Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Trump Wins On The Issues--And On Character

If you want the Establishment take on the debate last night you can try Karl Rove's predictable article at the WSJ. I'm with those who have noted the way Trump smoked Biden out on the issues, separating Biden repeatedly from the Bernie Bros. on issue after issue: from the Green New Deal to Medicare for all to defunding the police. For my money, here are excerpts from two smart takes on Trump's performance. The first is from Stanley Kurtz's Actually, The Debate Was About Issues--a response to the usual knuckleheads who thought it was about a lack of "civility":

I thought [the debate] was a highly entertaining exchange that helpfully spotlighted the candidates’ differences on issues.

For my money, the law-and-order segment was the decisive exchange of the night. The differences between the candidates were stark. I think Trump was likely the big winner there, ... The section on climate change versus the economy was also clarifying. ... the very different ways in which the candidates strike the balance on environment-versus-economy came through. I think that’s another winner for Trump.

... I saw a president who was sharp as a tack, well able to call up interactions he’d had with world leaders and his policy people in order to make his points. Trump was tough to the point of rudeness, as usual, but had an energy, acuity, and strength that Biden lacked. When it comes to policy details, Trump can be frustratingly thin. But when it comes to the big-picture issues and options, the president comes through. He never explained in detail why Critical Race Theory is so pernicious, for example. But I’m betting that enough voters have knowledge of these insidious indoctrination sessions and the troubling culture they’ve spawned to take the president’s point. What other politician would have had the guts to tackle this issue? A lot of voters will appreciate that.


I think this debate has reminded the relatively few voters who may have only recently tuned in to this election how profoundly the candidates differ on the direction our country should take.

That observation about Trump having the "guts" to tackle sensitive issues directly apparently resonated with Spanish speaking viewers of the Left wing Telemundo--in a Twitter poll they saw Trump as winning by a 2-1 margin. As others have observed, Trump "dominated". He was the Alpha to Biden's Beta. If you prefer a Beta as president, maybe you didn't like that. However, a lot of people, on reflection, can see the need for an Alpha as president. A Beta president would be sure to plunge the country into this type of turmoil:



There is ZERO intention for Biden to be POTUS for 4 years. He might remain in office if he wins, but a "Biden Administration" will be run by whoever is named Chief of Staff.  It will be run like a Parlimentary Gov't.  The Executive will effectively be the Legis. leadership.

Quote Tweet

Frank G


Replying to @shipwreckedcrew

Interesting perspective!  Trump had Biden on the ropes the whole debate.   How is there not a serious conversation being had on Biden's (mental) ability to lead a country for four years?

12:14 PM · Sep 30, 2020·

Actually, I wonder whether SWC is underestimating Jill Biden's raw ambition. As long as Biden would hold the actual office, she would have a huge role. Can you say 'chaos'?

The second smart take is by Chris Buskirk, who addresses the character issue--What do the American people want in a leader: Trump is waging asymmetric warfare – and it’s working. This excerpt is from the concluding portion:

Trauma mining to score points in a debate is a desperately cynical piece of political theatre. But, I suppose they calculate that if it works you get to be president. ... It was pure Biden: scripted, saccharine, playing by the rules of a game that has long since ended. ...

And just so, Trump. He looked at his podium and quietly, respectfully, asked, which son Biden was talking about. Of course, he knew, but he played the game forcing Biden to respond, Beau. “Oh, I don’t know him. I know Hunter.”

And then listed the accusations against Hunter: ... It was as sweet a move as I’ve ever seen. The knockout punch was coming with all the force Joe Biden could muster and Trump simply sidestepped it and counterpunched.

It was an impressive display of natural animal cunning. And it could make the difference in the election. Trump was agile, aggressive, and vigorous, taking what he wanted when he wanted it. This offends some people’s sensibilities. He’s transgressive. He doesn’t play according to the rules. But for others, that’s part of the appeal.

It’s no secret that the ruling class in America despises the country class. If you’re one of those people who don’t live in coastal cities and subscribe to the same worldview as the elite aspirants hoping for a job at a billionaire-backed NGO or an internship that might lead to a job at McKinsey then you’re a deplorable, a CHUD, and definitely racist and whatever bad things are happening to you, your family, and your inland town are your just deserts.

One of Trump’s main functions and biggest appeals is that he exposes the occupational elites that are credentialed but not expert in much of anything. Everyone knows it. Imposter syndrome is rampant. And Trump preys on their insecurities which is what provokes such outrageous reactions from his enemies. But a lot of Americans who live in interior America and get unglamorous jobs at slowly declining wages, raise their families want nothing more than to be left alone by the credentialed but unaccomplished strivers who hate them. For those people, Trump is their champion.

They probably don’t aspire to be like Trump, but they like the fact that he exposes the bankruptcy of the undeserving ruling class. And for them, Trump’s debate tonight was a tour de force. It was aggressive, it was funny, he said the quiet part out loud, he broke the rules in public that are normally only broken in private. That won him the election in 2016. It won him the debate last night. And it might just get him re-elected in November.

The fact that so many pundits on the Left are calling for an end to the Trump - Biden debates is a pretty clear indication that they can see that it will only get worse.


  1. I think Trump edged out Biden by a bit, and as is often the case, people will not understand how he did this until long after the dust has settled. Echoing some of the points, Trump poked at the fractures in the Democrat coalition that nobody in the press wants to acknowledge. The rising radical left has pulled the party into positions that are just not popular. Trump controlled the stage with Biden much like the radical fringe is controlling Biden. Biden's extremely weak response to the question on why he hasn't called for any Democrat controlled cities or states to reign in the violence "I'm not in a position of power" was completely unacceptable answer for someone who seeks the office of president.

    While the Telemundo twitter poll result was surprising and probably should await confirmation, one possible explanation is the role law and order played in this debate. The Telemundo audience is largely recent immigrants or only one generation removed. They can spot a color revolution a mile away, and a weak and feckless Biden is one way such a revolution can succeed.

    1. Buskirk’s article, linked in Mark’s post, is briilliant. A Must Read.

  2. "one possible explanation is the role law and order played...."
    Good, but the Telemundo twitter crowd is but one of the key audiences.
    I wanted to see DJT hammer harder, on Law & Order vs. the DS, so that today, the Righty blogoshere, Fox etc. would consider those references to be The Story of the nite.

    And, it would've helped, if the audience had gotten fair warning about Wallace.
    Just before the debate, Fox should've had a "draw" (e.g. Pence?) on, to warn viewers, of Wallace's brutal record as a DS shill.

    1. Telemundo is where the Hispanics hang out… A far bigger segment of the voters than the blacks.

  3. re: Buskirk
    As far as the elites are concerned we Deplorables are the Visigoths and Trump is our Alaric and I say, "Let the sacking begin."

  4. And Biden is naturally their Honorious.

  5. I love your analysis of the debate. Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)
    A few minutes ago I had written a long, detailed explanation of how much I enjoyed it and why, as well as adding my complaints about Wallace, moderators, and ABCNBCCBS, et al., but in previewing and trying to publish the comment I lost it.
    So will just stay anonymous and send my appreciation. :)

  6. About the cynical trauma bit from Biden, weaving Beau and his death into the debate, I was glad to see PDJT use it to segue into Hunter and give him a mile-wide opening to drive a ton of Hunter misdeeds into the debate. Biden opened the door. Trump plowed in, up to and including the $3.5 million from the wealthy Russian woman. That is what an agile mind is all about.

    1. That was something to watch. Biden really wanted to tie Beau's military service into an attack on the lie that Trump ridiculed vets as suckers, Those of us who follow politics know of this hoax perpetrated by the Atlantic and Biden campaign. But if you do not follow the news, all you heard was the sketch behind Hunter Biden making millions. It was a masterpiece performance by Trump

    2. But, at another point, Biden pushed the lie that Trump ridiculed vets as suckers, and DJT didn't refute it.


  7. My 2¢.

    It is well known…and should be a surprise to nobody…certainly none of us here…that Trump is an overwhelming human presence and that his powerful approach…which sometimes (often?) trespasses on decorum…bothers some people. But I can’t conclude that Trump simply being the Trump who won in 2016 doing the same thing in 2020 cost him any meaningful votes.

    What he did do, I think, is reinforce existing and compelling doubts about Biden. To me, Biden looked terrible. Compared to Trump (who is chronologically nearly his age) he is a pale, soft, stumbling, old, dying man.

    Trump methodically destroyed Biden. He reinforced doubts about Biden’s commitment to the Bernie wing. Trump forced Biden to hypocritically disavow the Green New Deal. Trump connected Biden to Antifa reinforcing doubts among Dem moderates. Trump raised questions about Hunter Biden’s corruption, for which Biden had no answer. Trump cornered Biden into obfuscating that he would try to end the Senate filibuster rule and pack the Supreme Court. Trump challenged Biden’s intelligence and his honesty (you don’t know where you went to college and you lied about graduating last in your class). Biden had no answers.

    So, the ‘debate’ may not have been the most uplifting exercise in American democracy, but I conclude it well served Trump’s purposes at this stage of the game.

    1. I would add that, while it may not have been uplifting, it was very necessary given the unholy alliance behind Biden--the Dem party in alliance with the MSM united in attempting to hide the travesty of foisting a "pale, soft, stumbling, old, dying man" on the American people as a serious candidate for the presidency of the US.

    2. We passed the point of uplifting and civil debates long, long ago. It's near impossible to have a civil debate when the other side is putting poison in your food with secret coups and rigged elections.

  8. Trump was laying seeds that will mature after the debate, in many subjects the media have censored coverage of.

  9. Someone in the White House needs to swap "The Art of the Deal" with "The Art of Warfare" for the next 30 days, because Biden is the Amazing Stupendous Gaffe-O-Matic and Trump needs to NOT interfere when his opponent is about to tangle himself up and fall on his face.

    Just switch the dust covers.