I’ve been trying to articulate this, because it’s really not how debates are supposed to work. And in normal times, maybe a bar this low wouldn’t apply. But in all 3 of the debates, I’ve been very impressed with Hillary Clinton saying things I disagree with:
After the first debate, a lot of liberals complained about her position on NAFTA. Fair, enough, I thought she was wrong on the policy. But I also appreciated her defense of trade more generally and of what future trade policies should look like. You can, and should, argue the policy but she clearly knew what she was talking about, and I hope we can hold her to that in future trade negotiations.
In the second and third debates, Syria policy came up. In the second debate, there was discussion of arming the rebels. Those rebels are probably better people than the current regime, but honestly it’s not our place to arm them. There’s also considerable possibility of blowback and of those weapons ending up in the wrong hands (and that could include the hands we gave them to, 20 years on). That said, Trump was complaining about the policy and he said “She doesn’t even know who the rebels are” and after a lot of Trump nonsense, including a back and forth with one of the moderators, Clinton casually explained who she would arm and why, when I think most people would have just let it go.
In the third debate they discussed a no fly zone. From my perspective, this is a bad use of American military. It’s an act of war, and I think it makes things worse. But I also appreciated her discussion of what the goals of an no fly zone would be and the diplomacy would look like to put it in place.
This is running pretty long for an open thread, so I’ll stop it here: I don’t think I’ll ever have a candidate who I agree with on all the issues, but when I watch Hillary Clinton speak, I’m at least glad that it’s her, smart, competent, prepared, even when I disagree.