This is not normal.
You need to keep telling yourself that, my fellow Americans (and citizens of the world, wherever you’re reading this).
This is not normal in American politics. It is not normal for a Presidential candidate of a major party, during a Presidential debate 30 days before the election, to threaten to jail the other candidate.
It is not normal in American politics for a Presidential candidate of a major party to bring three women that the candidate’s spouse allegedly sexually assaulted years ago, to the debate, seat them in the front row, and use them completely as political props.
It is not normal in American politics for a Presidential candidate of a major party to so blatantly lie about the sexual assaults HE himself bragged about committing, on videotape with another idiot, and then say that’s locker room talk (I was a newspaper sportswriter for 14 years, and have been in hundreds of locker rooms. That is NOT how men in locker rooms talk.)
This is all just so f’ed up. It is not normal. It will never be normal. My head hurt and brain got scrambled so many times watching that debate Sunday night.
What I saw on the stage, and what I think millions of people saw, is a raving, incoherent madman who basically admits he’d be a dictator, has no clue about how American government works, and is a sexual criminal.
And he’s going to get 35 percent of the vote.
So many thoughts on what was, again, an extraordinarily unusual debate (You can find my thoughts, and some of the great thoughts of others I RT’ed, on my Twitter feed here.):
— First, and I cannot emphasize this enough: Trump said if he wins he will appoint a special prosecutor and make sure Hillary is put in jail. This is how dictatorships work. This is what Putin, and Castro, and so many others have done. This cannot be allowed to slip by as “just talk.”
— Did you notice how skulking and scary Trump seemed pacing around the room, lurking behind Hillary? As one Tweeter put it: “Can someone tell the Secret Service there’s a scary, crazy man behind Hillary Clinton?”
— I thought Hillary did very well Sunday night not sinking to Trump’s level, mostly. She did get down in the gutter with him a couple of times, but I thought she did a terrific job reminding everyone of ALL the groups Trump has insulted, that it’s not just women he discussed so disgustingly on that 2005 videotape.
— She wasn’t perfect; her Abe Lincoln public/private answer was strange, and she didn’t do a great job near the end when asked to praise something about Trump. But she let him ramble and ramble and that was all she needed to do.
— I thought Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, the moderators, got much stronger as the debate went on, actually challenging both candidates to answer the questions. Trump’s whining about time and “it’s 3 vs. 1” was just so juvenile. My 2-year-old would’ve been more mature up there.
— And now, a comedic interlude from noted scholar Scott Baio:
— Also, and this too will get lost because 10 other crazy things happened: Trump said he and VP nominee Mike Pence “haven’t spoken” about Russia’s involvement in Syria but he disagrees with Pence’s position.
This is such an important issue, Syria, Trump talks about it all the time, and yet he hasn’t discussed it with his VP.
— How offensive is it that Trump, when talking about African-Americans, only talks about the inner city? Does every black person in America live in an inner-city? I mean, has the man SEEN the TV show “Blackish?”
— Line of the night, from my friend Dave: “Trump makes George W. Bush look like Stephen Hawking.”
— It was so hilarious to see SO many GOP politicians pull hamstrings over the weekend, running as far away from Trump as they could after the old tape became public. So, let me get this straight: Insulting veterans, Muslims, Mexicans, Miss Universe winners, disabled reporters and others was fine by you, but talking about women this way, THAT was too much for you?
Give me a goddamn break.
— She’s winning 35-39 states, and more than 350 electoral votes, and the Democrats take back the Senate. I’ve said this since March. Nothing Sunday night changes any of it. If anything, I’m being conservative in my estimates of the Hillary landslide.
**Next up today, the creative genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda hosted “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, and as expected he was awesome.
Though he looks radically different from how he appeared in “Hamilton,” his opening song was pretty fantastic.
The “Weehawken” line was my favorite…
**Finally today, a few thoughts on the NFL, Week 5. All I’m going to say about the Jets is that they stink in all facets of the game, they’re now 1-4, and the season is gone, and I’m really happy the New York Rangers hockey and Duke basketball seasons start real soon. As my beloved father texted during the 4th quarter of Sunday’s pathetic loss to the Steelers, “it’s actually physically painful to watch them.”
“The 2016 Jets! It’s physically painful to watch us!”
— Moving on, kind of a crushing loss for the previously-undefeated Eagles. Falling down big at Detroit, rallying back, then losing in the final two minutes, as Carson Wentz throws his first interception of his career. NFC East is going to be very interesting this year.
— Also, if you show up to the Cleveland Browns practice facility today, they’ll give you a uniform and make you the starting quarterback next week. Man oh man, that franchise is just cursed beyond belief. Every QB they throw out there gets hurt.
— Anyone expect the Minnesota Vikings to be this damn good, without Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson? They just manhandled the pretty good Texans on Sunday.