Donald Trump’s Wild Night

He has made outrageous commonplace on the trail. And he went for it again on the debate stage.

he tried to interrupt 25 times in the first 26 minutes of the debate, according to Vox—and say a lot of wild, perplexing and untrue things that may well overstimulate the national fact-checking economy

.. Trump came off as an overconfident blowhard, the mouthy guy at the office meeting who never knew much about the topic, didn’t try to get himself up to speed in advance, interrupts all his female colleagues anyway, then tells them to wait until he’s done when they try to get a word in edgewise.

.. he scored points portraying her as a tired politician who had stayed in the game too long. But he did seem a lot less comfortable and more agitated than he does at his rallies, as if mass adulation suits him better than one-on-one confrontation

.. there does not seem to be a lot of recognition of just how remarkable some of Trump’s comments were. Some of those comments have become familiar through repetition, like his suggestion that in America’s minority neighborhoods, you can’t walk down the street without getting shot, or his claim that American jobs are “leaving in bigger numbers than ever,” when in fact unemployment has been cut in half since 2010. But as I’ve discovered after attending Trump rallies, many of us have become so desensitized to his outrageousness that it no longer sounds as abnormal as it is.

.. Janet Yellen is widely considered one of the least political people in Washington, but it barely seemed to register last night when Trump accused her of keeping monetary policy loose for purely political reasons—even though the policy should presumably be even looser if the economy were really in the shambles Trump says it is.

.. Trump also tried to push the preposterous notion that Clinton was a fervent birther, but a less effective one than Trump

.. And when Clinton insinuated that maybe he still isn’t paying the federal taxes that support troops, schools and health care, he again took the bait, not to deny that he’s a free rider, but to scoff that his taxes would just be wasted if he did pay them.

That was a pretty damning non-denial.

.. When Clinton pointed out that it would be a disaster if the country declared bankruptcy the way Trump’s companies have, he said he had just taken advantage of the laws for his own benefit, because “that’s what I do.”

.. it’s hard to imagine another presidential candidate expecting brownie points for allowing blacks in his club.

.. He denied last night that he had ever called global warming a Chinese hoax, even though the evidence remains on his Twitter account. He also clung to his disproven claim that he always opposed the war in Iraq, citing Sean Hannity as his character witness. Trump just keeps blustering through, never admitting error, always assuming his confidence projects authority.

.. “Because I settled that lawsuit with no admission of guilt…It’s just one of those things.”

It’s one of those things that won’t make the news tomorrow, even though “no admission of guilt” at least partially captures the Trump approach to politics.

.. He’s going to keep saying things that normal politicians don’t. He won’t apologize for them. He’ll attack the media for even questioning them. And his supporters will continue to love him for them.