Sarah Palin Studied Harder And Knew More In Her Debate Than Trump Did In His

That’s saying something, isn’t it?  You underperformed Sarah Palin in her debate with Joe Biden. When John McCain’s chief campaign strategist Steve Schmidt said, “she knows nothing,” it made McCain’s bid for the Oval Office an impossibility.  But the key was “performed,” and for a few short weeks Palin had some defenders, most male, most who wanted to have sex with her, and all whom were willing to overlook her intellectual deficits. After the VP debate, AlterNet summed it up this way:

This debate wasn’t lost or won based on anything verbal. It was won on nonverbal communication. And the winner was Sarah Palin.
The first thing Palin did upon entering the stage was blow a kiss to the audience, then greet Biden, saying, “Nice to meetcha. Hey, can I call ya Joe?” She was colloquial. She was charming. She took control, and except for a brief moment when a teary-eyed Biden recalled his wife’s death and the experience of being a single parent, she never lost it. When Biden sighed, Palin smiled. He jutted his jaw forward in frustration; she smirked. He furrowed his brow; she winked.

One thing is inarguable: Sarah Palin did her homework, was prepared as best she could be, and either intuitively or through well-managed stagecraft did enough to fake a credible performance under pressure.  It didn’t change the trajectory of the election, but it was actually enough to propel Palin to several years of post-2008 cashing in on her fame… as a performer. Come to think of it, it was infinitely more logical for her to become a tv personality after her political career than what we’re locked into right now: a tv personality using the marginal intellectual skills of reality television and little else to become the president of the United States.

After Monday’s first presidential debate, I hereby conclude that Donald Trump outsmarted himself.  In college, you always had to decide whether to cram and maybe pull an all-nighter before a big exam, or get extra sleep.  Extra sleep seldom worked, and no one ever walked out of the class after the test and said, “damn, I studied too much and should have slept more.”  Trump must have been one hell of a crappy student at Penn if the way he didn’t prepare for the debate was the way he didn’t study at college, thinking his native brilliance and Second City Improv skills would carry the day.

Here’s the irrefutable evidence that Hillary wiped the floor with Trump as he blew his chance to show those outside of his cult that he has the temperament to be president: The Clinton-hating Drudge Report links to an article that has NOTHING remotely to do with the 100% distortive, upside-down, crazy-ass headline.


Trump tired halfway through, floundered, needed water, faded and lost his composure as an interrupting jerk. She was strong, looked great, never lost her original energy… so, just like Trump himself, the official mouthpiece, Drudge, lies to project his deficit onto her. Nice try. If you didn’t really know, which of the two would you guess was dealing with pneumonia recently, based on the strength and stamina shown on that debate stage? I’m sure if Drudge took a poll, 93% would say Hillary! Then Fox News would spread the “result,” and another of Jon Stewart’s trips up Bullshit Mountain is complete.

To complete the Trumpinization of this story… he adds the next layer of lying by denying he has a cold or the sniffles we all saw and heard. Insanely, Trump blames it on a “bad microphone,” which makes zero sense. But, you have to remember the megalomaniacal mind of an authoritarian like Trump, who models himself after Putin and Middle East dictators who dye their hair into their 80’s, always trying to project health and virility (thus the younger wife still having kids). To get a cold (publicly) undercuts his air of strength and invincibility.

So, class, what have we learned?  That Evil Genius/Ex-Fox News Creep/Svengali/Republican/Serial Sexual Harasser/Trainer of Nixon, Reagan, GHW Bush Roger Ailes finally met his Match of Incompetence: Donald Trump.  That was the worst showing by an Ailes-coached politician in a debate ever.  No study, no practice, know nothing. Sarah Palin has been a big Donald Trump supporter, but he’s kept her at a distance for many months.  Never an in-person appearance with her. Ironically, if Trump had gotten debate prep advice from her and heeded it, Monday’s Hoedown Throwdown at Hofstra might have looked a lot different.


Trumpism Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry

‘Mistakes Were Made’

Read here about the history of this nebulous, deflective phrase used by politicians to escape blame for things they should be blamed for. Remember though, in Donald Trump’s case, “mistakes were made” would be an entirely new and improved level of thought and responsibility taken by a guy who, even this week, still believes drooling, ugly crowds of followers at his rallies screaming, “lock her up,” are absolute affirmation of his inevitable election in November. That he is laying the groundwork for not only not going quietly if he loses but calling into question the integrity of the entire American system of elections, setting the stage for real civil unrest, may be Trump’s most unforgivable sin.

Questioning If An Election Will Be ‘Rigged’ Strikes At The Heart Of Democracy


Donald Trump’s poll numbers finally have begun to reflect some logical, downward correlation to his now-accelerated aberrant behavior, even for him: the anger, the hate, the bigotry, the insults, the lying, the delusional grandiosity, the policy and knowledge-free promises of instantly fixing everything.  Will Hillary’s lead hold or even expand, not only in the national numbers but in the battleground states that are Trump’s only hope?… you’ll get no official prediction here.  But the ebb and flow of polls is more likely than not going to show a reversal and a closure of the gap, of which we will be alerted to by Donald Trump himself when he starts bragging again about the numbers.  For now he is silent on them, reminding us the press is made up totally of horrible, dishonest people.

Following a week that began with Trump: 1. continuing his fight with Muslim-American Gold Star parents   2. attacking local fire marshalls at his rallies   3. throwing a baby out of a rally then, as usual, pretending it was joke   4. calling Hillary Clinton, “the devil,” early in the week… demoting her to mere “monster,” by Friday   5. asked how his daughter Ivanka might respond to sexual harassment in the workplace, he sensitively responded, “I would like to think she would find another Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 12.34.15 PMcareer or find another company if that was the case.”  6. ate KFC — with a fork and knife — aboard his private jet, then posted a picture of it online   7.  asked if he’d have changed anything about the last week, he pensively, deeply reflected and looked into his soul, “Maybe,” he said Friday, “I would’ve done a little bit less.”

There’s continuing proof that it isn’t so much that the press is inherently “dishonest,” it’s merely that Trumpism has taken the standards for truth and accountability down to unimaginable levels of absurdity.  Trump is the student for whom a D-minus is trumpeted as a sign of greatness.  Things that fleetingly signal the smallest, remotest hints of normalcy and decency by Trump are rotely parroted as “turns in the campaign,” or signs he’s suddenly become “presidential.” (or even adult!)  Show me a 70-year old guy who’s never been told “no” in his life who suddenly changes his personality and I’ll show you someone who is either acting like a phony now or was a fraud for the first 70 years of his life.  Take your choice or take both probabilities if need be.  So, the press “dishonesty” leans in favor of Trump, not against him when these tiny, always temporary, grudging bows to convention or apology are seen as signs of “the turn.”  Two examples from this week, where the ratings-hungry press always, in the end, roots for the series to be extended, even if a blowout seems possible and a comeback unlikely with one team down 3-1.  And yes, I was surprised to see so little LeBron-Cavalier analogizing done at the Cleveland Republican convention!

  1.  His absolute non-apology for being out there lying for several days about a video that he never really saw. Via CNN:
After repeatedly claiming he had seen footage of the payment — compensation tied to a decades-old debt — during the week, Trump tweeted a reversal early Friday: “The plane I saw on television was the hostage plane in Geneva, Switzerland, not the plane carrying $400 million in cash going to Iran!”
Trump had actually viewed video from news reports showing American prisoners arriving in Switzerland after being released by the Iranians.
Like the mythical, infallible Fonzie on Happy Days, or a deranged dictator drunk on his own self-perceived perfection, Trump cannot apologize or even say the word “wrong,” let alone say he was wrong and that he should not have been out there repeating false information.  He should have said, “mistakes were made…. by me.”  Yea, that’s coming!
2. The non-analytical “reporting”  of the painful, pried-out-of-him-with-a-sledgehammer, begrudgingly given under duress, hostage-tape “endorsement” late in the week of Paul Ryan, Kelly Ayote, and John McCain. The supposedly greatest ad-libbing, free-wheeling, crowd-pleasing (usually) non-teleprompter-using stump speaker in US history had to stiffly read his fake endorsement of the three after hating on them…. forever. “In our shared mission to make America great again, I support and endorse our Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.”  He gets any kind of credit for that?  Yes, he does, in our new series, Anything to Keep it Close 90+ Days Out. That’s a guy who has never used the phrase, “shared mission” in his life.  That’s not how he talks.  Trump showed all the enthusiasm of a guy reading a statement forcing him to endorse Zika and Ted Cruz.  watch here:–oEDMM8
As the week ended, Trump was Trump again.  I was worried for a moment. CNN reports that,  “the Republican nominee, speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, accused Clinton of being “unbalanced” and “unstable,” called her a “dangerous” and “pathological” liar and warned voters in this swing state that a Clinton presidency would lead to “the destruction of this country from within.”  As he is not a psychiatrist, he is free to make that evaluation.  Actual psychiatrists are being warned to Leave This Man Alone.  Meanwhile, I continue work on my next country hit: How Can I leave You Alone If You Won’t Leave? Washington Post:

A Non-Psychiatric Assessment of Donald Trump by a Prominent Psychiatrist


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If someone is a major party nominee, they have a reasonable chance, even if the odds say they don’t, to be elected president.  John McCain could have beaten Barack Obama, and Sarah Palin would have been VP.  This could have happened.  Really.  Donald Trump is now the heavy favorite to be the Republican nominee.  While that could change if the unlikely scenario of the four others whittling themselves down to one Not Trump Guy Who He’ll Pound Into Hamburger happens fast, that’s a thin idea to pin your hopes on.  Politico headlines it this way on Wednesday:

GOP wakes up to Trump nightmare

Top party leaders fear it may be too late to stop him.

“I think it’s uphill, and Washington underestimates how uphill it is – and that’s because they’ve persistently underestimated Trump,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who sought the Republican nomination in 2012. If he wins Nevada, Gingrich added, “What is it that’s supposed to stop him?”

The obvious answer is that nothing will stop him.  It would be perfectly acceptable to be wrong, for once, in over-estimating Trump and having to backtrack instead of most of us who’ve watched this disgrace unfold who have predicted his downfall at each career-ending outrage for anyone else… under-estimating his appeal.

Back in September, Allen Frances, Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry at Duke and the guy who helped write the book on mental illness as chairman of the DSM-IV task force, wrote this for Huffington Post.  It’s worth revisiting….. concise and precise, it’s 100% accurate, and should be read by everyone, not just those of us who can’t believe we’re headed down this dark, dark road.

A Non-Psychiatric Assessment of Donald Trump

“A TV producer called a few weeks ago to ask whether I would go on air to discuss Donald Trump’s psychiatric diagnosis. I declined.

Because of embarrassing psychiatric pontificating that marred the 1964 presidential election, the American Psychiatric Association has an ethics policy that prohibits diagnosing-at-a-distance.

Liberal psychiatrists had scored cheap-shot points against the radically conservative Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater — publicizing their “diagnosis” that he was suffering from a mental disorder that made him too sick to be a safe custodian of the nuclear button. They had no right to use a professional credential to slur Goldwater by medicalizing what was essentially no more than a political disagreement.

Similarly, no one should pin psychiatric labels on Trump. This would be unethical and also almost certainly incorrect. To qualify for a diagnosis of mental disorder, a person must present with a characteristic set of symptoms and behaviors — and these must cause clinically significant distress or impairment. Trump is clearly a man singularly without distress and his behaviors, however outrageous and objectionable they may appear to others, consistently reap him fame, fortune and now political power. He has been generously rewarded for his Trumpism, not impaired by it.

Trump is a threat to the United States not because he is mad, but because he is bad. His breathtaking ignorance (whether real or foxy feigned) degrades what should be serious policy discussions into buffoonish circus performances. His blustery, bullying, bravado serves him well on TV, but as political leader would bring even more chaos to a world already spinning out of control. His tirades against vaccination make him a public health menace.

In his previous presidential flirtations, Trump fooled almost no one. He was widely regarded as an emperor with no clothes, a vainglorious clown. What is different this go around? Trump hasn’t changed a bit — it’s just that the Republican party has rapidly descended to his level. And the media are shameleesly feeding on the ratings generated by the freak show. Grown up governance has degenerated into childish reality TV.

Andy Warhol and Marshall McLuhan would not be surprised. Rome pandered with bread and circus. We have Trump.”

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