Thursday, October 20, 2016

When It's Obvious, It's Hard To Be Original



All the things that I'd be saying about that third debate have already been said, by pretty much all observers. Hard to point to something new about something so obvious.

So I'll just mention two things: first, Trump was allowed to avoid answering whether he'd leave a residual force in Mosul. Hillary was clear: no. I think it's at the heart of Middle East policy: Does having a mass of troops in that region promote stability or foment resentment and continuing conflict? If it's necessary for stability, what's the endpoint? Can there ever be one? Hillary seems to have learned the obvious lesson.

Second, not that it's as big a deal: Trump claimed (in the long list of things he denies he's ever said or done, for which there's documented evidence that he did) he never said he'd be fine with various countries having nuclear weapons. To which Chris Wallace said nothing. It was in an interview with Chris Wallace that Trump said it.

And second second, speaking of Wallace: a couple of his questions were long-time Fox talking points, framed inaccurately. The rate of economic expansion, for one.

(Third second, not original at all: it's really depressing that in three debates, climate change wasn't a topic. Hillary did mention that Trump thinks it's a hoax, to which his in-depth response was "I never said that." Which he has, many times, many ways.)

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