The Morning Briefing: Please, God, Let the Next Two Debates Die in a Fire and Spare Us All

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Defund Debates

A joyous Hump Day to you all, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends.

Well, that happened.

The first of what we are calling presidential debates finally happened and I’m still not sure what in the hell I watched. I’m also surprised I didn’t hit the whiskey harder.


In case you didn’t watch it, Tyler has a full recap of the dysfunctional mess here.

I should mention up front that I hate the presidential debates no matter who the candidates are and I wouldn’t mind seeing them abolished altogether. They aren’t really debates anymore, they haven’t been since the Lincoln-Douglas days. Television has really perverted the process, turning these things into little more than poorly produced, dueling campaign commercials.

And then there was whatever happened last night.

It was such a you-know-what show that I even found myself agreeing with CNN.

As I suspected he would be, moderator Chris Wallace was spectacularly hacky and awful. The questions he chose sounded at times as if he had coordinated with the Democratic National Committee beforehand.

That’s an ongoing problem of mine with modern presidential debates  — the questions are always on topics that the Democrats want to make important, whether they are or not. Last night it was Trump’s taxes and climate change, for example. There was nothing about the Hillary bombshell from earlier in the day, yet Wallace let Biden babble on unchallenged about Trump and Russia.

 (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

As we’ve discussed, the bar was so low for Biden that all he had to do was avoid soiling himself and still be standing at the end of the debate to have it be considered a good night for him. He did manage to do that. Well, the standing part anyway, I can’t verify whether he soiled himself or not.


The mainstream media all think Grandpa Gropes won the debate. They were gleefully tweeting seemingly every line of Biden’s as if it was brilliant, never mind that none of those lines were in direct response to questions. After the first thirty-five minutes, I had Biden responding to only one question directly on my scorecard.

My conservative colleagues, on the other hand, all thought the debate went well for Trump. Megan chronicled her favorite Trump moments here.

Back to Wallace…he certainly earned his Democratic lapdog status. Here is a quote on that from our own VodkaPundit Stephen Green’s Drunkblog last night:

From the comments: “I figured Wallace would ask tough questions of both candidates, and, in fairness, he’s asked some of Biden, but his performance incredibly unbalanced. Quite disappointed.”

I can count two tough questions Biden got, but tons of framing and fact-checking against Trump.

This isn’t a loser’s lament — I think Trump is doing fine. But Wallace has gone from “weak” to “propping up his favorite candidate.”

One is excusable. The other isn’t.

There are two things to consider for the next two debates: how Trump actually does and what the mainstream media says he does. Last night, all they could do was caterwaul about him interrupting Wallace or Biden. Given that Wallace and Biden were working in cahoots against him, that could be viewed as taking the initiative against stacked odds.

 (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

If this debate moved anyone’s vote I can’t put my finger on what did it. I think we should just acquiesce to the plague year weirdness and cancel the next two debates, I don’t think I can listen to two more nights of Trump and Biden talking over each other while the moderator keeps saying, “Don’t make me stop this car!”

However, if the moderator for the next debate does press Biden to answer a question rather than spend the night checking his notes and going forward with an unrelated talking point, I might find new hope for the universe.

PJM Linktank

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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author ofDon’t Let the Hippies ShowerandStraight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.


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