Confession time. I have watched none of the debates so far in this election season. I didn’t watch any of the Republican debates because the only centrist running (that would be John Kasich) wasn’t in them. The Republicans, as I referenced in this piece about Hillary Clinton (?), have decided they don’t need the 75% of the nation that isn’t conservative/religious fundamentalist/whackadoodle and excluded anyone who might have been electable in the general election from the main debate stage.
I guess they just want to lose this year.
I didn’t watch the Democratic debates either. Not because I wasn’t interested in the candidates, but because I knew that Hillary Clinton was going to be the nominee. It was a close thing in the end, but since she was the favored Democrat running (the only one at the end) I knew she would ultimately end up with the nomination one way or the other.
Party politics are pretty predictable if you know what the rules of the game are.
I did watch the Democratic convention. I started to pay attention to the Republican convention, but as soon as the rules committee reported that they were not going to advance any real rules changes, I knew that the Orange Hate-Monkey (Donald Drumpf) The Birther-in-Chief, the Real Estate Developer, had bought the leadership of the convention and he wasn’t going to be facing a floor fight for the soul of the GOP. That is, if the Republican party actually has a soul. It doesn’t appear that they do; as in they don’t appear to agree on what their core principles really are and it is pretty hard to defend them if you can’t name them.
All that aside, I watched the entirety of the Democratic convention. Watched the hardcore Berners exit stage left as predicted. Watched Barack Obama give yet another excellent speech. Watched Bill Clinton spend a half-hour apologizing to his wife on national television in the best way possible. Watched Hillary Clinton accept the nomination, making US history when she did so.
I left that experiencing thinking I might be able to watch the general election debates, and I might have stuck to my guns if the Libertarians had managed to leverage their candidate onto the stage. It briefly looked like he might pull that off, but a series of gaffs, plus the rigging of the system mention repeatedly in this blogs history, kept them from reaching the potential number of voters. The hinted at support from Mitt Romney never surfaced and the funds that were supposedly going to go to finance the LP’s candidates this year doesn’t appear to be making any difference either.
It is just the two of them, Hillary and the Orange Hate-Monkey on the stage together. Talk about politics making strange bedfellows.
Why can’t I watch? Here’s why; they let the Real Estate Developer talk, and he’s been demonstrated to be lying 80% of the time. It is actually detrimental to my own mental health to consume that much untruth in so short a time. Besides, while I support Hillary Clinton in the most lukewarm fashion possible, I really don’t like to listen to her talk either.
Can’t laugh at the Orange Hate-Monkey, the threat to civilization is too serious. Can’t take him seriously because he is such a bad, bad liar. As someone who grew up surrounded by used car salesmen, as someone who has worked directly for more than one Real Estate Developer, I’m pretty well versed in the art of the deal. I can’t watch, and I can’t listen.
But I can watch and/or listen to others dissect the event. Nate Silver and Fivethirtyeight are the only resource I’m willing to lend credence to in this election as far as predictions go. The rest of it is just so much guessing that I really don’t have time to waste trying to understand what they are telling me.
Unfortunately Nate Silver and Fivethirtyeight don’t make themselves easily quotable or particularly shareable, so you’ll just have to click one of those two links to read what they had to say. NPR on the other hand has a lot to say on the subject. More, in fact, than I really wish they would say. They aren’t nearly hard enough on the Orange Hate-Monkey for my taste, but then I guess they have to pretend he isn’t a certifiable nutjob. Here are the two podcasts dealing with the debate (one I will link again later)
Ms. Clinton did well for the few short minutes that I did watch; and the Real Estate Developer looked like a petulant child being told to do something he didn’t want to, which made Ms. Clinton look downright presidential by comparison. I may peek between my fingers again for the next debate. Doubtful but possible.