Lawrence O'Donnell perfectly explains the first presidential debate

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Trump is not the class clown. He’s less Jeff Spicoli and more Biff Tannen, if Biff was raised in wealth and never ever got his comeuppance.*


  • Trump/Tannen 2016!

O’Donnell may be astute but brevity is not one of his strengths. His monologue would have a lot more impact if he’d condensed it to eight minutes. He seems compelled to pin Trump on every one of his stumbles during the debate, when he should’ve curated those that would speak the most to undecided voters. By the five-minute mark, I doubt anyone with even one foot in the Trump side of the fence kept watching this.


Yes. Excellent points well made, but spread out over far too much time with too much repetition. It felt like he had a time slot to fill? I guess that’s one liability of a 24-hour-news cycle.


When conservatives try to promote the idea that #Trumpwon on Twitter, or point to their own online polls that show Trump won . . . does that mean I should now vote for him despite the fact that I disagree with all his policies?

If they had to grudgingly acknowledge that Hillary won, would they then vote for her?

The debates have become meaningless spectacles masquerading as a valid part of the democratic process.


It was hilarious how Trump bragged that hashtag was trending before actually clicking on it. 90% of those posts seemed to be mocking him, including stuff like “#TrumpWon’t release his tax returns.”


Yes. The essential pitch of the Right is that “voting for the winning side” is the same thing as “winning”. It doesn’t matter how objectively flawed this idea is; many, many people would rather vote for someone they despise, and “win”, than support someone who ends up losing.

It’s insane and horrible, but you can’t slap everyone.


So agreed. The notion of calling a “winner” in the debates strikes me as ill-conceived. If someone polls after the debates and sees an uptick in support for candidate X, then I suppose one could speculate that the uptick had something to do with the debate, but this winner/loser stuff is not helpful; like you point out, anyone who doesn’t want to vote for X isn’t going to even if X is declared the winner. Debates should be seen as expositions of candidate positions, and perhaps the best post-hoc approach for spin-doctors is to point out the cogency (or lack thereof) of what got said.


I heard somewhere that dystopia Biff was Trump inspired.


I’ll have to watch this later. A college friend works for the show. From what I can tell from our limited contact Larry is taking it as a personal mission to counter the medias Trump friendliness. Their whole crew seems pissed .


They based Biff on Trump.


It’s pretty obvious once you think about it. I could see Biff’s future costuming with a Trump label selling rather well down the mall.


This talk of class clowns/presidents reminds me of something that I’ve been thinking about a lot since Trump got in the running. I remember the grade, in elementary school, when they first had a student council, with student body president, etc. They got all the students into the auditorium (cafeteria) to listen to everyone campaign. Some student candidate got up and started talking about how if they were elected, they would build a water slide on the school grounds, etc. - the principal seemed taken by surprise, trying to point out this was not going to happen, but drowned out by the student cheers. I was baffled because the student body president clearly had no power, much less could they make good on any of their wildly outlandish promises, which only served to make it impossible to know what they actually would do in office. I couldn’t understand why anyone went along with it rather than just roll their eyes at the bad joke and be annoyed at the time wasting. I was further baffled when that student won. Every time Trump speaks and people cheer, I think of that kid.


I would love to give it a try…


O’Donnell’s numbers are all wet when he makes a big deal about the 84 million people who watched the debate. That number doesn’t count any of the people who watched on line, or at parties, or at bars, and so on. I read one estimate that’s another 54 million people, but I have no idea how you measure.

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November? Where is it? WHERE THE FUCK IS IT!


Class douche bag is more like it.

Agreed that it didn’t exactly feel condensed, but I thought that was a good thing. I thought it was thorough, as opposed to drawn out. It was refreshing that he wasn’t just going for viral-ready soundbites.


Watching this makes me glad I don’t have cable.

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Good point. I didn’t watch the debate, but have seen highlights, and I’ve read about the awful Miss Universe business. I watched this entire clip and it just reinforced my view that Trump is an insult to any self-respecting septic tank.

But when O’Donnell got to the last two minutes, and explained the “she deserved it” statement, my jaw just dropped to the floor. I didn’t know that was coming, and wouldn’t have made the connections he did. I thought it was the most potent anti-trump argument I’ve ever seen. So I agree; he could have gotten to that a lot sooner. Perhaps it could be edited to reinforce the point, so it could have a chance of being seen by those of us with shorter attention spans (as mine usually is, alas . . . )


Good point. And I was just trying to rewatch the segment you’re talking about, but their lame player won’t seek beyond what’s already buffered! Oops! So yeah, a good segment, thoroughly buried.