“That,” said CNN anchor Jake Tapper, looking as if he’d just swallowed a rotten egg, “was a hot mess in a dumpster in a train wreck … the worst debate I’ve ever seen; in fact it wasn’t even a debate. It was a shame. ‘
Incredibly, if anything, he underestimated the complete horror of last night’s first presidential showdown of this US election cycle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Tapper’s colleague Dana Bash, a lady not fond of exaggeration or profanity, simply said, “It was a sh * t show.”
Even that was generous.
I got up at 2am in the UK to watch it, and can honestly say, with my hand on my heart and without fear of contradiction, that it is the most embarrassing and unlearned spectacle in the history of the modern day. American politics was.
What, if you think President Bill Clinton was caught lying about cigar sex to a 22-year-old White House intern in the Oval Office, is quite something.
Last night’s first presidential showdown of this US election cycle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was the most embarrassing and unlearned spectacle in the history of modern American politics.
The president basically questioned his Twitter game – a relentlessly bombastic bombardment of abuse, personal jibes, self-righteous rumen and blatant falsehoods. But as terrible as Trump was, Biden could and should have done so much more to counter and exploit the waving president
Trump, even by his legendary barbarian debating standards, was repulsive.
The president basically questioned his Twitter game – a relentlessly bombastic bombardment of abuse, personal jibes, self-righteous rumen and blatant falsehoods.
In the worst of many horrible moments, he refused to condemn white supremacists, and when specifically challenged over the Proud Boys, a vile racist homophobic transphobic misogynist group of violent bigots, he replied, ‘Proud guys, stand up and watch! ‘
This amazing dog whistle response was immediately, nauseating and completely unsurprisingly embraced by the group as a formal public presidential endorsement and call to arms.
In another terribly ugly conversation, Trump interrupted Biden as he spoke poignantly about his late war hero, son Beau, to smear his other son: “I didn’t know Beau. I know Hunter. Hunter was expelled from the army. He was thrown out, dishonorably fired for cocaine use. ‘
This, as so much Trump spewed out last night, is not true. Hunter was fired, but not dishonorable.
But regardless of whether it was true or not, ignoring a man who praised his beloved son who died of a brain tumor so that Trump could mock his other boy was a disgusting low-thudding move that would surely revolt any viewer with even half a sense will have brought. of decency.
The president even mocked Biden for wearing face masks to ward off Covid-19, as if that were somehow ridiculing a responsible civilian when more than 200,000 Americans have already died of the virus.
I wish I could say this disgusting behavior shocked me.
But it was just Trump being Trump, albeit at his best and in a way that made even his own team uncomfortable.
“It was too hot,” said Governor Chris Christie, who helped the president prepare for the debate. “With all that heat you lose the light.”
Do you think, governor?
As for moderator Chris Wallace, one of the most respected figures in the American media, I’m sorry to say that he lost control and the plot, which allowed Trump to dominate proceedings as an overgrown bully on the playground and consequently in the debate. an almost invisible puppet theater
To me, as someone said on Twitter, Trump looked like a drunken heckler at a comedy club who keeps hammering the acts, thinking everyone is cheering him on – when in fact they just want the nasty clatter thrown out.
But as terrible as he was, Biden could and should have done so much more to counter and exploit the waving president.
Instead, the Democrat candidate was weak and ineffective during the debate, failing to truly defeat Trump, even as America teeters from its diabolical approach to the pandemic that has led to the world’s worst coronavirus death toll. and also the worst economic collapse.
The challenger struggled with statistics, as he has often done in this campaign, muttered at times incoherently and frankly did little to dispel persistent Republican rumors that he is fighting the early onset of senility.
I also found Biden’s constant weird ‘Joker’ style derisive laughter, even at very serious moments, inappropriate and grating.
The cackling was clearly a pre-planned strategy, but it didn’t work.
He should have remained serious, statesman-like, and firmly above the raging Trump battle.
Americans are really suffering and losing loved ones and livelihoods in large numbers right now.
They don’t want laughter in a debate to decide who to vote for in November – they want leadership, empathy and reassurance.
And that was all chronically tight last night.
Biden’s biggest mistake was to descend to Trump’s level.
He is believed to be the man who will bring courtesy back to the US presidency.
But last night we heard Mr Nice Guy call Trump a ‘clown’, a ‘racist’ and a ‘liar’, tell him to ‘shut up’ and make fun of him to ‘keep yapping’.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on stage during the debate, along with Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden
That’s not polite, just behaves the same way Mr Bad Guy does.
As for moderator Chris Wallace, one of the most respected figures in the US media, I’m sorry to say that he lost control and the plot, which allowed Trump to dominate proceedings as an overgrown bully on the playground and consequently in the debate. an almost invisible puppet theater.
Some supporters of the Fox News host said there was nothing he could do, given how scandalous Trump was acting.
But there was.
As Watergate legend Carl Bernstein tweeted during the unfolding fiasco, ‘Chris Wallace must shut down Trump and insist that he follow the rules … and, as a moderator, enforce them … stop the debate for 60 seconds and lay the rules fixed. ‘
Ultimately, that’s what every debate moderator should do: ask the questions and enforce the rules.
By not doing the latter, Wallace ruined the debate for the millions watching at home.
In any rotten food fight, the winner is the one who emerges from the battle with the least amount of tainted gourmet waste choking his face and torso.
By that very low benchmark, Biden won – as most post-debate polls confirmed.
But the sad, bleak truth is that no one really won.
Biden’s reputation for politeness was tarnished by his foolish and stupid pool of mud.
Trump’s chances of winning over independent voters – which will be key to his presidential survival – were torn apart by his 90-minute freak show performance.
And Chris Wallace’s image as a smart, tough journalist was seriously tarnished by his appalling failure to control the chaos.
Most serious of all, the mess has done a tremendous disservice to America and the American people.
This US presidential debate was watched around the world and couldn’t have been a worse advertisement for the self-proclaimed greatest superpower.
It was an excruciating, embarrassing and humiliating debacle that humiliated all involved watch the two election candidates exchange pathetic insults like bickering schoolchildren at such a critical time for the country and the world.
Joe Biden may have “ won, ” but by choosing so stupidly to lay down with rabid attack dog Trump and play him in his own swearing game, he sadly made us all get up with fleas.
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