September 30, 2020

Asked to explain why he "end[ed] racial sensitivity training" in federal agencies, Trump should have been able to state clearly what Critical Race Theory is.

At the debate last night — transcript — Chris Wallace led by equating "racial sensitivity training" and "critical race theory" and tossed in "systemic racism":
This month, your administration directed federal agencies to end racial sensitivity training that addresses white privilege or critical race theory. Why did you decide to do that, to end racial sensitivity training? And do you believe that there is systemic racism in this country, sir?
Trump began well:
I ended it because it’s racist. 
But he should have said clearly why he regards it as racist! Why would "racial sensitivity training" be racist? I know the argument, but not everyone does, and whether we know it or not, Trump should have capsulized the reason for regarding the kind of training that's been going on as racist. What he said next was:
I ended it because a lot of people were complaining that they were asked to do things that were absolutely insane. 
What things?! It's just a weird assertion, "things that were absolutely insane."
That it's a radical revolution that was taking place in our military, in our schools, all over the place. And you know it, and so does everybody else. And he would know it....
He should have said why it's racist, insane, and radical, but instead he went into You-know-it-everybody-knows it mode, which misses the opportunity to make a good point and makes him look like he actually doesn't know. And he did just say, "I ended it because a lot of people were complaining...." Maybe he doesn't know! Challenge him to explain it!

Chris Wallace's challenge at this point was, "What is radical about racial sensitivity training?" Good question, following up on his own false equation of "racial sensitivity training" and "critical race theory," so now it's really time for Trump to get specific and drive a wedge between these 2 concepts:
If you were a certain person, you had no status in life. 
What?!
It was sort of a reversal. 
What?!!
And if you look at the people, we were paying people hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach very bad ideas and frankly, very sick ideas. 
Explain Critical Race Theory. He needs to do that, right here. What are the "very sick ideas"? What's the "reversal"? Who are the "certain person[s]" with "no status in life"? Was that supposed to refer to working class white people who don't like hearing that they have "white privilege"? I'm just guessing. Trump doesn't help. He makes it vaguely about patriotism and traditional values and sounds as though he's covering up for a lack of knowledge of the theory that he saw fit to ban:
And really, they were teaching people to hate our country And I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to allow that to happen. We have to go back to the core values of this country. They were teaching people that our country is a horrible place. It’s a racist place. And they were teaching people to hate our country. And I’m not going to allow that to happen.
He called the theory racist, and then he criticized it for teaching that America is racist. Those are 2 different things — unless you want to argue that it's racist to call America racist. That's not the argument that Critical Race Theory is racist. But it is a reminder that Trump never answered the question "do you believe that there is systemic racism in this country?"

It's Biden's turn at this point, and Biden says, "Nobody’s doing that. He’s the racist." Simple assertions, also without substance. And it's utterly unbelievable that "Nobody’s doing that" except to the extent that it's not clear what "that" is.

Trump interrupts to say "You just don’t know." And Biden says "Here’s the deal" — a phrase that popped out of his mouth 12 times last night — "I know a lot more about this.... The fact is that there is racial insensitivity." So he got away with sticking to the idea of "sensitivity" rather than the Critical Race Theory. He's able to portray what's being taught as not radical at all, but just generic social niceness:
People have to be made aware of what other people feel like, what insults them, what is demeaning to them. It’s important people know. Many people don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings, but it makes a big difference. It makes a gigantic difference in the way a child is able to grow up and have a sense of self-esteem. 
Then Biden changes the topic to himself, and his usual trope that he's the working class guy, so he obviously doesn't buy what Critical Race Theory is foisting on people:
It’s a little bit like how this guy and his friends look down on so many people. They look down their nose on people like Irish Catholics, like me, who grow up in Scranton. They look down on people who don’t have money. They look down on people who are of a different faith.  
Interestingly, Biden is like Trump here, concerned about the white working class. He gets back to race:
They looked down on people who are a different color. In fact, we’re all Americans. The only way we’re going to bring this country together is bring everybody together. There’s nothing we cannot do, if we do it together. We can take this on and we can defeat racism in American.
Whoa! That's not Critical Race Theory! That's color-blindness. Ironically, Biden would be excoriated at one of these training sessions Trump ended. But Trump doesn't know enough about the subject to skewer Biden here. And Trump failed to use the catchphrase he'd deployed elsewhere in the debate: "He just lost the left." That line would have fit perfectly here, but I don't think Trump even noticed!

Instead Trump lunges into the subject of the racial division that existed during the Obama-Biden administration. He brings up Ferguson, and asserts that "it was more violent than what I’m even seeing now." Biden exclaims, "Oh my Lord" and "This is ridiculous." Whether the assertion is right or wrong — we could fact check — it's changing the subject. I presume Trump is avoiding discussing Critical Race Theory and the training he ended. He should be vaunting his achievement, but I don't think he even understands what it was!

Trump accuses Biden of not wanting to talk about "law and order." Trump wants to talk about violence in the streets, and Trump doesn't want to talk about Critical Race Theory. We hear Trump pressure Biden: "Are you in favor of law and order?"  Biden says, "I’m in favor of law." Trump asks it again, "Are you in favor of law and order?" Biden gives a solid answer: "Law and order with justice, where people get treated fairly."

That's the exchange I remember most, the morning after that crazy chaotic debate. You know, it's pretty absurd for Trump to pose as the champion of law and order while bringing so much of a feeling of chaos to the debate. He's the one who loves order? I'm afraid of that kind of order.

147 comments:

Lawrence Person said...

To be fair, critical race theory is insane.

Tom said...

This was like watching Bobby Knight scream at his players about discipline.

Iman said...

Speaking of “should haves”, Wallace should have stopped preening, stopped propping Biden up and gotten out of the way.

tim in vermont said...

Trump is certainly flawed, he lets people he trusts do his thinking for him on some stuff, and therefore gets stuff wrong, just like Biden and Wallace do with their “very fine people” lie, but this is our binary choice, and over his term, he gets more right than he does wrong.

It’s a business school approach, “Just give me the executive summary and I will make a decision.” I only have one overarching reason that makes me vote for Trump, he is viscerally against war. The rest of this stuff is sort of a distraction. If he spent his nights boning up on critical theory just to score points with college professors, he wouldn’t be Trump. But yeah, it would hbe been nice to see a thorough takedown of critical theory in front of a national audience.

unknown said...

On the issue of race: You said, more than once I believe, that Biden was disqualified because of his promotion of the “fine people” hoax. He (and Wallace) doubled down tonight. Your thoughts?

I agree that Trump missed a big opportunity with CRT, and he should have forcefully rejected Wallace’s dishonest framing of the issue. Trump left points on the board with that one, if that’s the right saying. But what’s going to make waves on the Left, and what they’re going to try to use against Trump, is that he “failed to denounce” white supremacists. Again, it was another extremely dishonest framing from Wallace (blaming violence and destruction on radical right wing groups, not Antifa) and of course Trump spend most of his time pushing back on the premise. But he did, for the umpteenth time, condemn white supremacists. Democrats are pretending he’s didn’t, claiming he just told them to “stand by” but not “stand down.” A new hoax, or a continuation or elaboration on the old hoax.

But Trump could have answered it better, and tied it to the old hoax. “Yes of course I condemn them, just like I did in Charlottesville.”

Lyssa said...

So many missed opportunities like that last night. He could have (well, somebody could have) excoriated Biden on this, made him answer for the nuts out there, but he didn’t. He also could have hammered down the court packing question, really driven home that he won’t answer because he knows it’s terrible, but he’s under the far lefty’s thumb, and he could have mocked the argument that Antifa is just an idea” relentlessly (“Oh, tell that to the people who’ve had their livelihoods destroyed, the families of those who have been shot -it’s OK, it’s just an idea.”). But he completely missed those opportunities. He blustered to try to be in control, which I get, but he didn’t control the message.

Kate said...

I couldn't watch. This mime act we call a debate is too disordered to ever produce ordered answers.

CStanley said...

I agree that it was a missed opportunity. On the other hand, that presupposes that there are people willing to listen and consider the intellectual merits of color blindness vs CRT. I’d like to think that there is a non-negligible number of people who could be open to that debate but I don’t think so.

Marshall Rose said...

Is repeating the Charlottesville lie still a deal breaker?

Chuck said...

Oh, Althouse. It’s a nicely thoughtful blog post from you.

But I fear that your commenters will not stand down and stand by.

Rocketeer said...

And here we go, as sure as the sun rise in the east and sets in the west: "How Trump lost me."

TreeJoe said...

The debate defined the difference between "winners and losers" by showing that sometimes, no one wins. Sometimes, one person loses.

Trump dominated and lost.

Biden's expectations were so low - right and left - and Trump did such a poor job controlling himself and his message, that Biden didn't win so much as show up and not screw up royally. And yes he said some controversial things - they'll be lost in the chaos.

Chris Wallace is getting shit on by some on the right and the guy did an admirable job. He asked some tough questions to each candidate, tried - and failed - to restrain Trump to the terms of the debate agreement.

Trump's biggest loss is that he gave the Biden campaign a greenlight to cancel the other debates. Trump so egregiously broke the rules his campaign agreed to within the debate format that Biden's camp could rightfully so say they won't debate him again.

And that sucks. Because one candidate up there is running on results and one is running on avoiding his own record and trying to blame the worst pandemic in 100 years on the candidate in office.

The Genius Savant said...

Of all things in the debate *this* is what stood out to you most, what you blog about? Very weird.

Big Mike said...

Critical Race Theory states that black people are lazy, shiftless, inherently prone to violence, and perpetually late to meetings. Among other things. Trump is right, liberals -- as usual -- are wrong.

David Begley said...

Trump is not a lawyer and doesn’t talk like a lawyer. Yes, I agree with Ann that Trump should have provided more details about CRT but that’s not Trump.

Wallace was so, so dishonest. CRT is not racial sensitivity training and he knows it.

Trump just nominated a Catholic to SCOTUS! BIden hates real Catholics.

Peter said...

Agree he completely flubbed this.
Two other questions he hashed:
1. About the $750 tax payment. The answer was super easy and was even in the NYT article — he paid $1 million in 2016 and $4,2 mill. in 2017. When later assessed at $750 he didn’t ask for refund but rolled it over. For goodness sake, the Times gave him his answer!
2. When Joe raised the “Fine people hoax”, yet again. Surely if there was one question he should’ve been able to answer it was this one. But he blew it. The mind boggles.
[Head bangs on table…]

Mark said...

Trump defeated himself last night.

He could have shut up and gotten out of the way ... or made an argument ... but instead it was undisciplined schoolyard taunting.

In trying to provoke Biden, Trump never seemed under control of himself.

Kevin said...

If we expected Trump to educate the country on Critical Race Theory, we were bound to be disappointed.

Obama was the Lecturer in Chief kind of President.

Trump’s the stop the wars, bring the jobs back, make NATO pay their share, and crate peace in the Middle East kind.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Trump set the tone of the debate by interrupting from the get go. I did not watch after a few minutes but the question on racial sensitivity by Chris Wallace was a gift that Trump apparently refused. As you said, most people are unaware of critical race theory and it is the underpinning of all the overreach on racism these days. It is frustrating and a shame that Trump did not or could not take the opportunity to elucidate this point. If normal people had critical race theory explained to them, if they found out that this theory is taken seriously by the academe, they would be even more sympathetic to the conservative side of the argument. Very frustrating.

Shouting Thomas said...

I thought at first that the debate was chaotic. Upon reflection, I was wrong.

Biden has been an undefined blob. No specific positions. And the press has aided him in hiding.

Trump had a long term strategy last night, which was to flush Biden out and force him to state his positions. To the extent that he has any, Biden did state where he stands (or doesn’t).

Trump succeeded in forcing Biden to define himself, a job the media refuses to do.

As to the critical race theory, I challenge you to state how Trump could use the word “white” in that debate in any context and not have the media screaming the next day that he’s a white supremacist.

Michael said...

Perhaps having to pretend they were black Being flogged by master. Or having to wear a dunce cap while reciting the ways they are pretending to be superior to black people. Or denouncing Bach.

rehajm said...

I think this is a good take and But he should have said clearly why he regards it as racist! was my hot take as well. I disagree Trump had an obligation to Explain Critical Race Theory. That's a trap where they end up arguing definitions instead of exposing the serious flaws with the policy. If that happens it is point Democrats.

...and I disagree with You know, it's pretty absurd for Trump to pose as the champion of law and order while bringing so much of a feeling of chaos to the debate. That's a rhhardin woman feelings type argument rather than one of policy. Those two things have zero equivalence and a lean in to Democratic extortion of the threat of more violence if you voters don't do as we demand and remove Trump.

JAORE said...

Yes, that was a missed opportunity. Trump seemed too focused on hitting at Wallace and Biden than delivering his points clearly. Perhaps rallies with 30,000 sycophants does NOT hone debating skills.

He also missed biggly when Wallace and Biden said he called white supremacists good guys. Should have led with explaining why that was a lie.

Kevin said...

Why didn’t Wallace ask Biden if he’d overturn the ban?

Does Biden want to make everyone go through national sensitivity training?

Owen said...

Trump had to be Trump. But what a string of missed home runs. He could have taken the watching nation to school on “climate change” and the fraudulent alarms of pseudoscience and impossible promises of Green New Dealers; on critical race (Marxist) theory and its poisonous stream of self-pity and envy and hatred; on virology and epidemiology and stochastic network behavior and the danger of over-managing what is not well-understood; on cost-benefit analysis; on Federalism and subsidiarity and local choice over schools and suburban zoning; on the absurdity of a closed tax year and a single fixed sum due and paid; on the corruption of the media perpetuating falsehoods and half-truths.

It could have been glorious. Biden and Wallace wouldn’t have known what hit them.

rhhardin said...

The question everybody is asking, in my sample of one talk show, is how did it play with women. Women don't like talking-over. Men don't either but don't let it factor in. It's only a feeling so doesn't count much for them.

Also Trump dominated the room, which reminds women of their ex-husband.

I'd have gone with a bemused and sympathetic Trump, against Biden. As if talking to a precocious child.

What's wrong with Critical Race Theory isn't that it's racist but that it's wrong, a bad reading of the situation, historically and today. It's a reading mistake.

boatbuilder said...

Trump also blew a big opportunity on the question of why minor use should vote for him. He focused on attacking Biden For his crime bill and prison reform; he could have focused on 50 years of trillions of $$ going to Dem cities run by corrupt politicians, the failure of the dem controlled educational monopoly,etc. he could have also made the point that blacks and minorities are the victims of crime and suffer from the devastation of their neighborhoods and businesses from rioting

Temujin said...

It was a disastrous performance by the person currently holding the office. Instead of showing is the President, a strong, but smart leader, Trump's strategy was clear from the first minute. Tonight we'll just bullrush everything. It was a horrible strategy, that was, unfortunately, executed to perfection.

He sucked the air out of the room, out of Biden, out of Wallace, and out of me. I made about 15 minutes and turned it off.

Sometimes- most of the time- less is more. Or...patience is more. You wait...until the opening is clear. He needed Biden to speak his mind freely to show the world what he actually thinks. Nothing is a comical as Biden showing the world what he actually thinks. Instead, Trump showed the world their worst vision of him.

If I was an unsure voter, this either left me not voting or voting for Biden. As for Biden's lying, which was also chaotic and weird, Trump managed to even drown that out. There is a phrase in sports about grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory, when blowing something you had in your hands, ready to take. Trump may have just done that.

Wince said...

Yes, in a perfect world, Trump should have said how well his Executive Order was written (it was).

And that his EO works within existing law to address hostile work environments created by mandated indoctrination sessions, not mere sensitivity training, that marginalizes certain and specific races and sexes according to critical race theory.

But to the extent Biden tries to run with this, the more opportunity Trump has to hammer these points home.

rhhardin said...

You can't infer that Trump doesn't know something because he doesn't use it in an argument. He's always factoring in something about the audience and what sale he wants to make and to whom.

He praises Kim Jong Un to Americans, knowing that he's overheard by NK. Doing them a favor at no particular cost. Not saying why or his reasons. Which are good ones.

Kevin said...

And that his EO works within existing law to address hostile work environments created by mandated indoctrination sessions, not mere sensitivity training, that marginalizes certain and specific races and sexes according to critical race theory.

That’s the Mike Pence answer.

rhhardin said...

It's racist to say that American Blacks have an average IQ of 86, but it's also true. Racist isn't a disqualifier for speech. In its place it's vital and necessary to say that, e.g. in public policy debates against disparate impact laws, which in that instance have a resulting huge and toxic effect on race relations. The blacks are told they're not doing well because whites discriminate against them, and the whites are accused of this in spite of making every effort to help blacks. The former become angry and the latter apathetic at best, if not resentful of the accusation.

rehajm said...

Instead of showing is the President, a strong, but smart leader, Trump's strategy was clear from the first minute. Tonight we'll just bullrush everything. It was a horrible strategy, that was, unfortunately, executed to perfection.

Riiight. IOW Why can't Trump be more like Mitt Romney?

Rick said...

Trump should have directly attacked Wallace for pretending racist hatemongering is racial sensitivity. Not by nicely explaining what the program includes but by directly saying Wallace lied about the program because "nice liberals" cover for their extremist allies by misrepresenting reality in exactly this way. Further that's exactly what Biden is doing as well. Biden wants to pretend he's different from the radicals by saying the Green New Deal isn't his plan while omitting (or forgetting) he already endorsed it.

John Borell said...

This is a case of watch what Trump is doing (ending Critical Race Theory training in the federal gov't) instead of listening to what he says (typical word salad).

Someone explained to him what CRT was and why it was bad. It was a five minute briefing. Trump got the idea instinctively in those five minutes and said, "shit, that's bad, end it."

But he didn't get the seminar. He didn't get a half-day briefing on the subject sufficient to allow him to explain it to someone else.

I'm not saying he's a 4-D chess player. I'm saying he's the head of an organization who isn't going to get into the weeds on issues. He doesn't have time to spend five days on CRT. He has five minutes.

That's the good and the bad of Trump. Get the five minutes with him and he'll get the issue, make a decision, and move on. He's not and will never be a policy wonk.

He'll never, ever be this.

You think he understands textualism? Originalism? How those differ from literalism? Not a fucking chance. But he understood the five minute pitch on ACB that she's faithful to the Constitution and she's in the mold of Scalia.

Do we need a president who can get into the weeds on those issues?

AllenS said...

Go ahead, everyone, find a reason to vote for Biden, you'll eventually get what you deserve good and hard.

Bob Boyd said...

I remember thinking the same thing. Trump should have pointed out that the training he ended wasn't really racial sensitivity training. He dropped that ball. But it wasn't the only play of the game.
Overall, I think Trump looked strong, vigorous, fully in possession of his faculties, such as they are. Biden looked weak, tired, frail, struggling, old. He gave the impression that he was relying on the moderator to protect him and he gave off an air of victimhood in relation to his opponent. That's not a good look for a prospective leader of the free world.
Trump was kind of an asshole, but I don't care. I'm not voting for him to hang out with me. I'm voting for him to fight a corrupt and powerful Griftocracy that all us ordinary folks are up against, whether we realize it or not. Biden is a prominent member of that group, so no sympathy here. Romney was Mr. Civility and look where it got him. He couldn't beat them so wound up joining them.

Matt Sablan said...

"I'm saying he's the head of an organization who isn't going to get into the weeds on issues."

-- He's a pretty standard executive. He wants to know just enough to make a decision, and he wants his team to handle things. If it comes to him, it *better need his opinion.*

Laslo Spatula said...

Regarding a discussion of Critical Race Theory in the debate:

Those who don't like Trump would find fault with any definition he could provide.

Those who don't like Trump would accept whatever pablum Biden could offer.

Those in the workplace who come across it daily know what it means, and understand what Trump means.

And -

As far as law and order: the 'order' part of it scares the little old ladies.

Law: there are laws against rioting.

Order: holding accountable those who break those laws.

We are currently missing the Order part, with suspects continually released to riot (and worse) again.

The little old ladies don't want to see their grandchildren (or young people who remind them of grandchildren) in jail.

The little old ladies don't believe that the New York Times and Anderson Cooper could lie to them about these grandchildren.

The little old ladies' idea of Order is grandchildren making colorful paintings on the plywood that covers the shattered businesses' windows.

The little old ladies are not all little, or old, or ladies.

I am Laslo.

Wilbur said...

How many undecided voters are there? Do you know any? If so, have they been living in a cave?

These debates won't matter, except to inside baseball wonks, or the chattering class.

Ann Althouse said...

"To be fair, critical race theory is insane."

WHO are you being fair to? There's nothing in my post that indicates I think the theory is sound. I'm criticizing TRUMP for not saying why it is unsound. That the information is out there is understood. That's why it's bad of Trump not to know it or not to be able or willing to talk about it.

Yours is the first comment I read. I hope other comments address the criticism of Trump in the post.

tim maguire said...

Explain Critical Race Theory. He needs to do that, right here. What are the "very sick ideas"? What's the "reversal"?

There are few things in life more frustrating than watching a position you support get argued poorly.

wendybar said...

Chris Wallace should have been smart enough to know it ISN'T Racial Sensitivity training, but alas, he had a debate to have with Trump whom he hates. Trump had to debate Chris, and Joe. Not an easy thing to do.

Shouting Thomas said...

The answer you’re seeking, Althouse is: “Critical race theory is racist because it’s racist against whites.”

Explain (please) how Trump could have said that without provoking weeks of headlines that proclaim him a white supremacist.

Amadeus 48 said...

I don't think Trump helped himself. He could have done so much better.

He overshadowed Biden completely. If you want to destroy Biden, you have to let him talk because it soon becomes clear that he has got nothing to say. He grins and spits out some bromides.

And some bigotry, like this:

"It’s a little bit like how this guy and his friends look down on so many people. They look down their nose on people like Irish Catholics, like me, who grow up in Scranton. They look down on people who don’t have money. They look down on people who are of a different faith."

That is completely false, dishonest, and empty, particularly about Donald Trump and his supporters. Biden is just babbling tropes from his Scranton Joe persona, which has been exposed as phony for forty years. Trump should have made him eat those words. Trump just nominated ACB, oldest of seven, mother of seven, and a devout Catholic to the Supreme Court. Melania is a Catholic girl from Slovenia. Trump has done more for black Americans in three years than Joe and Obama did in eight.

And as for Critical Race Theory, he should have said that the problem is that CRT judges people by the color of their skin rather than by the content of their character. It is a theory born in academia that is wrong and divisive, and it has no business in the federal workplace. It is like racism reversed. Like all decent human beings, we need to consider people based on what is inside, not what is outside.

MartyH said...

Biden understands committees, not leadership. His stated solution to every problem will be to gather everyone together and hash things out, just like in the Senate.

He has not taken the initiative to pick up the phone and call the Mayor of Portland or the Governor of Oregon because he does not hold public office. By his own admission, all he has done is say the violence should be prosecuted. Zero leadership at all.

wendybar said...

AllenS said...
Go ahead, everyone, find a reason to vote for Biden, you'll eventually get what you deserve good and hard.

9/30/20, 7:31 AM

THIS!!! And because I have no kids or grandkids, I will be laughing at all the little Progressives when their Utopia fails to appear, and they have to turn their paychecks over to the Government to take care of all their needs...(which won't be much...just ask a Venezuelan...)

Amadeus 48 said...

I must confess that it became clear to me why we might not want to have the Trumps over for dinner. She is lovely, but he can be a bit much, particularly when he hasn't been drinking.

Fernandinande said...

Biden lies: "We can take this on and we can defeat racism in American."

Whoa! That's not Critical Race Theory! That's color-blindness.


Oh how quaint. Nowadays "racism" is often defined as anything which blacks don't like, and equal treatment is one of those things.

Try a google:
[Color blindness is racist]

"The Problem with Color Blindness and How It Upholds Racism"

"Colorblindness: the New Racism? | Teaching Tolerance"

"Why Color-Blindness Is a Counterproductive Ideology"

"Colorblindness is a form of racism, a nemesis, and a barrier to dismantling it."

How about one more result, from our friends at the Wappo?

"White parents teach their children to be colorblind. Here’s why that’s bad for everyone."

"Racism" is a weird new religion. As such, it doesn't make much sense because the underlying reason for literally everything they complain about - inherent group differences - can't be mentioned because it's blasphemous.

mezzrow said...

Yes, I wish James Lindsay was standing there debating Biden as well. Yes, Trump should be able to absorb, retain, and repeat James's understandable explanation of the folly of critical race theory.

That's not the guy we have, and we know it. We knew it going into this. What we have is Krusty, and even Joe Biden can and will call that out. He's not wrong.

Is he coachable? I understand there are two more debates. We'll see.

Vote for Krusty. He's our last remaining hope.

Amadeus 48 said...

"Do we need a president who can get into the weeds on those issues?"

We had one. His name was James Earl Carter. Althouse voted for him twice.

Gusty Winds said...

Very sick ideas is telling people, and young kids in public schools that the only reason their community is affluent, safe, crack free, and peaceful is because it was all a gift of your skin color. None of it earned. None of it based on a community value system. Your Mom and Dad don’t work hard for what they have….they just have it because they are white. It’s so sick, it is obviously destroying American Society as designed.

mezzrow said...

Yes, I wish James Lindsey was standing there debating Biden as well. Yes, Trump should be able to absorb, retain, and repeat James's understandable explanation of the folly of critical race theory.

That's not the guy we have, and we know it. We knew it going into this. What we have is Krusty, and even Joe Biden can and will call that out. He's not wrong.

Is he coachable? I understand there are two more debates. We'll see.

Vote for Krusty. He's our last remaining hope. Sometimes reality is like that.

rhhardin said...

Critical X theory is always an analysis of X by people who don't like X.

By contrast Derrida did similar analyses but of systems he liked. Liking the system tends to give you a high percentage of insights, instead of the opposite.

Fernandinande said...

Here's why this is a tough issue for Trump:

Q: If the US is not systemically racist, why do blacks in every part of the country and throughout US history, have less education, earn and save less money, and get murdered and arrested and incarcerated more often then white people? (Be sure to ignore the fact that every one of those measures is in the opposite direction for Asians vs whites...)

A: ?

Wince said...

Sure, it would have been a great line if Trump had traced critical race theory back to the Frankfurt School with this Reaganesque line:

"No, not hotdog college, but a bevy of neo-Marxists in Germany before the War who laid the groundwork for the 'intersectionality' that is turning our once great universities into politically correct insane asylums."

People would get that and laugh.

Jalanl said...

Ann Althouse said...

"There's nothing in my post that indicates I think the theory is sound. I'm criticizing TRUMP for not saying why it is unsound."

Ann, your criticism misses the central point: anything Trump says about racism will be twisted by the media to be racist. So the only smart strategy is to say as little as possible. Any white guy who has been through CRT training could tell you that saying nothing is the only safe course.

Both Wallace and Biden lied about Trump's statements after Charlottesville. Complete and total lies. So if Trump says anything substantive about CRT they will twist and lie about that too. You really think Trump should give a lecture on CRT? Walk through downtown Madison or Kenosha or spend an evening in Portland and you will get a real world "lecture" on CRT and Biden's plan for America. So vote for the guy who spent the last 47 years talking or vote for the guy who's running on his results the last 47 months.

CStanley said...

He gave the impression that he was relying on the moderator to protect him and he gave off an air of victimhood in relation to his opponent. That's not a good look for a prospective leader of the free world.

I certaiNly agree, but unfortunately there seems to be a large group of voters on the left who identify with victimhood and are drawn to it.

I wish Trump had projected more of the positive vibe last night like he does at his rallies, and used some humor. I think he could have swept the floor with Biden if he’d let him babble more and just stood there making funny facial expressions.

RMc said...

Oh, Althouse. It’s a nicely thoughtful blog post from you.

Funny how Chuck considers only posts critical of Trump to be "thoughtful".

John henry said...

Ann, how would you define critical race theory in 30 seconds?

Would Meade, or anyone else agree with it? (possibly meade in the interest of household harmony)

I think this is one of those things that everyone knows what it is but no 2 people will have the same definition.

Any definition pdjt tried to use last night would be WRONG!

So he did the only thing any rational person could do attack, attack, attack.

I thought he did a very good job keeping Joe on the defensive, flustering him.

I do think Joe stood up much better than I had expected but that was a very, very, low bar.

John Henry

Fernandinande said...

Worth reading, from Quillette:
"Black Lives Matter and the Mechanics of Conformity"

Clark said...

Agree 100%. Such a missed opportunity. Unfortunately a frequent occurrence with him. I'm a Trump guy...but it's like pitching to my 4 year old. Exhausting.

John henry said...

Shorter Dick,

Slurp, Slurp "OH my, Ms Althouse. Your ass sure does taste particularly fine today." kiss, Slurp, kiss.

Seems like the are the only kind of posts that Ann let's through from this particular LLR. Perhaps she is mocking him, letting him embarrass himself. He certainly doe do a good job at it.

John Henry

daskol said...

That was a frustrating missed opportunity, as was the opportunity for Trump to talk about how the economy improved in particular for working to middle class people, who saw their (relative) wages rise for the first time in decades. He hinted at it, saying team Obama said a manufacturing renaissance was impossible, but like CRT, he failed to deliver a punchy explanation.

Trump was a vicious bastard, but as they say, our bastard. He fights. That's enough, although he obviously didn't impress too many chicks last night. I guess outrage over the "fine people hoax" gets tiresome, eventually. Even Trump couldn't muster any outrage when Wallace repeated the calumny, so Althouse can hardly be blamed for moving on. The very fucked up revolution we are in the midst of kicked into the next gear last night. In our sick republic, the most passionate argument of the debate is about the integrity of our election, which is far from guaranteed: if nothing else, the American people ought to be convinced that their leadership class is a thoroughly corrupt and incompetent bunch. It's hard for me to fault Trump for his disgust and outrage and aggression, since those all strike me as the right emotional tone for commenting on what's going on around him and us. We're in a disgusting moment, and whether he can give a good canned summary of CRT or not, that he is attacking it is among the few encouraging signals emanating from Washington.

daskol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyle said...

How many people living can explain critical race theory? Do critical race theorists even know what they're talking about? A presidential debate is a high level persuasion event and not some Ivy League lecture hall where critical race theory is going to be rhetorically ruminated on.

Can Trump even begin to explain CRT like James Lindsey? No, so why should he even try?

Biden's response was scarier... "no one is doing that". WTF?

Lyle said...

Most Americans do not have a college education and many of them were watching this! You college educated folks are supposed to just think Trump is against it and Biden is for it, and then know what to do from there since you know everything about CRT.

clint said...

There were a number of moments like that -- where President Trump couldn't quite drive home a point. Often it was because the "neutral moderator" kept interrupting his answer to rephrase/restate the question every time Trump started to give an answer. (See: Climate Change, or White Supremacy)

But I was disappointed that Trump couldn't give a thirty-second "Here's why you should vote for me" pitch. The fact that Biden couldn't either doesn't help. Trump's pitch should be easy: The biggest issue facing America is getting the economy back as we recover from Covid and the lockdowns. Trump wants to continue the pro-American-jobs pro-American-economy policies of his first three years. Biden wants to reimpose or extend the lockdown, raise taxes, and impose a huge new environmental regulatory burden. The choice should be very, very clear. (The top tweet in his feed right now is a retweet of Darrell Issa making pretty much this argument. It's solid. Trump should have it memorized and be able to spit it out on demand.)

Part of the problem, of course, was that he was trying to make his points across two people talking over him constantly. (Not that he didn't do the same, but still.)

Wallace asked him about cancelling Critical Race Theory training. Trump correctly explained why he did: it's racist, and insane. Then Wallace and Biden spent a minute shouting about racial sensitivity training.

Should Trump have called them on the bait-and-switch? Sure. But that's easy for us to say from the couches at home.

daskol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hombre said...

Trump should have expected chickenshit questions from Wallace and called him out on it.

“I didn’t stop racial sensitivity training. I stopped ....” “What evidence do you have tying arson fires to climate change?” “Define what you call systemic racism.”

Like that.

Darrell said...

All the "critical" theories were put together by the Soviets to get the West to self-destruct.

CStanley said...

Your last comment, “I’m afraid of that kind of law and order,” is ringing in my head as I read this excellent excerpt from Rod Dreher’s new book, Live Not By Lies, a quote from a Pole who had been exiled as a dissident under Communit rule:

“Western people misunderstand the nature of communism because they think of it only in terms of “might and coercion.”

“That is wrong,” he wrote. “There is an internal longing for harmony and happiness that lies deeper than ordinary fear or the desire to escape misery or physical destruction.”

I haven’t read Dreher’s book yet but he’s given lots of previews on his blog and I think it’s very timely. I hope that old school liberals like Althouse will read it and think about the dangers of where the woke movement is taking us, and why that fear should take precedence over their desire for harmony and “boring politics.”

John henry said...

Scott adams has said, and I agree that Biden absolutely had to do one debate just to show he is alive. But that he also should not take another chance.

Treejoe says Biden will use pdjt's style as an excuse to cancel the other debates. I'd not thought of this but it's as good an excuse as any.

Would Biden canceling be such a bad thing? Pdjt could beat him up with Truman's line saying he got burned once, now he won't even come into the kitchen.

I think pdjt needs to start beating that horse this morning. "Joe's already looking for an excuse to stay out of the kitchen"

Get Biden to deny he wants to cancel the other debates.

PDJT is getting plenty of exposure with or without the debates. Joe isn't. The exposure Biden gets is a dozen people sitting silently in circles 12 feet apart. 15 minute speeches. Makes him look weak and insignificant.

PDJT is in front of huge, cheering crowds. Pdjt is in front of hostile presstitutes fielding hostile gotcha questions. Giving better than he gets.

I'm not sure Biden canceling debates would be a bad thing for pdjt. It could be a terrible thing for sleepy head.

John Henry

James K said...

Coulda, shoulda, woulda. It's self-evident that CRT is racist and offensive. Is Trump going to lose a single vote because he didn't "explain" this? Nope. Anyone watching with an open mind (the only ones that matter) could see that Trump was up against both Wallace and Biden, and the main takeaway is that Biden NEEDED Wallace's help. That just confirms the suspicion that he's weak.

clint said...

"Fernandinande said...
Here's why this is a tough issue for Trump:

Q: If the US is not systemically racist, why do blacks in every part of the country and throughout US history, have less education, earn and save less money, and get murdered and arrested and incarcerated more often then white people? (Be sure to ignore the fact that every one of those measures is in the opposite direction for Asians vs whites...)"

A: Because they disproportionately live in cities dominated by the insane policies of Democrats like Joe Biden. Democrats run the schools that fail to educate them, the economic policies that starve them of jobs, and the criminal justice system that fails to protect them. Called out on their failures, Democratic politicians blame Republicans or systemic racism or our inadequate gender pronouns -- anything but their own failed policies.

It's not a hard question, when you've got time to compose the answer on a blog post. It is a hard question when you've got to get the phrasing right the first time, on camera, with two people shouting over you.

Mrs. X said...

Trump probably would have done better if there was an audience, even a hostile one, because he’s good at playing to the room. I read another blogger who said Biden was focused on playing to the audience at home, but I don’t see people liking Biden calling the POTUS a clown. It seems pretty egregious to me. I don’t know why this isn’t getting any traction.

Unknown said...

I generally approve of Althouse comments even if I don't agree, but there's an old saying by (I think) Pauli, "That's not even wrong."

Although I prefer something like "Critical race theory isn't even a theory," "Critical race theory is racist" works for me as it underscores the inherent tautology of CRT. I don't think you can actually explain CRT in sound bites, and I don't think any non-believer would credit Trump with accurately describing the fundamental tenets or collalaries of CRT because it is racist (and insane by western definitions, which is kind of the point of CRT).

This is a swamp I would not brave in a debate either.

Amadeus 48 said...

"...how would you define critical race theory in 30 seconds?"

Critical Race Theory is a neo-Marxist social theory that asserts that all structures in Western culture are intended to perpetuate the oppression of some groups and the power of others. With respect to race, it says that institutions of every type (churches, schools, markets, financial and governmental institutions, police, public transport, sports and entertainment, etc.) are inherently racist and favor white people at the expense of people of color (they ignore Asians, I guess). Individuals and their qualities are irrelevant; only race matters.

In abbreviated Trump-speak, I would say that the problem with CRT is that it judges people by the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I appreciate your clarification at 7:37. And you’re right. Trump had an opportunity to educate the public about CRT (and AGW!) and should have done so. I wish there was a way to get that fed back into Trump’s campaign and Trump himself.

hombre said...

TreeJoe wrote: “Chris Wallace is getting shit on by some on the right and the guy did an admirable job.“

You did great before and after this part. Wallace’s questions to Trump were based largely on fake news and pandering to the leftmedia. His questions to Biden were distinguished by what he didn’t ask. Biden’s “I am the Democrat Party” opened the door to so much that Wallace ignored.

The debate should have focused on the economy, foreign policy and graft. Biden’s China Virus nonsense only plays if Wallace didn’t ask about the timeline and the behavior of prominent Democrats.

Ann Althouse said...

Everyone retreating to whining that Chris Wallace was too dominant... if that's what you want to concentrate on, you're conceding defeat and wasting my time.

Ray - SoCal said...

Trump laid a lot of seeds, that will grow.

Trump managed to bring up a huge amount of subjects the press has embargoed / censored.

And Trump escaped all the debate traps set for him by Wallace and Biden.

Trump did a good job against a biased moderator and questions.

Biden did better than I expected.

This debate did define the two sides.

And more happen with Antifa before the election.

hombre said...

TreeJoe wrote: “Chris Wallace is getting shit on by some on the right and the guy did an admirable job.“

You did great before and after this part. Wallace’s questions to Trump were based largely on fake news and pandering to the leftmedia. His questions to Biden were distinguished by what he didn’t ask. Biden’s “I am the Democrat Party” opened the door to so much that Wallace ignored.

The debate should have focused on the economy, foreign policy and graft. Biden’s China Virus nonsense only plays if Wallace didn’t ask about the timeline and the behavior of prominent Democrats.

narciso said...

actually he couldn't succeed, but this is who trump was up against yesterday, as paul ryan was with martha raddatz,

MayBee said...

I am bothered not that Chris Wallace was too dominant, but that he was wrong so often when framing questions.

But yes, Trump missed on CRT and on the "fine people" lie. He did a god job on climate change.

Martin said...

Heck, that was an obvious question for Trump and he should have hit it out of the park. If people understood CRT it is a winner for him, and he badly screwed up.

I can only ascribe his weak answer to lack of preparation or that even with his aides trying, he just can't deal with issues so abstract--neither of which is a good thing or an adequate excuse.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Everyone retreating to whining that Chris Wallace was too dominant... if that's what you want to concentrate on, you're conceding defeat and wasting my time.

Wallace was biased, not dominant. But while your criticism of Trump’s pedagogy is accurate, I wonder how many people care.

James K said...

In abbreviated Trump-speak, I would say that the problem with CRT is that it judges people by the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character.

In other words, it's racist. Which is what he said.

Amadeus 48 said...

"Everyone retreating to whining that Chris Wallace was too dominant..."

Amen. Consider this from Conrad Black's sum up on American Greatness blog:

"President Trump could have won decisively if he had just followed Napoleon’s famous advice not to 'interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.' The moderator, Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, did an excellent professional job largely without bias, and undoubtedly more fairly than those who will conduct the next two debates, but he didn’t come down hard enough on the interruptions. If Trump had just allowed Wallace to follow up on his questions of Biden, the former vice president would have stumbled badly. Trump’s irritating interruptions created an incoherent cacophony that enabled Biden to escape severe embarrassment."

That's what I think. Chris Wallace was not the problem.

Ray - SoCal said...

Trumps answer in critical race theory was A+ for the circumstances.

Wallace would have been smart to stay away from it, but this was one of his attempts to paint Trump as a racist.

Critical Race theory like the 1634 project, relied on ignorance of what it really teaches, to survive. Trump poured sunlight on these Vampires, and they are turning to dust.

Critical Race theory / indoctrination / training is one of these subjects most regular people HATE, but don’t dare say anything against.

John henry said...

Biden originally agreed to be checked for electronics then changed their mind at the last minute.

Gateway Pundit has pictures and video of some kind of wire peeking out from under his lapel.

Also, picture and video of something peeking out from his left sleeve.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/09/weird-appears-joe-bidens-wire-slipped-jacket-presidential-debate/

John Henry

Caroline said...

@Temujin, you hit the nail on the head.
Speaking of heads, the debate was a head-banger. There exist cogent, devastating responses for the folly of the left, but Trump didn't seem to be familiar with those.
Sad.

Shouting Thomas said...

I addressed the issue quite specifically.

How does Trump say “Critical race theory is racist against whites?”

That’s the issue. He knows he’d be feeding his opponents six weeks of headlines with this answer.

Trump had to find a way to say the obvious without using the word “whites.”

Tell me how you’d do that, please. The problem with critical race theory is that it encourages and blesses Hate Whitey.

Pillage Idiot said...

Debate prep is hard work and tedious. No normal person would enjoy doing it.

I think Trump's lack of an illustrative "sound bite +" answer on CRT (and on several other likely topics) showed a lack of debate prep.


It is fun talking to large crowds of enthusiastic supporters. It sucks being in a small room for tens of hours hammering out good answers to policy questions and populist questions.

Trump needs to do way more of the work that sucks before the next debate.

stlcdr said...

As noted, you can't explain, or demonstrate, why Critical Race theory is terrible (and worse) in a short time period without validating Critical Race Theory.

Bob Boyd said...

CStanley said...
I wish Trump had projected more of the positive vibe last night like he does at his rallies, and used some humor.

Me too.
Do you think it was a deliberate decision to go so hard at Biden or did Trump lose his cool?

It's possible Trump thought maybe Biden is so weak and addle-brained he'd be able to overwhelm him and expose his condition and finish him off. If so, it didn't work. There wasn't a knockout. But there are two more fights scheduled.
After the debate, the NBC talking heads started in characterizing it as a disaster. Chuck Todd called it a "trainwreck". They said "not normal" a bunch of times. They put all the blame on Trump, naturally. Essentially they were saying the debate itself was a horrible aberration that shouldn't be treated by voters as a good way to judge the candidates like a "normal" debate would be. If they thought Biden won, they wouldn't be putting down the event itself. They'd be talking it up as the thing that showed Biden is the man.

It'll be interesting to see what approach Trump takes next time.

Nichevo said...

Ann Althouse said...
"To be fair, critical race theory is insane."

WHO are you being fair to? There's nothing in my post that indicates I think the theory is sound. I'm criticizing TRUMP for not saying why it is unsound. That the information is out there is understood. That's why it's bad of Trump not to know it or not to be able or willing to talk about it.

Yours is the first comment I read. I hope other comments address the criticism of Trump in the post.


Since this is so easy, Emerita, do give us your thirty- or even fifteen-second elevator pitch, of words he should have said that would have pleased or satisfied you, and that would have got into the debate. If this is your "How Trump Lost Me" piece, it is weaksauce-and-water. We're not electing the Schoolmarm-in-Chief, and if we were, does Biden's performance please you better on that score?

John henry said...

Amadeus,

First I think your definition of of CRT is way to long. Not wrong and not a bad definition but not usable on a debate stage.

The shorter Trump version is OK too. But not really a definition.

Most people, believers and non believers in CRT would disagree with both definitions because they have their own defs.

John Henry

Ken B said...

So Trump is right but clueless, Biden is wrong but clueless, and that’s how Trump lost you.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Trump is not a strong debater... He is a plain talker.
I'd prefer someone who can debate. Trump is not that guy.

Biden is a slime-bag who lies. Chris Wallace is another hack.

Amexpat said...

But he should have said clearly why he regards it as racist! Why would "racial sensitivity training" be racist?

Agree. Trump did a poor job in fully articulating some of his positions to swing voters. Another example, he had a legitimate point in arguing for easing some EPA standards for new cars in order to lower the cost and encourage people to get rid of older cars that get much poorer MPG. But he didn't emphasis that. It got lost in the insults.

Trump's strategy was and has been wrong the past months. He doesn't need to energize his base now, he needs to get swing voters. For that he needs to be more "Presidential", more disciplined with his tweets and better prepared in explaining his positions to the broad public. He'll never win over the MSM. It was the same with Reagan, but Reagan managed to win over enough middle of the road voters to win comfortably.

All in all it was a good night for Biden. He held up for 90 minutes and was actually helped by Trump's interruptions. Give Biden enough open mike time and he will get tangled up in his syntax and make gaffes.

Mikey NTH said...

Who won the debate? I don't know. I expect it will take a few days for everything to sift out. Now, who won you would depend on what your preferred styles are, and that is what I see here. Those who are, for example, pained by Trump's tweeting and his bombastic style are not going to get what they prefer because Trump is not going to change his style just to suit you. If you are always upset and outraged that the media is going to prop up the Democrats, you might want to say it once and then accept it because again, the media is not going to change to make you feel better.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

If you want Trump to be a good debater... it will not happen. Trump sucks at debate.

Biden can hold his own.. surprisingly... but barley, and he, like all democrats, are given that extra crutch cushion with a debate moderator who is in their corner. laughing with you!
(yes at one point Wallace laughed WITH Biden) must be nice.
But Biden is still a liar and a crook.
If you like Biden's debate performance, vote for Biden. The return to corruption behind the scenes that we don't get to know about.


Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

“Andrew Sullivan: ‘I’ve never seen Biden seem so old or so weak. He can’t land a strong blow. He’s being successfully heckled. I want to look away.'”

chickelit said...

Althouse has been supportive of CRT going back many many years. She has even lauded its proponents. So I'm not surprised at all for her stance here.

Unknown said...

"Critical Race Theory is a neo-Marxist social theory that asserts that all structures in Western culture are intended to perpetuate the oppression of some groups and the power of others. With respect to race, it says that institutions of every type (churches, schools, markets, financial and governmental institutions, police, public transport, sports and entertainment, etc.) are inherently racist and favor white people at the expense of people of color (they ignore Asians, I guess). Individuals and their qualities are irrelevant; only race matters." -- WAY to wonky.

Critical race theory isn't even a theory, it just defines every human interaction as a power struggle and categorizes/dismisses every human achievement as a racist way for the powerful to oppress minorities.

Michael K said...

Sorry, but Wallace was an obvious Biden prop. When Trump said the riots were in Democrat cities, Wallace responded, not Biden, that some were in Republican cities, like Tulsa. Tulsa had a race riot 100 years ago. There was some minor rioting recently but there were arrests of the rioters who were not returned to the streets the next day.

I do agree that Trump was too aggressive and missed opportiunities.

Michael K said...

Treejoe says Biden will use pdjt's style as an excuse to cancel the other debates. I'd not thought of this but it's as good an excuse as any.

I agree. The DNC won a risky bet with Joe doing as well as he did. Why double down ?

Fernandinande said...

clint: It's not a hard question, when you've got time to compose the answer on a blog post.

Absent the blasphemy, it is hard question, and that's why your answer is completely incorrect.

A: Because they disproportionately live in cities dominated by the insane policies of Democrats like Joe Biden.

All those differences occur in every city and county in every state, and the education differences occur in every school system, regardless of the politicians and their political policies or actions.

That's why I said "in every part of the country and throughout US history".

If you can find a state, city, county or school system in which any of those differences are not true, I'd be happy to hear about it. If your answer is even partially correct, it should be easy to find a lot of examples.

MayBee said...

Also, I think it's completely correct to express displeasure that the factual predicate for many of the questions was incorrect.

Trump didn't say "all sides" about the Nazis.
BLM doesn't support a return to community policing.
CRT isn't racial sensitivity training.
The "booming" economy under Biden and Obama had slowed dramatically.
The fires in California and the Pacific Northwest aren't because we pulled out of the Paris Accords.
We don't have an independent certification procedure for elections.

So asking for questions that aren't lies themselves is not conceding defeat.

Yes, Trump could have answered much much better, but they are too separate issues.

Drago said...

I get the strategy, or strategies, employed here by Trump and his team (remember, his 2 primary debate coaches were Giuliani and Chris Christi! Can you say "combative"? I knew you could), but the mistake was melding too many objectives when you know you will have to play a little defense with the premise of every question with this year's Candy Crowley, Wallace.

Trump was clearly out to:
- Get Biden to alienate his left wing/marxist base (exemplified by the antifa types and writers at The Bulwark) and disown Bernie/AOC, setting up nice Biden vs Biden commercials to come

- Show Biden to be frail and too weak for the office (and then follow up with how Biden is clearly a Trojan Horse candidate)

- Appear to be "the strong horse" which does in fact appeal to several key targeted demographic groups: hispanics (who always love a "strong horse") along with what appears to be the still large rural/far suburban non-voter group who have been alienated over the last 20 to 30 years by the Biden's/obama's/bush's/establishment republicans of the world selling out the US to China and the EU and who thought about voting for Trump in 2016 but still did not...but who are this time after Trump has convinced them he's serious about America First.

So, Trump did in fact achieve all that. The internal polls are probably validating that.

So it was a "Pound and Divide The Dems" and "Energize Expanded Republican Base" strategy.

The problem? I think it will turn off lots of suburban women. I don't really care about the girly men like LLR-lefty C****, they were lost to the left long ago...(which is where these Moby's actually always were and are meaningless in the large context).

But the suburban women represent a large target demographic that Trump was already not strong enough with and this was an opportunity to make it easier for them to see Trump as the guy that would give them safety from the antifa mobs, protect their children/husbands/sons from insane leftist indoctrination, give them school choice, etc.

School choice should be the Civil Rights issue of this campaign.

But Trump was too busy using the NY/NJ bombardment strategy, courtesy of our Big Apple duo, Rudy and Christi.

So that "worked" in a targeted way....but how will it turn out in the aggregate? I have no idea what the internal polls are looking like (we never see those, do we? But we know where the campaign resources are being spread and Biden is on strategic defense right now...so that tells you where the dems are, in addition to their vote harvesting ploys) so we'll see how it plays out.

This feels alot like the aftermath of the 2016 first debate with Hillary which occurred long after she and her team had already launched the Russia Collusion Hoax in late July of that year.

Being objective and clinical about this from the outside, I think this sometimes clashing strategy by Trump was an overall mistake. He should have had quick rebuttals to the obvious democrat talking points served up by Wallace (this will always happen with our "journalist" "moderators") and then quick pivots to the "positive" accomplishments side of the political ledger.

We'll see if Trump's reinforccement and targeted demographic growth strategy is enough to offset where the losses from this performance will be.

I think overall probably an overall net loss for Trump and it "feels" like lots of missed opportunities...but then again I wasn't the target audience for this performance and I'm already in the bag for Trump anyway against the marxist Trojan Horse.

I will be interested to see how the ad campaigns evolve now. The democraticals will continue with the nazi/racist attacks (surprise!), just like they always do and it sounds like they will also return to the Paul Ryan pushing grandma over the cliff in a wheelchair as in 2012, and I'm hoping to see the Trump team go with the Biden vs Biden (in his own/Harris') words.

Luke Lea said...

Face it, Trump can be maddeningly inarticulate on even the simplest of questions, like do you disavow white racism? Part of his brain seems to be missing even though he has sound judgment on the actual issues involved.

William Jefferson Clinton, by contrast, was highly articulate even when he didn't know what he was talking about.

James K said...

if that's what you want to concentrate on, you're conceding defeat and wasting my time.

I, at least, addressed your main point. I threw in an additional comment that wasn't "whining"; on the contrary it said that Wallace inadvertently helped Trump.

wendybar said...

Fernandinande said...
Here's why this is a tough issue for Trump:

Q: If the US is not systemically racist, why do blacks in every part of the country and throughout US history, have less education, earn and save less money, and get murdered and arrested and incarcerated more often then white people? (Be sure to ignore the fact that every one of those measures is in the opposite direction for Asians vs whites...)

A: ?

9/30/20, 7:53 AM

Answer : Democrat policies and government run schools.

Narayanan said...

what they’re going to try to use against Trump, is that he “failed to denounce” white supremacists.
-----------===============
I don't get this about denouncing "White Supremacists" >>> is that like saying I do not approve their message?

if flag burning is not against the law why not "White Supremacists" also?

Narayanan said...

can a theory be RACIST?

a Theory can incorporate and inculcate and preach RACISM - but as theory ?

Unknown said...

Critical race theory dismisses every human development (like science, mathematics, and logic) as tools to oppress minorities and therefore irrelevant. This sounds like it could not possibly be true, but the 'theory' is pretty straightforward.

That's why proponents do not want a conversation, they want obeisance

AllenS said...

Fernandinande said...
Q: If the US is not systemically racist...

Answer: The US is systemically racist, for one reason, and one reason only: affirmative action. Nothing could promote racism more than that program, for it limits black from trying to achieve because they know they'll be promoted regardless of their knowledge or ability.

Mary Beth said...

I felt like Trump was depending on large numbers of people having had to sit through at least one CRT class and Biden was depending on people not having to have taken it.

It's like a discussion of bullying. People who were bullied see the problem and want to stop it. People who weren't, or were the bullies, just think it's kids being kids and the others are too sensitive. Trump sees the CRT bullies, Biden wants to take you out back and punch you.

SensibleCitizen said...

This was an example of Trump's habit of speaking in shorthand. He isn't patient enough to finish a sentence. He should have a brief, pointed, carefully constructed narrative on all these difficult subjects.

I wish I could write some for him.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

This is what Critical Race Theory gets you.

Cancel Culture. Orwellian Leftwing speech Crime Police State.

Amadeus 48 said...

In response to Unknown and John Henry

My definition of CRT is wonky because I wanted to state what CRT is.

Here is what Trump should have said in the debate:

We got rid of CRT in the government because it is divisive, destructive, and wrong. CRT asserts that everything in our society is intended to oppress black people and benefit white people. CRT is racist itself because it judges people by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. Good riddance.

Narayanan said...

rhhardin said...
Critical X theory is always an analysis of X by people who don't like X.
----------=============
that is false on its face when you substitute RACE for X

Are you claiming (I grant you a.)
a. "Critical Race Theory" is not implying Race is inherent in all things?
and
b. that those people don't like to inject Race in everything

My formulation would be -
Critical X theory is always an analysis (so called) of X by people who claim to not like X - but want to use X to ride to power

>> if anything characterizes Frankfurt School it is the desire for Power

Narayanan said...

wendybar said...
Fernandinande said...
Here's why this is a tough issue for Trump:

Q: If the US is not systemically racist, why do blacks in every part of the country and throughout US history, have less education, earn and save less money, and get murdered and arrested and incarcerated more often then white people? (Be sure to ignore the fact that every one of those measures is in the opposite direction for Asians vs whites...)

A: ?

9/30/20, 7:53 AM

Answer : Democrat policies and government run schools.

---------------==============
good catch

Critical Race Theory is how D are able practically claim to be basing policy and actions based on academic support i.e. science which they can then fund further.

Until and unless School is separated from State there is no way out for USA

Amadeus 48 said...

Drago--If you think Chris Wallace is this year's Candy Crowley, you ain't seen nothing yet. The next two debates are going to be fact-check city, with corrections to the moderators' erroneous fact checks sneaking out over the following seven days.

Upon reflection, I think the best thing that happened last night is that America got to see how old Joe Biden is and how vigorous (if obnoxious) Trump is. Once again, Joe didn't say anything other than that he would have done better without saying how, and he remained erect for 90 minutes.

Will Joe visibly age further over the next four weeks? We'll see.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Explain Critical Race Theory. He needs to do that, right here.

Yes, that would be nice. OF course, Biden and Wallace would have both broke in, with Biden calling him a liar and a racist, if he had successfully described it.

No, he didn't do a great job with that one.

Yes, Wallace is a dishonest racist scum bag for the question he asked and his support for racism

Rosalyn C. said...

I was frustrated too watching Trump. Let's face it, he's not a teacher. He doesn't explain things. He doesn't seem to like to get into the details and he's probably right. No one likes an egg head. Every single person I've wasted time on explaining why I support Trump ends up not hearing a single thing I've said. Trump wouldn't waste the time.

So what was his strategy? I agree with Drago. After the dust settled I realized Trump accomplished exposing that Biden is not the candidate that the left wing of the Democrat Party wants. If I had been a Bernie supporter I doubt that I would bother voting. I'm sure there must be a lot chaos in the Democratic Party today over how to handle that confusion. Anyone who was reassured that Biden would provide a reliable and stable presidency, is now in doubt.

Mark said...

What an awful lot of words for why Trump should have answered better.

I would have been content for Chris Wallace to have some basic journalistic competency in asking the question and know himself that CRT is not "racial sensitivity." Unless of course if he does know and it was an intentional distortion.

Francisco D said...

I don't watch pro football or basketball any more. The first half is usually boring and frustrating because of dumb plays and missed opportunities.

That was pretty much what this debate was about.

If Biden stays in the game, he needs to do a lot better in the second half to rally his troops. Trump needs to calm down because he is already winning.

Bruce Hayden said...

Face it. Wallace tried to catch Trump with another leftist/Dem gotcha. Trump sidestepped it.

CRT is racist. Most of us, and many, if not most, Americans know that too. Most of us believe in a color blind society. The left does not, because they utilize race to divide, in order to replace our successful society with their preferred Marxist utopia. CRT is highly divisive, as is BLM. and indeed, BLM is directly dependent on CRT. Why are black lives so much more valuable than any other lives, and esp blue lives? CRT.

I find it interesting that the left considers the exact traits (hard work, frugality, education, etc) that made this country great to be “white”, and thus racist. Of course, successful blacks have mostly adopted these “white” traits, habits, and culture in order to be successful. And, of course, Asians (otherwise treated as POC), to a very great extent in this country, have out whited whites in adopting these habits and traits.

And no, different cultures are not all equivalent. For example, one big reason why Blacks have lower life expectancies than any other demographic, is because they are much less law abiding. They commit murder at a much higher rate than any other demographic in this country, and most of their victims are other blacks. Why is that culturally equivalent to being “white” and not murdering each other at such high rates?

They attempt to blame this all on slavery. That is, of course, ludicrous. Slavery was outlawed in this country over a century and a half ago. Of course, also ignored is that the slave owners were almost all Democrats. As were those enacting Jim Crow, engaging in lynchings, joining the Klan, engaging in segregation, etc. after the Republicans abolished slavery. And, then, when discrimination was banned a hundred years later, the Democrats switched to economic oppression, with their enactment of LBJ’s Great Society, and his ill named War on Poverty, which used welfare to destroy the black family, which is the real reason for the plight of blacks in this country. Democrats have been waging war on Blacks since their founding as a party, over 200 years ago. And now they are telling blacks that it isn’t their fault, that their dysfunctional culture, foisted upon them by Democrats, is culturally equivalent to white (Asian, and even Hispanic) culture. It isn’t. It is highly dysfunctional.

n.n said...

I ended [racial sensitivity training] because it’s racist.

Trump speaks facts to leftists' truths. Diversity (i.e. color judgments), denial of individual dignity, denial of individual conscience, normalization of color blocs, color quotas, and affirmative discrimination, not limited to racism, breeds adversity. Diversity is a dogmatic system, process, and belief under the Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, politically congruent quasi-religion ("ethics") of the Progressive Church. Shut down the diversity rackets, the neo-KKK, and other diversitist artifacts of a progressive era. #PrinciplesMatter

Fernandinande said...

Answer : Democrat policies and government run schools.

Nice data-free assertion; it's basically the C.R.T. explanation.

Why would democrat policies and government run schools have a more negative impact on blacks than on whites, including students attending the same schools and the same classes with the same teachers, and why would they also have a less negative impact on Asians than on whites?

Why do private schools, including religious schools, have the same relative educational results as public schools? (Any educational advantage of private/religious schools over public schools, for any students, is a small effect, found in some studies and not found in others)

Marc said...

Christopher Rufo on Twitter last night: "Racial sensitivity training" is the new "mostly peaceful protest."

Fernandinande said...

"POLITICS, IMPRISONMENT AND RACE"

Summary: More liberal states tend to have relatively fewer people, both black and white, in prison, than do more conservative states, but they also have higher black:white incarceration ratios, sometimes much higher.

You can see that effect graphically here; switch between "rate" and "disparity" and the map almost becomes an inverse of itself. See the relative "liberal/conservative" value of each state here.

Drago said...

Amadeus 48: "Drago--If you think Chris Wallace is this year's Candy Crowley, you ain't seen nothing yet. The next two debates are going to be fact-check city, with corrections to the moderators' erroneous fact checks sneaking out over the following seven days."

I agree.

Btw, did you know Chris Wallace vacations with George Clooney?

I am betting thats where the Climate Change setup question came from.

Rick said...

Everyone retreating to whining that Chris Wallace was too dominant.

What a misread. Saying Trump should have treated him as a hostile party in the debate is not whining that he's dominant.

What he should have done is stated the theory is racist and insane, then listed a handful of stupid assertions people have made based on it (reasoning and being on time are white supremacy, Western Civilization itself is racist, claiming refusing to parrot their demands is violence, etc). People remember the specifics, link it to current events.

RBCK said...

"He doesn't explain things. He doesn't seem to like to get into the details and he's probably right. No one likes an egg head."

So, a person who explains why he or she thinks a particular policy should be implemented or a particular action taken--or not, in either case--is an "egghead" whom "no one likes?"

And, egghead haters (who are apparently "everyone") prefer instead that policies be implemented (or canceled) or actions taken (or halted) arbitrarily, with no discussion or explanation?

todd galle said...

As a government worker, I've had to travel 100 miles to attend these type of 'trainings', usually once every 3 or 4 years or so. I hated them, but soon realized all they taught was resentment amongst the forced participants. The convinced no one, and just fed the BS and FU force underlying the usual worker being told they were an oppressively oppressor being overly oppressive by breathing and having a melanin deficiency. I've seen my known liberal colleagues getting red in the face during these sessions. My favorite exorcise (after the horrid 'break out session' fubar) was the 6 word question. How would you describe your race conscious in a 6 word phrase. They were collected by the 'facilitator', probably as a pass/fail measure of the course. I know our table of 8 wrote some really nasty stuff. Hope she had a bottle of something in her hotel room when she read them.

effinayright said...

Althouse, you are being extremely disingenuous.

You KNOW what Critical Race theory is, and you KNOW that one of its tenets is that all whites are irredeemably racist.

You've tagged a number of your posts with "Critical Race theory"; so you obviously know a lot about it.

You even said, in one post:

August 9, 2018

"Critical Race Theory and Critical Legal Studies were vibrant back in the 1980s, and lawprofs said all sorts of things under those labels back when the theories were young and fertile. The lawprofs who did this sort of thing used to argue with each other, and it wasn't boring at all."

In another:

August 15, 2012

"The Daily Caller gets jazzed up about something Michelle Obama wrote in law school in 1988.
Go over there and read the gasping about how racist and left-wing it all was, but to me, having lived through Critical Race Theory, every single thing she wrote looks completely banal by the standards of 1988.

So, please, NO BULLSHIT about "wondering" about it.

effinayright said...

Ann Althouse said...
"To be fair, critical race theory is insane."

WHO are you being fair to? There's nothing in my post that indicates I think the theory is sound. I'm criticizing TRUMP for not saying why it is unsound. That the information is out there is understood. That's why it's bad of Trump not to know it or not to be able or willing to talk about it.

Yours is the first comment I read. I hope other comments address the criticism of Trump in the post.
*******************

Yeah, to be fair, it's entirely fair that Trump be required in the middle of debate to lay out the tenets of CRT. Why? Because Althouse thinks he should, despite the cacophony of coninual objections, talking over, and interruptions being made by Wallace and Biden.

And, of course, Trump DOES know enough about it to have made Executive Orders forbidding the federal government from paying anyone to hector its employees to sit through diatribes telling them they are irredeemably racists. (and "here's where you can contribute to my Paypal account", as we saw in an infamous photo of a gargantuan woman imparting her wisdom to her racist white audience."

SNORT

Michael K said...

So, a person who explains why he or she thinks a particular policy should be implemented or a particular action taken--or not, in either case--is an "egghead" whom "no one likes?"

Anyone who has ever been through none of these sessions, knows exactly what it was like. Anyone, like you, who has not, has no idea and is usually not interested.

Sebastian said...

"And really, they were teaching people to hate our country And I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to allow that to happen. We have to go back to the core values of this country. They were teaching people that our country is a horrible place. It’s a racist place."

What's vague about this? It is one of the major thrusts of Critical Race "Theory," and Trump got it right.

Sure, he would have done better by stating details. He should have done his homework. Yes, he is substantively and politically inept in many ways. But on one of the fundamental issues, he is on the right side. In politics, I'll take Trumpian attitude over lawyerly precision.

Michael K said...

He also missed biggly when Wallace and Biden said he called white supremacists good guys. Should have led with explaining why that was a lie.

I don't see Trump as a detail guy. Eisenhower wanted proposals on one page. That's the way it is done in those circles. The other way is faculty lounge stuff.

n.n said...

Trump doesn't operate in the little boxes constructed to enslave him, nor enter the train cars at his enemies' request. He denies their demands that he kneels, resists their efforts to force him to the back of the bus, and stands his ground when they threaten to burn, dunk, or protest him. #DiversityBreedsAdversity

Leora said...

I thought his answer on CRT was good. To paraphrase" "It's racist. It's insane. It teaches people to hate America." I don't think you can explain it and refute it in 2 minutes with both the moderator and your opponent trying to shut you down. And I think it matches the way CRT comes across to people who encounter it in schools, colleges and employee training sessions.

The Godfather said...

I wish only that Trump had said, We aren't talking here about "Racial Sensitvity Training" -- we're talking about teaching racism -- and that's just wrong.

DeepRunner said...

Ann Althouse said...
"You know, it's pretty absurd for Trump to pose as the champion of law and order while bringing so much of a feeling of chaos to the debate. He's the one who loves order? I'm afraid of that kind of order."

Oh, Professor, it's not like people actually expect you to vote for Trump. Nope, imo, GOP is SOL for your support. FWIW, I find you to be one of the most incisive and insightful bloggers, and yours is most often the first site I go to in the morning.