2016 Presidential Debate #2: Clinton vs. Trump Live Blog (VIDEOS)

The second 2016 presidential debate is not going to be the standard half-yawn-inducing, half-jaw-dropping spectacle we anticipated. As anyone not in a coma knows, footage recently surfaced of pre-Republican candidate Trump bragging about how his fame permits him to sexually assault women after politely ensuring he has fresh breath. Mayhem ensued as another swathe of supporters finally realized what a complete troglodyte he is.

As Twitter exploded like a Samsung Galaxy 7, Trump scrambled to apologize in a video as sincere and natural as an employee training film from 1954. Now, in the hour before the debate begins, he is holding a press conference with three women who have accused potential First No Gentleman Bill Clinton of sexual assaults when they were as young and sexy as Trump prefers his own victims.

The whole business is as brutal as an episode of Game of Thrones without the cool costumes. The news talking heads are in a feeding frenzy unseen since the last time I visited a Las Vegas breakfast buffet. You should see it–I grab those cinnamon buns with the same alacrity as Trump grabs something else.

Everyone is appalled at the level of crudeness, hubris, and nauseating imagery of a small orange hand approaching one’s nether regions these events induce. Children will be banned from the TV room, the elderly’s hearing aids turned will be turned off, and the Amish are grateful to have no electricity.

Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz have the dubious honor of moderating this Town Hall-style debate, in which several half-wits are who still undecided will ask the candidates questions. I hope there won’t be any visual aids when the critical issue is introduced.

In the most awkward moment in debate history, the families enter the auditorium at Washington University in St. Louis. Melania wisely decided to dress primly. Bill appears to have been medicated. Anderson and Martha open the event, calling for silence, respect, and an absence of nervous giggles. Pundits predict this could get very ugly, and feel bad for the moderators. Stark tension fills the room like gold-leafed furniture in Trump’s penthouse. Will the candidates even shake hands? If I were Hillary, I’d step back.

The women from the press conference arrive and are seated. Bill hopes they went through the metal detector.

It begins. Anderson and Martha are all happy and vivacious, largely because the ratings are through the roof. Gallup chose the people asking questions, which were just seen this morning by the moderators so they could erase the profanity. The candidates are welcomed to the stage and, indeed, do not shake hands.

The first question is for Hillary. Are the candidates modeling appropriate behavior for our children? Only if the children are members of the Crips and Bloods. Hillary believes that we must tell our children that the American people should be nice to each other, work together, and not vote for Donald Trump. Trump largely agrees with her. He is running because he was tired of the “foolish” things happening in our country, like Obamacare, which is rising by a number of different rates that apparently seem plausible to cite, and terrorism, which is not very nice. He’s sniffing again.

Anderson reminds Trump about what he said in that notorious footage, and that it constituted admitting to sexual assault. Trump disagrees with that characterization, and also feels ISIS is much worse, possibly even worse than Bill Clinton. Anderson brings it back to the bus convo with Billy Bush, now know as The Tic Tac Tapes. Trump insists it was just locker-room talk, and that he respects women, unless they’re immigrants, refugees, and all three of his wives.

Hillary jumps into the fray with relish. She has never before said a candidate was unfit, but she sure thinks so this time. She feels that what he said on the bus represents who he really is, not to mention what women should watch out for. She speaks of how we have seen him denigrating women, reducing them to numbers on a scale of attractiveness, and calling them demeaning names. Trump nods, seeming to agree with her, probably because he still thinks Megyn Kelly has cramps.

Trump responds: “It’s just words, folks, it’s just words.” Oh, he means Hillary’s promises, not the fact that he bragged about putting the moves on Nancy O’Dell while Melania was at home polishing his cuff-link collection. Instead, he will help all the many groups he’s said terrible things about, and maybe throw in a few treats for the nation’s embattled hipsters. Then his answer gets cut off and he bitches that Hillary got more time. That can’t be right, because I screamed in horror half as often during Hillary’s response.

The first Facebook question is how the campaign has changed Trump, as he claimed is the case in his marionette-like video apology. Was he a different man on that fateful day he made America picture him kissing a woman half his age? His hair was certainly the same. Again, Trump insists it was just meaningless locker-room talk, the kind of thing all women expect of Neanderthals. Then he attacks both Bill and Hillary. He points to the woman in the audience whom he’s currently exploiting to prove that Hillary was once a defense attorney who did her job as the law required. That seems an unfair charge, since many attorneys have defended Trump’s betrayal of innocent people.

Hillary says he is just wrong about all that, and worse, he never apologizes. She invokes the Gold Star Khan family, the judge of Mexican descent, and the disabled reporter as just a few examples of those he has gratuitously insulted. Trump ripostes that Hillary started the birther thing about Obama, not to mention the mean commercials about him she used in the 2008 presidential campaign. He also remarks that she acid-washed her emails, which would only be acceptable in the 80’s.

She would eye-roll if she weren’t able to control her impulses. Trump continues by saying he hates to say this: If he wins, he will assign a special prosecutor to investigate her. The FBI can help since they’ve already done it. He blathers on about how everyone at the FBI is enraged, mostly at the size of their cubicles. Hillary laughs gaily as she suggests that everything he’s said is false, especially the part about his hating to say it. The supposedly undecided audience cheers when Trump says Hillary should be in jail.

Martha asks about those emails. Hillary does feel bad about her home server, which took up too much space in the laundry room, but she is committed to taking classified information seriously. Trump guffaws that she didn’t know what the letter C–he indicates it’s unique shape with his fingers, for the benefit of others unfamiliar with the alphabet–meant on a government document.

A question about healthcare is next. Trump is angry at the moderators because they have not sufficiently repeated the same charges about her emails that have been made every three hours since December. But Anderson says they’re moving on. “One on three,” Trump mutters bitterly’ although usually he shares his love of threesomes with Rudy Giuliani on the golf course.

A man asks about insurance costs under Obamacare. Who shall answer? Donald says he’s a gentleman, and will let Hillary go first, largely because he doesn’t know what to say. Hillary will not repeal the current plan, but she will repair it. People like having health insurance and not dying, she points out.

Trump says Obamacare is very bad, very bad. We must replace it with something that works and costs less, which is the same reason I wanted to replace my ex-boyfriend. He complains about Canada’s healthcare system, too, where they have to wait a long time for medical services, and it’s often very cold while they do. Hillary explains that we should fix something that’s broken instead of throwing it away like 33,000 emails.

How would Trump force insurance companies to accept people with pre-existing conditions, Anderson asks. He recommends that we increase competition across states, block-grant Medicaid, and follow Dr. Harold Bornstein’s practice of writing letters praising people’s excellent health.

A Muslim lady asks Trump how to deal with the backlash against her religion, which he’s equipped to discuss since he’s the cause of a lot of it. He wants Muslims to report all problems, such as bombs made by Muslims, Muslims who own guns, and Muslims who are irritable before having their coffee. People of other religions and atheists can continue looking the other way. He also emphasizes that we must state the term “radical Islamic terror” before we can solve it. It’s just like doctors insist on saying “gonorrhea” before they give you penicillin. Hillary thinks we should state that Trump is a jerk before we can prevent him getting elected.

With a level of self-importance that would make Sean Hannity gasp, Trump says young Captain Khan would be alive today if he had been in charge when we were talking about war in Iraq. I see why people believe he’s a god, only they mean Charon. He further insists we must not allow refugees into the country because we have no idea who they are and if they love us, which is a common problem on 90 Day Fiance.

Hillary, on the other hand, will vet everyone, which may cause many to leave voluntarily because the experience will be like shopping at Queens Center Mall on a weekend. She notes that this country was founded on letting immigrants in regardless of their religions, values, or desire to marry rich real estate titans. Trump complains that she went 25 seconds over her time when she reminded us yet again us that he supported the Iraq war.

Trump believes we’ll have drugs and crime like you’ve never seen outside a mafia movie if we let immigrants into this country. He insists Hillary has such bad judgment that she should never be president or choose a winner of Miss Universe.

A Virginia resident asks if politicians can have varying public and private opinions, such as telling voters we must end income inequality while telling Goldman Sachs executives that her favorite scene in a cartoon is Donald Duck rolling around in piles of gold screaming, “Mine, all mine!” Hillary points out that Abraham Lincoln was clever that way, because she saw it in the Spielberg biopic. She also makes clear that the Russians are not trying to get her ass elected, so we need to see what Trump is up to with them. He responds that Honest Abe never lied, so Hillary isn’t like him; she’s more like Golda Meir because they both dress kind of dowdy. Also, Trump doesn’t know anything about Russia, but he has fantastic balance sheets. In fact, that’s one of his most effective come-on lines. What’s more, Trump pays massive taxes, which is quite an onus on a billionaire. Last year, he and Melania couldn’t afford to recarpet their yacht’s staterooms.

Now another question from the audience. What tax provisions will the candidates change to screw the wealthiest Americans? Trump asks belligerently why didn’t Hillary change anything when she was senator, unaware that a single senator can’t do that without summoning Dr. Bombay. But he’ll lower taxes for corporations like his, eliminate a lot of regulations that impinge on his business, and reduce taxes for the middle-class, as soon as someone points out some to him.

The sniffing is out of control at this point. Maybe it’s unsafe to mix a decongestant with blue mollies.

Hillary rises regally to respond to the query. She says all that Trump claimed he will do is a lie, similar to his skin tone, that he paid no federal taxes, and he’s got a dewlap that would put a hibernating hamster to shame. Anderson brings up the leaked tax returns that suggest Trump paid no taxes for 18 years. Trump admits to that, and points out that many of Hillary’s donors do the same. It’s like a burglar pleading guilty with the defense that the people next door had their stereo stolen by another guy.

He complains that if Hillary had a problem with all this, why did she do nothing in 30 years, except for all the things she did do? Hillary points out that she was a Democrat with a Republican president, and explains to Trump how veto power works. Next debate they’ll cover gerunds. She then describes her 400 pieces of legislation, which left little time to vote in more tax abatements for real estate moguls.

On to Syria and the horrors over there, which are far uglier even than Ivanka’s dress tonight. What would the candidates do about the crisis in Aleppo? Hillary talks about the issue of Russia wanting to keep Assad in power, creating no-fly zones, and effective diplomatic resolutions. Trump babbles about something “in terms of nuclear” and accuses Hillary of not even knowing who the rebels are. He checked Google Maps himself, and none of their faces were blurred. He also complains about her terrible deals. Everyone knows she has no properties in mid-town.

Martha must repeat that the question was about the humanitarian crisis in Syria, since he’s apparently unfamiliar with both Syria and being humane. Whatever Pence said, too, Trump disagrees with it. That’s a confidence builder.

As he has asserted before to similar funny looks, Trump thinks it’s stupid to tell everyone what your plans are in a war. He thinks every attack should be a sneak one. After all, that’s how he manages to grab so much p***y. He babbles on about how disgusted MacArthur and Patton would be with our current military tactics, not to mention the possibility of a guy who never saw the inside of a USO Center becoming Commander in Chief. In response, Hillary is able to name the participants in the conflict and even pronounce Syrian cities properly. Trump complains yet again about how much time Hillary gets to do that, which may be because many of her words have more than one syllable.

A man of color now asks whether Trump can serve all the people of the nation, not just the young and sexy women. Of course he will, he replies, since he’s never called a bunch of white supremacists and anti-Semites “deplorable.” He points out that the inner cities are hellholes of despair, death, and Skittles-buying. Both Latino and Hispanic Americans are also enduring poverty, inferior education, and unemployment. Apparently, all our white people are living in paradise. How he’ll make a difference in those communities he does not reveal. Maybe he wants to keep it secret like his military maneuvers, so Mother Theresa wouldn’t think we’re wusses.

Hillary discusses all the work she’s done in public service that did not require three wishes from a rescued genie to realize. She quotes a small child adopted from Ethiopia who fears Trump would send him back. Never mind that kid, I’m afraid he’d deport me for being too old for him to want to grab my crotch.

Anderson asks about Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” comment. She apologizes, and denounces Trump for filling it so easily. Trump bitches about our divided nation. It’s true that lots of people are angry that they have nothing while has he has lots that he doesn’t share.

Anderson now wants to know about Trump’s 3 AM tweets about Alicia Machado and whether that reflects the discipline a president should have. Trump denies he tweeted to look for her sex tape, despite the fact that if you laid all the screencaps and re-tweets of it end to end, they would reach  Jupiter. He does brag about all his followers, suggesting Anderson was actually concerned about the chosen social media platform instead of the content of the posts. Hillary affirms that Trump is a fatuous nimrod without the intellect God gave a toaster oven.

Now a Supreme Court justice choice question. Hillary agrees this is an important issue, and wants justices who are aware, experienced, and understand the law. She’s fond of preserving voters rights, marriage equality, and other trifles that oppressed people fought for years to attain. Trump loved Justice Scalia, whose Wikipedia page he read the other day, and wants to appoint people just like him, only maybe not Italian because you can’t trust them with anything but garbage hauling. His jurist choices have been”beautifully reviewed by everyone,” much like the plays of  Strindberg but with a less depressing final act. Then he digresses to discuss Hillary making a lot of money, which might be a compelling point if he wasn’t worth twice as much.

One more question, about energy policy. Trump loves this topic since Obama has been attacking and killing energy. He does like wind and solar, but he would not put all the coal miners out of business like Hillary would. He would just not pay them. He’ll bring back the energy companies, which will make money, then he adds something about China dumping steel all over the U.S. I hope no one got hurt. Hillary gleefully points out that Trump bought that Chinese steel for his construction projects. She discusses our various energy sources, advises that we remain energy-independent, and cites her plan to help us become an energy super-power. Grab that, Donny.

Final question: Would either candidate name one positive thing that they respect in the other? Hillary says she respects the Trump children, including those who haven’t come forward because their moms are too embarrassed. Trump appreciates that Hillary admires his progeny. He feels that she is a fighter who never quits, although he wishes she would quit making him look like an idiot.

And we’re done. Bill is relieved that he got off fairly easy. The two candidates briefly shake hands, although Trump’s was probably really sweaty. We can only hope Hillary was wearing a joy buzzer.

Who won the Presidential Debate?

About E.M. Rosenberg 240 Articles
Favorite 40-volume series issued by Time-Life Music: Sounds of the Seventies. Favorite backsplash material: Subway tile. Favorite screen legend I pretend wasn’t gay: Cary Grant. Favorite issue you should not even get me started about: Venal, bloodsucking insurance industry. Favorite character from the comic strip “Nancy”: Sluggo, or maybe Rollo. Favorite Little Debbie snack: Nutty Bars. Favorite Monkee: Mike.