Wednesday, September 30, 2020


In a debate postmortem for Politico, John Harris writes:
For the most part, ... even policy discussions descended into guttural sentence fragments that didn’t add up to anything coherent....

Pulling Biden, Wallace, the sponsoring Commission on Presidential Debates, and everyone watching to the level of disruptive chaos where Trump has thrived in the past likely was the point.
We know that this didn't work for Trump -- he sabotaged himself by coming off as a sociopath.

But in addition, Trump might have done Biden a favor by preventing him from making coherent points. The media doesn't like it when Democrats make coherent points in presidential debates. Let's go back to the Politico piece Ryan Lizza published yesterday on what he regards as Trump's underestimated debate skills. Notice how Lizza describes the dynamic between Trump and Hillary Clinton when the two of them debated four years ago:
In the early moments of the first debate, which was the most-watched period of the three matchups, the two candidates outline their economic visions. Clinton was cogent and talked about a series of specific policies like raising the minimum wage, paid family leave, affordable child care and debt-free college. There was a dash of populism when she talked about “having the wealthy pay their fair share” and closing corporate loopholes.

It all seems so clear now, but it’s like watching a horror movie where you can’t believe another victim is going to fall prey to the same mistakes that Rubio and Jeb made when they were drowned in the lake by Trump.

When it’s Trump’s turn to talk about the economy, he launches into a simplistic riff about the world taking advantage of Americans. “Our jobs are fleeing the country,” Trump begins. He blames it all on Mexico and China and the other foreign countries using America as a piggy bank to rebuild their own countries. The Obama administration’s refusal “to fight them” is the problem. On the issues that he did have details about, they were skeletal, like his promise to cut corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 15 percent, which he said would be an explosive “job creator” would “be a beautiful thing to watch.”

Clinton was cerebral and hemmed in by only proposing things she genuinely believed were possible to pass into law as president.

Trump was visceral and unencumbered by any sense of what might work or what was possible to get through Congress.
Omigod -- Hillary "was cerebral"! She was "hemmed in by only proposing things she genuinely believed were possible to pass into law as president"! She was "cogent"! Eeuuuuuw! Icky brainiac liberals with their icky wonkishness and realism!

If Biden had managed to get a word in edgewise last night, his performance might be getting reviews like this today. Instead, we're talking about the Trump-driven shitshow.

So Trump really did Biden a favor last night.

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