Bye Bye, Bad Hombre

This is the part of the debate that’s already getting all the attention.

“I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now, I will look at it at the time,” Trump said during the final presidential debate. “What I’ve seen, what I’ve seen is so bad. First of all, the media is so dishonest and so corrupt. And the pile-on is so amazing.”

He then said the media has “poisoned the minds of voters.”

“If you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote,” he continued, claiming to cite a “Pew report.” “Millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote.”

Pressed by moderator Chris Wallace on not accepting “one of the prides of this country… the peaceful transition of power,” Trump said of his acceptance of the election results: “I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense, okay?”

Hillary Clinton called Trump’s response “horrifying.”

There are in fact a lot of dead people who are still on the nation’s registration votes. There often is a time lag between a death and a name’s removal from the registration rolls. However, instances in which dead people actually vote are quite rare.

The Trump surrogates already are trying to walk this back –  he just meant that he would contest the election if there is evidence of fraud, they are saying. But that’s not what he said. Not just the Trump camp but every Republican in national office is going to be pushed to defend or reject what Trump said tonight. A lot of them are likely going to use this as an opportunity to sever ties to what promises to be a loss of epic proportions.

See also Josh Marshall’s postmortem.


32 thoughts on “Bye Bye, Bad Hombre

  1. I like the Mark Cuban theory (on Slate, not linking) that Trump is deliberately trying to help the conspiracy mongers (Breitbart, Infowars) in becoming the new Republican propaganda channels. And he’s too dim to know he’s being played.

  2. In an occasional paranoid flight of ideas, it seems to me that we are vulnerable to a dirty trick of mythical proportions in the form of cyber terrorism. It might not be necessary to actually hack the voting machines, but, merely leave the plausible appearance that they have been hacked, and we’re off to the races. I suppose we can be totally assured that Brietbart and Infowars will occupy themselves assiduously with the amplification of any anomalies that they “discover” or arrive at by conjecture. Putin’s laughlines will have deepened observably in the next few years.

    In another regard, Trump comes across to me as an anxious grandparent, constantly worrying and sounding the alarm over the shadows that flit across his imagination. He taps into the free floating anxieties of a sizable portion of our countrymen and he anchors them to familiar moorings. I think this actually comes as a relief to his followers. When the mind is occupied with a problem the brain uses a lot of energy, its circuits are busy with activity. When a solution is found, instead of the proverbial lightbulb switching on, the opposite happens, the lights go out, the level of activity falls, and there is a feeling of relief, probably in the form of some biochemical release.

    I think this is what happens when he confirms and validates the paranoid visions of his followers, despite pumping them up, he offers them opportunity to turn off their minds. The affirmation of their beliefs, and the solutions to their problems come from a strong and powerful father figure, who comes from the otherworldly realm of TV celebrities, and a sea of like minded people around them. The oppressive power drain of worry and uncertainty is reversed and their problems seem solved as the power of the crowd flows through them. It must be like a powerful drug induced experience.

  3. I think what’s important to see about this debate, is even under some clear coaching, Trump is just a huge, inconsistent, bullshitter on just about every topic. He’s the guy at the bar you find a way to get away from once you realize how stupid and weird the conversation’s getting. To be fair, the man contained himself a little better, but that ain’t a reason to vote for him.

    The other big thing, is Hillary never backed away from any of the progressive things she’s discussed during the campaign at this debate or the first two. She didn’t back away from reproductive choice, the college plan she and Bernie developed, infrastructure investment, basically anything. Some might not be happy about her support of Garland for the Supreme Court, but I think her real point was to note how unusual and terrible Republicans have been in not going through the process. In my opinion, she was excellent and deserves credit for shining here, and in the other debates, through the ugly fog Trump created.

  4. Softened him up with a bevy of well timed and placed jabs, and when he dropped his guard, and made that horrible wild swing, she delivered the KO punch.  Her superior conditioning and training came through in the later rounds, as her opponent became more desperate and erratic.  To say he was outclassed and did not belong in the ring in the first place is a given.  Some will still contest the results.  Some will claim the fight was rigged.  Others will have to explain to them why rope a dope alone does not win. They will need to be shown how she beat him to the punch over and over again.  He lacks skill, discipline, and training.  Having a bit of a glass jaw does not help either, you have to be able to take a punch to compete at this level. 

  5. Donald t-RUMP has even thinner skin than Chuck “The Bayonne Bleeder” Wepner has!

    What a shitstorm last night!

    I quit when the tangerine turd said “bigly” in consecutive sentences. I don’t care how often you say “bigly,” it still ain’t a word!

  6. Well, surely we all remember the election of 1824, when Andrew Jackson won the popular vote and had the most electoral votes of any of the four candidates in the field but not a majority. This threw the election into the House of Representatives. Henry Clay had been one of the candidates and was also Speaker of the House. John Quincy Adams had finished second behind Jackson. But Adams won the majority of the states in the House. And three days after this happened, he appointed Clay as Secretary of State. Jackson was outraged at what he called the “corrupt bargain.” He felt that he had been cheated out of the presidency. He had annihilated the Creek Indians and the Seminoles and he deserved better than what he got.

    Surely this Trump thing is no big deal, is it?

  7. ” sir, that you will absolutely accept the result of this election?

    Trump: I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now. I’ll look at it at the time.”

    There’s the clip for your “get out the vote” political ad. Let’s all all decisively win enough states that there are no questions.

  8. My diagnosis that Trump is a big bag of shit holds true?

    I agree with Charles Pierce’s assessment that Trump has already internalized his defeat. Now all that’s left for Trump is to try and pull the house down with him.. It’s the same mentality of guys who can’t handle rejection and end up killing their spouse or girlfriend.
    “If I can’t have you..nobody can”

  9. ” When the mind is occupied with a problem the brain uses a lot of energy, its circuits are busy with activity. When a solution is found, instead of the proverbial lightbulb switching on, the opposite happens, the lights go out, the level of activity falls, and there is a feeling of relief, probably in the form of some biochemical release.”

    Thanks, Goatherd. That helps explain the mental processes of conspiracy theorists, in a way I hadn’t heretofore been able to put into words.

  10. That wasn’t Charles Pierce’s was Andrew Sullivan’s. But in any event it’s still accurate.

  11. Wow. Just Wow.

    Wallace delivered questions within a right-wing frame. No surprise there. Clinton never flinched or tried to rephrase Wallace. She was progressive in her responses to gun control and abortion rights. I expected her coaches would have trained her to stay away from specific references to ‘Roe’ but she went there directly. Likewise the gun control argument – she didn’t try to tap dance around it. Supreme Court – same thing.

    When you are up by more than two scores and it’s the 4th quarter – you don’t put the ball in the air. You just keep the ball safely on the ground and grind away at the clock. Clinton didn’t follow that strategy – clearly prepared to the point of wonkisah and she charged directly ahead with strong progressive position statements when the experts probably suggested she can tone her delivery WAY down. I’m not suggesting I trust Clinton to represent my positions whenever corporate profits would suffer by implementing progressive policy. It’s still Clinton.

    If the goal was to help down-ballot, it might. Republicans might not show up to vote if they perceive that they have no shot at the White House. Taking the Senate does not look likely unless we get lucky. Anyone who wants to bet that dems take the House, do call me. I need the money.

    We will take the USSS and the effect on state-by-state efforts to suppress the vote and prevent abortion are going to to backfire. Red states have introduced the opportunity for the USSC to rule on state rights re abortion and voter suppression. The results are going to allow a liberal court to set strict limits. Getting stuff before the court was fun foe wingnuts when Scalia was there and that’s about to change – bigly

  12. It’s good to see that Keith is feeling it. I can identify with his sense of outrage but I’m more bewildered on how such a sick individual as Trump ever got so far on the national stage. My tendency is to look at the American people and wonder what share of responsibility we have in all this. It seemed pretty clear to me that right from the start the serious flaws in Trump’s character were out there for all to see. And yet he managed to get to the point where he is. Something is wrong in America.

  13. Frank Herbert wrote ‘Dune’ and there’s a line from the end where the hero declares,

    “The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.”

    Is this the allure of Trump? Do his followers perceive that they are a minority – whose priorities will be thwarted by democracy – whose last hope to advance their agenda, as their numbers and strength decline, is by threatening total destruction unless the majority will submit?

    I this the message in the refusal to accept the results of the election?

  14. “bewildered on how such a sick individual as Trump ever got so far on the national stage.”

    I think Maya nailed it on earlier occasions. Republicans are scared bunnies. Ask them about the top problems facing America and they’ll come up with nonsensical answers like immigration, ISIS, and crime– basically trivial stuff as far as it relates to life in the continental United States. So, they cling to guns, religion, and con artists.

    They’ll claim climate change is a hoax while up to their knees in sea water; re-elect cretins who are bought and paid for by the oil companies; and believe the Democrats are in league with Big Foot in a plot to steal our women.

  15. An idea.

    Assumption 1 : Trump looses the election – bigly.

    Assumption 2 : He refuses to concede the election.

    Can we arrange to do a PSA – first an into that the situation is ungentlemanly and unprecedented. Second That a few leaders would like to make a bipartisan announcement.

    Cut to a succession of leaders in 2 second clips – Hillory Clinton – Obama – Ryan – Romney – McCain – Pelosi – JEB – Liz Warren – Lindsey Graham – George Will – Rachel Maddow – Glenn Beck – Bill Clinton – Michelle Obama – Colin Powell – Condoleezza Rice – Alicia Machado – Khizr Khan – Bill Maher – Steven Colbert – Ted Cruz – DWS – John Kasich –
    WHo have I forgotten???

    Anyway – I’d have a machine-gun iteration of each contributor delivering the same two words : “You’re Fired!”

  16. When Hair t-RUMP talks about a “rigged” election,” substitute an “n” for the “r,” and you’ll get the real conservative meaning!!!

  17. Doug… Knowing what you know about Trump do you think assumption #2 should be fact #2. He’s not going to be humble nor gracious when it’s time to concede. He’s boxed himself in so firmly he can’t maneuver out without losing face and destroying the repuglican party. If it’s between humility and acceptance or creating deeper divisions we already know which way he will go.

  18. t-RUMP got booed by a room full of Priest’s at last nights Al Smith dinner, where both candidates are supposed to tell self-deperacatory jokes.

  19. Has Ailes bailed on Trump? Not even the pussy grabbing thing they have in common could keep them together?

  20. I watched some of Trump’s Al Smith dinner speech. (H/t to CUND) It was godawful, and he was obviously reading from cards. (He doesn’t need a teleprompter like some people.) In referring to some booing, he bungled the subjective and objective case. I know the jokes about his claim to “have the best words” is shopworn. But, his language is remarkably inadequate. I am not a grammar nazi, but, I wonder what his actual vocabulary is. I bet if someone could suffer through a word inventory of his speeches and debates, he would hardly be MENSA material. But, he might just be playing the crowd.

    A loss of faith in democracy is an important step towards fascism. Then a leader has to come who reflects the concerns and fears of the masses. They become convinced that their best chances are with a stern father figure who will punish the troublemakers and set things right again. He has to project an image of wisdom and resolve. This might not be so difficult, because if people hear their own confusion and fear bounced back at them, they will take it for wisdom. When their anger reflects back at them, they take it as resolve. If Trump were just a little better at this deception and if he had managed to keep his past hidden, Trump might be building “an empire that would last a thousand years.”

    I know this is an admission that would be best kept private, but, I actually think this is funny:

  21. The problem with this (Trump not promising to accept the results) is that it’s actually much more likely that Republicans will rig the results in several states. Now that the Democrats & MSM have made such big deal about Trump, they/we won’t be able to make a peep, even if the fix is blatant.

  22. I read an article a few weeks back that had interviewed a linguist who said that he had studied Trump’s speeches and other comments; and, he determined that Trump speaks at a fourth grade level. I did not find that to be surprising at all. I don’t have any links, sorry. I actually received a robocall from Donald J. Trump (that was from caller ID) today. I answered and hungup immediately. I refuse to waste my time on such a misogynist.

  23. Bonnie, some more resilient soul might compare and contrast the rhetorical styles of Trump and Palin. She has a much better vocabulary; she uses a lot more words, and I think she actually knows what some of them mean. But, she always gives me the impression of someone who hasn’t read any of the course material, and is counting on her skill at faking it. Donald seems to vacillate between bluster and hand wringing. My sense of things is not reliable because I find their styles so abrasive that find it easier to avoid them if possible. Life is short after all.

    (If, through some nightmarish sequence of events, I found myself across a dinner table from either one of these people, unable to leave, I would very likely stab myself in the neck with the salad fork, rather than suffer through to the main course.)

    In our district, we have the Richard Burr vs Deborah Ross contest. So far, the anti-Ross ad that comes up on line the most often concerns a veteran who got into trouble because of flying an American flag. (I don’t know the details, but, I suspect some sort of code or home owners’ agreement violation.) The ad states that she refused to help him, but is in favor of allowing people to burn the flag. “She doesn’t represent our values.” Burr is represents our values because he voted to repeal Obamacare. In short, “there is no ‘there,’ there.” I think the frogs that we had to dissect in junior high school biology class could see how bogus this is, even after their long bath in formaldehyde. But, the voters of our district are another matter.

  24. Thanks, Swami!

    It’s what I always thought he was since I first heard of him in ’81.

    And the best thing will be that he will (hopefully) be declared a big LOSER by the political worle!

    He’ll be shunned in NY and DC by the really rich and powerful.
    No more charity gala’s in those towns. Who would invite a skin-flint to a charity event?He’s burnt and crispy toast.

    No more parties either – who wants a boorish serial sociopathic liar, and LOSER, who might pop a couple of Tic-tacs, stick his tongue down some woman’s throat, and grab her pussy, at any social event!?!?! Especially not if HE tries to throw it.

    He’ll be stuck either alone with his boorish family in t-RUMP Tower, or in some mansion in Florida.
    And that’s if – IF! – Melania and his kids stick with him. When they find out they’re shunned, too, and nowhere near as rich as daddy said, they may flee from him, as well!

    The Scots won’t want him, so I doubt he’ll be able to move there.

    In about 5 yrs, he’ll either be in some segment of “Where are they now,” on TV, or, if the shit that’s come out in his campaign about theft, and using his charity as a “Mad-money” slush fund, and t-RUMP (FUCK) U., he might be in a cell next to Bernie Madoff.

    It couldn’t happen to a…
    Well, you get the idea.

  25. I’m in moderation again!

    One last thing to add to my comment above:
    t-RUMP’s greatest punishment, will be when, after the election, the media, the rich and famous, and ordinary people – except his millions of despicable deplorable’s – ignore him.

    Can you imagine his outrage when, if he decides not to concede – but Hillary has far more than 270 electoral votes – no one gives a flying pussy-grab about it?

  26. ‘All of these liars will be sued’: Trump on claims of sexual misconduct

    There’s that classic bullying from Trump again. You speak the truth and he threatens to destroy you financially by having to defend your truth with money.. He said in his bullying comment that he has unlimited resources..
    He’s a sick fucking individual…and I’ll be more than glad to see him get is ass kicked in this election. He should spend some of his money on mental health counseling…because he really needs it.

  27. Some of the women he plans to sue are being represented by Gloria Allred. I think she may have unlimited resources, too. Should prove to be interesting.

  28. The thing about the Al Smith dinner – which, BTW, isn’t attended by priests, but by wealthy folks who want to be seen as big shots (in the good sense) helping a Catholic charity) – wasn’t so much that Trump flubbed some jokes.

    Some were kind of cute, like the one where it’s *so* unfair, Michelle Obama gives a speech, and gets lauded, but Melania gives THE SAME SPEECH, and gets hounded! That was good – and even better, he called out “it wasn’t her fault” which is also nice. He’s making an “egg on our face” joke, but also standing up and defending his wife without being an ass about it.

    But the kinds of jokes that flubbed:
    Hillary Clinton was so corrupt she got kicked off the Watergate commission. WTF? How is that funny?

    Then he went to how she’s got a public and private position, which is how she sits there pretending she doesn’t hate Catholics.

    I was raised Catholic. There was a time I thought I’d always be a devout Catholic. I’m not. But I think if I was a devout Catholic, and someone pulled that kind of crap, I’d be ready to punch him in the nose, *even if I thought Hillary Clinton hated Catholics*. The setting is a Catholic charity event – even if she hates Catholics, she has by golly come out to support them in a noble venture. Maybe a good Catholic will go hammer-and-tongs with Clinton the very next day on policy matters – but not while she’s a dinner guest.

    Hillary got in some digs of her own, and I felt most of them were fair, but some were deeply barbed. Thing is, they were all (in my opinion) fair. I mean, it’s *nasty* to say Trump looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a “four”. But we know he judges women (including children) on how attractive they are (“in ten years, I’ll be dating her”). So, yeah, barbed, nasty, but… damn, man, if I were that much a womanizer, I hope I’d have to grace to insist to a reporter or two later that “she’s a six, easy, and maybe an 8 in a bathing suit, but more importantly, she *stands* for a perfect 10!” even if I was gritting my teeth over it.

    The good news is, Trump gets his jokes from the same place he gets his ideas, and ordinary people don’t think HRC hates Catholics, or that she’s “so corrupt she got kicked off the Watergate commission”. The scary news is, he still (per 538) has a chance of winning, in spite of that.

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