LOS ANGELES, September 26, 2016 — While the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints were playing a thrilling Monday Night Football contest, the worst presidential debate in American political history was taking place.
While the Louisiana Superdome was inspired by hero Steve Gleason on the tenth anniversary of football’s greatest blocked punt, politics brought us the televised horror in Hofstra.
While Drew Brees and Matt Ryan were lighting up the scoreboard with beautiful offense, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Lester Holt were just downright offensive.
For those not into football, reruns of “Murder, She Wrote” were a better alternative to the national disgrace masquerading as a political debate.
Conservatives were worried that moderator Lester Holt would put his thumb on the scale in favor of Mrs. Clinton. He banged his whole fist on the scale. He shed his image as a respected nightly news man and proudly showed his MSNBC pedigree. Holt would be better off quitting NBC and becoming a Black Lives Matter activist. His questions were racially charged and utterly irrelevant to the concerns of ordinary Americans worried about the economy, jobs, crime and terrorism.
Holt spent 15 minutes harping on President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Americans are out of work in record numbers and homegrown Islamist terrorist attacks are succeeding. Holt chose to waste precious time on whether the current snowflake president had his feelings hurt.
Holt turned a serious presidential debate into a national conversation on race that only President Obama and white liberal college professors could love. He parroted the false narrative that police are murdering blacks in the street for sport.
When not dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck, Holt asked questions loaded with liberal bias.
He began by declaring that the economy has been growing for six straight years. That is a point of dispute, but he stated it as fact. He turned from being a journalist into an advocate, which again stems from his MSNBC heritage. The economy has experienced less than three percent annual growth throughout the entire Obama presidency, but Holt parroted the liberal line disguised as a question.
Holt also grilled Trump over his tax returns while not asking Clinton anything about her email debacle aside from asking if she wanted to comment on Trump’s answer. Trump’s tax returns may provide him a source of embarrassment, but Clinton’s emails involve possible serious crimes. Holt did not dare mention the newest bombshell in that ongoing email scandal, namely that President Obama communicated with Clinton on her private server using a pseudonym. This directly contradicts his insistence that he had no knowledge of the server until the media pointed it out.
As biased and awful as Holt was, his approach and conduct should have been expected. Four years after Candy Crowley propped up Obama and sabotaged Mitt Romney, Holt acted deliberately to keep Trump on the defensive. There is no excuse for the Republican Party to keep allowing the supposedly non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates to impose hyper-partisan moderators on each debate.
There is also no excuse for Donald Trump allowing himself to get blindsided. He should have expected this. He was totally unprepared for the avalanche of venom Holt was going to throw his way. He seemed stunningly unprepared for the venom Hillary Clinton directed at him as well. She started out by attacking his family, specifically Trump’s deceased father.
Trump got defensive, perhaps afraid of being seen as mean. So instead of being a bully like former Congressman Rick Lazio, who ran against Clinton in her successful 2000 senatorial campaign in New York, Trump became a marshmallow.
Trump did not prepare, period. He did not bring up Benghazi, the genocide in Syria, the Affordable Care Act, the Russian reset, and a host of other areas where Hillary Clinton was vulnerable.
Trump needed to do only one thing during the debate, and he failed to do it. He needed to show he was a disciplined, normal human being. Instead he gave rambling answers and let Clinton get under his skin.
When Clinton accused him of sexism and insulting women, Trump did not bring up her history of covering up her husband’s sexually abusive behavior of multiple women.
As for Clinton, she reminded Americans who already dislike her who she may be the worst human being to ever seek the White House. She was nasty, insulting, and willing to get in the gutter. She also easily won the debate by sticking to her tightly scripted remarks. On substance, however, Clinton had none.
Debates are won on style points, and Trump showed dreadful temperament. It is one thing to talk over Republicans when the liberal media is eagerly cheering you on. It is quite another to take on a liberal Democrat that the same liberal media is determined to protect at all costs.
If Trump is unwilling or unable to discipline himself and stay on message, he should drop out of the presidential race immediately. Perhaps Sheldon Adelson or Jack Welch can offer him a $2 billion check to step aside and let Senators Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz debate Clinton.
Conservatives will point out that Trump was double-teamed and that Clinton is a liar. This argument was made in 2012, and Obama skated to reelection.
As for Lester Holt, time will tell if he will find his reputation has been destroyed as Crowley eventually did. After all, he’ll always have a job waiting for him at MSNBC.
The biggest losers Monday night were the estimated millions of Americans who sat through this disgrace of an event disguised as serious politics.
The Atlanta Falcons defeated the New Orleans Saints 45-32 at the Crescent City’s Mercedes-Benz Superdome. At least that sporting event had a winner. Even before the game, both teams could justifiably be called winners based on their classy display of joining hands in solidarity. Though national memory may have faded, September 26 was the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and the action was as dignified as it gets.
Monday’s presidential debate had only losers.
While this was the worst debate in American political history, it could fall to second place if the next debate, as expected, is even worse.