the Second Amendment as he claimed, and promising to be tougher and shrewder on national security than Mr. Trump.

But it was Mr. Trump’s remark about the election results that stood out, even in a race that has been full of astonishing moments.

Every losing presidential candidate in modern times has accepted the will of the voters, even in extraordinarily close races, such as when John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated Richard M. Nixon in 1960 and George W. Bush beat Al Gore in Florida to win the presidency in 2000.

Mr. Trump insisted, without offering evidence, that the general election has been rigged against him, and he twice refused to say that he would accept its result.

“I will look at it at the time,” Mr. Trump said. “I will keep you in suspense.”

“That’s horrifying,” Mrs. Clinton replied. “Let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means. He is denigrating — he is talking down our democracy. And I am appalled that someone who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that position.”

Mrs. Clinton then ticked off the number of times he had deemed a system rigged when he suffered a setback, noting he had even called the Emmy Awards fixed when his show, “The Apprentice,” was passed over.

“It’s funny, but it’s also really troubling,” she said. “That is not the way our democracy works.”

Mrs. Clinton also accused Mr. Trump of extreme coziness with Mr. Putin, criticizing him for failing to condemn Russian espionage against her campaign’s internal email.

When Mr. Trump responded that Mr. Putin had “no respect” for Mrs. Clinton, she shot back, in one of the toughest lines of the night: “That’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.”

“No puppet, no puppet,” Mr. Trump sputtered. “You’re the puppet.” He quickly recovered and said, “She has been outsmarted and outplayed worse than anybody I’ve ever seen in any government, whatsoever.”

With 20 days left before Election Day and early voting already underway in Florida, Ohio and several other key states, the debate felt less like an argument between equals than a last-ditch attempt by a fading candidate, Mr. Trump, to save himself.

Mr. Trump sought throughout the debate to recover from a politically damaging three weeks. He has been unable to gain traction in the polls from his strategy of assailing the Clintons as corrupt and immoral; the news media as biased and bent on rigging the election against him; and the nine women who have come forward to accuse him of unwanted sexual advances as liars and, in some cases, unattractive.

Mr. Trump said, in response to a question from the debate moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, that the claims of the women had been “debunked” and that they had been put forward by Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

But after he denied ridiculing the looks of the women accusing him of sexual harassment — “I did not say that,” he repeated three times — Mrs. Clinton repeated nearly verbatim his two comments from last week about the appearances of a pair of his accusers.

“Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger,” she said. “He goes after their dignity, their self-worth; and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like.”

After Mrs. Clinton finished an extended condemnation, Mr. Trump said only: “Nobody has more respect for women than I do, nobody.”

Trump’s comment that he could not guarantee that he would accept the result of the election should not come as a surprise, of course. For weeks now, he has been making the claim that the election and ‘the system’ are rigged and that any result other than a Trump victory would not be legitimate, even though he has no real evidence to support the claims of “rigging’ that he’s making. To some degree, of course, comments like this can be dismissed as the same sort of nonsense we’ve been hearing from Trump for the entire election process and, in the end, it really doesn’t matter whether Trump accepts the results or not. Unless we end up with a repeat of the 2000 election in which the very outcome of the national election is in doubt because one state or another is too close to call, which seems unlikely, the results of the election will be certified, the Electoral Votes will be cast and counted as required by statute and the Constitution, and the new President will be sworn into office on January 20, 2017. The fact that Trump or his supporters may be sitting on the sideline claiming that the outcome was ‘rigged’ will, at that point, be somewhat irrelevant. At the same time, of course, there is something rather alarming about a Presidential candidate who refuses to accept the outcome of an election or who builds a post-election political movement telling tens of millions of people who have spent the past eighteen months getting involved in a political campaign that they have had the election stolen from them, and it is apparent that Trump himself doesn’t care what kind of chaos a position like his would create.

Dan Balz suggests that Trump’s comment about the legitimacy of the election will end up being a ‘crucial mistake,’ and Peter Beinart predicts it will be his downfall:

Barring some massive unforeseen news, that comment will dominate political conversation in the coming days. By next week, it will be all anyone remembers about tonight. And for good reason. A major party nominee suggesting he won’t concede defeat in a presidential election he has clearly lost was, until Trump came along, unthinkable. Had Al Gore taken that position in 2000, the United States might not be a functioning democracy today. If Trump’s position becomes the new normal–if future candidates refuse to respect the voters’ will–America may not remain one. Democracies require public legitimacy for their survival. When powerful actors withhold that legitimacy, the system crumbles.

The good news is that Trump’s answer will devastate him politically—perhaps even more than the groping scandals. It will devastate him because the minute the debate ends, journalists will begin asking every Republican they can find whether they agree that he doesn’t need to concede defeat. And many of those Republicans—including the ones on Trump’s own campaign—will feed him to the wolves.

Mike Pence, Trump’s own running mate, has already said he’ll accept the election outcome. Trump’s campaign manager, Kelly Anne Conway, has said something similar. The Republican National Committee’s Sean Spicer has said the RNC will accept the results. So has Laura Ingraham. Spicer, Ingraham, Conway and Pence want a career in the GOP post-Trump. They have no choice.

The media largely structures its coverage around partisan disagreement. If a candidate’s own party won’t defend something he says, journalists treat that statement as illegitimate. Which means that Trump, by refusing to commit to respect the election outcome, has just given the media an excuse to savage him in the days to come.

This won’t matter to Trump’s supporters, of course, this kind of rhetoric is exactly what they want to hear from a candidate like Trump and it just tends to reinforce what they already believe about the political system. It is likely, though, to have an impact on Trump’s ability to stop his current downward trajectory in the polls or to attract any support from mainstream Republicans and conservatives who have already been disassociating themselves from him in the name of self-preservation. If that happens, it would be entirely appropriate. For more than two centuries now, our political system has largely prided itself on something that many nations have yet to fully mater, the peaceful transition of power in the democratic society. Losing candidates have, by and large, accepted the outcome of an election even when evidence existed that they might have had a basis for challenging the outcome and have at least put on a public display of being gracious in their loss even though there is likely private disappointment going on behind the scenes. The one time that this tradition most notably failed, it led to a Civil War that killed more people than any conflict in American history. That isn’t going to happen this time, of course, largely because nobody is going to go to war for Donald Trump. At the same time, though, if Trump uses a loss in this election to build a political movement and/or media empire obsessed with the politics of resentment, it won’t be a healthy development for our country. Sadly, that seems to be exactly where he intends to go.

As things stand, it seems unlikely that last night’s debate will do much to change the overall direction of the race, which has been moving in Hillary Clinton’s favor for several weeks now. If anything, the negative coverage that Trump is likely to get in the press from his refusal to accept the outcome of the election is likely to accelerate that process and to cause more Republicans to disassociate themselves from Trump in an effort to preserve precarious down-ballot races for the House and Senate. We’ll get a better idea of the impact late this week when the first post-debate polls start to come out, of course, but absent something earth-shattering happening it’s likely that we’ll be seeing President-Elect Hillary Clinton on our television screens sometime during the evening of November 8th.

Update: James Joyner has posted his own reaction to last night’s debate, with which I largely agree.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mikey says:

    Trump doesn’t have to win to screw up our republic. Simply by running he’s done damage that may persist for a generation.

  2. gVOR08 says:

    In this and other things he’s playing straight to the delusions of the GOP base. He seems to understand he’ll lose and he’s laying the groundwork for the TRUMP political infotainment network. If he can find anyone to fund it.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    By next week, it will be all anyone remembers about tonight.

    Maybe. It is, no doubt, a statement without precedent, by any other major party nominee, in it’s complete disloyalty to the American system of Government.
    In Trumps defense he did say this a.m. that he’ll accept the results…if he wins.
    No matter…with apologies to FDR…I’m pretty sure “Nasty Woman” is a comment which will live in infamy, or at least the duration of Clinton 45’s Presidency.
    Nastywomengetshitdone.com

  4. JKB says:

    Yes, the debate was marked by Donald Trump going all Democrat when asked about accepting the results of the election. He refused to state categorically that he would not question close results where a recount or fraud investigation could alter the results of the election. Nor did he declare that he would not point out “hanging chads” in critical precincts.

    And yes, Trump did not denounce the actions by Democrats in Wisconsin where they sought to overturn the will of the people by rejecting the uncontested results of the election of Governor Scott Walker by occupying the state capitol and Democratic legislators high-tailing it out of the state. Where Democrat (senator) Russ Feingold declared to much applause that the game is not over until the Democrats win.Many Democrats still don’t accept the results of the forced recall which again resulted in Scott Walker remaining as governor of Wisconsin.

    Yes, it was shocking to see the Republican candidate for President speak like a Democrat.

  5. Aelio says:

    What kind of regrets will Trump leave with after the election is over? Trump has claimed to have lost the shackles. He has claimed to have railed against political correctness. He has even called for Hillary to be jailed or to be stopped from running. Trump got angry at Paul Ryan as well. At the end of the debate, Trump was caught on camera being angry when ripping a page out of his debate notes.

    The consensus from the debate may have been that Hillary didn’t give him an inch. And the press could not find any positive thing to say about Trump’s performance. The closest that Trump came to turning the tide may have been when he was discussing immigration and tried to pin Hillary down on open borders. Then he relented and that was it.

    Hillary brought her A+ game to the debate and repeated many criticisms of Trump as in her final adieu to her and Putin’s puppet. Trump, true to form, tried to call her back a puppet to much laughter.

    The right might not just be angry at Trump’s debate performances, but also disappointed in that Trump is going to lose and make Republicans miss the chance to rule everything.

  6. Neil Hudelson says:
  7. Neil Hudelson says:

    Shorter @JKB:

    Argle Bargle

  8. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    Oh, my. Trump refused to promise to NOT act like Al Gore and a ton of other Democrats after 2000 (“Bush was selected, not elected!”) and Kerry (“Bush stole Ohio”), not to mention all the screams about Diebold rigging the election.

    It’s only acceptable to say an election is rigged when a Republican wins.

    Plus, how could anyone suspect that the people who paid instigators to go to Trump rallies (pretending to be Sanders supporters) and look to start fights?

    And you wouldn’t hear about it here, but three GOP/Trump offices have been vandalized this week alone. The first one, in North Carolina, was firebombed and the message “NAZI REPUBLICANS LEAVE TOWN OR ELSE” was spray-painted on a wall.

    In a hopeful sign, the local Democrats held a fundraiser to rebuild the office and blew through their 10K goal in hours (they stopped at 13K). But the other offices? Not so much.

    I’m sure James Comey’s FBI will be ALL OVER these acts of political terrorism…

  9. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    It was most entertaining when Hillary talked about abortion and the 2nd Amendment. First, she lied and said that Heller was about “protecting toddlers,” when Heller was a 66-year-old retired cop, and wanted to impose all these restrictions and limits on the 2nd Amendment. Then she said she couldn’t see any justification for any restrictions on abortion whatsoever.

    So an explicit right from the Constitution can be hobbled and essentially nullfied, but one found in the “penumbra” of an “implied right” is totally sacrosanct.

    I wish Chris Wallace had asked her if Chelsea’s inheritance would be subject to her estate tax proposal, or if she and Bill had taken steps to insulate themselves from paying their fair share…

  10. An Interested Party says:

    Oh, my. Trump refused to promise to NOT act like Al Gore…

    As usual, a complete load of horse$hit, as this ably proves…

    Al Gore did not challenge the validity of the election process.

    It is not only legitimate but factually true to point out that the 2000 Florida recount failed to produce an outcome that matched the discernible preferences of the plurality of the voters.

    The conservative line relies on lumping together Gore, who followed the process and conceded afterward, with his supporters, many of whom disputed the fairness of the process afterward.

    Trump’s dispute of the election’s fairness is embedded in a party-wide hallucination about systemic voter fraud.

    Trump is delegitimizing the election on the basis of evidence-free conspiracy theories.

  11. PJ says:

    The good news is that Trump’s answer will devastate him politically—perhaps even more than the groping scandals. It will devastate him because the minute the debate ends, journalists will begin asking every Republican they can find whether they agree that he doesn’t need to concede defeat. And many of those Republicans—including the ones on Trump’s own campaign—will feed him to the wolves.

    And the Republicans who feed him to the wolves will be labeled by Trump and the alt-right as part of the rigged system, and Trump will tell his supporters to not vote for them.

  12. An Interested Party says:

    I wish Chris Wallace had asked her if Chelsea’s inheritance would be subject to her estate tax proposal, or if she and Bill had taken steps to insulate themselves from paying their fair share…

    Very weak tea from someone who supports a guy who “insulated” himself out of paying federal taxes for well over a decade…

  13. Mikey says:

    @JKB:

    Yes, it was shocking to see the Republican candidate for President speak like a Democrat.

    Except literally no Democrat candidate ever has said such a thing. Not even Al Gore, who at least had a plausible argument. He accepted the results of the process and conceded.

    You’re a fool, and what’s worse is you’re a fool on purpose.

  14. wr says:

    @JKB: Wow, this is sad. Even Baby Jenos, who continues to insist that Trayvon Martin was an evil criminal and George Zimmerman a heroic everyman who risked his life for the good of all, has given up on Trump. Yes, even Baby Jenos, who so adored Trump because he saw himself writ large in the man — an internet troll with whose sole claim to office was that he was an unpleasant jerk who liked to piss people off — has found himself unable to continue the charade as the Donald melts down into tiger butter.

    But you keep fighting that good fight. You keep hope alive. And I hope to see you on the front lines on 11/8, boldly screaming obscenities at old black ladies who are trying to vote, and on 11/9, boldly calling for (someone else to wage) violent revolution against the fraudulent landslide election.

  15. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @An Interested Party: So, past performance of the Democrats in this campaign is not necessarily an indicator of future actions?

    Remember, Hillary and the DNC worked hand-in-hand to sabotage Sanders and promote Trump. Hell, since I didn’t vote for Trump in the primary, while Hillary worked like hell to get him the nomination, she’s more responsible for his candidacy than I am.

    And I missed all those times Gore told his supporters to pipe down and shut up about their crazy conspiracy theories. Isn’t that the standard that is used nowadays? I seem to recall something like that used to link Trump to David Duke more than few times.

  16. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @wr: Even Baby Jenos, who continues to insist that Trayvon Martin was an evil criminal and George Zimmerman a heroic everyman who risked his life for the good of all, has given up on Trump. Yes, even Baby Jenos, who so adored Trump because he saw himself writ large in the man — an internet troll with whose sole claim to office was that he was an unpleasant jerk who liked to piss people off — has found himself unable to continue the charade as the Donald melts down into tiger butter.

    You can just take all those lies you just spouted, blow them out your ass, swallow them, and blow them out a second time.

    Or are you still upset that the guy who tried to assassinate Zimmerman just got sentenced to 20 years in prison? Don’t worry, you still might get your conjugal visits…

  17. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Oh, look, little Jenos is back give it the old college — well, elementary school — try. Pretty weak trolling this time around — it’s pretty clear that even he knows the horse he’s backed is on its way to the glue factory.

    Oh, well, at least that will give him something to sniff when it’s all over…

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It is no wonder Trump thinks the system is rigged, he has been operating in a rigged system his entire life. The difference is that the system he is used to operating is rigged in such a way that even when he royally screws up and loses a billion dollars, he wins by not having to pay taxes for 18 yrs. Remember all those times he said he buys politicians? Gives them money and they do what he wants? Because he’s a rich guy? He never noticed that having a politician call him back didn’t mean he owned them, just that they might bend the rules a little for him. It never occurred to him that he wouldn’t be able to bend the rules of elections in his favor too..

    Poor poor little Donald. He just can’t understand a system that isn’t rigged in his favor. Reality is a beach, ain’t it?

  19. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Oh, little Jenos. When you get to the tired “blow it out your ass” huffing, you might as well just type “I am too stupid to come up with a response.” I’m sure they sounded very clever when you first used them in the second grade, but unless you’ve been riding that little yellow bus for a long time, those days are far in the past…

  20. dxq says:

    on facebook i’m seeing a few idiots saying “Just like Al Gore did!” But they’re being slaughtered.

  21. Lit3Bolt says:

    What’s interesting is that every state Republican has been put in a position, once again, to condemn Trump and his remarks. If there’s ticket-splitting, how could they argue people wanted HRC for prez but Senator (R) in their state? Is there massive ticket-splitting voter fraud? (I think the No Labels crowd just had an ecstasy at the thought…)

    The next thing to judge in the next 2 and a half weeks isn’t whether or not Trump lost; that ship has circumnavigated the Earth by now. But his actions, and the Republicans around him, are going to be telling whether the GOP can keep itself together, even before the election.

    If Trump’s voters stick with him, no matter what, and hovers at a 50% to 40% spread, with 10% going 3rd party; I don’t see how the GOP ideologically survives that, and the coming defenestration of Paul Ryan, and whether Trump still gets media attention from Breitbart and Infowars, even after the election. The party will be split into governing and grievance wings. And Breitbart will have succeeded in wresting control of the Republican Party from Fox News.

    Trump needs to be discredited for the GOP to be a viable option again. The media is willing to go along, but are the voters?

  22. Pch101 says:

    For years, the Republicans have been claiming that there is voter fraud perpetrated by liberals.

    That same party demanded Bill Clinton’s impeachment and questioned Barack Obama’s honesty and citizenship. Prior to that, it led the witch hunt against supposed communists and claimed that JFK stole the election.

    Should anyone be surprised that the current Republican nominee has taken those positions and elevated them to the next level? This is a party that feeds on ignorance, paranoia, conspiracy theories and faux self-righteousness, and we’re sure to get more polite versions of this in future elections.

  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    All Clinton really needed to accomplish in this debate was goading Trump into spouting the one liner that would dominate the negative coverage of him for days after the debate was over.

    She accomplished that with ease. What few cogent points he might have made are absolutely lost in the tidal wave of “OH MY GAWD!! DID YOU HEAR WHAT HE SAID?!?!?!” that followed. He had a small but existent chance to salvage at least a little something. Instead he sinking further and dragging down-ballot Republicans with him – all because he can’t disconnect his ego from his mouth.

    She played him quite, quite well …

  24. Neil Hudelson says:

    @wr:

    Remember when Jenos used to argue that of course Trump was going to win because Scott Adams said he was a hypnotist?

    Oh good times. You know how when you threaten a small child with punishment, they cry much harder than when the actual punishment is delivered? I think JKB, Jenos, Guarneri, (etc) major WATB episodes right now are due to the fact that its three weeks out and they can already see major spanking that’s coming November 8th.

  25. dxq says:

    Republicans have told their voters for years about, to use what one jerk in a friend’s FB page said, “massive voter fraud”. Trump is just taking it further than usual.

  26. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    @Jenos The Deplorable:
    For two rank homophobes…you sure do have man-crushes going on.
    What was it like in your he-man-woman-haters-club last night when the object of your wet-dreams got his arse kicked by a nasty woman?

  27. Facebones says:

    @JKB:

    Yes, the debate was marked by Donald Trump going all Democrat when asked about accepting the results of the election.

    And here is the reason why we need to tie Donald to the GOP forever. As soon as the votes are counted, the excuses will start. “Oh, he wasn’t really a Republican. He wasn’t really a conservative. I don’t know how he managed to get all those primary votes. Maybe some kind of fraud.”

    Donnie is the end point of 40 years of Republican dog whistles. Own it.

  28. An Interested Party says:

    @Jenos the Deplorable: Except for the last paragraph, none of what you typed has anything to do with your ridiculous assertion that what Trump said last night is like what Gore did in 2000…and even in the last paragraph, what some of those who supported Gore did has nothing to do with what Gore actually did, which has no connection to Trumps’s very damning and very election-losing statement…

  29. charon says:

    Dan Balz suggests that Trump’s comment about the legitimacy of the election will end up being a ‘crucial mistake,’ and Peter Beinart predicts it will be his downfall:

    Barring some massive unforeseen news, that comment will dominate political conversation in the coming days. By next week, it will be all anyone remembers about tonight.

    My emphasis, and I do not think so. “Nasty Woman” is trending on twitter, and “Bad Hombre” has been noticed also.

    The embedded video at my link is hilarious.

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/10/20/13341416/nasty-woman-feminist-rallying-cry-hillary-clinton

  30. charon says:

    @charon:

    Barring some massive unforeseen news, that comment will dominate political conversation in the coming days.

    There are two conversations – one for media people and the talking heads you see on the cable news channels. Then there is the conversation on social media like twitter, that picks up on other stuff.

  31. KM says:

    Everyone invoking Gore as “Democrats did it first!!!” is missing a critical point: there was a legit chance Gore won and the results needed to be reviewed as such. It was a close race, not a blowout. There are times when it’s acceptable to question accuracy; that’s why we have concepts like margin of error. A sport analogy is using up reviews and instant replays for the times you strongly suspect the ref screwed you and you think you have proof. If you made it over the goal line but nobody on the ground could tell in the scuffle, out come the cameras. Maybe the call gets reversed, maybe you’re stuck with the crappy call. Game’s still over, though. You don’t get to keep playing because you refuse to accept the score.

    The Orange One doesn’t even have that logic to fall back on. Trump’s behind by several points in polls, massively behind in the electoral college and stands to lose reliably-red states for the first time in generations. It’s not even going to be close in any real, meaningful way that a review could address. He’s the coach who’s preemptively calling for the review while the guy with the ball is leaving his team in the dust. If only one guy crosses into the endzone while the entire other team’s still on the 40, it’s pretty goddamn clear that’s a touchdown. Raving that you’re going to challenge before the ref’s call is even made just makes you look dumber. Raving you’re not going to concede the game you’re losing 45-14 even after that last clear touchdown makes you look unhinged.

  32. al-Alameda says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Or are you still upset that the guy who tried to assassinate Zimmerman just got sentenced to 20 years in prison? Don’t worry, you still might get your conjugal visits…

    Zimmerman decides to play Mall Cop and he ends up killing an unarmed kid walking through a condo apartment complex. Fortunately for him he got an O.J. Jury. I’m somewhat surprised that Trump didn’t invite him to the debate.

  33. KM says:

    @charon:

    My emphasis, and I do not think so. “Nasty Woman” is trending on twitter, and “Bad Hombre” has been noticed also.

    The shirts are selling like hotcakes as well as some other merch. A quite a few cubes had printouts this morning informing passerbys a Nasty Woman was in residence and that she was un-caffeinated so beware. Another fav had Janet Jackson with the song lyrics. My team asked me where mine was – I told them the shirt won’t be here till Tues. 🙂

    Hillary *really* should try and get the rights to play Nasty at a stop soon just to tweak the living daylights out of Trump. I predict epic bitchface ahead…..

  34. charon says:
  35. bookdragon says:

    @charon: LOL! Thank you for sharing that.

  36. CSK says:

    Ha! I was right! Even if he loses by 20-30 percentage points, he’ll still claim the election was rigged against him.

    And the idiots in his cult will believe it. They already do.

  37. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Indeed. Her name ain’t “Baby,” it’s Hillary.

    Madame President, if you’re nasty.

  38. Blue Galangal says:

    @wr: “No, you’re the puppet!”

    Not so much 3rd grade as… 4-5 years old.