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Trump & Clinton Were Very Convincing...on How Lousy the Other One Is

Is there a positive case for Hillary? Are there Trump policies that could turn this mother around? Of course not.

Let's pretend for a moment that the biggest headlines out of Sunday night's presidential debate had nothing to do with sexual assault allegations, or non-handshakes, or threats to jail political opponents—but instead were about policy. In that bizarre alternative universe, what could we actually learn?

That the two exhausted political parties have nothing much left to offer except critiques about how lousy the other one is.

Hosted by Matt Welch; camera and editing by Jim Epstein.

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  • The Grinch||

    Agreed on the other stuff but the threat to jail Hillary was a good point. He didn't threaten to have her tossed in the clink over her views on tax policy but on identifiable criminal acts that any of us would have been at least charged with long ago.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yeah it's not like he's threatening to jail the opposition dictator-style. She did get away with breaking laws that would see you or me incarcerated.

  • Deven||

    Yup. The faux outrage over this comment is because that is all the liberal media has. It was absolutely brilliant. It would have been better coming from a person with a bit more moral authority than Trump, of course, but it was a devastating blow.

  • T.F.G.||

    I predict it will not be a devastating blow or turn around Trump's sinking campaign, but it did feed Trump's core supporters who wanted him to do stuff like this last debate.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I agree. Stuff like this is why he has supporters.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    My vote goes to the party that shamelessly panders by promising to give me free stuff and to make me feel safe. That's all I want.

  • bacon-magic||

    You'll be safe in Warty's dungeon shelter.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    All I want out of these debates is for each of them to do as much damage to the other as possible.

  • That's A Bingo!||

    In that bizarre alternative universe, what could we actually learn?

    What is Aleppo?

  • BenG||

    A common pet name between lepers.

  • kinnath||

    Our only hope is for Hillary to drive a steak-knife through Donald's chest at the next debate and then spend the rest of her years in solitary confinement.

  • Kevin Sorbos Manful Locks||

    Ruled a suicide.

  • ||

    Having Timmy Kaine as potus is not exactly what I would call hope. Although admittedly, he's less awful than Hillary by default of not being Hillary.

  • kinnath||

    I image that Timmy will pardon her on day one.

  • ||

    She'd never be prosecuted to begin with. I think that's already been proven.

  • kinnath||

    Ford pardoned Nixon before Nixon was indicted.

  • JWatts||

    True, but the expectation was that Nixon would be indicted.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Obama would pardon Hillary immediately upon notice of impending indictment. Hillary being indicted or being pardoned would end her political aspirations forever.

    That is why the FBI Director did what he did and never recommended to the DOJ that she be indicted. Obama would have a stain like Gerald Ford. Saved Obama and Hillary at the same time.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm hearing a lot of talk about Trump threatening to jail his political opponents and how that's somehow indicative of some kind of authoritarian tendencies.

    Trump wasn't threatening to put Hillary in jail for running against him. Trump was threatening to put Hillary in jail for being a crook.

    When I say that I'll never accept Hillary as my President because she took money from foreign governments while she was the Secretary of State, in part, I'm talking about the rule of law. We are only morally obligated to follow the law insofar as our leaders respect the law and basic propriety themselves.

    If Hillary Clinton openly flaunted the law and basic propriety in myriad ways, then if Donald Trump promises to have her prosecuted for breaking the law, then he isn't acting like an authoritarian dictator--at all.

    He's upholding the rule of law, which is the opposite of acting like a dictator. Dictators break the law and get away with it because they think they're above the rule of law. Hillary Clinton is acting like a dictator.

  • ||

    We are only morally obligated to follow the law insofar as our leaders respect the law and basic propriety themselves

    You're pretty much good then to just do whatever the fuck you want to. Although I suspect it's going to be a lot harder for you to steal trillions of dollars from the public.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm still bound by my own ethics regardless of whether I'm morally obligated to obey the law.

    If the law disappeared tomorrow, no one would have anything to fear from me. I'm still obligated to respect everyone's rights.

    But as the Declaration of Independence makes abundantly clear, our rights may be inalienable but our obligations to the government are not.

    It isn't just me, either. Legitimacy is a serious issue in every country. Comparative politics typically measures legitimacy as a function of police per capita required to maintain law and order. Some countries need a tremendously large police presence to maintain order because the government has little legitimacy.

    I don't want to see the United States become like that. If Hillary Clinton becomes President despite all of her crooked behavior, I think that's where we're headed. This country's problems won't be solved without strong leadership, and that means legitimacy.

    Trump may be massively unpopular, but he'd still be legitimate.

    With Hillary Clinton, the nation of laws concept goes out the window.

  • ||

    "I'm still bound by my own ethics"

    This is a problem that our so called 'leaders' do not have.

  • ||

    "Trump may be massively unpopular, but he'd still be legitimate"

    My take on it is that Trump would probably do some good things and some bad things because he would probably be a populist in most ways.

    Hillary, otoh, will be awful in every way imaginable. More taxes, more regulations, more cronyism, more corruption, more war, etc, etc, etc...

  • BoTardESQue||

    It's crazy... We have a warmongering neo-con as the Democrat candidate, a Democratic populist for the Republican candidate, and a squishy Republican as the Libertarian candidate.

  • Free Society||

    in part, I'm talking about the rule of law. We are only morally obligated to follow the law insofar as our leaders respect the law and basic propriety themselves.

    Well, at least those laws regarding the those leader's "legitimacy" in exercising government authority or political security in her position of power. I don't think you'd justify going on a raping spree because Hilary Clinton disregards the rule of law.

  • T.F.G.||

    I disagree that we are morally obligated to follow the law at all.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think you are.

    I think you're morally bound to appear under subpoena, and I think you're morally bound to testify truthfully under oath.

    I think you're morally bound to appear in court when you're sued.

    I think you're generally morally bound to obey the law.

    You're not morally bound to follow the law when the law is immoral, but that's a different case.

  • T.F.G.||

    The law is incidental in all cases. You are morally bound in those circumstances simply because doing them is what's moral.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Right, so moral people will do those things--even once the moral obligation to do so is removed.

    What about all the immoral people? What about the people who wouldn't do those things at all except for the fear of law enforcement and the preponderance of society's morality being invested in the law?

    Like I said, in countries all over the world, comparative legitimacy can be measured by how many police per capita it takes to maintain law and order. As the government becomes increasingly illegitimate, the more police are necessary to maintain law and order. Above a certain level, you get anarchy or in richer countries, you get all manner of authoritarianism.

    We are not immune! Legitimacy sometimes breaks down completely in this country. It happened in 1776. It happened during the Civil War. It happened during reconstruction. It happened during the LA riots. It happened in Ferguson.

    When legitimacy breaks down, there are consequences, and I suspect the consequences of putting a criminal like Hillary into the White House will be profound. I'll still keep respecting the rights of everyone around me anyway, but a whole lot of other people won't. And it doesn't need to be as wild as a riot. It may be that people's respect for other's rights that the law legitimately protects will start to erode a faster rate than we've seen before.

  • Ken Shultz||

    See my comment above.

    "I'm still bound by my own ethics regardless of whether I'm morally obligated to obey the law.

    If the law disappeared tomorrow, no one would have anything to fear from me. I'm still obligated to respect everyone's rights.

  • ||

    Say what you want about Trump, but at least he obeys the law. He might treat it like a Bangkok hooker, bit he hires good lawyers that keep him on the right side of the lawn.

  • ||

    Of the line..... Fuck this spell check. Fuck you android

  • kinnath||

    I like lawn better.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Off the lawn is better.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That is a really good point. You can accuse Trump of shady stuff but it legal or the women don't press charges.

    Hillary gets corrupt bureaucrats to make excuses for her actions and the are illegal and/or just horrible choices.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Here's my (utterly baseless) hope: this election, in combination with the failure of our current President to heal us with his cocoa magic, will disabuse the American people of any delusions regarding the nature of politicians.

    Every politician, from President to dogcatcher, is a venal, lying, self-aggrandizing crook who should be pelted with rotting fruits and vegetables (not to mention flaming bags of dog shit) any time he or she ventures forth. No politician deserves a level of respect or admiration as great as that one would feel for somebody who pumps out septic tanks for a living.

  • ||

    will disabuse the American people of any delusions regarding the nature of politicians

    Only it won't. More than half of Americans cannot be cured of that, they just want more of your stuff.

  • ||

    Hey hey hey.....Taking care of septic tanks is a noble profession unless you like living up to your neck in shit

  • ||

    But the rest,. Fuck every god damn one of them. With an extra heap of scorn on judges.

  • PurityDiluting||

    I'm holding out hope for New Mexico. In previous nasty, divisive race,
    Jesse Ventura was at 25% in the polls a few days before he was elected

    "While Mr. Humphrey, the state Attorney General who is the son and namesake of the former Vice President, had been way ahead in the polls, that is no longer the case. Two polls in the last two weeks have shown Mr. Humphrey running neck and neck with Mr. Coleman, the Mayor of St. Paul -- each favored by a little more than a third of those surveyed.

    And in a strikingly strong performance by a third-party candidate, Jesse Ventura, a former professional wrestler, action film star and talk radio host who is running on the Reform Party ticket, was the favorite of nearly a quarter of the voters.

    Frankly, we the analysts and the media, we regarded Ventura as a cute curiosity before the recent poll numbers.
    Experts still think it is unlikely that Mr. Ventura can win"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Will Wilkinson is hyperventilating about that "You'd be in jail," comment over at NYT. Because he haz a sad that America will soon be a place where political opponents are rounded up and caged. He's packing for Venezuela as we speak, I assume.

  • geo1113||

    Don't they already round them up. Dinesh D'Souza comes to mind.

  • ||

    NYT has the worst commentariat on the planet. Reading the comments there will actually lower your IQ by double digits.

  • ||

    He's upholding the rule of law, which is the opposite of acting like a dictator. Dictators break the law and get away with it because they think they're above the rule of law. Hillary Clinton is acting like a dictator.

    This.

    Hillary Clinton will not survive for 8 years. She will die or civil war. And should I be wrong, even if she does survive 8 years, this country will be unrecognizable from its former glory.

  • ||

    SCOTUS is one seat away from being a rubber stamp for whatever a leftist president want to do.

  • ||

    Meh. Kelo, raich, Burwell, Gonzales vs township of castle Rock. SCOTUS already is a fucking rubber stamp. I really hope I get to meet some of them cocksuckers in hell.

  • geo1113||

    I was thinking the same thing, Tmgb. With Roberts making statements about yielding to the legislature, we are there.

  • R C Dean||

    Oh, it can always get worse.

    Hillary has outright promised to repeal the 1A and 2A. She just needs another Justice who will sign off on more incremental incursions on them, and their tattered shreds will be history.

  • SugarFree||

    I think the best case scenario is that Hillary wins in a landslide, dies while celebrating, and falls onto to Tim Kaine and crushes him to death.

  • ||

    That be cool. Put on YouTube In a 10 hour loop, over and over.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Meanwhile, the Bloombergousie are gleefully reporting Trump's in the shitter. Hillary mopped the floor with him. He's doomed.

  • ||

    I don't get it. I thought Hillary won the first debate, yet a lot of people said Trump win. Last night trump mopped the floor with her ass and it is being said the cunt won.

    These are such insane times.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If you believe the media Hillary won both times.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Hillary wins in a landslide, dies while celebrating, and falls onto to Tim Kaine and crushes him to death.

    And Bill has her rushed to the White House, where a crack team of taxidermists places her in a lifelike pose behind her desk in the Oval Office, whereupon Bill guides the country to eight fabulous years of peace and prosperity.

  • geo1113||

    Considering he did nothing in his 8 years, it may be the best option.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I don't get it.

    People see exactly what they want/expect to see. The people who run around braying about how Hillary is the Single Most Qualified Candidate in the history of candidates will never, ever recognize her weakness or admit it to themselves.

    Same with Trumpalos, btw.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    People listen to Trump say, with no elaboration, "I'll make America great again," and applaud happily.

    Hillary makes some completely empty promise about "creating jobs" and her acolytes nod and murmur about how wise and beneficent she is.

    I makes me weary.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    Goddamn, Clinton's an awful politician.

  • bacon-magic||

    The fly won. *starts digging hole for doomsday shelter

  • dantheserene||

    There is no statement both positive and true that can be made on behalf of either duopoly candidate beyond the fact that neither is the other. Shit slinging is all the partisans have.

  • BenG||

    Here I was, reading the headline and thinking the debate went well. I saw a period and though it was all over, two periods later the headline turned my whole world upside down.

    Congrats Jim and Matt on the most artful reversal of this election.

  • ||

    Good. I'm glad he said it. As pointed out, any other person or lower level civil servant would have been charged and perhaps jailed for what she did.

    And I'm also glad he stuck it to the interventionist moderators which, to my mind, doesn't get enough scrutiny for.

    It's not a 'one-off' thing. It's pretty bleeping blatant at this point. From Crowley to Holt and now those two last night. VERY disappointed in Cooper in particular.

  • lukashik||

    While coming to education, the technology has brought many advantages to students and as well as teachers. showbox For example, students can do their homework or assignment with ease and can complete it faster by using the Internet.

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