The Corner

Politics & Policy

If This Really Is a ‘Flight 93 Election’ Somebody Should Tell Trump

In response to What Were You Thinking?

Trump’s defenders are fond of saying that this is the most important election of our lifetimes, a “Flight 93 election.” You “charge the cockpit or you die.” Well, we know one person who doesn’t act like our nation’s future depends on the 2016 election – Donald Trump. He actually seemed inexcusably unprepared, and none of the whining about mics or moderators can change the fact that — aside from the first 20 minutes – Hillary held him in the palm of her hand. She pushed his buttons, and he responded.

I keep hearing Trump’s defenders tell me that he’s better than Mitt Romney because he “fights.” While Mitt was merely a gentleman loser, content to let Obama walk all over him. Compare last night’s debate with Mitt’s first debate, and that critique is laughable. You’re not a “fighter” simply because you yell, interrupt, and sigh. A true fighter comes prepared and knows how to deliver a punch. It seemed like Trump put more thought into his Apprentice boardrooms than last night’s debate.

Yes, it’s a cliché, but there’s a reason why lawyers say, “When the law’s on your side, pound on the law. When the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. When you have neither, pound on the table.” Trump had facts, policy, and law to bring to bear. Instead he pounded on the table – and he looked bad doing it.

The race is not over by any means. He’s running against a historically bad and vulnerable opponent, and previous terrible debate appearances haven’t slowed him down (in the primary he usually lost the focus groups and the credible debate polls — Drudge doesn’t count.) But he hurt himself last night — and as Jim notes — he can only blame himself.

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