Ezra Klein sums things up very well:
As far as abortion went, the candidates did exactly what they’ve done. Hillary was frank in her support for her biggest blind spot and defended the indefensible: sticking scissors in a baby’ brain in partial birth abortion. Appalling.
And Trump? Pressed repeatedly on whether he wanted the court to overturn Roe, he dodged, deflected, and refused to answer the question, eventually settling on this weird sort of passive, “Well, it’ll happen” stance that passively refused to answer the question–because he is massively uncomfortable with committing to it.
He did manage to fake opposition to partial birth abortion, but only by making clear he didn’t seem to have any idea what it is. It was the performance of a pathological liar–and a man who has in all likelihood paid for abortions personally–longing to get on to stuff he actually cared about.
Two spinoff things I would like to see discussed:
1. Nobody in these debates ever pressed him about the details of the vaunted list of 20 judges which supposedly proves his prolife bona fides. All he’s ever done is wave this list of names around as proof that abortion really super duper matters to him. I would love for somebody to press him on these people, their records, and what he actually knows about them. Because I can absolutely guarantee he does not know jack about them and couldn’t tell you a thing about them if his life depended on it. It’s a list, drawn up by flunkies in haste, and thrown as a bone to prolife supporters who will believe *anything* he tells them so long as it feeds the delusion he cares about them.
2. One of the constant rhetorical tropes of the Hillary supporter is that neither she nor anybody else is a “pro-abort”. This is, we are told, “mean-spirited”. People are pro-*choice*, we are told. They don’t *like* abortion. It’s a tragic necessity.
Now I grant that for the overwhelming majority of women, that is how abortion is experienced. Nobody has an abortion for fun. But here’s the thing: the existence of men like Donald Trump gives the lie to the claim that nobody is pro-abortion or that everybody involved in an abortion regards it as a tragic necessity. If you think that Trump anguished for one second over forcing a sexual conquest into having an abortion, I have a bridge to sell you. And there are plenty of men like him who do not have the slightest interest in the world in women having a “choice” when they demand “get rid of that thing.”
This is the point Charlie Camosy makes in Beyond the Abortion Wars. When rich women like Hillary talk to poor women about “choice”, the poor are perfectly aware that they have no choice–and rich women go off feeling good about themselves for providing “uplift” while poor women know perfectly well that they have been abandoned to the power of men like Donald Trump.
As to the rest of the debate, the biggest moment, of course, was when Trump, completely out-womanned and outgunned, declared war on the entire American Constitutional order by refusing to accept the outcome of the election. His flaks hit the airwaves immediately, comparing him to Gore in 2000. But it was, as has been the case throughout this surreal campaign of lies, ridiculous. Gore sued *after* the election because it was an incredibly close race. (In Florida, he lost by 537 votes.) Trump, in contrast, has been pre-emptively declaring the election rigged (while also proclaiming himself assured of victory). There is, very simply, zero evidence for his claim, but he is very dangerously setting a precedent that is already inspiring his mob to threaten violence when he loses.
In sum, Hillary creamed him last night. She’s going to win November 8 and he knows it, which is why he is screaming everything is rigged against him.
Therefore, with that threat neutralized, on November 9, the next task will be to oppose the new threat: Hillary Clinton (and the violent yeehawdis if they try to open fire).