The make-believe world of Mr. Sniffles

The fact-checkers are sleeping late this morning.

They deserve it—rough night with Trump  scattering lies about at a breakneck pace during the first presidential debate. Merely keeping up became a herculean task. To wit:

•He lied about the Ford plant in Mexico—no lost jobs in Detroit after all.
•He’s on record as not having paid taxes several times.
•His current tax plan would adversely affect single people and a fifth of all families while costing 3.5 million jobs—this from an independent and right-leaning financial expert.
•He can release his tax returns whenever he wants, and they are the clearest picture of anyone’s financial situation. The clearest.
•“Stop and Frisk” was a disaster in New York City, if not a crime itself. Speaking of crime, it continues to drop there. Murders are not up either—not in New York or the U.S. Trump cherry-picked Chicago, and there’s no denying the tragedy in that city. But calling it Obama’s home town was just silly.
•In 2011 Trump pleaded with Washington to remove Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi. He may have been right, but if so he shares the responsibility for that destabilization.
•He supported the war in Iraq. Period.
•He was not endorsed by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement.) A federal agency cannot make an endorsement—something he would know if he knew anything. (He was endorsed by the union that represents ICE officers.)
•Despite his denial he did say he would negotiate down our deficit. Specifically he would borrow money, then if the economy crashed, work out a deal to pay back less. Before last night I had never heard a presidential candidate with an actual plan to bankrupt America.
Iraq did not want us to come back in with or without soldiers—it was part of the agreement President Bush accepted.
ISIS does not control oil in Libya. (I laughed when he said it—it made so little sense. I kept picturing a row of gas stations—Shell, Mobil, ISIS.)

As for Hillary Clinton—she did in fact call the TPP the gold standard, and in 2012 she did praise and promote it. But it remains a talking point for Trump, one which Clinton could have countered by pointing out the solid improvement in the American economy, the fact that three million people rose above the poverty line in the latest study, and that unemployment has dropped to almost unheard-of levels. She missed her chance.

And she missed another chance when it came to Iran. People as simple as Donald Trump view Iran as some monolith—a thing to be suppressed and restrained. They don’t realize that the royalty and wealthy in Iran were doing just fine before the Iranian deal, and that people were cheering in the streets afterward, not because they had duped America, but because now they could have iPhones and Big Macs and HDTVs and share in some of the wealth. Further, the more people taste freedom, the less likely they are to be tyrannized. Change takes time, but the Iranian deal was a first step. I wish Clinton had said that. But she did all right—I don’t know how you debate someone who trades only in lies, misinformation, bluster, and rudeness. I guess survival counts as a victory.

Oh, and Mr. Trump? Perhaps some Benadryl next time?

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