July 8, 2020

The effort to rescue Biden from the demand to debate continues apace.

I was just talking about this a couple weeks ago, when WaPo had a column "It’s time to rethink the presidential debates." The columnist, I said, was "only proposing that the debates take place in a TV studio with no audience, but I expect to see a push to eliminate the debates. Not campaigning has been working well for Biden, and not debating is another step in the do-nothing game. Will he look worse doing the debate or worse avoiding the debate? I think the press will do what it can to make him look especially principled, lofty, and judicious as he declines to appear in the presence of the orange monster."

And now we've got Thomas Friedman in the NYT, with "Biden Should Not Debate Trump Unless …/Here are two conditions the Democrat should set." It's not an outright argument to keep Biden out of the debates, but that's where it's headed. Friedman begins with his "worry":
I worry about Joe Biden debating Donald Trump. He should do it only under two conditions. Otherwise, he’s giving Trump unfair advantages.
The first condition has nothing to do with the nature of the debate. It's just a demand that Trump release his tax returns, so that just seems like generating an excuse not to debate. Friedman tries to make this demand relate to the debate by saying that Biden has released his tax returns and that was  "gifting Trump something he can attack." It's not a level playing field, you see.

The second condition is a ridiculous proposal — "a real-time fact-checking team approved by both candidates be hired by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates." Friedman imagines that these beings would — "10 minutes before the scheduled conclusion of the debate this team report on any misleading statements, phony numbers or outright lies either candidate had uttered. That way no one in that massive television audience can go away easily misled."

Don't let people be "easily misled" when they can be difficultly misled. Bring on the experts! And make them work under breakneck pressure and announce truths before the deadline.

Friedman pronounces it "incredibly sad" that we need to "make truth-telling an explicit condition," but such are the times in which we live. Trump times. It's just not fair, we're told, that Biden should  "have to spend a majority of his time correcting Trump before making his own points." I read between the lines: It's just not good for Biden to have to understand and communicate in real time about the flaws in whatever might happen to be said by Trump.

Put Biden to the test! Here Friedman is openly talking about how worried he is that Biden can perform in the debate setting. Either Biden must have the assistance of an expert team typing out a crawl text along the bottom of the screen or Biden shouldn't set foot on the debate stage at all. How pathetically weak! And this at a time when many — most? all? — of us wonder if Biden has what it takes mentally to be President! I will interpret the failure to debate as a concession that Biden is mentally deficient and better off hiding out and taking whatever hits he'll get for not proving his ability. Certainly, Washington Post and NYT columnists will bend over backwards to say that Biden is really smart doing this and it's highly honorable to refuse to dignify Trump by standing next to him and talking right to him.
That is not a good way for Biden to reintroduce himself to the American people. And, let’s not kid ourselves, these debates will be his reintroduction to most Americans, who have neither seen nor heard from him for months if not years.

Because of Covid-19, Biden has been sticking close to home, wearing a mask and social distancing.... [T]he three scheduled televised debates, which will garner huge audiences, will carry more weight for him than ever....
Garner!
So Biden needs to make Trump pay for [the debates] in the currency of transparency and fact-checking — universal principles that will level the playing field for him and illuminate and enrich the debates for all citizens.
If only we could have a Committee of Universal Principles to level everything, we citizens could sing and dance and play in a world of illumination and richness.
Of course, Trump will stomp and protest and say, “No way.”
He'll stomp. Like that giant baby he is. Friedman laughs at the orange fool caught in Friedman's clever trap: "Fine. Let Trump cancel." He imagines the American people would say that Trump is the one who is refusing to debate. Trump must accept the Friedman conditions!
That kind of debate and only that kind of debate would be worthy of voters’ consideration and Biden’s participation.

Otherwise, Joe, stay in your basement.
Imagine thinking it sounds lofty and wise for a columnist to issue an order: Joe, stay in your basement.

These imperious columnists must love themselves, and I'm sure they have plenty of readers who are applauding the grandeur of Joe, stay in your basement. But I say we need to see Joe perform in real time, on his feet, intensely challenged. He cannot weasel out.

132 comments:

sparrow said...

Biden must debate, else he will be considered cowardly and weak. Hiding won't help him.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

The Democrats are trapped. A candidate with (apparently) great poll numbers, who they know can't win. Can't get rid of him, can't keep him. Oh, what a tangled web we weave...

Tom said...

If Biden won’t debate, Trump should debate Jo Jorgensen

It’s a win for Trump and a win for Jorgensen. And it’s a bit loss for Biden.

First, everyone will watch it because it’s Trump.

Two, Trump’s passionate supporter won’t go for Jorgensen.

Three, Biden won’t be there and Jorgensen will appear stronger and braver to him

Four, Democrats get to prove how sexist they are when they attack Jo

Five, Trump gets to divide some of the typically democrat vote with little risk he’ll lose his voters to Jorgensen.

Lucid-Ideas said...

The debate - and all further debates - would be easily cancelled by Joe showing up to the first one naked, slathered in Vaseline and wearing a cowboy hat while holding a chicken.

No words would be spoken.

Big Mike said...

But I say we need to see Joe perform in real time, on his feet, intensely challenged. He cannot weasel out.

Dumbocrats are weasels. It’s how they roll. It’s what they do.

If Biden can’t debate Trump in real time, how will he negotiate with Xi or Putin or Kim Jong-Un, for even Justin Trudeau FFS?

Browndog said...

You're going to need to keep Joe Biden's husband Joe Biden hidden from the public once he becomes President, so you might as well get the American public acclimated right now.

mccullough said...

Biden said 120,000,000 million died from COVID.

That blacks that don’t vote for him “ain’t black.”

They will need a battalion of Candy Crowleys at the debates to save Biden from himself.

Nonapod said...

Given the media's history with "fact checking" if they're going to have real time fact checkers there should also be real time fact checker fact checkers. I'm so old I remember that time when Candy Crowley backed up Obama when Mitt Romney called him on his lie in the midst of a presidential debate.

AlbertAnonymous said...

This is the DNC/MSM (BIRM) trying to pave the way for Biden to weasel out of debates on some kind of “high road”. Happens all the time when the DNC/MSN is losing. And make no mistake, they’re losing. Poll numbers are garbage just like 2016.

Bring on the Durham indictments ! !

J Lee said...

Biden does seem, when his adrenaline is flowing, to be able to get it together for about 30 or so minutes at a time, as with his final debate in March against Bernie Sanders. It's the routine stuff where his mind wanders off into the weeds after the first 2-3 sentences. Based on that, and his scorched Earth strategy against Paul Ryan in 2012, he could probably survive one debate with Trump, especially if he had a helpful moderator, a la Candy Crowley with the second Obama-Romney debate in 2012.

But Friedman's worried here that Biden no longer even has one debate in him, and trusts the polls that he can play a basement Rose Garden strategy against Trump and win. But if Biden's that enfeebled, he's not even going to be able to give a live speech at the virtual DNC Convention in Milwaukee or in cyberspace, and a pre-recorded Biden speech with edits to get the best takes possible isn't going to inspire confidence in him by swing voters, either, debates or no debates.

Bilwick said...

Instapundit called it right: "Step One--nominate a candidate who has difficulty completing a sentence. Step Two--call for an end to the debates."

Unknown said...

Trump "trumping" and Biden "biding" seems apt.

Marty said...

I hear Friedman got this idea directly from Xi Jinping.

Mike Sylwester said...

In regard to the tax-returns issue, a businessman and a politician earn their money differently.

* A businessman like Trump makes his money by providing goods or services in the open market.

* A politician like Biden makes his money by arranging pay-to-play schemes that are secret.

For example, Trump openly builds a hotel, whereas Biden secretly compels a Ukrainian company to hire his son onto its Board of Directors.

Trump's tax returns might provide much information about various arrangements to build the hotel.

However Biden's tax returns do not provide any information about the enrichment of his immediate family members.

The idea of a politician's pay-to-play schemes is that the politician leverages his political power to enrich himself and his family by methods that are not reflected in the politician's tax returns.

Balfegor said...

I disagree -- Biden's best bet is to disappear so Trump can't draw a contrast. A decision not to appear for a debate robs Trump of the chance to create a memorable moment that can be used against Biden. Meanwhile the refusal is just some words, a thing that didn't happen. I think it will have much less salience in voters' minds. There's no visual attached. Nothing to latch onto.

It'll just be kindly, doddering old Biden, on the one hand (assuming he isn't let out of his basement to pick dumb fights with voters who have the effrontry to disagree with him again). And Trump, who responds to every single dumb provocation in kind. Biden probably wins that contest the same way he won the Democratic primaries. Not through leadership, brains, or inspiration, none of which he has in any notable quantity. But by plodding along while his cleverer, more energetic opponents go crazy.

tds said...

Joe Biden will not speak with a foreign head-of-state without said head-of-state releasing tax returns, and without fact-checking team performing in real-time

Jersey Fled said...

This smells of a desperate move by the Democrats.

If Biden had an ounce of integrity, he would renounce it immediately.

Big Mike said...

The thought also crosses my mind that we need to see Biden alive and walking around. Prove to me we didn’t just see a minute and 37 seconds of CGI!

Ken B said...

What I most dislike, and indeed resent, from the media is them trying to tell me what to think. I can assess the candidates on my own.
think with my own brain.

Bay Area Guy said...

Hair-sniffer Joe has been told by the Dem powers that be to keep his addled brain in the basement. They will do the heavy politicking (i.e, protest/riot/looting/cancelling culture). He can sit and do nothing.

No need to debate. 4 months away from running the show. Run out the clock Joe, and slurp your soup.

hombre said...

No debates. Biden withdraws during convention because of “recent” diagnosis of Altzheimer’s. Who will the Dems nominate?

Hint: It won’t be Bernie and he won’t squeal. Too dangerous.

Are W said...

Any debate would give Trump an unfair advantage.

Ken B said...

What about Kanye? Can Biden decline to appear on the same stage with the black candidate? Can Friedman tell us to ignore the black candidate?

Wilbur said...

Some things my friends might say about this:

How's the senile SOB gonna stand up to Putin, or Xi Jinping, or Hassan Rouhani if he's not up for a debate with Trump?

Friedman must be working for Trump to write something like this. Unbelievable.

We agree. Stay in your basement, you worthless rent-seeking pol.

Michael K said...

Trump will debate the empty chair just like Eastwood did.

Biden is trapped.

Rick said...

Friedman pronounces it "incredibly sad" that we need to "make truth-telling an explicit condition," but such are the times in which we live.

We've lived in these times for decades. Imagine believing 1/5 to 1/4 of females on campus would be sexually assaulted (a rate greater than during the civil war in the Congo where rape was used as a weapon to destroy targeted tribes) and concluding the response is ensuring a better reporting system instead of massively increasing security. Absurd!

If a lie goes on long enough does it become truth? In truth Friedman - and effectively all left wingers - exempt left wing propaganda from any expectation of truth just as they refuse to apply any other standard to themselves.

Yancey Ward said...

I still don't think the Democrats are dumb enough to allow Biden to be the candidate. They only got themselves in this position because Biden was the only one who could stop Sanders on Super Tuesday (and I think the Democrats hurt their chances by not allowing Sanders to win the nomination, but that is now moot).

Look, there are no effective excuses to not showing up for a debate with Trump, and to not do so will just concede the election.

AZ Bob said...

Did Thomas Friedman also propose that Candy Crowley head the panel of fact checkers? She would be excellent. She fact checks everything.

Rick said...

Tom said...
If Biden won’t debate, Trump should debate Jo Jorgensen


Excellent thought. The politics works, plus if she lays out sensible plans Trump could adopt them to show how governance works when left wingers aren't involved.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

It's time to re-think voting. Lets just coronation all democratics - ala Putin.

Michael said...

Krugman has really gone off the deep end. As I've said before, Krugman is a mug - if he were a genius he'd be Klugman (check your high school German...)

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

Biden will be wearing a high tech ear device so his puppet masters can feed him the slick talking points... you lying dog faced pony soldiers.

Tom T. said...

Trump should insist that Kanye participate as well.

Achilles said...

It is too obvious what is going on.

Not even Ann buys their crap.

You have to be really fucking stupid and gullible to support Biden.

rcocean said...

Well put.

Its amazing. A MSM columnist suggesting we elect a man who is too feeble to debate his opponent without help from others. Why should we elect Biden leader of the Free World if he can't even debate Trump? How is going to discuss things with Xi or Putin, they aren't going to allow him to sit in the WH basement with a mask on.

Every candidate since Carter-Ford has debated their opponent. That's 44 years. And what makes it even more absurd is that people Friedman claim Hillary wiped the floor with Trump in 2016. The desire to hide from Trump now, means either Friedman was lying about Hillary doing well, or Biden is so pathetic he can't even beat "Dumb, confused" Orange man.

Achilles said...

Tom said...
If Biden won’t debate, Trump should debate Jo Jorgensen

Kanye has a larger support base than Jo.

Everyone would watch Trump v Kanye.

rcocean said...

The MSM paradox:

1. Biden is cruising to victory, and is 10x better than Dumb, Confused Orange Man
2. We can't let Biden debate Trump, he will be crushed, and lose the election.

Both can't be true.

Gusty Winds said...

I don’t see how the Democrats leave Biden on the ticket until November. I still think he’ll be replaced due to health reasons. I’ve been pissing off my friends predicting it for months. Limbaugh said on his show yesterday, insiders are telling him the same. I doubt they even allow a him to give a live speech from Milwaukee in August. Even if it’s to a masked audience of 500. It won’t be broadcast live to the nation. I’ve he makes it that far it’ll be pre-recorded.

Expat(ish) said...

The Trump/Kanye/Empty-Chair debate is gonna be LIT.

2020 is the new 420.

-XC

Two-eyed Jack said...

I think that it would be best for the debate to be performed with hand puppets, with fact-checker puppets with sticks beating the orange hand puppet. That kind of debate and only that kind of debate would be worthy of voters’ consideration and Biden’s participation.

wildswan said...

Joe Hidin'

walter said...

Friedman, the debate Karen.

Gusty Winds said...

They can’t let Biden on a debate stage for Trump to call out his foreign aid money laundering schemes with Ukraine, Clinton Foundation….his involvement if framing General Flynn. Not a chance.

Larry J said...

"Slow Joe" Biden has always been both exceptionally arrogant and stupid. Even if his mind wasn't fading like a burnout firework that landed in a puddle, he would be eviscerated by Trump in a debate. And to think, he's probably the best the Democrats have to offer this year.

I'm a big believer in checks and balances, not just between government branches but also political ideologies. This year, the Democrats are in full Screaming Harpie mode (you should never go full Screaming Harpie). They seem to believe that everyone is just as rabidly radical as are they, but of course, most people aren't. Polls are meaningless. I sincerely hope they get handed a defeat across the board of the magnitude they suffered in 1972 and 1984. Perhaps then, what few adults remaining in the Democrat Party will find a way to bring things under control.

wendybar said...

If he can't debate Donald Trump, then he can't lead the country.

wildswan said...

The last two campaigns, 2016, 2020 haven't been easy for the Dems. The story of 2016 is covered in a book called "Shattered" and that of 2020 will covered in a book called "Hiding Joe Biden: The Hidden Story."

Gahrie said...

Imagine believing 1/5 to 1/4 of females on campus would be sexually assaulted (a rate greater than during the civil war in the Congo where rape was used as a weapon to destroy targeted tribes)

Careful, careful. Our hostess has written a paper based on those statistics, and refuses to admit that they are wrong today.

Dave Begley said...

Friedman is a total shill. He knows that Biden can't debate Trump as the whole world would see how bad he is.

It is really remarkable what the Press will do to cover for Biden.

ConradBibby said...

Sooner or later, Biden's people are going to realize he has to get out and do some conventional campaigning. It's the only way to demonstrate his fitness to serve and to try to match the media presence of the incumbent. If Biden waits too long, he won't be able to make up the lost time.

(By the way, Ann, do you take it as a personal insult that prominent people continue to use "garner" despite your stated objections? I think I would.)

Nonapod said...

I still don't think the Democrats are dumb enough to allow Biden to be the candidate.

It's not like they have much of a choice at this point, we're just too far along in the process. What do you imagine they can do? And who do you imagine they can find who'd be both 1) Generally an acceptable alternative for swing voters in key districts and 2) Not turn off their radical base (the Bernie Bros and the BLM and AntiFa kids)? It takes more than simply being "not Trump".

Static Ping said...

I am starting to think that the sentence "Joe Biden did not kill himself" is going to be a thing.

bagoh20 said...

The DNC might want to order some white flags through the Amazon portal.

bagoh20 said...

So just Kanye and Trump then?

Lucien said...

Rick: you’re forgetting that when someone tries to kiss you, and you don’t want them to, it counts as sexual assault. Of course, when you hear “X has been accused of sexual assault” it doesn’t mean much anymore. The same thing has happened with “racist”.

RMc said...

If Biden had an ounce of integrity

You're adorable.

Mattman26 said...

"If Biden had an ounce of integrity, he would renounce it immediately."

Oh, that's a good one!

mezzrow said...

I have to start reading this stuff later in the day so I can make a drinking game out of Althouse's fixation on garner.

Right now, I just say "Beef! It's what's for dinner..." whenever that special word gets itself used. It's kind of a tribute to someone I always enjoyed watching or listening to.

This is probably too much red meat for Biden supporters, though. If he stands behind a podium in the same room with Trump and goes through the process, I'll owe $20 to lots of people.

wildswan said...

Profile in Pallor. "On November 4th Joe Biden emerged from his secret campaign's secret headquarters in an abandoned root cellar to congratulate Donald Trump on his unexpected sweep of all fifty states. Pale as a sheet after over 180 days safer-at-home than on the campaign trail, Joe was gracious as always. "Well, Don," he said, "you fought the good fight and you'll always be welcome at White House after a little re-education." Joe was then led away while the NYT finished its report on the meeting: "A vigorous Joe Biden promised to lead a second impeachment effort. "This election will not stand," said Joe. "Elections are racist and the American people are racist and I never surnder the scared princiles which htis country flounderd." The copy editors were cancelling an editor who had predicted the Trump victory to his wife who ratted him out as a first step in divorce proceedings. And the people were dancing in the streets. Why this unexpected...

MikeR said...

If Biden won't debate, Trump can debate Kanye. And an empty chair.
Vote for nobody or you aren't black!
"Nobody knows the troubles I've seen..."

Drago said...

AZ Bob: "Did Thomas Friedman also propose that Candy Crowley head the panel of fact checkers? She would be excellent. She fact checks everything."

The most amusing part would be Romney's strong endorsement of this idea....while desperately and nervously glancing about waiting for lefty praise.

Jersey Fled said...

What if Biden is faking being a senile old fart who spilled his oatmeal on his shirt this morning, and destroys Trump in the debates?

What if this is all a setup?

Nah.

rcocean said...

WE're getting to the point where the Democrats can just run a Department Store Dummy for President with a sign around its neck "Real person to be named later" and win. I used to think the term "Yellow Dog Democrat" was an insult, but now its just a fact.

Gunner said...

Will the fact checkers debunk Joe’s Charlottesville Nazi libel about Trump?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Most voters aren't aware of the depth of Biden's issues, because most voters
1) Don't follow politics closely and
2) Get their information from MSNBC/CNN/the big 3

So it probably is best for Biden to hide as long as possible, including not debating. The risk is that that will cause enough Biden voters to either not vote at all, or to vote for Trump, to make a difference.

Trump could have a televised simulated debate, where he responds to various questions, and the Biden "response" comes from previous statements by Biden or statements by Democratic leadership that he has not disavowed.

Michael K said...


Look, there are no effective excuses to not showing up for a debate with Trump, and to not do so will just concede the election.


I think the shadowy people who run that party have done so. They are going to try more uproar to see if they can drive Trump out.

As VD Hensen outs it in this essay,


Are there now three Americas? One of white guilt and penance, one of black anger and victimization, and another seething in silence as they see their 244 years of history written off as something worse than the pasts of Somalia, Peru, Iran, or Serbia.


The Normals are quietly seething.

madAsHell said...

Biden will be wearing a high tech ear device

The teleprompter won't sync with the earphone, and bad lip reading ensues!!

Skeptical Voter said...

Friedman is paving the way for the Dems to sell us an intellectual pig(my) in a poke come November.

Doyle McManus, one of the posse of Trump hating columnists in the Los Angeles Times, had a column today saying it didn't matter who Biden picked as Vice President. The old three card monte hustlers on the streets of NYC have nothing on McManus. He's going to shuffle those walnut shells and we'll never know which one has the pea (or VP) under it. We won't know until February 2021 when either Biden's VP takes over due to Biden's senility, or the Dems stuff Biden's carcass with straw and keep him out there while the Party Politburo rules.

Well excuuuse me Doyle! Biden's VP choice should make a heck of a lot of difference to the US because she (and it will probably be a Black she--Fauxcahontas need not apply) will be running the country long before 2024.

tim maguire said...

Even a mediocre debater relishes the opportunity to correct his opponent. That Thomas "China has a better system" Friedman has so little faith in the man he is absolutely certain to vote for is telling.

I'd support the fact checking committee under Friedman's rules provided not that both teams agree on the checkers, but that there be an equal number of Trump and Biden checkers and that they all have to agree on the rulings. Which, obviously, is the same thing as there being no fact checking.

joshbraid said...

Hide the decline.

Gunner said...

The Trump Haters are not claiming that Biden will lose the election if there are normal debates. They are saying something like “my precious spirit cannot handle Trump speaking for tens of minutes at a time unless he is being criticized in real time right in his deplorable orange face!”.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Whatever you gift, you garner.

bagoh20 said...

Remember the Biden supporters in here talking about Trump hiding in his bunker a few weeks back. I had no idea they were actually praising him.

SconnieFella said...

I expect the debates to be cancelled on either the guise of public health, or to “not provide a platform for hate speech,” I.e. Trump.

roesch/voltaire said...

No truth telling and no taxes suits Trump well, but like an out dated Brooks Brothers suit it doe not fit the times.

Kai Akker said...

instant real-time fact-checking = another method to block free speech

The Democrats' dream

The sportsman's nightmare -- 12-minute timeouts while NYC reviews the refs' call on the field

Trump is Out

Nichevo said...

I will interpret the failure to debate as a concession that Biden is mentally deficient and better off hiding out and taking whatever hits he'll get for not proving his ability.

And you'll still vote for the doddering calumnious creep.



"This election will not stand," said Joe. "Elections are racist and the American people are racist and I never surnder the scared princiles which htis country flounderd."


OMFG! Joe Biden is Howard!?!?!

Now it all makes sense!

Rick said...

Lucien said...
Rick: you’re forgetting that when someone tries to kiss you, and you don’t want them to, it counts as sexual assault.


I'm not forgetting it, I reject it. These studies are used to promote things like the Violence Against Women Act and the existence of "Rape Culture". Note the words "Violence" and "Rape". These characterizations cannot be supported by almost any of the events counted in the "studies". The study designers purposefully expand the definition to create the statistical media hook but then rely on the traditional definitions to create the sense of panic necessary to enact their proposals. The entire process shows how academia functions as a propaganda machine.

Howard said...

Nuther Nutter NuthinBurger

Will said...

Several commenters above have it right... the debates are a way for voters to take the measure of a candidate and how thy can think on their feet. It is not Trump we are worried about with Biden; it how he would perform when debating Xi or Putin or Kim Jong Un or Iran.

If a candidate cannot even answer the bell of the fight, that is a clear signal to all the world's Bad Guys that they should create chaos and drive confrontations because a President Biden would be unable to debate and negotiate. Biden might then make things way worse ("Look, Fat..") or he might not represent USA interests well and just cave to their demands..

I do like the idea of real-time Truth Checkers though. May I nominate Squealer the Pig from Animal Farm, dressed in a smoking jacket and smoking a pipe, to utter Truths like "War is Peace" and "Freedom is Slavery" and "Corn Pop was not a Bad Dude actually, but a Victim of the Racist Patriarchy". How would a Pig that could turn "black to white" be any worse than the usual hacks like Candy Crowley, George Stephenapoulous or John Harwood? The pig probably has a higher IQ than Harwood.

Why don't people think of the difficulty Trump might have in these debates? Trump has to battle not only Biden but the Moderators and the planted questioners. Plus you can bet your bottom dollar Biden will have all the questions in advance, as we already saw that last cycle..... It is a very fine line between dominating Biden and doing it so thoroughly that he looks like the viral boxer in the Detroit nursing home beating up the defenseless old man. And don't say the media would not play that up that meanness angle; they already have.

Balfegor said...

I don't think Trump would "eviscerate" Biden in a debate. Neither Trump nor Mr. Malarkey try to persuade through logical argument, the marshalling of facts, etc. Rather, they are impressionistic, persuading through images and emotion. That's how Paul Ryan, who is considerably more intelligent than Biden but much more rational in his presentation, got blindsided by Biden squawking "malarkey!" at him in the VP debate in 2012. I do think that Trump is better at that kind of staging than Biden is (thanks to his years on reality TV) but it's not like Trump is going to leave Biden speechless. Biden is never speechless.
Though he may speak in tongues now and again.

At most, Trump will just provoke Biden to throw a fit by pointing out his son's shady dealings, and Biden will challenge him to pushups or something. But I assume Biden's handlers will have emphasized to him that under no circumstances is he to challenge the President to fisticuffs on live television, so there'll just be some red-faced "how dare you!" harrumphing.

Tomcc said...

I'm trying to think of an argument that one could make to require disclosure of Hunter Biden's tax returns. I can't imagine it would happen, but I'm actually more interested in those than in Biden senior's.

Leland said...

It's not Biden that doesn't want to enter the debate; it is the media. They know if the moderator pulls a stunt like they did with Romney, Trump will point it out on the spot. This will make clear their bias. I'd think Trump should avoid the debate for this reason, but I suspect Trump is prepared for the tactic and willing to have that fight if the media wants to bring it. The media won't want to bring it. They can score points during the daily WH briefing, but only their would be supporters watch, so the points help them. It doesn't work as well with a national Presidential debate.

Rory said...

"Trump has to battle not only Biden but the Moderators and the planted questioners."

Lincoln-Douglas: 3 hours, no moderators.

Nonapod said...

Balfegor said...but it's not like Trump is going to leave Biden speechless. Biden is never speechless.
Though he may speak in tongues now and again.

At most, Trump will just provoke Biden to throw a fit by pointing out his son's shady dealings, and Biden will challenge him to pushups or something. But I assume Biden's handlers will have emphasized to him that under no circumstances is he to challenge the President to fisticuffs on live television, so there'll just be some red-faced "how dare you!" harrumphing.


As I see it the issue for Biden isn't so much that he couldn't make the right sort of loud noises to counter Trump's loud noises. Rather the issue is that he could very well stumble and stammer, garble his message, speak in non sequiturs, or worst of all suffer BSoD where he just stares catatonically for 10s of seconds. The issue is that he could bungle a response so badly, so irretreivably that he'd fully reveal how far gone he may well be.

Ralph L said...

I hate it when "gift" is used as a verb. Who gave us that shit?

Drago said...

r/v: "No truth telling and no taxes suits Trump well, but like an out dated Brooks Brothers suit it doe not fit the times."

Did you morons ever figure out where Wisconsin is?

Howard said...

Biden's camp will insist that unassisted ramp walking and single-handed water drinking will be part of the debate compulsories.

Unknown said...

The problem is that Joe is quite stupid. Trump's got 20 points IQ on Joe and is much quicker on his feet. Whenever Joe tries to improvise he screws up.

MartyH said...

Friedman. can’t even think one step ahead. Biden refuses to debate; Trump says he’ll debate Kanye instead. Debate commission rules Kanye does not have enough support and cancels debate. Kanye and Trump have their debate(s) at the scheduled debate times on Fox. Moderators are conservatives to moderates-Limbaugh, Larry Elder, Lara Logan, Catherine Herridge, etc. Biden would be continually mocked and you might actually have an interesting conversation instead of the candidates just trying to score points.

bonkti said...

"The second condition is a ridiculous proposal — 'a real-time fact-checking team approved by both candidates....'"

This agreement will be contingent upon a mutually agreed upon protocol for deciding the shape of the table upon which said negotiations may take place.

Clyde said...

As I've noted on Facebook, the problem with so-called 'fact' checking is that it then requires that EVERYTHING be 'fact' checked, otherwise the response is, "Well, the so-called 'fact' checkers didn't cover this up with a 'partly false' warning, so it must be completely true." My usual reaction to the so-called 'fact' checkers is that they can go and fornicate with themselves and the equines upon which they arrived.

narciso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
narciso said...

I told you friedman, has been frequently wrong since 1982, he knew he was wrong in that instance, because he didn't repeat the anecdote in beirut to jerusalem, accusing sami geagea's sla, of involvement in the shatila massacre, one of the pretext that led to the latters' imprisonment for the better part of a decade,(only wildavsky who was an israeli stringer for the times points out the first point)

ot, my novella is up past 40,000 words, with scraps of local dialect, it's called jambiya,

Tommy Duncan said...

My observation from watching a couple of short Biden Youtube ads is that he can't sustain energy and enthusiasm for more than about 10 seconds. Then his voice becomes quiet and his eyes become empty. I doubt his ability to read a 20 minute campaign speech. He could not finish a 90 minute debate.

Imagine Joe having to respond off the cuff to Trump's attacks for an hour and a half. Imagine the stories he'd conjure up of how his blond leg hair helped him finish at the top of his law school class.

Johnathan Birks said...

I actually could see how a debate could backfire on Trump if he makes Biden into a sympathetic (as opposed to merely pathetic) character. As for tax returns, Trump should make them available on the condition that Biden account for his financial ventures in Ukraine and China.

CStanley said...

The whole idea of a debate is to show that one can think on one’s feet and rebut your opponent’s points. Asking for checkers to be present is conceding that Biden isn’t capable of debating.

Birkel said...

Balfegor is confused about what influences people. Perhaps Balfegor is the sort who would be persuaded by the marshaling of facts. But then Balfegor should set aside Xis own preferences and ask what influences others.

You would find, I believe, that most people are not influenced by abstractions. It must be personalized. It must be emotional.

But maybe not. Who can say?

Original Mike said...

If Friedman is writing this, you know it is actually being considered by the democrats.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Biden will be wearing a high tech ear device so his puppet masters can feed him the slick talking points.

If I agreed he will be on that stage I’d insist Biden be placed in a Faraday Cage so he can’t do as our lovely fellow commenter BB&H suspects. You KNOW he’ll cheat. He’s a Democrat.

DanTheMan said...

>>Biden will be wearing a high tech ear device so his puppet masters can feed him the slick talking points.

I think this is a given and will absolutely happen. No one will dare mention it as it will be instantly labeled a "conspiracy theory", regardless of any proof.

The newer, barely visible off the shelf hearing aids have Bluetooth, and it would be simple to pair it to a remote device and feed him audio directly.

I wonder if the Trump team is investing in countermeasures for this and similar technologies? Jamming is easier than interception.

But I would LOVE to have Team Trump hijack the feed. It could be glorious. :)

Gunner said...

Does it really matter nowadays if the "fact check" is one minute after the debate ends or during it? Who cares about this crap other than to throw the Republican off his game?

Balfegor said...

Re: Birkel:

As a lawyer, yes, I have generally found that I need to disregard completely my own assessment of how persuasive I find an argument. On contested points where the answer isn't fairly clear, the stuff that works is usually just a smear of rhetorical garbage. It took me a long time to accept this, because senior lawyers were so invested in the fiction that they're just putting together logical, reasoned arguments, I didn't appreciate that the "logic" was like trimmings of lace on top of a dress constructed according to altogether different principles.

DanTheMan said...

>>Friedman is a total shill. He knows that Biden can't debate Trump as the whole world would see how bad he is.

I think this sort of comment helps Biden. These comments are setting expectations so low that if Joe manages to stay awake and upright for 90 minutes that will be considered a huge "win" for Biden.

I fully expect Joe to be more or less coherent, and maybe flub a few stats or lines. He's going to be coached to death to not try and be "folksy".

As certain as death and taxes, the headlines and stories are already being drafted about Joe clearly winning the all debates. Everything Trump says will be "fact checked" as lies, including "Good Evening". ("It's not good at all.. racism, Corana, racism! And Trump is lying since it's not evening everywhere in the world! His ignorance of geography is embarrassing!")

And if Joe says corona virus has already killed 12 hundred million trillion Martians, this will be defended to the death as true, as he *clearly* said '12 million infected Americans', and has a slight stutter."

BUMBLE BEE said...

Joe was hiding with Ghislane? Ratted her out. Whatta Hero!

Amadeus 48 said...

Ben Wikler will go for this.

Michael K said...

Howard said...
Biden's camp will insist that unassisted ramp walking and single-handed water drinking will be part of the debate compulsories.


As long as Biden agrees to render 200 hand salutes and wear leather soled shoes to go down the ramp.

Kai Akker said...

ot, my novella is up past 40,000 words, with scraps of local dialect, it's called jambiya,

Any periods in there? NOT a requirement! Just..... yanno, hoping.

FullMoon said...

I just want Trump to ask Joe, "Did you get that question ahead of time and rehearse the answer? "

Four or five times would be nice.

Gk1 said...

LOL, they aren't fooling anyone, not even themselves. Biden's brittleness is evident even in the few scripted events that he does try to do.

They should just keep Biden in the basement and do a "deep fake" sessions to try to make him look alert and electable. What do they have to lose? They can't show him in public any more. If they have dragged his carcass this far they aren't going to stop carrying water if he doesn't do debates.

cubanbob said...

MartyH said...
Friedman. can’t even think one step ahead. Biden refuses to debate; Trump says he’ll debate Kanye instead. Debate commission rules Kanye does not have enough support and cancels debate. Kanye and Trump have their debate(s) at the scheduled debate times on Fox. Moderators are conservatives to moderates-Limbaugh, Larry Elder, Lara Logan, Catherine Herridge, etc. Biden would be continually mocked and you might actually have an interesting conversation instead of the candidates just trying to score points."

Brilliant. Trump, West and the empty chair with a cutout of Biden looking at his Joker best. The only way to trump that ( pardon the pun) is to have the Hiding Biden cutout shout out Malarky! randomly along with some authentic Biden gibberish.

Original Mike said...

">>Biden will be wearing a high tech ear device so his puppet masters can feed him the slick talking points."

If he really does have dementia, that will not go well. It will confuse the hell out of him.

Would be entertaining.

Joe Smith said...

For being a supposed smart guy (just ask him, he'll tell you), Friedman is a moron. On top of that, he loves him some Chinese communist totalitarianism.

bonkti said...

"Who writes your stuff, Joe? You've got some great people. And you've got great delivery."

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I retract the anti-Fauci portion of my prior statement. I reacted to a headline. I forgot god rule about headlines always being 180 degrees out of phase with the actual statement. Fauci simply warned of false complacency because of falling death rates, an equally meaningless and unhelpful statement but not malicious as the head asserted.

walter said...

They should open caption Joe's responses if the slurring and word disordering is bad.

walter said...

"I forgot god rule about headlines always being 180 degrees out of phase with the actual statement."
--
That was very prescient of him.

Howard said...

I can always count on Doc Mike to beclown himself by regurgitating Trump's lame ass excuses.

What's the patented excuse for the double handed sippy cup drinking technique?

Gk1 said...

I'm with Dan the man that a Biden Trump debate wouldn't necessarily be an automatic K.O for Trump. Rarely do debates change partisan minds. How many times did we see liberals salivating at that prospect of that nitwit GW Bush getting carved up by the clearly superior Al Gore & John Kerry? Bush did fine to the point can anyone remember any of them? Any "gaffe" or witty one liner that we can readily remember from them?

I think it's more of the fact that Joe will be working without a net after being protected for so long and it will take just a few moments of his dementia to appear as he struggles for a rebuttal or is angrily trying to find the words he means. It's almost cruel to the point I hope the debates don't happen and he's replaced at the convention. My dad suffered from dementia before he passed and its so sad to see it happen to anyone, even that putz Joe Biden.

Michael K said...

Howard said...
I can always count on Doc Mike to beclown himself by regurgitating Trump's lame ass excuses.

What's the patented excuse for the double handed sippy cup drinking technique?


Howard, pay attention. 200 salutes as Trump saluted every newly commissioned officer. You know, the ones that told you that you were not Marine material, like Dan Rather.

Michael K said...

I also appreciate Howard talking about "beclowning" when Slow Joe is the topic.

Haven't you ever heard "Never mention rope in the house of a man who has been hanged ?"

Nichevo said...

What's the patented excuse for the double handed sippy cup drinking technique?


You'll let us know when Biden does it.

Joe Smith said...

Kanye should be allowed on the stage with Biden and Trump, but to make up for systemic racism every answer must be in the form of a rap. Winner brings home the huge gold chain.

Yancey Ward said...

For those who doubt Biden's dementia, watch the interviews he does do. They are hilarious and sad all at the same time.

Bunkypotatohead said...

An interpreter might be more useful than fact checkers.
Someone to explain what the gibberish coming out of Biden's mouth is supposed to have meant.

Howard said...

Thanks Doc! I wasn't sure what defective unsatisfactory performance of an elementary physical task you were excusing with the salute canard.

DavidD said...

"It's just not good for Biden to have to understand and communicate in real time about the flaws in whatever might happen to be said by Trump."

Because Putin or Kim or Xi would never lie about anything. Isn't that right, Democrats?

DavidD said...

Oh, I see that Big Mike said basically the same thing.

Of course, it's obvious to everyone but Friedman.

Francisco D said...

Howard must be a masochist because he increasingly makes a fool of himself.

Are you paid for your pitiful trolling, Howie? I had hopes for you as a reasonable lefty foil, but you have long descended into Inga/ARM territory.

I would far rather read what Cookie has to say.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Thanks Doc! I wasn't sure what defective unsatisfactory performance of an elementary physical task you were excusing with the salute canard.”

Not sure what you are calling a canard. I believe that Dr K was talking about Trump giving and taking the first salutes of all these new officers. This is likely to stick with them for the rest of their lives. It took a lot of work on Trump’s part, which was Dr K’s point. This is not someth8ng that Crooked Hillary would have done, and likely not Obama either. Biden wouldn’t have, but probably couldn’t either, given his encroaching dementia. This seems to be one of the big differences between Republicans and Democrats in the White House - the respect that they have and show for those working for them. Biden routinely skinny dipped in front of his female SS agents, while Crooked was reported to be even worse when her husband was POTUS.

Talking about good military news. The Lt Col Vindman who contributed to his CinC’s impeachment, by lying before Congress and openly showing disrespect for his CinC, has put in his retirement papers. For obvious (to most of us) reasons, the Trump Administration was not going to allow his promotion. And the military, and esp for its officers, has been up or out for some time. That meant that Vindman was going to be out. Senator Tammy Baldwin was threatening to halt all higher Officer promotions, if Trump didn’t allow Vindman to be promoted. Her bluff was called. She tried to reward him for his disloyalty to his chain of command. Someone probably pointed out to her that she was fast becoming quite unpopular with the military, many of whom view Vindman as a traitor to his uniform and his adopted country.

Nichevo said...

Senator Tammy Baldwin was threatening to halt all higher Officer promotions, if Trump didn’t allow Vindman to be promoted. Her bluff was called. She tried to reward him for his disloyalty to his chain of command.


Duckworth, but yes, excellent. I wonder what happened, that promotions list is a BFD and a big stick to swing. Yet PDT won, LTC Bearclaw Vindman is jumping. Wonder what levers were used - apparently the pressure worked and the promotion had been approved by all echelons.

JAORE said...

Sure Trump can debate if he releases his tax returns. But let' release Hunter Biden's too.

Unfair?

Hardly.

Hunter Biden garnered millions upon millions from foreign entities due solely to access or favoritism of his father Joe Biden.

Bring them both out.

Bilwick said...

Francisco D wrote: "Howard must be a masochist because he increasingly makes a fool of himself."

Years ago, when I first encountered the Internet, I read a semi-scholarly online article about the various types of trolls one would encounter in the blogosphere. One of the types would post easily-refuted stupid stuff, be publicly shown up as an idiot, but just keep coming back for more. The author speculated that such trolls were self-loathing masochists. Since self-loathing masochism seems to be a common characteristic among "liberals" and other State-fuckers (who with any self-esteem would WANT to be a serf?), it wouldn't surprise me that Howard and Inga and others are this type of troll.