Home 2016 elections At the Debates, the “Bar” Actually Should be a LOT Higher…for Donald...

At the Debates, the “Bar” Actually Should be a LOT Higher…for Donald Trump


There’s been a lot of talk about how the “bar” the media and others has set for Hillary Clinton has been much higher than the “bar” for Donald Trump. Thus, Trump can (and does) have literally hundreds more serious (and some not as serious) scandals, possible (likely?) crimes, bigoted/outrageous comments, etc. than Hillary Clinton, yet there have NOT been hundreds more articles in the media or air time on the boob tube about Trump than about Clinton’s non-“scandals.” With the potentially pivotal presidential debates coming, this disparity is more crucial than ever. As Paul Krugman writes this morning:

PolitiFact has examined 258 Trump statements and 255 Clinton statements and classified them on a scale ranging from “True” to “Pants on Fire.” One might quibble with some of the judgments, but they’re overwhelmingly in the ballpark. And they show two candidates living in different moral universes when it comes to truth-telling. Mr. Trump had 48 Pants on Fire ratings, Mrs. Clinton just six; the G.O.P. nominee had 89 False ratings, the Democrat 27.

…If Mr. Trump lies only three times as much as Mrs. Clinton, the main story should still be that he lied a lot more than she did, not that he wasn’t quite as bad as expected.

Again, I’m not calling on the news media to take sides; journalists should simply do their job, which is to report the facts. It may not be easy — but doing the right thing rarely is.

So, yeah, Trump lies a gazillion times more than Hillary Clinton does. He also has a gazillion times more truly terrible things about him than Clinton’s enemies can even semi-plausibly claim that she (supposedly) has. Yet the media has mostly reported this utterly non-normal campaign with their normal, obnoxious, fundamentally dishonest “both sides” false equivalency – “he said, she said,” in other words. And now we have the debates, moderated by that same pathetic, cowardly media (think Matt Lauer, Chuckles Todd, etc.). Really gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling, huh?

Anyway, the main point of this diary is that the media AT THE MINIMUM should call out candidates’ (almost certainly, those will be overwhelmingly by Trump) lies, fact-free b.s., outrageous statements, etc. at the debate and afterwards. But I’d go a step beyond that: the media should actually set a much HIGHER bar for Trump than for Clinton.


Simple. Because, unlike Hillary Clinton – with her long record of public service, almost all of which is very much on the record, verifiable, refutable, etc., along with her transparency on her taxes and medical records – Trump has ZERO record of public service, never been elected to anything, has ZERO foreign or domestic policy experience, has NOT released his tax returns, and has NOT provided any serious medical information. Trump also has failed to lay out any serious, detailed policy proposals – again, unlike Clinton. And even worse, in some ways, Trump has repeatedly made statements that, in a normal election year, any ONE of which would have been the end of his candidacy (remember Todd Akin and “legitimate rape?” Trump has made many, many statements at that level of lunacy or worse)

And the most important bottom line here: whether or not you like Hillary or agree with her policies, there is NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER that she’s qualified to be president. In stark contrast, there is ENORMOUS DOUBT that Trump has any qualifications, temperament or fitness in any other way to be president of the United States. Which is exactly why the “bar” should be a LOT higher for Trump than for Clinton. Again, that’s because Trump has a LOT more to prove than the former First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State does. By a factor of…oh, I dunno, infinity?

  • The moderators should most definitely ask Trump questions about crap like this

    Hillary for America Statement on Bombshell Report About Trump Aide’s Chilling Ties To Kremlin

    Friday, HFA senior national spokesperson Glen Caplin released the following statement in response to the new bombshell report that Trump’s foreign policy adviser is being probed for suspected meetings with senior Russian officials:

    “It’s chilling to learn that U.S. intelligence officials are conducting a probe into suspected meetings between Trump’s foreign policy adviser Carter Page and members of Putin’s inner circle while in Moscow. You have to ask why he would meet with Igor Diveykin, who is believed by U.S. officials ‘to have responsibility for intelligence collected by Russian agencies about the U.S. election.’ This comes as Russian hackers continue their attempts to influence the outcome of our elections, something Trump openly invited. This is serious business and voters deserve the facts before election day.

    “Just one day after we learned about Trump’s hundreds of millions of dollars in undisclosed Russian business interests, this report suggests Page met with a sanctioned top Russian official to discuss the possibility of ending U.S. sanctions against Russia under a Trump presidency – an action that could directly enrich both Trump and Page while undermining American interests. This is precisely what more than fifty national security experts warned against when they called on Trump to disclose and divest his conflict-laden foreign assets that could endanger our national security.

    “We’ve never seen anything like this in American politics. Every day seems to cast new doubts on what’s truly driving Donald Trump’s decision-making: the interests of the American people or his own bottom line. He needs to immediately disclose the full extent of his business relationships and foreign assets so the voters can make that determination for themselves.”

  • True Blue

    Trump is so bothered by Mark Cuban sitting on front row of debate, a citizen and “real” businessman, that he invites Gennifer Flowers and makes it personal? A typical narcissist, thinking only about being “poked,” retaliating, and using his Clinton-hating team’s experience to dredge up the past.

    Too much pressure on Trump? He complains about the non-Democrat Holt and “gaming the system.” Looking forward to seeing him derail into personal attacks because he has no clue on policy.

    • The question is why someone as narcissistic, unstable, etc. as Trump is still in this race…2 points among LVs in the news ABC-WaPo poll. WTF???