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Contrary Take: Maybe Trump Was Right to Accept Biden's Sundowner Debate Rules

AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

I enjoyed my friend and colleague Stephen Kruiser's Morning Briefing on Monday as I always do — and as I'm sure you do, too. But he got me thinking about how crazy Donald Trump was to accept the June 27 debate rules... and the format... and the craptaculent faux-moderators... and I'm starting to wonder if Trump isn't crazy like a fox.

"I get that Trump would love to get a shot at taking Biden apart in a debate," Kruiser wrote earlier today. But "from a Trump supporter's point of view, the problem is that it's being moderated by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash — two thoroughly awful Dem fluffer hacks."

"What perplexes me is why he agreed to do it on CNN and let these two commie mouthpieces run the show."

And what a show it's (not) going to be. PJ's own Rick Moran looked at the rules Trump acceded to and they include mics being shut off when it's the other guy's turn to speak, two commercial breaks instead of one, no audience, no opening statements, and moderators “will use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion."

"Shut up, Trump," they'll explain.

Recommended: WWIII?

Word just came in from the Washington Reporter that "two sources, including one at CNN," claim that the White House is "trying to renegotiate the debate rules to allow Biden to be seated." Semafor's Max Tani has his own source at CNN who says that "this is not accurate." But, since nobody's sources want to go on the record, who knows?

The worst way the White House stacked the deck is that the debate will run just 60 minutes instead of the usual 90. As I've written here on several occasions, the White House tries to limit Biden's public appearances to about an hour,  including his most recent State of the Union Address. After an hour or so, sometimes less, Biden's energy runs out — i.e., his chemical cocktail — and the sundowner effect kicks in.

Now let me tell you why this rigged debate might be a good thing.

What if Trump goes up against Biden with this one message underpinning his performance: "I've come to this debate the same way I'll go back to Washington, with literally everything stacked against me. And I'll still win."

They'll try to shut him up. They'll try to trip him up with questions like, "How can America trust you when your record shows that time and again, you would feed transgender people to feral hogs on a pay-per-view channel you owned, and now you want to spend taxpayer money to have SpaceX launch your political opponents into the Sun as part of your program to destroy our precious democracy?"

And every time, Trump can say something like, "I'm here to address America's concerns and I'll fight anyone in my way, wherever they are — including in this room right now."

That's a helluva message, provided he can pull it off. 

Everything might hinge on how well Trump prepares and that's a legitimate concern. A Donald Trump debate performance is a lot like sex. When it's good, it's great. But when it's bad, you'll spend the rest of your life trying to forget it happened.

Here's to hoping for a memorable performance, in the very best of ways we'll want to remember for the rest of our lives. 

However it plays out, you know I'll be here about 20 minutes before showtime, second third cocktail in hand, and ready to drunkblog the festivities. 

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