Walking away unchallenged: What will the hopefuls be asked tonight? Twenty minutes ago as we start to type, a pair of scribes at the Washington Post offered their speculations.
DelReal is Harvard 2013; Phillip is Harvard 2010. We'd say the bright young scribes have been quick to learn to defer to the greatest god, Narrative:
DELREAL AND PHILLIP (10/19/16): Six topics will be the focus of the night, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates: immigration, the Supreme Court, the economy, national debt and entitlements, turmoil abroad and fitness for the presidency. But several dominant news stories will almost certainly take central importance."Clinton will face renewed questions about the FBI’s decision not to charge her with a crime?" By all that's holy about Matt Lauer, didn't they mean that she will face the same old asked-and-answered questions, the memorized questions which Moses brought down from the mountain, direct from Comey the God?
Since the second presidential debate 10 days ago in St. Louis, a growing list of women have come forward to accuse Trump of sexual harassment and assault. Those revelations came after the release of a damaging 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump bragged about kissing and groping women against their will because of his celebrity status. Many of the women said that they were compelled to speak out after hearing Trump during the St. Louis debate deny that he had ever forced himself on women. He has denied the accusations.
Clinton is likely to face questions about a trove of hacked emails belonging to her campaign chairman, John Podesta, that were leaked by WikiLeaks. She will probably also face renewed questions about the FBI’s decision not to charge her with a crime for using a private email server during her tenure at the State Department.
Please, dear Clinton! Please please please! Repeat the same answers again! The god Equivalence demands it!
In four cases, those six topics may seem to tilt toward the Trump playlist a bit. ("National debt and entitlements!") That said, it's highly unlikely that anything valuable could proceed from any questions Chris Wallace might ask tonight, given the lack of an ongoing discussion about any actual topic.
Personally, we know what we would have liked to see Trump asked. Our questions would have concerned his record-shattering dissembling, the world-class level of misstatement which our stumblebum mainstream "press corps" never quite dared to confront.
In the first two debates, moderators haven't asked Trump to explain his birtherism. No one asked the obvious question:
"Did you send investigators to Hawaii, or was that just a lie?"
So far, no one has asked! Not in the general election debates. Not in the GOP primary debates. Not in the million and one "cable news" interviews. Dearest darlings, use your heads! It simply isn't done!
In the first two debates, moderators haven't asked Trump to explain his repeated claim that he opposed the war in Iraq. No one asked the obvious question:
"In an early Republican debate, you said you could produce two dozen news reports which showed your opposition to the war, presumably meaning before the war began. So far, you've produced no such reports, and no one has ever found one. Why did you make that statement in such a high-profile forum? Were you just making that up?"
In the first two debates, moderators haven't asked Trump to explain his repeated misstatements about basic policy matters. No one has asked this obvious question, one of many:
"You have repeatedly told your supporters that the United States is the most heavily taxed nation. Since that plainly isn't the case, why have you constantly said that?"
Four cycles ago, Candidate Gore made a single extemporaneous comment about the Internet, a comment which was slightly clumsy. (The comment was only slightly clumsy. Everyone always knew what he meant, and he quickly explained.)
In high-minded fashion, the press corps spent the next twenty months pretending to be deeply disturbed by this disturbing alleged misstatement. They built it into a mighty theme, inventing a raft of additional "lies" to help establish their point.
Starting in June 2015, a candidate came along who said very few things which weren't crazily inaccurate. He was riding the wave of an earlier, deeply stupid campaign in which he'd made himself the unrivaled king of the nation's birthers.
To this day, the mainstream "press corps" hasn't managed to come to terms with that reign of relentless misstatement. In the first two debates, this candidate hasn't been asked to explain this remarkable conduct.
We'll guess the circle won't be broken. Tonight, it's said that Candidate Clinton will "face renewed questions" again!