"I want attention! And I'm gonna interrupt to get it!"
"Proud Boys" ready to stand by as per Trump's order.
"We intend to stop Antifa raiding our cities and burning them down"
"An absolute disgrace!'
"It was like an abused mom trying to control a psychotic 8-year old!"
"We've just witnessed and heard the most monstrous cavalcade of lies ever spewed in debate history!"
"We just beheld Trump's plan in the debates: to ignore them and just flout every norm and rule to talk whenever he wants, say whatever he wants."
"I don't think Joe Biden is on the ballot but we are as a nation. We have a very clear choice in five weeks to decide what we love in common. Do we love decency, do we love democracy, do we love the rule of law. And if we don't do we just head off tht cliff totally..." - Historian John Meacham on Today, this morning
"Trump put on a performance so contemptuous, so puerile, so dishonest and so across-the-board repellent that the moderator, Chris Wallace, morphed into some amalgam of elementary-school principal, child psychologist, traffic cop and roadkill." - Frank Bruni, NY Times this a.m
The preceding remarks were just some of the reactions that followed the 90 minute farce that unfolded last night, a disgrace and national embarrassment in every sense of the word. As Janice said, "I hope to hell no one in other parts of the world watched this Trump freak show!' But they probably did, we are still waiting to hear from family in Barbados.
All this debate did is confirm for me that I was right all along in asserting in my August 4th post, that it would be a total waste of time for Biden, adding: "Biden shouldn't dignify this mad monkey with a gun via formal debate." Which is how I saw the unseemly cage match last night with moderator Chris Wallace looking more like an abused spouse, constantly trying to placate and appease the rabid ape who refused to control himself. (I.e. "I think you're gonna like the next question, Mr. President.")
But this is how it went: Trump and Joe Biden sparred bitterly during the first presidential debate of the general election with Trump trying to bully Biden into submission and silence. He hurled on personal insult after another as the pair clashed over healthcare, the coronavirus, the economy and the Supreme Court.
Ignoring the rules, Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden. a total of 741 times, according to the online tracker Factbase feed. The thug's interruptions were often in the middle of Biden's 2 minute statement- which had analyst Chuck Todd asserting in the aftermath it was Trump's intent to sow chaos to try to score a win. Biden, amidst this barrage of bullying and bombast, kept his cool, didn't blow his top. But Joe did allow himself righteous anger when - at the end of his tether from Trump's histrionics- he told the bombastic buffoon: “Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential.”
As Frank Bruni wrote in his column today:
"To the extent that Biden occasionally flung mud of his own, well, when you’re dragged into the pigsty, you have no other choice."
I totally concur. Some media outlets tut-tutted at this ("Biden resorted to too many pejoratives!") but as Claire McCaskill said on the NBC post-debate analysis: "Sheesh! If it was me I'd have throttled him!" So would most sentient people. As I told Janice, I'd have grabbed a coke bottle and broken it over his skull, had I been interrupted in a debate like Biden was. So Biden's mild displays of justified anger, including calling Trump a racist, clown and liar, were tepid by comparison - especially given how much time Trump stole while Biden was trying to make his points.
At another point, Trump even wrestled with the moderator, Chris Wallace, complaining: “I guess I’m debating you, not him. But that’s OK, I’m not surprised.” At that point Wallace ought to have slapped the orange Orang down and made it clear there were ground rules and Trump wasn't following them. (But then as Maddow noted in the MSNBC analysis, this debate was in fact a microcosm of Trump's flouting of rules and norms of government. And to the point, he "acted like he didn't even want to be there or want an election.")
By the end of the first hour I had tallied 133 lies spouted by the orange cockroach. Around that point Biden aptly said:
“The fact is that everything he’s said so far is simply a lie. I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar.”
Of course, we had reason to worry this debate would degenerate into the side show it became when we learned of the Trump team's pre-debate shenanigans. For example, Trump’s communications director, Tim Murtaugh, alleged that Biden’s campaign had reneged on an agreement to a “pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces” and that his team sought “multiple breaks during the debate, which President Trump doesn’t need”. The first is based on a long running conspiracy theory on the Right that Dem debaters needed hidden earpieces. Of course this is utter horse shit. The Right's minions and a-holes cling to this because they know THEY can't keep two consistent facts in their head for 90 minutes so ascribe that weakness to opponents. Hence the need for hidden earpieces they presumed. The second claim, about Biden demanding "multiple breaks" is simply twaddle. A lame effort to cast aspersions on Biden's age and suggest a weak bladder.
Then there was Trump’s demand that Biden submit to a drug test, a suggestion Biden laughed off, as he should have. It was one more indication of Trump being a "nutjob" - a term used by Janice's cousin Geoff'- after he weighed in. (Also suggesting the need for Trump to be escorted to a "rubber room" for ECT before any further debates).
The debate was arguably Trump’s best opportunity to reset the presidential race in which he is currently behind. But both the NBC and MSNBC teams of analysts believed he only barely kept his own supporters in place. His performance "definitely did not win any suburban, college educated women" - in the words of Nicole Wallace.
The economy is the sole issue where Trump retains a slight advantage over Biden, but that also should soon be history as the truth of Trump's poor economic stewardship slowly dawns, and the facts become more evident. Including that Trump's early economic gains - including adding jobs- were largely a result of the benefits accrued from the preceding Obama administration. All that's happened under Trump is mammoth job losses, and monstrous compounding debt - now nearly $4.8 b a day, as blogger Robert Freeman has noted, e.g.
As for "undecided" voters, all they need to know - to take away - from this debacle was that Trump refused to condemn his white supremacist supporters. In response to Biden challenging him to condemn his far right supporters, Trump simply directed his comment to the renegade Proud Boys, telling them to "Stand back and stand by". Adding: "Somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.” MSNBC analysts showed Trump's initial words "stand back, stand by". had within minutes appeared on the group's logo.
THIS is the swine we have defiling the office of the presidency, a racist at heart, and why we need to get rid of his sorry ass come November. As one WaPo columnist correctly summed it:
"It was frustrating to hear Wallace calling the president “sir” as he pleaded with him to adhere to the rules to which he had agreed. Sir. Trump did not deserve that nicety because he did not come to the debate bearing the mantle of the presidency. He came with the demeanor of a thug."
Frank Bruni, in his Times column, has said Biden should engage in no more debates given Trump's reprehensible behavior, emulating a deranged and rabid ape. I would agree but leave only one option for the next Town Hall debate: have a controller pull the plug on Trump's mic if he interrupts or talks over. There must be control and following the (agreed upon) rules else we have nothing but chaos, also a gross disservice to the electorate.