Donald Trump survived Sunday night's dark and bitter presidential debate but that's about all he did.
The bar has now been set so low for the GOP nominee that he could do the following on stage in St. Louis and still receive passing grades: suggest that as president he would jail his opponent; defend Vladimir Putin and Russia over the hacking of the U.S. election; praise brutal Syrian tyrant Bashar Assad; admit to not paying federal income tax; and rebuke his own running mate for daring to criticize Russia over the indiscriminate bombing of Syrian civilians.
That's a very partial list.
Trump also lied with enthusiastic regularity, again saying he opposed the second Iraq war before it started (he didn't), claimed his opponent would jack up the tax rate on the middle class (she says she won't) and protested that he did not Tweet at 3 a.m. that people should check out a sex tape featuring a former Miss Universe (he did).
And never mind that Trump spent the first portion of the debate apologizing for a video leaked over the weekend in which he grotesquely bragged about his ability to commit sexual assault because he's a "star." Diving deeply into the gutter, Trump tried to turn the video into a bizarre bank shot attack on Clinton by bringing to the debate women who claim former President Bill Clinton sexually abused them.
Trump, who himself faced a rape allegation from ex-wife Ivana Trump and now faces one from a woman who was 13-years old at the time the alleged act occurred (Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations) argues that Hillary Clinton is worse than he is because she attempted to smear and intimidate Bill Clinton's accusers, though the evidence for that smearing and intimidation is thin to nonexistent.