Presidential Debate #2 Wrap-Up

[Content Note: Aggression; bigotry.]

Welp. That was...something.

As always, I live-tweeted the debate, and I have Storified those tweets for anyone who would like to see them.

There were five big takeaways from last night's debate:

1. Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz were terrible moderators. This debate took place mere miles from Ferguson, and there was not a single question about racial justice or criminal justice reform. There were also no questions about abortion or LGBTQ rights, although Hillary Clinton managed to get them into the debate anyway, saying as part of her response to a question about Supreme Court appointees: "I want a Supreme Court that will stick with Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose and stick with marriage equality."

2. Donald Trump is a liar who refuses to be accountable for anything he's ever done. He's also deeply hostile to the law, saying that if he were president, Clinton would be in prison, despite the fact that she has broken no laws. Not news, of course, but last night's debate underscored these things once again.

3. Trump is a reprehensible bully who repeatedly interrupted Clinton and also stalked her around the stage in a very unsettling, upsetting way:

[Video Description: Compilation of clips of Trump's attempts to physically intimidate Clinton.]

4. Trump's ego will forever be his undoing. In the closing moments of the debate came the final audience question, from a man who wanted to know, amidst all the mudslinging, could each of the candidates say something they admired about each other. Clinton said she admired Trump's children. And Trump, incredibly, after spending the entire debate (erroneously) asserting that Clinton has never accomplished anything, and after spending months accusing her of "low stamina," fundamentally undermined his case against her by saying: "I will say this about Hillary: She doesn't quit. She doesn't give up. I respect that. I tell it like it is. She's a fighter. I disagree with much of what she's fighting for; I do disagree with her judgment, in many cases. But she does fight hard, and she doesn't quit, and she doesn't give up. And I consider that to be a very good trait."

Very true! Shockingly true! Why would Trump give what amounted to an endorsement of Clinton, no less on one of her key qualities, in the final moments of the debate?! Well, I have some idea about that:

5. Clinton is a rock star. This election is a shitshow. That debate was a shitshow. Because of Trump. The indignity of Clinton having to even share a stage with that nightmare of a human being who is unqualified as he is abusive. And somehow, she managed to once again carry herself with grace, to get through that clusterfucktastrophe of a debate with her typical competence, composure, and dignity.

I'll say once again: Congratulations, Hillary Clinton. You are carrying a lot on your shoulders; being the first woman in the nation's history in this position, being the standard bearer for women and the envoy of millions of people's hopes to stop Trump. That is a hell of a lot of pressure, and, as always, you rose you to the occasion. Wow. And thank you.

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