Thursday, August 18, 2022


If you're one of the savvy people, you know one thing for certain about a Liz Cheney presidential run: If she runs as a Republican, there's no way Donald Trump will agree to debate her. Charlie Sykes writes:
Predictions are always risky, but I think it is safe to say that Brave Sir Donald will never under any circumstances get on a debate stage with Liz Cheney.

Reports Ron Brownstein in the Atlantic: “The general feeling among Republicans I spoke with this week is that the RNC would go to almost absurd lengths to avoid allowing Cheney to appear on the same debate stage as Trump.”

Well, yes. And the key words here are “absurd lengths.”

Let’s break out the popcorn for a moment to imagine the mind of RNC Chairwoman Ronna [Romney] McDaniel circa 2024, as she struggles to shield, coddle, appease, and protect the Orange God King from his 5′3″ nemesis.

It’s not that hard, since [Romney] McDaniel has a track record. It’s not beyond her to cancel primaries and caucuses, or even scrap the party’s platform altogether.

So a debate — an actual face-to-face confrontation between the disgraced, twice-impeached, defeated, chronically lying narcissist and his most loathed antagonist — is not going to happen....

There is no circle in the MAGA Hell too deep or fetid for an RNC that even thinks about allowing that to happen.
But it was regularly predicted that Trump would duck debates in 2020, and he showed up for two of them with Joe Biden. Some people thought he wouldn't debate Hillary Clinton in 2016, but he did that, too.

Trump might want to debate Cheney just so he can insult her. He knows what his base wants to hear when a woman is righteously enraged at him: an obnoxious response that positions him as someone who won't back down in the face of criticism, and won't even take the criticism seriously. This has the added benefit of making the woman appear, to his fans, like a humorless, ball-busting bitch -- I'm using sexist language deliberately because that's how it registers in the minds of his fans. I'm not thinking only of Trump's "Such a nasty woman" remark in the final debate with Hillary Clinton -- I'm also thinking of this exchange between Trump and Megyn Kelly in 2015:

The cheap shot aimed at Rosie O'Donnell, the base-pleasing attack on "political correctness," and then, of course, the post-debate follow-up, when Trump said of Kelly, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” -- Trump's voters love this kind of thing, and Trump knows it. He really might welcome the opportunity to treat Cheney the way he treated Kelly, and even to imply, as he did in the exchange with Kelly, that his insulting obnoxiousness is somehow good for the country:
I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either. This country is in big trouble. We don’t win anymore. We lose to China. We lose to Mexico both in trade and at the border. We lose to everybody.

And frankly, what I say, and oftentimes it’s fun, it’s kidding. We have a good time. What I say is what I say. And honestly Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.
I think he'll be ready to attack Cheney as a "globalist" second-generation warmonger, and as a representative of the "deep state." I think he'll portray her as an ally of the Biden family because her husband works at the same (massive) law firm as Hunter Biden's lawyer. And I think he'll insult her in a gutter-level sexist way, like a guy who's been rejected at a bar. All of that will endear him to the GOP base.

Given how deparaved Republican voters are, Trump would probably be a fool not to want to face off with Cheney, so he can give them exactly what they want.

No comments: