From our American friend: The Second Presidential Debate: The View From Athens

John Gilmore writes:

The slave drivers at Blazing Cat Fur have asked me to weigh in on the second presidential debate despite my taking an astutely timed absence from the USA for a little more than a week. I’ve just now watched the video of Sunday night’s debate. I write from Athens and as a Trump supporter. That said, I was completely amazed at the performance given by Trump. Hillary didn’t fail so much as Trump turned in a star performance. Under the pressures he faced, one was left marveling.

The media firestorm in the US that greeted the leaked lewd sexual comments of Trump is difficult to describe. Some part of me thought at the time (again, those remarks broke while I was in Athens) that the French must be laughing at us, given their vaunted sophistication vis-a-vis the rest of the world in all things sexual mores. Yet this would be underestimating the daunting task that Trump faced before Sunday evening’s debate. More than one elected republican official ostentatiously and spinelessly publicly declared they could no longer support him, their own preservation being foremost in doing so. Democrats never, under any circumstances, abandon their own. Republicans are all too quick to do so given the least adverse media coverage, which will never support them in the best of circumstances. It’s a lesson they never learn and the lack of genuine progress on behalf of real issues of concern to their base is the proof. That base fled them wholesale when a genuine article, with all his defects, offered himself as as a choice, a choice who promised to fight for them for a change and not the Republican donor base.

Yet nothing has moved as fast as this American presidential cycle. As I write a friend texted me that Trump was killing it in Pennsylvania and that 7,000 were outside the event, unable to get in. Most everything the media party has done lately has been to dispirit Trump supporters, something that once more doesn’t seem to be working. This is not nothing.

The speed of the cycle has proven to be the bane of GOPe (shorthand for GOP establishment) once again because Trump’s remarkable, wholly unexpected, debate performance has reset this race yet again. Being accused of being a low life, Trump trotted out real live victims of serial predator Bill Clinton and had them in the audience to boot. No other republican would have had the stones to do this, to actually fight back. But it wasn’t just cheap theatrics: Trump telegraphed in the most demonstrable terms possible that, to quote President Obama, if they bring a knife to the fight, he brings a gun.

In the proverbial one fell swoop, Trump has reset the race, resolutely weathering the sex comments and focusing on the real issues of concern to most voters. Hillary’s performance was canned and pro forma, everything that political consultants advise. Except that didn’t work against Trump in the republican primaries and there’s every reason to believe in this crucial moment that it won’t again.

One well known pollster said Trump had lost all of one point in the polls. Today the media party released a small avalanche of polls showing Trump down nationally anywhere from 6 to 14 points. I haven’t had the time, nor the inclination frankly (Athens does call, after all) to parse them in order to see the sampling bias each or all of them may contain. But in mid-October national polls are increasingly less relevant given that the states & their electors in the Electoral College decides the presidency. Additionally, those polls seem to have been taken after the firestorm of coverage over Trump’s comments from 11 years ago and not after the second debate.

Voters are not in a forgiving mood and it’s no stretch to say that the republicans who abandoned Trump after the leaked comments but before his debate did themselves no favor. The media driven narrative between those two events was classically clueless: would voters not support the GOP in down ballot races because of the perceived Trump “implosion?” The reverse is actually the case, of course, meaning that Trump’s supporters will turn out for him and not for quislings who bailed in a difficult moment. I’m mocked frequently on Twitter by Minnesota republicans (whom I’ve aptly characterized as the dumbest in the nation) for saying this election amounts to a realignment. But it does because the Republican Party in America will never be the same again, Trump winning or losing.

So where are we? We’re in a race to the finish, to be cliche. Before Sunday’s debate the conventional wisdom was that the race was over. Today, even from afar, it most decidedly is not. One thing not mentioned is the projected turnout, the turnout model as pollsters put it. There’s every reason to believe that such will favor Trump over Hillary. This has to happen, of course, on a state by state basis. But in the media silence about it lies a tale to be told.

There’s a final debate to be held October 19th. One can either believe or not believe that such debates are dispositive but with both party elites and the media against Trump, he had to turn in an acceptable performance. That he did far, far more than that tells me, Brexit-like, that there may well be a surprise in the November offing.

Reality check: As an Irish Catholic granny and would-be Victorian, I am merely puzzled by the “jock talk” melodrama and the catfits the establishment Republicans are throwing over it.

Lots of guys are naturally randy, but so? Discreetly clubbing them with a horseshoe or a brick is a recommended approach to such situations, as they are hardly in a position to complain.

But what am I to make of a wife who abets her husband’s affairs and attempts to ruin the reputations of his victims? There is a difference between natural and unnatural vice. Or anyway, there used to be.

See also: What’s Really Happening With The US Election – That Legacy Media Won’t Tell You


The Debate Debate