Writing the Lead on the Way to the Ballpark: Debate Edition

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Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He is on Twitter, blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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  1. Avatar George Turner
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    says:

    Reversible dynamics with closed time-like curves and freedom of choice (PDF)

    Published 21 September 2020

    Abstract
    The theory of general relativity predicts the existence of closed time-like curves (CTCs), which theoretically would allow an observer to travel back in time and interact with their past self. This raises the question of whether this could create a grandfather paradox, in which the observer interacts in such a way to prevent their own time travel. Previous research has proposed a framework for deterministic, reversible, dynamics compatible with non-trivial time travel, where observers in distinct regions of spacetime can perform arbitrary local operations with no contradiction arising. However, only scenarios with up to three regions have been fully characterised, revealing only one type of process where the observers can verify to both be in the past and future of each other. Here we extend this characterisation to an arbitrary number of regions and find that there exist several inequivalent processes that can only arise due to nontrivial time travel. This supports the view that complex dynamics is possible in the presence of CTCs, compatible with free choice of local operations and free of inconsistencies.

    Hrm….Report

  2. Avatar Aaron David
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    says:

    The Trump opening speech has been leaked:

    Report

  3. Avatar Aaron David
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    says:

    And here is the test for Bidens speech

    Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    Omnishambles is the polite British term. Complete shit show is the term used on CNN or so I’ve read.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    “Rusty” (yes this his name) an Independent from Erie PA: “theeee…uhhh….president should be a gentleman! Donald Trump was not, not a gentleman, and so on, and Chris Wallace he needs to….ya know, do better. In ’16 I uhh….didn’t vote! I could not support Hillary but I’m sorry now, Trump is not American, does not support or … understand anything about America….how can he…….how the HELL can he lead us!?”Report

  6. Avatar Aaron David
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    Wow. What a S*** Show.

    And the winner is… Semi intelligent border collie.Report

  7. Avatar Damon
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    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8787715/Presidential-debate-begins-clash-Supreme-Court-Joe-Biden-goes-against-Donald-Trump.html

    Someone I find interesting to read said about this: “When the media attempts to minimize the event rather than attack the more right-wing individual, that tells you everything you need to know about what happened. ”

    It’s gonna be a fun couple of months.Report

  8. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Elect a clown, expect a circus.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
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    Here’s the takes I had yesterday without seeing a *SINGLE* clip from the debate:

    And here’s something that RTod pointed out:

    Report

    • Avatar Aaron David
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      Which one of those two was better at picking the last presidential election?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
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        Hey, the tea leaves I’m looking at involve nothing more than seeing who is winning/who won based on nothing more than was said after the game.

        But if RTod said that Clinton won after the last debate and he says that Biden won after this one, we don’t know anything that we didn’t know then.

        But if Adams said Trump won, handily, last time and, this time, he’s saying “it was a tie”, then we know that either Trump did worse than last time, Biden did better than Clinton, or some combination of the two.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck
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          My comment about the first Clinton-Trump debate was that people expected Trump to literally shit himself and then start drawing pictures with the shit, and that if he didn’t do that then he Performed Above Expectations.

          The thing about this time is that we would want to see better than Barely Functional from a sitting President.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David
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          says:

          Well, the consensus I am getting is that, outside the cheerleaders, it was a tie.

          In the race to the bottom.Report

          • Avatar George Turner
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            says:

            What I’m wondering is whether the CBS and CNN polls will convince Biden (or whoever makes his decisions for him) to go ahead with the next debate because he’s “winning them”, whereas the “s*** show” narrative would provide Democrats with a great excuse to cancel them.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy
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            I’m trying to remember the three things Jaybird always said could arise from a candidate’s actions. I think they were…
            1.) Motivate your side
            2.) Discourage your side
            3.) Motivate the other side

            Or something like that?

            Anyway, thinking through that lens, I have to think last night was good for Biden. Whether you call it a win for Biden or a tie or a shitshow, all of that works for Biden because he (currently) has a lead and has it in the right places.

            Because even if you were discouraged by Biden’s performance (I was), I was motivated moreso by Trump’s. What Biden needs to avoid is taking an L in the eye of possible or likely Biden supporters. If he can do that… basically, if he can run out the clock… then I think the debates are good or at best neutral for him. And I’m not sure Trump can get out of his own way to turn them into a Biden L (again, in the eyes of possible or likely Biden supporters).

            Biden is on very different ground than Clinton. Clinton didn’t realize that Trump was aiming to shoot the moon and never stepped in to stop him and maybe didn’t even have the cards she needed to do so had she realized it was happening. Biden has a better hand and he (or his campaign) seem aware of what Trump is doing.

            I’m not convinced there are many undecideds out there. I think this election is largely about turnout. Whether it is because they like Biden or loathe Trump, I think there is more energy behind Biden than there was Clinton.

            For Trump to win — or at least improve his odds — I think he has to win a debate. I’m not sure he can do that. Even if Biden stumbles — and there is a good chance he does — can Trump stand tall? I’m doubtful.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird
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              That’s close. It’s more that I argued that there were 3 Groups Of Voters and any given set of things needed to be seen in context to them.

              1. The people who would vote for your guy no matter what (if they voted).
              2. The people who would vote for the other guy no matter what (if they voted).
              3. The people who could go either way, depending.

              And the most important things you could do was to persuade your #1s to get out there and vote for you, persuade the #2s that it didn’t matter and depress them and get them to stay home that day, and for the #3s to swing your way (or, if not swing your way, forget to vote that day).

              And I looked at stuff through the lens of those three groups of voters.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy
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                Got it.

                I suppose I’m wondering how many people there are in group #3.

                I imagine Trump did well with his own #1s. And Trump did poorly with his own #2s (e.g., he motivated likely Biden voters to vote for Biden).

                I think Biden was probably neutral with his own #1s. And I don’t imagine did much for his own #2s.

                Maybe I’m misreading it but it seems that Trump has a set of supporters at this point that isn’t going to change much one way or another. And Biden has a larger pool of potential supporters but how much support he gets — and where he gets it — has greater variance.

                Biden needs to avoid upsetting his own peeps (which I think he can manage) and just let Trump keep scaring potential Biden voters into becoming definite Biden voters. Can Trump not be a scary disaster? I’m not sure.

                What’s your read?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                Yeah, the weird dynamic that I see with Biden is that his #1s are opaque to me. Like, I don’t see anybody arguing *FOR* Biden. Biden is awesome. His tax plan is going to help kickstart (whatever). His Covid plan is going to make us safe while opening more restaurants. His plan to take us to Mars is inspiring!

                Nope, it’s all Trump Trump Trump.

                WHICH MAY BE ENOUGH!

                But stuff like the elevator lady at the NYT? Her reasons for liking Biden have never really migrated to places where people argue about politics.

                Which is weird. Even Clinton had reasons to vote *FOR* her in addition to against Trump Trump Trump. Biden is just Trump Trump Trump. (I mean, *I* could put together a reason to vote *FOR* Biden rather than merely voting against Trump. But it’s not about what I can do. It’s about what gets through.)

                Maybe that’s enough.

                As for the #3s, I look through the various comments here there and everywhere and see reasons to prefer the strongman blustery jerk to the genteel elder statesman. I see reasons to prefer the genteel elder statesman to the strongman blustery jerk… and most of them never occur to me (see, for example, the comments about the people who generally aren’t into politics).

                I have *NO* idea how to read this election.

                None. I could see either winning and neither would be a surprise.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
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                One of the issues hopefully rattling around in people’s brains is that Biden is merely a placeholder for Kamala Harris, who will start actions to have him removed under the 25th Amendment the first time he has an obvious “senior moment.” If the drugs keep him reasonably coherent and she loses patience, she’ll just shove him down a flight of stairs.

                So your choices are blustery jerk #1 or blustery jerk #2.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy
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                I just wonder how many real #3s there are. I think the more important groups are the folks who are definitely on a side but undecided as to whether they’ll vote or not. Like I said, I think there is more of those folks on Biden’s side. But more folks on Biden’s side in general.

                I don’t think Trump will overperform… I’m not sure he can. But Biden can underperform and if he does, it may be enough.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                Can you imagine someone who would change their vote from Trump to Biden or from Biden to Trump based on something happening in the next month?

                Trump legalizes pot by Executive Order!
                Biden argues for getting the US out of Afghanistan!
                Trump gets a nosebleed in the middle of the next debate!
                Biden has a seizure on television!

                If you can imagine someone who would change their mind based on something one of the candidates does well or does poorly…

                Well, you’ve just imagined a #3.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy
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                Are there some 3s out there? Sure.

                Are there enough to tip the election? I don’t think so.

                Of the scenarios listed, I only see the last one being a “game changer.”

                Now, Biden being super ‘meh’ over the next month and Trump being mostly ‘meh’ over the next month may leave enough Biden voters on the couch to change things.

                Will either of those happen? Both? Probably not. But not impossible. Trump in the 20-25% chance range seems about right. Flip a coin twice… get tails both times.

                I could see a major Biden gaffe or a real skeleton coming out of the closet also keeping people on the couch.

                But Biden currently has big leads in key states. I don’t think there’s enough 3s out there to change big leads all by themselves.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                The only thing I can say is “did you think that last time?” and “how different does this time feel?”

                I’m not going to say that you’re wrong if you have this or that answer to those questions. Heck, if you have answers at all to those questions, I’d say that you’re probably standing on a solid position.

                It’s the positions that don’t see those questions as worth having an answer to that I’d say are probably missing something.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy
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                Interesting how persistent you are pursuing a particular angle for someone who claims they can’t read this election.

                I’ll take the bait:
                1. I didn’t pay close attention to such details last time so can’t compare.
                2. Using hindsight, this time feels different for a number of reasons, including Biden learning from Clinton’s mistakes, Trump being an incumbent, Trump’s favorability remaining remarkably consistent among his supporters, the polls being dramatically different in particular areas, and my general sense of each candidate.

                I’m not calling it a slam dunk or a guarantee. My *sense* is there are few true undecideds in terms of folks who could vote for any candidate but many who are undecided on IF they’ll vote, with more of the latter on Biden’s side.

                Trump’s folks will come out. Will enough of Biden’s? I think so.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                There are dozens of angles. Angles that are robust enough to withstand prodding are superior to angles that require not being prodded. (Why would someone be prodding angles anyway? What possible motivation would an angle prodder have? Probably nefarious!)

                Well, I remember we got into a discussion about Clinton’s collapse back in 2016. There were a number of people (not necessarily on our site itself) who were downplaying Clinton’s collapse and arguing that it was nothing (as well as people who were arguing that the only reasons that someone would be concerned about the collapse were nefarious reasons).

                But, anyway, my take is *NOT* that I need answers to the questions. My take is that there were a lot of people who got a lot of things wrong about the last election last time and, without a “here’s what I got wrong last time and why” moment, I have no reason to believe that any blind spots have been addressed.

                I mean, if Sam Wang came out and said “I am 99.999% sure that Biden will win”, I’d want to see a “here’s why I ate a bug last time” essay.

                Wouldn’t you?

                I mean, Biden could *EASILY* win in November. Look at the polls!

                But I say that as someone who thought that Trump had a shot at winning last time. Not as someone who thought that if Trump got 240 EVs, I’d eat a bug.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                Like, I just saw this and this is exactly where I am:

                Report

              • Avatar Kazzy
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                says:

                Weird… it’s almost like… that’s exactly what I’ve been saying.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy
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                You hold yourself as the only person smart enough to prod. Or prod properly. I answered your questions before you even asked them. Stop the holier than though crap. Someone who thinks Biden will likely win isn’t automatically defaulting to an unexamined opinion

                Read what I wrote. Not what you want me to have written.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                Kazzy, I don’t think that I’m the only person smart enough to prod. I don’t even think that it’s particularly indicative of much of any kind of intelligence at all to prod, really.

                I *DO* think that prodding resistance is indicative of a particular kind of willful ignorance (and willful ignorance is, in several senses, dumb).

                I don’t think that someone who thinks Biden will likely win is automatically defaulting to an unexamined opinion… but we have a lot of folks on the board who had quite a few opinions about Clinton winning back in 2016 while, at the same time, having opinions about those who thought that Trump had a good chance of winning back in 2016 who have never really communicated what, or if, they got anything wrong.

                And it’s in this light that I find myself all kinds of skeptical about assertions that Biden has it in the bag.

                Report

              • Avatar Kazzy
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                says:

                Why do you keep pointing Sam Wang out to me? I don’t even know who Sam Wang is.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                Sam Wang is a hardcore mathy guy who had a handful of really good runs where he took the polls and figured out how to properly weigh them and came exceptionally close for some elections. He’s got a number of big fans online.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck
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                “(Why would someone be prodding angles anyway? What possible motivation would an angle prodder have? Probably nefarious!)”

                Indeed, someone prodding at angles is probably some vile bastard who wants to convince the #2s to stay home, as you said earlier.

                Which response fits into something I’ve noticed about modern political discourse, is that nobody ever says anymore “I didn’t do that thing”, and increasingly they don’t even argue that the thing in question was wrong; rather, it’s “you’re a bastard for finding out I did that thing, and how dare you go around telling everyone about it”.

                Kazzy says “You hold yourself as the only person smart enough to prod.” Kazzy, Jaybird isn’t prodding, he’s asking why the response to prodding is “you horrible awful person, how dare you prod, how dare you prod, don’t you understand that there are bigger issues here than whether someone did something bad?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy
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                Not sure who your criticism is aimed at. I have no issue with my thinking being probed. I have an issue with someone who turns a conversation into what seems like an interrogation in pursuit of a particular outcome.

                I answerer Jay’s questions repeatedly and he never answerer mine. No thanks.

                As for Wang, don’t know anything about him so not focused there. Digging deeper, I see the betting markets giving implied odds close to 60/40 in favor of Biden. Not sure what informs that directly but I tend to think when people have money on the line (as opposed to nothing on the line), we should give that real weight.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
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                (I answered the questions?)Report

  10. Avatar North
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    The debate was, inarguably, a shit show. While I think we can all agree that no one won Chris Wallace is undoubtedly the looser as Trump basically beclowned him in the first half hour.

    Trumps performance is, oddly, a hard one to puzzle out. I, personally, thought his constant flailing and interrupting was off-putting and obnoxious. It’s equally possibly that right wingers somehow thought it was commanding. How low info swing voters took it is anyone’s guess.

    Biden’s performance was, adequate. Trump and the right lowered the bar massively for Biden by claiming he’d be unable to speak and barely able to stand and Biden cleared that easily. He did go low with several insults and, again, I’m uncertain about the impact. The left will no doubt thrill to it and the right will no doubt think it’s unconscionable.
    Over all Trump seems to have succeeded in preventing either candidate from winning with what was functionally a signal jamming performance. But Trump is running significantly behind in both national and state level polls. He can’t win with just a tie. He needed to change the paradigm and I don’t see how this performance is going to move voters towards him.

    Biden succeeded in meeting or exceeding the extremely low expectations set for him but I don’t think his reaction to Trumps flak cannon style is going to win him any points with soft republicans or swing voters which would turn his winning position into a route.

    Still, when one candidate is ahead by 5-10 points and the other is trailing a “no impact” debate is a technical win for the leading candidate and that candidate is Biden.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David
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      Report

      • Avatar North
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        I’m a big fan of Sully but he is very well known for clutching his pearls and taking to the fainting couch after debates. He thought the world was ending after Obama’s first debate with Romney in ’12.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine
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          Which is generally considered a significant win by Romney.

          The fact that debate ‘wins’ and election wins are tenuously or not at all related is an interesting thing in itself. I have some obvious speculations on why, but obvious is obvious.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels
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            Spinning debates as “wins” or “losses” allows pundits and barstool commenters to engage in wishcasting and sockpuppetry, in which they sit alone in their room and write out their most cringe-worthy fantasies of what The People really are thinking.Report

          • Avatar North
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            If the criteria is making the debate go in the direction he set out to send it in, then yes, Trump won the debate and steered it into an incoherent babbling mess. Sully is right that Trump dominated the debate and derailed it.

            Did that help him at all in his quest to get re-elected? I doubt it very strongly. Trump didn’t need a train wreck debate- he needed a terrible debate for Biden and a strong one for him. Trashing the debate like this left him, at best, in the same position he was in prior to the debate and that position is a losing one.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine
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              I personally agree that Trump pushed his negatives higher than he moved any positives… so, my pundit take would be a net loss.

              Still, my normie wife (see below) surprised me with going past the text to the subtext and I can’t help but wonder how the subtext plays.Report

              • Avatar North
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                Fair enough, I won’t ever claim to be able to guess what zeitgeist will distill out of this mess of pottage and filter down to the less engaged electorate at large. If I could credibly make such a claim I could make a fortune in politics.Report

      • Avatar CJColucci
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        “Dominating,” “brutal,” “painful.” Sully may think so, and his word choice is — well — interesting, but he has always had, shall we say, minority tastes in several areas, so I wouldn’t put much stock in it.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw
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          Also the poster will go out of his away to avoid admitting that a Democratic candidate or politician did something correct. It might cause him to self-combust.

          It turns out Sully is a minority view here.Report

    • Avatar InMD
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      says:

      This is similar to my take away and why if forced to make a conclusion I would call it a draw. Biden can claim a certain victory by not appearing completely catatonic. Trump can claim a certain victory by derailing the proceedings to the point it’s hard to say he lost, since no one really won.

      It goes without saying that this was terrible for our country and society. Maybe it will even make the short list for historians recounting the episodes of decadence preceding our fall.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine
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        My wife, running it through her small town red-team woman’s network filter, surprised me by saying she could see where a chunk of these women would ignore the circus theatrics and give points to Trump for just saying things that need saying.

        My takeaway talking with her was that the ‘debate’ as a format is done… this was a facebook livestream. And Trump memed better.Report

        • Avatar CJColucci
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          says:

          I’ve always been suspicious of people who say they support X because X “says what he thinks” or “says things that need saying,” because what X is saying is, almost invariably, what the speaker thinks or would like to say but lacks the nerve. Very few people genuinely admire a person simply because the person says what he thinks. They admire a person for saying what they think.Report

          • Avatar CJColucci
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            says:

            What happened to the italic function?Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine
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            Yes? I think that’s exactly what she’s saying.

            Now, I’ve always been suspicious of people saying that ‘other’ people support X for saying Y, without asking those other people if they support Y or ABC.

            So the exchanges she mentioned were around Coronavirus approaches, Schools, Pro-life issues and Amy Coney Barret, and Packing the court and such. I expect rather than these ABC’s we’ll be told that its all about supporting Proud Boys (or some such ‘other’ thing y’all would rather it be about). I can tell you with metaphysical certainty that no one in my wife’s circle has any idea what a Proud Boy is, and suggesting these women are racist (esp those married to Black men, Latinos, South Asians, and those raising children of many races other than white) is the reason why they see the Left as a threat.

            I acknowledge that this may be unpersuasive to some of you, but on the matter of Race, this exchange hits with more force than a thousand innuendos

            Chris Wallace: (32:21)
            This month, your administration directed federal agencies to end racial sensitivity training that addresses white privilege or critical race theory. Why did you decide to do that, to end racial sensitivity training? And do you believe that there is systemic racism in this country, sir?

            President Donald J. Trump: (32:42)
            I ended it because it’s racist. I ended it because a lot of people were complaining that they were asked to do things that were absolutely insane. That it a radical revolution that was taking place in our military, in our schools, all over the place. And you know it, and so does everybody else.

            Now, I think Trump is a moron and this is hardly dispositive… but sayin what people are thinking? Yep. The Left’s critical race theories are racist and bad.

            And you know it, and so does everybody else.

            So these ladies are suspicious about your suspicions.Report

            • Avatar Philip H
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              well from inside the federal apparatus – we still don’t know what trainings he’s talking about.

              But that’s a side show. The ladies may be suspicious of our suspicions, but they aren’t helping allay our suspicions.

              They may not be racist in their individual actions, but they keep voting for politicians who are all about keeping and or expanding the systems of racism in the US. And they usually can’t really articulate why.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
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                says:

                “And they usually can’t really articulate why.”

                Listen to the ladies: I ended it because it’s racist.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
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                says:

                They need to actually be in the trainings. Its the farthest thing from racist. In the sense that it creates equal footing for every race in the room. Its probably uncomfortable as hell for a lot of folks who never questioned anything. But something being uncomfortable doesn’t make it racist.Report

              • Avatar InMD
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                says:

                ‘probably uncomfortable as hell for a lot of folks who never questioned anything. But something being uncomfortable doesn’t make it racist.’

                You are so close to understanding why this is an issue for so many people. All you need to do is try to see it from the perspective of someone who rejects the premises it’s based on. Not in a ‘I support the KKK way,’ just in a ‘judging by the content of their character is the right thing to do’ way. Then try to imagine feeling like your job depends on rejecting that.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
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                I live amongst a whole lot of people who want so desparately to see themselves that way. Problem for them is they keep voting for people who implement laws and policies and regulations that perpetuate the system they claim to not want. If you support keeping the system in place you don’t in fact judge someone by the content of their character, especially when you vote to support such deeply abhorrent politicians who are bereft of any positive moral traits.

                Same thing with protests – so many of these allegedly good people were so inflamed by Kaepernick taking a knee. Now they even more torqued off because people are taking to the streets – blocking the streets. But that’s the protestors fault you see, not the people who are perpetuating the system.

                Sorry but I’ve lost patience with people who don’t want to be uncomfortable, and purposely conflate that with racism so they don’t have to own their sh!t.Report

              • Avatar InMD
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                Lots of people are hypocrites Philip. Maybe even all of us. Why anyone thinks making a hypocrite of themselves, or selling shame, irrationality, and racial essentialism of a degree hard to distinguish from pure racism (for a reasonable fee of course) makes that better is beyond me. But whatever.

                At a more fundamental level all you’re saying here is that there is no possible way anyone could ever have a legitimate reason for having a different opinion than you. And that’s you’re right to think that way. But don’t be so surprised when not everyone capitulates to your recieved wisdom, and some even push back.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
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                says:

                Stop reading your priors into my writing. Its beneath you.

                Sure they have legitimate reasons for their differing opinions. Thats not what I’m decrying. I saying their legitimate reasons don’t match their actions. Claiming you aren’t racist, and seeing these trainings you have never taken as racist while voting to support the politicians who seek to preserve that racist system opens your actions to judgement. As it should. Which is what I’m doing. Because i am deep blue in a red state where I am afforded even less then that level of respect. Many of these people with legitimate reasons also see my politics as treason. Why should I be more sympathetic to that?Report

              • Avatar InMD
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                says:

                I’m not projecting my priors into anything. The same junk they sell to the feds is for sale in the private sector. I know what it is.

                And I do sympathize with your situation. All I’m suggesting is that you consider whether indoctrination is really the right means to the ends of a more open minded, tolerant country.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck
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                says:

                “Stop reading your priors into my writing,” says the guy who assumes there’s absolutely no reason someone might vote for Trump other than stone racism and that anyone who says differently is lying through their teeth.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
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                What Phillip is describing is what MLK noted about white liberals, or what contemporary people note about white liberals.

                That even as people proudly describe themselves as racially sensitive and say all the right things and use the right words, they still embrace a structure that is racist.

                Think about our discussions about zoning and density, and how even-the-liberals prefer policies that have the end result of blocking people of color from their white neighborhoods.

                Or how even-the-liberals in big cities always seem to elect mayors and police chiefs and prosecutors who are “tough on crime”.

                Are these people all racist?

                No, not overtly. But the racist structures that result from these policies don’t bother them, that is, the racism isn’t a dealbreaker.

                But there is one difference here- MLK’s white liberals and today’s white liberals could at least summon up a fig leaf to disguise their preferences.

                For Trump voters, there is no fig leaf.

                Yes, in fact there is no legitimate non-racist reason to vote Trump. His racism is so loud and overt and blatant, there is no fig leaf large enough to conceal it.

                Racism may not be the reason to vote for him- but it isn’t a dealbreaker.Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Is it really that clear cut? Or is it an attempt to force every issue and interest no matter how complex into a simple, easy moral paradigm? One explanation for everything, and one solution. Buy my book.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s exactly the opposite of what I said.

                I am saying that yes there are many complex reasons for supporting Trump, but every single one requires that naked raw racism isn’t a dealbreaker.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Except that Trump is less racist than almost any Democrat.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Except that Trump is less racist than almost any Democrat.

                Um yeah not so much. But hey, if you want a score for trolling I’d give that about a 9.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Trump’s opponent brags, brags, that Delaware was a slave state. It’s hard to top that.

                Joe Biden accepted an award from George Wallace, infamous Southern segregationist who won five states in 1968 on the platform of “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

                Biden led the fight against school busing, convincing many of his Democratic colleagues to oppose it.

                Biden wrote the infamous 1994 crime bill that put millions of black men in jail, and called them “super-predators”.

                Obama picked Joe Biden as a running mate to keep from frightening away racist white Democrat votes.

                Meanwhile, Donald Trump accepted an Ellis Island award while famously standing beside Rosa Parks and Muhammed Ali. He married a woman whose name literally translates as “black”. His daughter is Jewish.

                And Trump has been pardoning black people unjustly given harsh prison sentences under Joe Biden’s anti-black crime policies. But of course if they vote for Trump, they’re not really black anyway, according to Biden.Report

              • Avatar Michael Siegel
                Ignored
                says:

                Meanwhile Trump was sued for racial discrimination in housing. And the only people he pardons, aside from his associated thugs and cronies, are black people that famous celebrities bring to this attention.When actual white supremacists group start endorsing Democrats instead of Republicans, then maybe I’ll listen to this ahistorical nonsense.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Joe Biden

                “Racism may not be the reason to vote for him- but it isn’t a dealbreaker.” Chip.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Well at least Joe Biden warned us that school desegregation risks having our kids grow up in “a racial jungle with tensions having built so high that it is going to explode at some point.”

                We should have listened to him, because now racial tensions are exploding all over the place. We could have avoided all this by listening to Jim Crow Joe.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              These [Black and Latino and South Asian] people don’t know who the Proud boys are, but they know that Critical Race Theory is racist?Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh, absolutely… nobody knows who/what the ProudBoys are… I’m 100% online, vaguely remember who Gavin McInnes is and I can tell you that I barely know what the ProudBoys are.

                The ‘dialogue’ on race? That’s impossible not to grapple with.Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s funny you mention this, my brother was texting me last night asking who the hell they are.Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Dude, get out more. Red America sees way more of Blue America’s media than vice versa. They know what the big stuff is even if they aren’t as familiar with the Very Online Blue Tribe demonology.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Really, the average Joe at the Applebee’s salad bar has read up on Critical Race Theory, and therefore distrusts the left?

                Marchmaine’s comment sounded an awful lot like the pundit sockpuppet where someone ascribes their own political preferences to some broad Vox Populi.Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh I doubt they have any books on the shelf from their sociology major days.
                But they know enough to understand that its tenets permit certain kinds of isms (as historically defined), based on a bunch of incomprehensible sophistry.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I know that all the framers and plumbers at my local construction sites, y’know, the common men, the proletariat working men with rough calloused hands, all think that Critical Race theory is an appropriate way to resolve intersectionality with the project of class consciousness.

                They are willing to support Biden but really preferred Warren.
                Oddly enough, they also love Pre-Raphaelite art and despise modern architecture.

                Candidates ignore this vital demographic at their peril.Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Hey I think that’s great! People are individuals, not stereotypes. There’s more to them than race, sex, or (even!) class. It’s a pity there are so many forces out there trying to convince folks otherwise.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                You’re over-interpreting… Chris Wallace specified “Critical Race Theory” in his question.

                And, as InMD mentions upthread, the downstream effects of Critical Race Theory are far more tangible in ordinary life and culture. And I’ll even go so far as to say that many folks see a path forward on race that seems to be actively blocked by the left.

                But, in this circle?… yes, some of these women have PhD.’s and really did have to study Post Modern critical theory (Gender/Race) in Grad School to jump through hoops that are ‘systemic’ to get the certification they desired. It’s a mixed bag at the detail vs. general sentiment level.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                And Red America knows what Critical Race Theory is? (Confession: I don’t really, any more than I knew what Deconstructionism was.)Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Firstly, CRT proposes that white supremacy and racial power are maintained over time, and in particular, that the law may play a role in this process. Secondly, CRT work has investigated the possibility of transforming the relationship between law and racial power, as well as pursuing a project of achieving racial emancipation and anti-subordination more broadly. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_race_theory)

                Nothing in there that threatens the President huh?Report

            • Avatar CJColucci
              Ignored
              says:

              I think you think we disagree. I don’t think we do. At least not about any factual proposition. Indeed, it looks as though you’ve gone to great lengths to prove the fact we don’t seem to disagree on.Report

        • Avatar InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          Interesting. It’s so hard to see these things through other peoples eyes.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m voting for Biden and I’m not sure anything could happen that would change that at this point.

      Trump was a mess and I’m uncertain if that was calculated or a sign of his impulsivity and emotionality. Either way, I found it off-putting.

      I didn’t think Biden looked good. He fumbled over his words a few too many times, which I know will contribute to the narrative that he’s slipping. I don’t know if he’s slipping or if such fumbling is a fair means to assess that, but I know it will feed the narrative and that narrative is one of the things I worry could really undermine his changes.

      But to me, the biggest negative belonged to Trump and his failure/refusal to condemn white nationalism and right-wing hate. His supposed condemnation of the “Proud Boys” was not only not a condemnation, but was swiftly turned into a rallying cry by the group. Whether he intended it to be doesn’t matter; he had a layup and decided to dribble out shot clock, launch a half-court shot, and then act like he was fouled. How hard is it to clearly and explicitly condemn white nationalism? Clearly too hard for Trump.

      Biden could have surged but failed to. That was disappointing. But Trump just cratered with that. Again, it doesn’t matter to me because I’m voting Biden pretty much in any scenario. And it may not matter for folks who are voting Trump in any scenario. But it may matter to some folks and, to me, stood out as the most potentially consequential moment of the debate and was a clear negative for Trump.

      Unless, of course, he does not want to condemn white nationalism because he doesn’t want to lose their support. Which, I suppose, probably leaves him even for the segment. Lovely.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        Remember back in the early 2000s, when Republicans were demanding that every Muslim public figure denounce Islamic terrorism, and Democrats were saying that they shouldn’t have to, and how horribly offensive/racist/Islamophobic it was to ask them to?

        Being asked to denounce something is an accusation. It’s an accusation that you’re similar enough to what you’re being asked to denounce that it’s reasonable to suspect you of sympathizing with it. It’s also an assertion that the thing you’re being asked to denounce is a serious enough problem to warrant a public denunciation. It’s perfectly natural not to want to dance on command like that. And given that leftist terrorists have been trashing our cities and assaulting innocent bystanders for months on end, Trump was right to point out that left-wing extremism is by far the more bugger problem right now.

        Trump is a pretty lousy president—I didn’t vote for him in 2016, and I won’t this time, either. There are so many legitimate criticisms to make of him. Why do people keep fixating on stupid BS like this instead?Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          Being asked to act like a decent human being for ten seconds is asking them to…”dance on command”?Report

        • Avatar Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          And given that leftist terrorists have been trashing our cities and assaulting innocent bystanders for months on end, Trump was right to point out that left-wing extremism is by far the more bugger problem right now.

          Put down the Kool-Aid and walk away. 93% of the demonstrations since George Floyd have been peaceful. Meaning no violence. And when violence occurs its usually right wing people doing the violence. Once again, swing and a miss. Thanks for playing though.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            When violence occurs, it’s usually right wing people?

            You would think that this would be a bigger deal.Report

            • Avatar Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              You’d think. I gets reported then moved on from with frightening alarm. Still true. Today Fox News reported on the arrest of a Proud Boys member in Portland for pointing a revolver at counter protestors. Same story noted the Proud Boys commonly use baseball bats and paintball guns to harass and attack counter protestors.

              But right leaning white people using violence to maintain white dominance in our society has been going on for 400 years. Its part and parcel of our history. So its not really news – just mounting hills of video evidence, arrests and convictions.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Pity that CNN doesn’t cover that but instead has reporters standing in front of burning buildings and talking about how mostly peaceful the protests are.

                I’m beginning to suspect that CNN is fake news.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, weird how everyone knows the name of Kate Steinle, killed by an immigrant, but no one knows the names of David Patrick Underwood and Sheriff Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller.

                Wonder how that happened.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, the insurance industry says that the amount of damage done was between one and two *BILLION* (with a ‘B’) dollars.

                If most of that was done by Right-Wingers, I think that the Democrats are really missing an opportunity here and the Republicans have one hell of a messaging win by tying that damage to the people protesting racism and inequality and a lack of health care.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                If people don’t care about dead cops why would reports of property damage change their minds?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, and I may be one of the few out there like me, I was under the impression that the property damage was done by people protesting injustice rather than by people who were adjacent to the Proud Boys.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s how a lot of media covered it. Ask yourself why that is.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So when Kamala Harris was paying for bail for people arrested during the right-wing riots, why wasn’t this covered as Harris bailing out white supremacists?

                Why would Harris bail out white supremacists, anyway?

                (Were the Molotov Twins White Supremacists?)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Who were the people murdering cops?Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                The post-Floyd chaos has also been statistically cited for an extra 720 homicides.

                Homicides and aggravated assaults rose beginning in late May and June 2020. Homicide rates between June and August of 2020 increased by 53% over the same period in 2019

                That’s quite a spike. But don’t worry, the liberal media is busy explaining it away as a Covid phenomenon, which is highly amusing, such as:

                Grassroots and community violence reduction efforts becoming less effective due to ongoing Covid-19 infection risks

                Yeah, that’s got to be it.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            And Biden denounced the violence.

            Trump didn’t. He said he wants peace. And was given an opportunity to advocate for peace and he punted.

            This is not the same as asking run-of-the-mill Muslim’s to denounce Islamic terrorism. This is asking the leader of right-wing politics in our country to denounce right-wing groups whose favor he has courted in the past and who hold him up as their leader.Report

            • Avatar George Turner
              Ignored
              says:

              Biden and Harris are funding the violence. They’re directing donations to the groups that are posting bail for all the arsonists and the people throwing Molotov cocktails at cops.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Prove it.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Washington Examiner: Kamala Harris pushed bail fund that helped murder and rape suspects get out of jail while awaiting trial

                The Daily Mails story was headlined: Bail fund boosted by Kamala Harris and 13 Biden campaign staffers ‘helped release a man, 36, accused of sexually assaulting a child.” That was more salacious than the purpose of the fund, which was to bail out violent Minnesota rioters.

                Tom Cotton slammed her for it, so The Washington Post said the accusation “needs context”.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                you do know that in the 21st century boosting something means talking about it in social media right? Not sending funds, just saying “if this issue concerns you here’s a group that you can help.” Seems to me that’s a reasonable thing a politician would do. especially since bail is disproportionally targeted at people of color and represents a barrier to both an effective defense.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                “you do know that in the 21st century boosting something means talking about it in social media right?”

                yeah bro, it’s just like saying “there are fine people on both sides” or “stand back and stand by”, it’s just words and it doesn’t really mean anything right?Report

              • Avatar Pjhilip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I think it means that Kamala Harris, as a former DA, is very familiar with the negative impacts of cash money bail in African American communities, and believes that achieving equity under the law requires communities acting to remove the burden of cash money bail. frankly I agree with her, especially since African Americans are more incarcerated in relation to their percentage of the population, less likely to make bail, and have harsher sentences for the same crimes more often then white people.

                And since we ALL agree as a nation that someone is innocent until proven guilty, why aren’t we all boosting organizations that support that innocence by paying bail for those who can’t afford it?Report

              • Avatar greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                The issue some people dont’ know what bail is and what it isn’t.Report

  11. Avatar Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    My middle daughter who is 17 (dang, so close to my 6th vote for the Solidarity Party in this election #TurningVirginiaOrange) watched the debate, well, part. She turned it off because, and I quote:

    “I have to teach toddlers tomorrow, and watching the debate just reminded me of work”Report

    • Avatar Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Trevor Noah tweeted that watching the debate and what Matthews went through is a reminder that Kindergarten teachers are woefully unprepared.

      I felt similarly (I teach PreK) and I kept thinking, “Man, everyone needs a timeout. And I don’t even like giving timeouts!”

      I wish the damn thing had been over Zoom so Matthews could have just muted them as necessary and we could have watched them have silent temper tantrums.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, she started to explain how she’d moderate these two folks using the techniques she has available to her, and they sounded plausible…

        Possibly we’re post-journalism now… need a new method of moderating the discourse.Report

  12. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    The more important matter might be whether Biden looked weak (he did), and whether last minute voters are inclined to support a weak person during multiple crises such as we have now. One of the reasons FDR trounced Hoover was that we were in a crisis and Hoover wasn’t perceived as doing anything, and although FDR’s policies were crazy, at least they were something.

    Biden didn’t give the impression that he was inclined to do anything, nor capable of doing anything. “Well, he hasn’t keeled over yet” is probably not what voters are going to be looking for when they’re locked down and cities are burning.

    As for the far-left, Biden utterly renounced their policy goals and gave the pimp hand to Bernie supporters.Report

    • Avatar North
      Ignored
      says:

      So.. Biden distanced himself from the far left, tacked moderate on policy, didn’t match the accusations of senescent incapability that Trump and his team have hurled at him… but it was a bad debate for him? Heh, the debate was a clusterfuck but I don’t think Biden hurt himself at all.Report

      • Avatar George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        That’s what I’m hoping his take is, otherwise he’ll cancel the remaining debates. So far he’s said he’ll proceed with them. 🙂Report

      • Avatar superdestroyer
        Ignored
        says:

        Tacking Moderate may not help Biden win. Since turnout is more important than swing voters, alienating the left side of the Democratic Party to try to get a few more swing voters could result in a net loss of votes. Biden is treating the left side of the Democratic as if they have no were else to go and will still turnout at the levels that Barack Obama received. That is a mistake of Biden.

        On the other hand, how could anyone not look weak when standing next to a sociopath who refuses to follow the rules.Report

        • Avatar North
          Ignored
          says:

          That is a danger, I grant, but I’ve never seen or read about the left wing purity dragon being much of a factor in elections where there’s a right wing incumbent on the ballot.

          And, of course, being a pretty centrist liberal myself I would approve of Biden’s tacking to the center.Report

          • Avatar greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            As someone who like the left to have some sway with the D’s there is no reason to think what the left does is all that important. They will turn out the way they always have. Most will vote Biden because they can see what the choices are. The most anti Biden left were never going to vote for anybody but Sanders. They are a small but loud on twitter bunch. There are more moderates to get then hard line lefties along with just turning out D’s.Report

            • Avatar North
              Ignored
              says:

              That is my line of thinking as well. The left has never shown itself to represent a large pool of obtainable voters in my adult lifetime. I’ve seen many a politician go prospecting for support in those fields only to retire from the fray with much twitter adulation and very few votes months later.Report

        • Avatar Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          The part of he left that wasn’t going to vote for him still isn’t. He lost no one last night that wasn’t already gone.Report

          • Avatar superdestroyer
            Ignored
            says:

            Biden denounced the new green deal to appeal to moderates while having mentions of the Green New Deal in his campaign writings. Also blacks stayed home in Wisconsin and Michigan in 2016 that resulted in Trump winning those states.
            Biden needs to be woke enough to appeal to non-whites but not so woke as to alienate college educated whites.Report

            • Avatar InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              This is backwards. College educated whites are where the core woke movement comes from. They skew well left of the bulk of minority voters, who are the ones who sealed the nomination for old man Biden. Winning squeakers in the Midwest is what’s important, not running up the score in coastal urban enclaves.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              2000: Sister Souljah
              2020: Green New DealReport

  13. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    One take that also made sense to me: In 2016, Trump was having fun. Trump (by all accounts) didn’t come across as having fun this time.Report

  14. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    An interesting observation. I always thought Trump didn’t actually want to be President. He wanted the attention that came with running , especially as the cult of personality formed around him. Back in 2016, I actually thought he’d drop out of the raise when it looked so dire for him, citing the importance of him serving the country as a private citizen and blah blah blah. But he stuck in there and won and here we are.

    I do not think he likes most of what comes with the work of being President, but I do think he absolutely loves the power and the fame and all of that.Report

  15. Avatar Kristin Devine
    Ignored
    says:

    Great piece buddy! I enjoyed it!Report

  1. September 29, 2020

    […] I was thinking of reviewing tonight’s debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, but Michael Siegel has saved me the trouble by posting an anticipatory draft of his debate reaction piece ahead of time: […]Report

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