Muftic: The second presidential debate was epic, alright, epic nasty
The second presidential debate Sunday, October 9 was an epic one, alright, epically nasty. The nation and the world to which this was broadcast was on edge of their seats to see if Donald Trump would contritely apologize for the leaked audio and video of his boasting of his conquests of groping and sexually predatory behavior toward women. He did not. Instead he paraded before the world and placed in the debate audience some of the women with whom Bill Clinton had had affairs. Monica Lewinsky was not among the attendees. He justified his own behavior because Bill Clinton had spoken or done worse.
That Trump stopped the run for the exit door of evangelical and “establishment” Republicans withdrawing their endorsement is yet to be seen. What he did, however, was claim that he “has not groped” and he called the damning audios just “locker room” talk and awkwardly tried to switch the topic to fighting Isis. He can only hope no “groped” women come forward.
It is a good thing that Bill Clinton is not running for president this go around. His actions over 20 years ago were worthy of the consequences. The candidate, however, is Hillary Clinton and, if anything, she showed remarkable composure, and exuded dignity in the face of Trump’s attempt to rattle her or to paint her with the sins of her husband. In the run up to the debate he had tried to make the point that Hillary was the “enabler” because she showed no respect for women because she dared to try to destroy the reputation of “the other women”. That must be some male fantasy to expect the victim, the wronged wife, to take a kind and caring approach to the “other women” because of some feminist ideology. Given the public focus on all of the tawdriness, I imagine not many women would have had the self-control to invoke Michelle Obama’s advice, “when they go low, we go high” as Hillary Clinton did Sunday night. It is her steeliness and self control under such provocations that stand in contrast to tweet happy Trump who reacts whenever his manhood or ego is stroked or offended that makes him particularly unsuited to make rational policy decisions regarding war and peace.
Donald Trump made some eyebrow raising comments, especially regarding his differences with his own running mate Mike Pence over policies toward Russia and Syria. Like a wannabe tin pot dictator, he said he would appoint a prosecutor to put Hillary in jail for her alleged lies on the email server because he disagreed with the FBI director’s findings that she had no intent to relay material marked classified or had lied to him. In the post-debate spin room, the shock of Trump advocating to abuse legal and due process to get rid of an opponent overshadowed his stock allegations of Clinton lies.
Trump also openly admitted he had used a tax loophole to avoid paying federal personal income taxes for years. She responded by advocating an expanded version of the original Buffett Rule that would impose a 30 percent income tax on income over $1 million with her proposed additional surtaxes on the five million dollar earners.
She then scored unrebutted points that Trump’s tax proposals would give enormous tax cuts to the wealthy and raise taxes on some in the middle class.
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