This is the actions of a guy who KNOWS he’s losing…
Tries to dominate to stage so no one can pin him down…
And cannot stop himself from lying….
It was Not a good debate for Donald Trump…
What does the worst debate in American history look like? It looks like the debate that took place on Tuesday night between President Donald Trump and the former Vice-President Joe Biden. It was a joke, a mess, a disaster. A “shit show,” a “dumpster fire,” a national humiliation. No matter how bad you thought the debate would be, it was worse. Way worse. Trump shouted, he bullied, he hectored, he lied, and he interrupted, over and over again.
Remarkably enough, it was seemingly on purpose. Losing in the polls, and with the country stricken by a pandemic that has claimed two hundred thousand American lives, the President offered incoherent bluster, inflammatory racism, and personal attacks on his opponent’s son. But mostly what came through was Trump’s refusal to shut up. He talked and talked and talked. He talked over Biden. He talked over the moderator, Fox News’s Chris Wallace. He talked over Biden some more. How bad was it? The line that history is likely to record as among the most memorable was Biden’s lament, at the end of the debate’s very first segment: “Will you just shut up, man? This is so unpresidential.”
To the extent that there was a substantive headline, it was Trump’s refusal to disavow white supremacy—after, it should be noted, claiming that he has been great for African-Americans—and his continued campaign to undermine public confidence in the upcoming election by baselessly asserting that ballots will be interfered with. “This is not going to end well,” he said, of the election, showing once again that his plan is to attack the very idea of voting itself. He then repeated it, as if for emphasis. “This is not going to end well.” It sure sounded like a threat.
Biden, for his part, made a strong argument for the over-all disastrousness of Trump’s tenure, speaking in especially caustic terms about Trump’s botched response to covid-19. “You’re the worst President America has ever had,” Biden said at one point. Later, he added, “Under this President, we’ve become weaker, sicker, poorer, more divided, and more violent.” It was a tough line and potentially even memorable, but Trump’s crosstalk kept it from being memorably delivered, which was true of many of the specifics that Biden sought, and often failed, to get across. He hardly mentioned, for example, the Times’ revelation, this week, that Trump, a self-proclaimed billionaire who has refused to release his tax returns—unlike all previous Presidents for the past four decades—had paid only seven hundred and fifty dollars in federal income tax for each of the first two years of his Administration.
Instead, Biden and Wallace were left sputtering by Trump for much of the evening, which is not a good look for either an aspiring President or a journalist who is generally admired for his tough questions. At times, Trump succeeded, if that is the right word for it, in getting them to descend to his level. Biden slung a few insults of his own, calling Trump, at various points, “racist,” a “clown,” and even “Putin’s puppy.” Wallace, visibly frustrated and not sure what to do about it, was left to lecture Trump about not following the rules that Trump’s own campaign had agreed to—but Wallace was powerless to stop the rampaging President. Trump even interrupted Biden as he attempted to finish his very last sentence at the end of the debate….
image…Oliver Douliery / AFP / Getty