A Few Debate Take-Aways

For Republicans and Trump supporters, apparently all Trump has to do to claim “victory” in the debate is for Trump to be relatively polite and coherent. There’s certainly no requirement for factual accuracy, and the repetition of popular lies apparently passes for intellect and truth among his supporters.

The most brazen and bare-faced lie that Trump delivered, at least to me, was the idea that separated refugee children were being treated excellently.

Biden’s natural courtesy, and the fact that his voice is softer, tends to work against him when dealing with someone like Trump.

Trying to accurately explain complex issues in a debate is usually not a good idea, because most of the audience is looking for soundbites with which they can identify. Biden had a very good point on oil industry subsidies, but didn’t explain it well. Oil and gas producers get to exempt as much as 15% of their gross income from taxation. That’s a subsidy that other industries and workers certainly don’t get.

Trump kept asking why Biden hadn’t done things while he was a senator and vice president. While it was an effective line, it was particularly effective with Trump supporters because most of them don’t understand government. The vice president literally has no power at all, except to break ties in Senate votes and whatever the President delegates, and that’s seldom much. Trump certainly hasn’t delegated any real power to Mike Pence. Individual senators also have very limited powers. They can propose, but unless they can persuade at least fifty others, and sometimes sixty, they’re powerless. Both the House and Senate are legislative bodies that have to work out compromises with other members. Almost never is legislation the result of one member. But trying to explain that in a debate comes across as weak and whining. All Biden could do was to cite some of his documented accomplishments. Given the power a President has, and how little power a vice president or an individual senator has – except to stop legislation from occurring – Biden was better off doing what he did, which was to point out Trump’s shortcomings, given how much power the President does have.

Republicans and Trump supporters make a big deal over the allegations about Hunter Biden, allegations that Trump’s own FBI declares represent Soviet disinformation, but are quite comfortable with all the money flowing into Trump properties because Trump is President. They also seem to have little problem with his keeping his tax returns hidden. Yet Biden’s tax records are public. So Trump and company use fabricated allegations against Biden’s son, while ignoring, if not dismissing Trump’s own sad and checkered financial history.

8 thoughts on “A Few Debate Take-Aways”

  1. Dr. William Russ says:

    So.. will your next ‘take-away’ tell us how a national $15 minimum wage help us? Reminds me of an ‘Obama phone’ for unions.
    How about religious liberty under a packed Supreme Court?
    Will fracking be the next coal industry as under Obama?
    Remind me how Harry Ried made is millions from nothing before discussing the Bidens and pay attention to ‘non’ CNN news on them.

    I am sorry L.E., we are sitting in different seats seeing the same movie. You OWE your readers the courtesy of not doing personal politics on you author blog.

    1. No, what I owe readers is honesty, and I let readers express their views. Admittedly, I have a tendency to point out shortcomings in their facts.

      Religious liberty is the last thing Republicans want; everything they support is to impose religious beliefs through law. That’s not religious freedom, and it’s certainly not separation of church and state.

      When Trump’s own FBI says that information on Hunter Biden is Soviet disinformation, I believe the FBI.

      Obama didn’t kill the coal industry. Pollution and economics did.

      1. Frank says:

        FWIW, this blog is the closest to actual political debate and analysis as I have seen in any part of the media for a long, long time.

        The contributors to this blog are very diverse in their political leanings, and the discussions (arguments) are comparatively well structured and it appears, at least somewhat frequently, that both sides actually “listen” to the other sides arguments.

        Contrary to Dr. Russ’s statement, this blog seems to be a throwback to a more civilized era when Americans disagreed with each other but remained polite and didn’t appear to hate anyone who disagrees. Please don’t stop doing what you’re doing…there isn’t nearly enough of this.

    2. Grey says:

      For further reading that is contrary Dr. Ross’ points:

      Now that several cities have raised wages to $15/hour, various studies have shown “no statistically significant employment effects.” [1 Century Foundation] Is it better to leave the minimum wage alone, supporting the stagnation of wages since the 1970’s? In any event, when a worker does 40 hours of work and is still on government programs to make ends meet, it is evidence of socialism for big business – why should my taxpayer dollars subsidize low wages at a store?

      As LEM said, the coal industry is being killed by “economic pressure from low cost natural gas” (from fracking), not “Obama” regulations. [2 Forbes] If we take away tax welfare for the oil industry, or share it with renewable energy sources, then market forces may well do-in fracking. Why is that wrong under our capitalist system? Renewables (solar, wind, geothermal) will support good-paying jobs in areas where the oil industry is now.

      As for Biden, the Wall Street Journal (a right-wing paper owned by Rupert Murdoch of Fox News fame), debunked the latest allegations within hours of Guiliani’s ‘laptop’ find being released, noting “corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden”. [3 Wall Street Journal] Ask yourself why Guiliani didn’t turn this ‘laptop’ over a year ago, why the FBI has ignored it, and why it didn’t play a role in Republican Senator Ron Johnson’s exoneration of Hunter Biden in his recent report – because it’s fake and close examination would demolish it. That’s why it’s being leaked out slowly just days before the election – for sensationalization, not examination.

      Last, the Supreme Court has already been “packed” with religious conservatives, and in a day or two it will be a 6-3 majority of Catholic conservatives. Liberal justices won’t make you: Have sex with or get married to someone of the same sex (and then adopt a child), change your gender identity, take birth control, have an abortion or get in vitro fertilization. Judicial conservatives will slowly block you from doing any of them. Worst case scenario with ‘liberal’ justices is that you cannot discriminate on the basis of your religion – is that a burden? Where were your complaints when the GOP packed the Supreme Court to get us where we are now?

      [1] https://tcf.org/content/commentary/making-economic-case-15-minimum-wage/?session=1
      [2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshuarhodes/2020/02/12/is-the-us-coal-industry-almost-completely-burned-out/#554c0578594f
      [3] https://www.wsj.com/articles/hunter-bidens-ex-business-partner-alleges-father-knew-about-venture-11603421247

      1. Lourain says:

        Nicely done, sir!

    3. Rosemarie says:

      I may be missing something, but I thought blogs were to write whatever you are thinking about or doing. I do not see that anyone “owes” the readers of the blog anything. As in all things, it is up to the reader to decide about (and perhaps blog about) whatever is of interest to the blog writer.

  2. Grey says:

    Trump’s focus on Biden’s family was directed at ‘low information’ voters – those who don’t have the time (or don’t care) to sort through the allegations. It doesn’t matter whether there is any substance to the claims – the point is to create a permission structure for such voters to ignore corruption as a decision factor. If Biden is ‘corrupt’ too, then it cancels out Trump’s corruption, and they make their vote on something else.

    It’s similar to why the Republicans did four investigations into Benghazi – whenever one of them exonerated her, they would just open a new one, so she would be ‘under investigation.’ It’s also why Trump, who rightly perceived Biden as his biggest political threat some time ago, tried to bribe / extort Ukraine into ‘investigating’ Biden.

  3. Tom says:

    In a debate, opposing statements are put forward to argue for opposing viewpoints. An easy way to be exposed to options.
    Something of value for:

    … ‘low information’ voters – those who don’t have the time (or don’t care) to sort through the allegations. …

    Help from a blog which not only believes in balance but supplies it, is an essential missing from our world-wide media.

    But, if you see your nation changing don’t you owe it to yourself (if not your nation) to find out how it is changing, why it is changing, and whether you agree with the changes or not? Then you can carry out your responsibility to yourself and your society: by taking the action you can (in a democracy that is to vote; before this option is removed).

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