Glenn's Debate Notes

Glenn thought Sarah Palin was brilliant last night, but also thought that Biden did what he had to do. There were no big gaffes or knockout punches, but there were some statements that were a stretch or even flat out false. Find out how Glenn saw the debate last night with his notes and running commentary.

  • I loved the “Can I call you Joe?” that came from an open mic from Palin.


     


  • The open of understanding the economy by talking to parents at a soccer game initially made me nervous she might go over-hokey, but that was actually a really good relatable answer.


     


  • The CNN scorecard thing is amazing to watch, it would be interesting to have a web feature to do your own while watching.


     


  • Palin pulls out “predator lenders” again. Meters flat. Then she says: Don’t live outside out means. “Personal responsibility.” Meters go through the roof. Why republicans don’t think this is a winning message is perplexing. Palin shows the guts to go there—does it with tact---and scores one of the best debate moments for either candidate.


     


  • Given several opportunities, Palin seems like she simply will not praise deregulation. I guess they’re thinking it’s a hard case to make at this moment, but it strikes me as another winning argument that they won’t exploit. Something like “I know a little something about being a small business owner—so I’m not going to stand here and say I want the government to be more involved in my life. The answer isn’t “regulation, regulation, regulation—more, more, more” like the democrats are always offering-- it’s smart targeted regulation—like what John McCain called for two years ago for Fannie and Freddie.”


     


  • First 15 minutes Sarah very, very, solid. (One of my friends said she looks a bit nervous at this point. I didn’t notice.)


     


  • Joe seems to like her---I think that’s positive. They both seem to like each other. This is a major part of what Biden had to do in this debate. Turn down the jerk-o-meter as much as possible. He’s reasonably successful.


     


  • Palin compliments ‘massive oversight.’ I am taking these sort of comments as “I’m John McCain’s VP, and I don’t want to look pro-Wall St. executives in the middle of this mess.” I have to admit though, if she sounded like this and she was running for the top of the ticket with no restrictions, I’d be a little nervous.


     


  • The meters hate when you avoid the question, but they get over it pretty fast.


     


  • Did Joe Biden just “promise” exactly where next attack will come from and be planned?? Really? And he says with a straight face that he knows where Bin Laden is? Isn’t it about time that nonsense gets challenged? We don’t “know” that. We suspect it. And a terrorist plan is almost as likely to come from a coffee house in Los Angeles as it can come from the mountains of Pakistan. That’s either a fundamental misunderstanding of the war on terror, or trying to look tough for stupid people.


     


  • About meeting with Iran without preconditions, Biden just lies. Obama was specifically asked about presidential level meetings with Ahmendenejad without preconditions. Palin is right to call him out. I kind of wanted her to add “This is a government that wants to wipe Israel off the planet. This is a government that executes gays for being gay. This is a government that wouldn’t let me leave my house without a male escort if I lived in his country. What do you expect to chat with them about?”


     


  • Biden loves to say “let me say that again”----very repetitive. I’m sure those liberals all over Palin for sticking to talking points too much will gladly point this out. His point about Exxon getting a $4 billion tax cut is embarrassing. As we’ve said before—his lone reasoning for this is that McCain wants to cut taxes for all businesses, and that Exxon is a business. You can just as easily say he wants to cut taxes curing childhood diseases. It’s literally looking over a list of all companies and picking out the one that you don’t like the most. I’d love for someone to call him out on that.


     


  • So far, so good for Palin. She’s been great so far, and she’s probably far enough in to this thing that people watching just to see if she’s going to be Tina Fey’s characture of her have already stopped watching due to utter disappointment. You can’t honestly make the point to me that she is an idiot. She obviously has a handle on these issues.


     


  • Speaking as a radio guy—we have a term called a “crutch”. Which is that thing in your speech pattern that you probably say too much. Think McCain “my friends” or Arnolds “and all of these other things”. Palin’s has to be “also.”


     


  • Interesting approach here by Palin. She is just standing there, toe to toe, running with Joe Biden at “his game” (not the gaffe prone, not telling the truth part of his game. The internal politics, well of the senate, debating policy sort of game.) After my initial worries about being overly hokey, I actually wouldn’t have minded seeing a tad more of “her game.” But that’s a nit-pick. We’re an hour in, and she’s been very impressive. SNL, Hollywood, and the media might win in painting her as unqualified—but in her two most watched appearances she’s been brilliant.


     


  • When describing a Biden administration, he says it would be a national tragedy of historic levels. Okay, yes I know what he was doing, but it was funny anyway.


     


  • Sarah didn’t seem to hear the question on her Achilles heel, and just answers in a sort of “what we would do while in office” sort of way. But Biden DID hear the question, and his answer is laughably horrible. I mean, it’s kind of a pointless question, but come on Joe. Your Achilles heel is “excessive passion”? That’s a “high school kid on a job interview” answer—not a “VP answer with a 2 minutes to prepare” answer.


     


  • Palin’s stop looking into the past, lets look to the future—argument is the best way to handle the popularity problems of Bush that I’ve seen all campaign. A lot of people will talk about her “Say it ain’t so Joe” line—but her point of ‘why do you always insist on looking backwards’ works really well—especially when delivered by her, standing next to him. Probably doesn’t work quite as well for McCain, but I haven’t heard a better option.


     


  • I find myself feeling a little bad for President Bush. He is really treated like poison, and I get the strategy. But, the democrats are insanely unfair to him, and republicans are afraid to compliment even the obviously good things he’s done. Imagine if I told you in 2001—NO MORE ATTACKS by 2008, and the president wouldn’t get a word of credit from either party for it. There’s no way you would believe me.


     


  • Joe Biden chokes up…it was a nice moment for him I thought. I didn’t hear her suggest “only women can understand being a single parent” though. Maybe I missed it.


     


  • For all the book talk about Gwen Ifill---she was fine tonight, I thought. And actually pretty good. I’ve heard some people complaining that Biden was always given the last word. That might be true—but I didn’t really notice it. She didn’t really go into the “come up with a list of 3rd basemen in the minor leagues in 1933” type of questions to try and make Palin squirm.


     


  • Biden did exactly what he had to do in this thing. Looked like a pro and confident in his answers, even when he was completely lying. If Palin was up against Tim Kaine or someone similar this could have been really bad for democrats. Instead it was fine for them. He did no real harm, although he will get hammered in some of the post debate fact checks.


     


  • But the big story is---this was great for Palin—and good for McCain. McCain shows he didn’t make a ridiculously reckless pick, even though his poll number drop has much more to do with the economy than it does Palin even at her worst moments. But for me—this was a huge night for the future. Unless she has a major gaffe later on, you can’t say that Palin was responsible for McCain losing, if he loses. And you likely can give her some credit if he wins. She did a great job setting herself up for a bright future—and perhaps a presidential run in 2012 or 16. Palin/Jindal ’12? Anyone??


     


  • Katie Couric’s CBS has a poll saying Biden won pretty handily, although it’s much less pronounced in the other polls I’ve seen. The CNN one has it at 51-36 or 51-39 depending on what graphic they were showing at the time. Remember—republicans ALWAYS lose post-debate polls. And they are up against a lot of momentum at the moment.


     


  • Obviously when you factor in ideas, I thought Palin won by a lot in my mind. But even just as pure performance, I thought it was a good debate—with Palin having the edge. I’m not sure if that has too much to do with the pre-debate expectations, or the fact that Biden said a lot of things that don’t jive with reality. But, either way—even a tie for Palin is a far more than she had to do.


     


  • Deeper in the polls, some great signs for Palin:

    • Did they do better or worse than you expected? Palin: 84-7 better than worse. She thrives when underestimated.

    • Who’s more of a “typical politician” ---Biden 70-21. –if this country is as annoyed with Washington as they seem—this certainly can’t hurt.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.