Eleven thoughts about last night's very bad debate:
1. The presidential race is not really Trump vs. Biden. It's Trump vs. the Media and Biden vs. the Media's Characterization of Trump.
2. Trump is a bully whose schtick works well when it is focused, when there is a responsive audience, and when he's seen as the outsider. It doesn't work well in last night's format and I don't know that it can work terribly well with him being the incumbent.
3. Wallace wasn't as bad as some of y'all think. But on issues like court-packing, he should have told Biden "we're not moving on until you answer that question." There were also a couple times where he bailed Biden out when Trump was pressing him.
4. Wallace's unwillingness to press Biden made Trump's interrupty schtick worse.
5. I think it's inaccurate to say that Trump refused to denounce white supremacy. He didn't articulate this well (surprise, surprise) but he understands that the media likes to paint anyone to the right of Che Guevara as a white supremacist so he asked for specific groups...
Wallace had asked Trump whether he'd tell those groups to stand down. Biden then mentioned the Proud Boys. Trump then said "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by."
It was a bit of a weird way to phrase things, but I think the idea that Trump is dog whistling to some white supremacist base is silly.
6. Anyone who thinks that white supremacy is a bigger threat to our nation than Antifa and BLM, Inc. is not being serious.
7. Biden saying that antifa is an idea not an organization was reeeeeeeeeeeeeelly bad.
8. Trump's goal seems to have been to attack Biden to show that he was soupy in the brain. That would have worked better if he'd let Biden talk, as the soupiness was fairly evident on numerous occasions.
9. Trump won in the sense that you win a "who can projective vomit the most" contest. But he didn't win over any voters last night.
10. Unless they completely overhaul the format for the next two debates, I'd rather stick needles in my eyes than watch them.
11. Discourse will probably get better after Trump is done, but another Trumpian figure will soon arise if Republicans return to the whole "never defend yourself and politely accept it when the media functions as a propaganda arm for the DNC" thing.
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