No one knew quite what to expect in Sunday night's second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but even the most imaginative political pundits among us probably didn't predict that Donald Trump doesn't know what a veto is.
Now, this was a question that we all saw coming: How would the presidential candidates fix the tax code? Three pages of Donald Trump's tax returns were leaked to the New York Times earlier this month, and those documents showed that Mr. Trump could have avoided paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years. (He confirmed that he did not pay federal income taxes during the second debate.) So when asked about how the tax code needs to be reformed, Clinton spoke about closing loopholes that allowed very rich people (like Trump) to eschew paying federal taxes. She argued that she has been in favor of getting rid of carried interest repeal for years, beginning when she was a senator from New York. Trump bounced back by asking why she hadn't fixed things when she served as a senator from 2001 to 2009, during George W. Bush's eight years as President of the United States.
"Why didn't you do it? Why didn't you do it?" Trump asked Clinton, seemingly unaware that 99 other people comprise the Senate and 435 other people comprise the House of Representative. Then, of course, there's the President of the United States, who can veto bills passed by the House and Senate.
Hillary Clinton, who has also served as Secretary of State in addition to senator, has a much more comprehensive knowledge of how government works, but she gave her opponent the cliff-notes version since she was on a time limit: "Because I was a Senator with a Republican president."
That answer didn't appease him. He asked again: "If you were an effective senator, you could have done it. But you were not an effective senator."
"You know, under our constitution, presidents have something called veto power," she answered.
This man wants to be Commander in Chief, but he doesn't seem to have a fundamental understanding of what it takes to pass a law. I mean, most Americans learn this in middle school. Well, Donald Trump, I know you're 70 years old, but it's never too late to learn how our government works.
Perhaps his next debate prep should include a civics lesson.