Richard Wolffe at The Guardian writes—The nicest thing you could say about Trump’s performance was that it was bonkers:
We can understand a totalitarian like Putin threatening to jail his opponent, but I've never heard an American politician threaten his opponent with that in my lifetime. But that's just what the Republican candidate for POTUS did last night, when he wasn't stalking Secretary Clinton as she gave her answers to the questions being asked by the audience.
Another performance by the Short Fingered Vulgarian proved he knows nothing about foreign or domestic issues and that he is the consummate liar that the fact checkers all over the country have said he is.
Trump's performance last night and the revelations about his sexual predations last Friday makes him unfit to be the POTUS, and that's not just my opinion, that's the opinion of an avalanche of Republican politicians and the American people.
And we're all blessed that Trump performed as well he did last night. I was getting a trifle nervous, wondering if Reince Priebus & Co. might come to its senses and somehow figure a way to dump its absolute horror of a nominee. Thus I reveled upon reading this in the Times this morning: "Trump’s performance was sure-footed enough that no more Republican officials disavowed him in the immediate aftermath of the debate."
In declaring that Clinton has "tremendous hate in her heart," that she "should be ashamed of herself," that she is "the devil," and that as a banana-republic dictator he would put her "in jail," Trump reinvigorated his malevolent base and guaranteed its imperishable presence in GOP Politics 2016. Which is to say, he's untouchable. He also guaranteed that his party will suffer a bloody split in 2017, as saner Republican pols flee the calamitous contours of November's Trumpian antecedent. A devastating performance last night might have pushed Mr. Priebus to do something sane straightaway, and that would have been a real pity. Trump's devastation is much better left for November.
Never forget that Trump, who insisted last night that he "respects" women, said this to Howard Stern about his (at the time) young daughter, Ivanka:
TRUMP: "My daughter is beautiful, Ivanka."
STERN: "By the way, your daughter."
TRUMP: "She's beautiful."
STERN: "Can I say this? A piece of ass."
Every man I know knows what "a piece of ass" means when speaking about a female - it means "she's 'f***able." And Donald Trump let the shock jock, Howard Stern, say that about Ivanka.
That's Trump's idea of "respecting" women.
His own daughter.