September 12, 2016

"I think we should have a debate with no moderator, just Hillary and I sitting there talking."

Said Donald Trump.

I'm sure Hillary doesn't want this. You never know when you'll need a Candy Crowley-style assist. But then again... key word: sitting
The Republican presidential candidate said that criticism of NBC’s Matt Lauer following last week’s candidate forum in New York City is an effort to manipulate the presidential debates.

“The fact is they are gaming the system,” Trump said of the criticism of Lauer, “and I think maybe we should have no moderator. Let Hillary and I sit there and just debate. I think the system is being rigged so it’s going to be a very unfair debate.”
I agree with him. The system is being rigged so it's going to be an unfair debate, but he's doing some re-rigging there: Everyone should assume that the moderators are doing all these things to boost and coddle and prop up Hillary, so if it looks anything close to a tie, that means I won.

But Trump, could you work on the me/I distinction? "Let Hillary and I sit there and just debate..." Give I a break.

87 comments:

Brando said...

At least one debate should have that format--it'd be neat to see how they interact with no rules at all. Just in a studio, sitting across from each other, talking. They can work out their format on the fly.

For the other debates, two moderators--Trump picks the one to ask questions of Clinton, and vice versa.

Brando said...

ANd forget town hall style. Those are dumb and gimmicky.

Owen said...

Agree the "me/I" thing could be fixed. If he spent on his grammar even a fraction of the time he spends on his hair, it would be yuge.

But maybe it's also endearing to the fans? He has more important things to do, fighting for them!

rhhardin said...

The reason for the objective case isn't that it's any kind of object but that it's the subject of a non-finite verb.

So it's not analogous to "Let Hillary and I sit there."

Steve said...

I would like to see the 'town hall' debate with actual unscripted questions from random people who won some sort of lottery to be there.... not preselected questions from pre-selected questioners.

You may get some 'boxers vs briefs' type questions.... but you also may get some good questions.

rhhardin said...

You don't want questions at all. You want a conversation.

buwaya puti said...

Me/I is an obsolete distinction in the language. It is being simplified by the grinding action of its diverse users. Universality brings simplicity.

Bob Ellison said...

Trump and Hillary both love money. Let them sell exclusive rights to some live-streaming web video platform, and do it BloggingHeads-style. That'd be a hoot.

Bob Ellison said...

Me Tarzan. Him Cheeta. Vote Cheeta/Tarzan! Wait, no, vote Tarzan/Jane. Cheeta not eligible, have Africa birth problem.

Kevin said...

Trump already wins in a tie because Hillary is "the most qualified candidate to run for the office". He can't just lose, he has to be shown to be as unfit as the campaign and the press have made him out to be.

Why else do you think they were freaking out about the CIC forum and felt the need for future moderators to "expose" Trump?

Paul Snively said...

Dr. Althouse: But Trump, could you work on the me/I distinction? "Let Hillary and I sit there and just debate..." Give I a break.

C'mon. Who even knows what nominative, dative, and accusative case are anymore, let alone uses them correctly? Do you go around saying "It is I?" Seriously?

campy said...

At least he didn't say "Hillary and myself."

readering said...

Let me entertain you, let me make you smile.

Bill Peschel said...

Why not do it Lincoln-Douglas style? It worked for them.

No moderator, just a couple of speeches, back and forth.

If you like, set a timer set to go off after 20 minutes.

If they write a speech and deliver it, that's fine too. After all, each of them gets a chance at rebuttal.

Bob Ellison said...

I go around saying "It is I", seriously. If it had been I, I would have used the correct pronoun. The deplorables would have jerked like hooked fish over that, thinking me no talk right, but me OK with that.

rhhardin said...

"Me" is substituted for "I" because the objective case is the unmarked case in English, that is, the case used in the absence of a specific reason for nominative.

An "I" where a "me" should be is a hypercorrection, brought on by the feeling that correct grammar always sounds a little wrong so "I" must be correct on this formal occasion.

buwaya puti said...

Compared to these two, and most modern politicians, Lincoln and Douglas were educated, cultured and verbally capable beyond belief. That sort no longer exists, or if they do they are never in politics.
More, and worse, the audience for that is gone.

Jupiter said...

Maybe Trump should be debating Tim Kaine?

WisRich said...

Regarding the "Sitting":


The formats for the 90-minute debates are designed to facilitate in-depth discussion of the leading issues facing the nation.

First presidential debate (September 26, 2016, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY)

The debate will be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics to be selected by the moderator and announced at least one week before the debate.

The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. Candidates will then have an opportunity to respond to each other. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a deeper discussion of the topic.

Second presidential debate (October 9, 2016, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO)

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which half of the questions will be posed directly by citizen participants and the other half will be posed by the moderator based on topics of broad public interest as reflected in social media and other sources. The candidates will have two minutes to respond and there will be an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate further discussion. The town meeting participants will be uncommitted voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

Third presidential debate (October 19, 2016, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV)

The format for the debate will be identical to the first presidential debate.


The Townhall style debates always have a stool for each of the candidates so if the first debate has the candidates sitting at a table, Hillary will have managed to get through three debates without having to stand for more than, oh what, two minutes.

Ann Althouse said...

"C'mon. Who even knows what nominative, dative, and accusative case are anymore, let alone uses them correctly? Do you go around saying "It is I?" Seriously?"

Big difference between saying "me" when "I" is technically correct and saying "I" when "me" is correct. The first is often better, as in "It's me." The second shows an effort to be correct and ending up incorrect. Not what a man of the people should want to get caught doing. Err toward me.

Bob Ellison said...

"Err Toward Me" would be a good song title for lit-major nerds.

Herb said...

I think they should make Clinton stand and with no podium to lean on.

Kristian Holvoet said...

I'd like to see a two discussions, one where each candidate (not an external 'non-partisan' organization) picks (nit just approves) the moderator. Let the choice and behavior of the moderator be judged as well.

Curious George said...

I've gt this one. "That lying bitch and I" is correct, right?

Curious George said...

Have each hand the other a pickle jar, see who can really open it.

Unknown said...

Yes, Trump is correct pointing out bias, but good job pointing out his grammatical error. Does Hillary confuse subject and object this way? I've heard Bill do it.

MountainMan said...

I agree with earlier comments, presidential debates should follow the format of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. These are still read, studied, and admired more than 150 years later. The format was 7 debates in varying locations around IL. The first speaker got 60 minutes, the second got 90 minutes, and then the first speaker got 30 mins in rebuttal. No moderator, no questions. I think there would be a huge audience for something like this if we actually had candidates capable of it. However, I agree that neither Trump nor Hillary could pull this off, especially the 90 minutes. Of course, if you can't speak coherently and in depth on a specific topic - the economy, foreign policy, etc. - maybe you shouldn't be running for president.

Kristian Holvoet said...

"Does Hillary confuse subject and object this way?" Dunno, but she does make up words like my 7 year old because the sorta sound like what they mean to say.

Levi Starks said...

Sitting during the debate may be the best option available for Clinton. It seems like standing isn't one of her strong points.
If she has any chance of continuing this campaign it is for her people come clean about her actual physical impairments, and then begin a narrative about how she's just like FDR, and that though her body is failing, her brain is perfectly fine.
Good luck with that.

Sebastian said...

"he's doing some re-rigging there" To make it fair. Good to see Trump exposing the rules of the gaming. Now he just needs to rerig in the direction of actual debate a little more.

MadisonMan said...

Me/I is an obsolete distinction in the language

Me find this a silly claim to make.

traditionalguy said...

Trump was just playing to the Less Educated. Honest.

Curious George said...

"Levi Starks said...
If she has any chance of continuing this campaign it is for her people come clean about her actual physical impairments, and then begin a narrative about how she's just like FDR, and that though her body is failing, her brain is perfectly fine.
Good luck with that."

That'll come when this latest narrative fails, and I think it will. They'll unannounce she has Parkinson's (or whatever it is) and soldier on. But the only way she doesn't make it through election day is if she dies. She will not qquit. This "Biden" and "Kaine" talk is dumb.

Roy Lofquist said...

Suspicions confirmed. Studying Latin is the root of all pedantry. Y'all forgot genitive, ablative, vocative and locative.

Paul Zrimsek said...

No one has the slightest difficulty with I/me unless there's more than one subject pronoun or more than one object pronoun.

As for "it is I", I stick to it myself, but only for its pleasantly archaic sound. But suppose you're speaking for a group-- has anyone in the entire history of English ever actually answered "it's we"?

Paddy O said...

Why does a moderator need to be a reasonably famous reporter? Are reporters known for their debate skills?

Aren't there debate organizations out there? Certainly in colleges. Why not have someone who is trained in debate moderation moderate the debate?

I think that's an easy fix. Otherwise the debates are really serving to advertise the network personalities. That's not what I'm interested in.

Paddy O said...

Reporters are good at interviews and getting soundbites. Also shouting heads. So the presidential debates have turned into a sunday morning talk show style.

jimbino said...

Trump says Let Hillary and I sit there and just debate.

For all her faults, Hillary can speak English correctly.

Meeeea said...

Any format would be preferable to the canned and partisan moderator style. It's predictable, never really gives us an opportunity to learn much about a candidate's platform (nor them a chance to flesh anything out) and just becomes a see-saw of sound bytes and accusations.

I wish Trump would just say forget it for the debates, pay whatever the $ penalty is, negotiate a deal with someone to broadcast this "conversation" he proposes (he'd have it done by dinner time), invite Hillary (and let her know he's doing it it as a courtesy, for her health you know!) and save us all the waste of time watching partisan moderators hijack what should be something informative for Americans into a pro-Hillary broadcast.

campy said...

Why does a moderator need to be a reasonably famous reporter?

To create a Safe Space for the democrat.

jacksonjay said...

Trump speak makes him adorable to deplorables!

LYNNDH said...

"Cheeta not eligible, have Africa birth problem." Maybe Cheeta born in CA?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I would like to see that format, no intrusive snarky biased moderator.

Just the two candidates sitting or standing. Set of topics. About 4 or 5 presented like this: 1. The Middle East, what is your policy/thoughts on this topic. 2. The US economy and jobs. What is your policy/thoughts on this topic. Etc. No biased insulting lead in by media talking heads.

Then each candidate gets 5 UNINTERRUPTED minutes to lay out their thoughts and each candidate gets 5 minutes to rebut or debunk the other. That's it. 5 minutes and DING shut the heck up and let the other person speak.

Let the candidates debate and even attack each other without a Candy Crowley referee putting her thumb on the scales to protect one candidate over the other. We might actually learn something.

None of these hokey town hall questions.

Also do a full body cavity search before the event to make sure that there are no listening devices, ear buds or memory sticks inserted into robo-Hillary's USB port. :-)

Actually serious about the search for listening devices and ear buds.

Bob Boyd said...

You can't expect us deplorables not to have deplorable English.

Political Correctness is only skin deep.
Deplorable goes to the bone.

buwaya puti said...

Milo Yiannopoulos for moderator.
He can make an entrance on an elephant.
Between Milo and Trump and the elephant it would be the greatest show on earth.
The ratings would be huge.

Freder Frederson said...

The system is being rigged so it's going to be an unfair debate,

You mean someone might call him on his lies? That is so unfair.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The system is being rigged so it's going to be an unfair debate,

Freder said: "You mean someone might call him on his lies? That is so unfair."

That person, who should be calling him/or her out on the lies should ONLY be the other debater. Not the moderator or media talking heads. It is not the moderator's function to take sides and "call out the lies" but....they do anyway.

The unfairness lies in Trump or any Republican having two or more opponents in a debate. The other candidate and all the media shills.

jacksonjay said...

If The Master Negotiator can't win this debate debate, well ....?

traditionalguy said...

Trial lawyers spend all their time arguing for a set of facts to a jury that they must convince or lose the case they have figured out and worked on for a year. It all matters.

For a judge who is only there to police procedures to stop everything and announce to the jury panel that one lawyer is lying to them is the most flagrant abuse known to man since Judges started abusing us.

Hunter said...

jimbino said...
For all her faults, Hillary can speak English correctly.

Generalistically.

mikee said...

Hillary's English skills are used to demonize opponents, dehumanizing those who don't support her, and corrupting those who do support her into "Othering" those who won't.

Hillary's English is stopped from promoting her opposition into the cattle cars to the labor camps and crematoria only by her lack of power, not her lack of desire.

Birkel said...

"LYNNDH said...

"Cheeta not eligible, have Africa birth problem." Maybe Cheeta born in CA?
"

I believe Hillary was born in New York.

Brando said...

Another rule that should be a no-brainer is when it is one candidate's turn to talk, cut the other's mike. (Also, cut their mike the second they go over their allotted time). Last cycle it was constant interruption and it got hard to let a candidate finish a thought.

Also, let the candidates address each other directly with questions.

Terry said...

The idea of a debate must be giving the Hillary people ulcers. Live TV, under hot lights. What if she has another 'episode'?

Bruce Hayden said...

C'mon. Who even knows what nominative, dative, and accusative case are anymore, let alone uses them correctly? Do you go around saying "It is I?" Seriously?

Plus genative and ablative. Maybe six years of Latin does a number on one's head. And, yes, I routinely, daily probably, use the predicate nominative "It is I" with my partner, when I come in the door. It is how I announce myself (so she supposedly doesn't use that gun I got her on me). She then typically tells "I" to do something around the house. She, on the other hand, misuses the nominative case, and it drives me crazy. I grew up in a family where all four of my grandparents (all born before 1900) had college degrees, and then I attended a small liberal arts college, where this sort of misuse would have gotten you laughed at. She, on the other hand, was the first in her family to graduate from college, and that was from a state university.

It still is somewhat a class thing. My kid went to a good prep school, and by graduation, those who had entered making that sort of grammatical mistake, weren't making them. Between the teachers and the other kids, it was beat out of them. The time I noticed this most with my partner was when we would got to social events when I was in a decent sized law firm. The spouses of the other attorneys mostly came from comparable backgrounds and schools as their attorney spouses.

The interesting thing for me would be to hear the Trump kids in an informal setting. They are amazingly well groomed and articulate in public - for example, you very rarely hear "um" or other filler in their public utterances. For their father, running for President essentially as a ,populist, these sorts of grammatical errors probably help his cause, more than hurting it.

Ann Althouse said...

"But suppose you're speaking for a group-- has anyone in the entire history of English ever actually answered "it's we"?"

Answer: Miley Cyrus! "Can't you see it's we who own the night?/Can't you see it's we who 'bout that life?"

Ann Althouse said...

ee cummings:

“because it's

Spring
thingS

dare to do people

(& not
the other way

round)because it

's A
pril

Lives lead their own

persons(in
stead

of everybodyelse's)but

what's wholly
marvellous my

Darling

is that you &
i are more than you

& i(be

ca
us

e It's we)”


― E.E. Cummings

khesanh0802 said...

Trump knows how to prepare the battlefield!

khesanh0802 said...

Ann;

E. E. Cummings was an overrated academic. He sold his poems by the column inch!

Curious George said...

Bernard Langer, after winning his first Masters, was asked who was the most legendary German golfer. His answer: "It is I"

Yancey Ward said...

After the Matt Lauer moderated event last week, I think Trump will actually be ok even with a hyper-partisan moderator. If the future moderators intend to do what Lauer did but to a higher degree, it will backfire to a higher degree. Lauer's approach didn't fail because he wasn't aggressive enough, it failed because Trump isn't intimidated. People took the wrong lesson from the Candy Crowley and Mitt Romney incident- the problem wasn't that Crowley interjected herself (though she shouldn't have), the problem was that Romney was intimidated and backed down.

If you have already chosen your candidate, you will always view the debate through a partisan lens, and the moderator will always appear biased against your candidate, if only that means you thought he wasn't biased enough in favor. If one is truly undecided, the actual bias of the moderator is going to backfire if the goal was to get that vote. Neither side should be wanting a biased moderator unless they think the opposing candidate can be intimidated by the tactic.

buwaya said...

How about this -
Come the day, Trump shows up with an alterno-moderator of his own, who he equips with a megaphone (to bypass the network controlled studio sound). When the official moderator starts debating him he can have the alterno-moderator debate the moderator.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Sorry I left you hanging, Ann:


The Ren & Stimpy Show - Season 1, Episode 4: Fire Dogs / The Littlest Giant - TV.com
TV.com › shows › fire-dogs-the-littlest-g...
Apr 11, 2011 - Ren: (to the Fire Chief) Your troubles are over, for it is we who are your fire dogs. Stimpy: But Ren, I'm a cat. Ren: (to Stimpy) Shut up, you fool! (to the ...
Rating
8.6/10
(48)

Paul Snively said...

Curious George: Bernard Langer, after winning his first Masters, was asked who was the most legendary German golfer. His answer: "It is I"

Because the German case distinction works the same as it does in English. His comment is a literal translation from "Das bin ich."

People forget, somehow, that English is a Germanic language, probably because of the enormous influx of Romance vocabulary after the Norman Conquest of 1066. But "Old English," or "Anglo-Saxon," is very obviously Germanic, and even Middle English (untranslated Chaucer) is easiest to grasp if you're familiar with modern German.

As one cunning linguist put it, "English is what you get when a Norman soldier tries to pick up an Anglo-Saxon barmaid."

William said...

Come on Professor. Ă˜bama is the smartest president ever to serve; you voted for him. His grammar is atrocious. Chapter and verse will be super easy to find.

FullMoon said...

“I think we should have a debate with no moderator, just Hillary and I sitting there talking,” Trump said Monday morning in a phone interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.


Yeah,
That is what Hillary wanted to do with Obama. Trump is using her own words against her.

http://archive.is/cuSqP

Johnathan Birks said...

Who's fault is it that Americans can't distinguish objective vs. subjective pronouns? No Child Left Behind should of never been passed.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think his format is more equally matched than one might initially think. The media portrays him as a total boor. A boor would look especially boorish in a one on one fireside chat, I think.

But then, if the media has portrayed him inaccurately, that would look awfully obvious in the same.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why does a moderator need to be a reasonably famous reporter? Are reporters known for their debate skills?

Good points in the form of questions. This reminds me of the way some audiobooks are narrated by famous actors. Voice narration is a different art than acting on screen. Some actors are excellent at it, such as Sean Bean who did an exquisite job narrating a Naxos audiobook of King Arthur stories. But mostly, screen actors aren't voice actors at an equal level to voice actors who specialize in voice acting. Narrators should be known in their own right. Narrating is an art.

This also applies to voice acting in movies. Too often they go for famous names. Forget the names; get the very best voice actors! Let them be names in voice acting!

Freeman Hunt said...

(If you have kids, you should buy that Naxos audiobook. We were listening in the car at the climax, and even with three young children there was dead silence. Everyone was leaned forward in anticipation, even me, the driver. We might have forgotten to breathe at moments.)

harrogate said...

"but he's doing some re-rigging there: Everyone should assume that the moderators are doing all these things to boost and coddle and prop up Hillary, so if it looks anything close to a tie, that means I won."

That's been key to his campaign all along. Why stop now? When he is doing well, it's because everyone loves him. When he loses a state or sinks in the polls, he's being cheated. It reminds me a little of the kind of chatter you hear in pickup basketball courts and YMCAs everywhere in the country.

madAsHell said...

You may get some 'boxers vs briefs' type questions.... but you also may get some good questions

Don't you kinda think the boxer-or-brief question was scripted as well?

jimbino said...

Birks: No Child Left Behind should of never been passed.
Hunt: the media has portrayed him inaccurately.

Hillary would have said "No Child Left Behind never should have been passed" and "the media have portrayed him accurately."

Gojuplye said...

I like the previous commenter's suggestion that both candidates stand without a podium. I would suggest both wear a wireless mic and be given a designated area in which they could move at their own discretion. That way, both would be free to fully express their passion for the subject - or lack thereof.

Johnathan Birks said...

@jimbino: Whose your daddy?

Char Char Binks said...

He should just call himself Trump. Just Hillary and Trump rappin.

Lydia said...

Sitting rather than standing would work best for Trump too. He's a pretty tall guy (6'2") and looming over Hillary (~5'4") would not be a good image because it would build on the bullying meme.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Hillary doesn't just need a moderator. She needs a human resources department.

fivewheels said...

Disappointed in the dearth of "prop up Hillary" jokes. (These days it takes a friendly moderator, two staffers on each arm and a good amount of rebar.)

Doug said...

Dumbass Shrillary! doesn't know the difference between "real" and"really", or between "cavalry" and"Calvary".

Owen said...

Yancey award @ 12:57: "...the problem wasn't that Crowley interjected herself (though she shouldn't have), the problem was that Romney was intimidated and backed down." BINGO. Romney should have come out swinging and just DECKED Crowley and Obama. The word "BS" at about 150 decibels would have been a good start. Instead he cringed and then folded. He lost the election, right there.

Michael K said...

"If you have kids, you should buy that Naxos audiobook."

I took two of my kids on a long car trip to take another daughter's stuff to Spokane for law school. Coming home, we listened to "Clan of the Cave Bear" on audio tape. When we got home the kids ran into the house to listen to the last half hour of the taps. One was 12 and the other 17.

I agree Romney lost the election in the Crowley incident in the debate. Too polite.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

I dunno, I kinda like the present Jerry Springer format.

Meeeea said...

Here's someone critiquing Hillary's grammar:

"...Does it matter that Hillary is barely literate? Does it matter that she cannot construct a coherent sentence when she is speaking off the cuff—though some have suggested that she was reading from a teleprompter? If you want to sell her candidacy in terms of the rule of the best and the brightest, you are not feeling very good today.

Keep in mind, our current president wrote a best-selling book called “the audacity of hope.” Strictly speaking—actually you do not even have to be very strict about it—the phrase is grammatically incorrect. Unless, of course, you are referring to your audacious neighbor, Hope. In that case it is merely pretentious.

As it happened, no one-- yours truly excepted-- much cared that Obama got the grammar wrong. And no one dared to correct him—because no one dared threaten his fragile self-esteem. And no one paid too much attention to the fact that the phrase originated with Obama’s mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who once delivered a sermon called: the audacity to hope. ..."

https://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/2016/09/hillary-clintons-basket-of-deplorables.html

And a good read!: "Bill Clinton's Bitch"
https://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/2016/09/bill-clintons-bitch.html

damikesc said...

Good points in the form of questions. This reminds me of the way some audiobooks are narrated by famous actors. Voice narration is a different art than acting on screen. Some actors are excellent at it, such as Sean Bean who did an exquisite job narrating a Naxos audiobook of King Arthur stories. But mostly, screen actors aren't voice actors at an equal level to voice actors who specialize in voice acting. Narrators should be known in their own right. Narrating is an art.

Yeah, they don't seem to realize that not all "acting" talents fit all roles. Peter Dinklage is a decent enough actor on TV. But, he also turned in one of the worst voice performances in history in a very large game release (so bad that, a year later, they patched his performance out of the game entirely and replaced it with an excellent voice actor, Nolan North).

Focus on somebody who has the skill sets needed to work in the medium.

That's been key to his campaign all along. Why stop now? When he is doing well, it's because everyone loves him. When he loses a state or sinks in the polls, he's being cheated. It reminds me a little of the kind of chatter you hear in pickup basketball courts and YMCAs everywhere in the country.

Harrogate, can you deny that what he is saying is true?

When did the MSM actually report on her "health issue" on 9/11? After her campaign released a statement (FNC was the only one reporting on it before then). They then bought, COMPLETELY, her story of being overheated. Then when the video came out, they equally COMPLETELY bought her story of "pneumonia".

Now, if you were forbidden from following a news story, then lied to about the initial cause of the problem --- why would you just assume the next explanation is honest? Their behavior in the 9/11 incident is beyond redemption. They exposed their blatant and obvious bias.

I ask because the media did that.

damikesc said...

So nice to see feminists claim that women are routinely overheated and collapse when temperatures hit the "danger zone" of 75 degrees. If this is true, how can a woman possibly serve as President?

James Griffin said...

Nobody knows the use of "me" as an object now.