Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Biden vs. Trump - The First Debate Shitshow
Live blogging the live bloggers.
But not really.

First 2020 Presidential Debate Preview
  Try to keep up. 
Welcome to the The First Presidential Debate of the 2020 General Election and the latest edition in the continuing saga of "Live Blogging the Live Bloggers blogging the Debates!"   The Dividist fondly recalls when he first conceived this series to cover the 2008 Republican debate and asked the question:

"There are plenty of live-bloggers covering the debate tonight, but who is covering the live bloggers? The Dividist rushes in where other, more sensible bloggers, fear to tread."
Problem being, this blog grew up in the heyday of political blogs which is roughly analogous to the Jurassic period of life on earth. In the social media era, blogs are considered a quaint throwback and not as immediate, entertaining, snarky, disingenuous, mean-spirited, polarizing, hateful, or a useful disinformation platform for amplifying Russian propaganda. For that we need Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Podcasts, Zoom, whatever. 

Nevertheless, we persist. We find it useful to frenetically attempt to track and post multiple sources as the debate proceeds real time. It helps extend our limited twitter-fueled attention span and pace our drinking during the long 90 minute debate. 

Historically we select a variety of bloggers from across the political spectrum and attempt to cut/paste their live blog insights. Really, no idea how this will work in the current frenetic, fractured, social media environment. We'll just pick a few favorites - Twitter is our platform of choice, so #NeverTrumpers like Tom Nichols and Rick Wilson should figure prominently, as well as polling sites, cable news, newspapers, and others TBD. 

Tonight's debate was organized by The Commission on Presidential Debates and will be moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News. Wallace selected the topics for the debate: 
  • The Trump and Biden Records
  • The Supreme Court
  • Covid-19
  • The Economy
  • Race and Violence in our Cities
  • The Integrity of the Election
We'll use these topics as an organizing structure for the responses we find that enlighten, inform, or otherwise amuse us. 

If past is prologue we will guess wrong about what to monitor and will be scrambling once things get started. Refresh your browsers for latest content once the debate is underway. Because of the derivative nature of this enterprise, I do run quite a bit behind the actual debate. Just setting expectations to lower the bar. Setting expectations is always important. Set your expectations very, very low. Here we go...

[UPDATE (10/01/20): We did not set our own expectations low enough. The thing about not being able to look away from a car wreck, is that you can't look away from a car wreck. The Dividist was unable to look away from the 90 minute car wreck as it unfolded. So, almost none of this post happened real-time, and there was no "live-blogging" to speak of. Most of this commentary was updated (and will continue to be updated) well after the debate.]

Thursday, September 10, 2020

But... But... 2016!!!
One poll and six pundits got it right in 2016.
What are they saying in 2020?

Pundits and Polls that picked Trump to win in 2016
They got it right in 2016. That wast then. This is now.
Six months after the election and three months into President Donald Trump's first term, the Dividist was still trying to figure out what happened. This blog was lying fallow, but as he said then: "With the passage of time, and with judicious use of third person plural, the Dividist has created enough distance from the election to get back to work and begin posting again." And with that, he selected among those few in the punditocracy who - unlike the Dividist - got it right and predicted that Donald Trump would win the Presidency. It was his first post after the 2016 election. The thesis was to "listen to a few notables who got it right... listen to what they said before the election and what they've said since."

Good advice then. Good advice now. We are now less than two months from the election to determine whether President Trump will serve a second term or if he will be replaced by Joe Biden. Conventional wisdom informs us that Labor Day is when most Americans start paying attention to the election. A good time to close the loop, go back, look at the sources who got it right then and see what they are saying now. We'll start with the polls.