First thoughts about the Trump-Biden debate

This is a complete information dump as I try to sort through what was important and what wasn’t. You’ll need stamina if you want to read it.

I’ll start with general impressions and then get to specifics.

Biden was on his game. A friend who took care of an aging relative with dementia says he almost certainly was on Adderall. Biden on his game is slippery, stupid, and dishonest, but he came across as functional, which was all that mattered. That was a win for Biden.

Trump instantly tried to dominate the scene. I think there were several reasons for this. First, Trump is naturally an Alpha personality. He’s going to dominate. In some ways, he did to Biden exactly what Biden did to Ryan.

Trump was also trying to shake Biden. He succeeded sometimes, but Biden was able to grope his way back to being on message.

Because Trump knows that Joe was being held together by drugs, he was trying to tire him out. I think this failed. Joe was on some good drugs. And no, I’m not saying that facetiously. This is not the Joe we’ve seen over the last six months speaking from the basement or at rallies with one or two people. That kind of change in affect and mental agility doesn’t happen naturally.

Finally, Trump was trying to get Biden to lose his temper. Remember, Trump already has a reputation as a jerk, so his reputation won’t go down. Biden’s reputation, however, is as “Mr. Nice Guy.” But Biden wasn’t nice when he called Trump a liar to his face. Nor was it nice when he said, “Will you shut up, man. Keep yapping, man.” It was also not nice when he called Trump a clown.

Overall, Trump went overboard with trying to dominate. Again, though, there are some nuances to this. First, Trump is a counterpuncher. To the extent that 90% of Biden’s statements were lies, Trump’s instinct is to hit back and hit back fast. That meant hitting back for 90% of Biden’s airtime. Unfortunately, that wasn’t a good look.

Second, Wallace was a disastrous moderator, and it was a disastrous format with those two-minute rounds. Both men knew that they might not get a chance to say what they needed and to refute statements if they didn’t get their say in immediately. That created an urgency for their interruptions.

I’m not a fan of Wallace. I think he’s a rigid, not-very-bright, little old lady who got into media because of his famous papa. Had he been smart, he would have shut up and let the two men go at each other instead of constantly interrupting both of them. Trump nailed it when he turned to Old Mrs. Wallace and said, “I guess I’m debating you, not him.”  Every time things got interesting, Old Mrs. Wallace stopped the discussion.

The other thing that made Wallace a disgrace was that he told two lies. First, he pretended that the “fine people hoax” actually happened. Wallace ought to go home, flagellate himself like a sinner of old and wear a hair shirt for that one. It was evil, and it could not have been accidental. The old lady meant to do that.

The second lie was that Wallace conflated Critical Race Theory with racial sensitivity. Again, unless he’s even dumber than I thought, he knows that they’re not the same thing. Racial sensitivity is not going up to a black person and insisting, as the racist in Blazing Saddles did, that black people sing “like birds” or saying that white people can’t dance.

Critical race theory is a different animal altogether. It posits that white people are subhuman, that American is inherently evil, and that non-white people must avoid white values such as ambition, punctuality and hard work. It is an utterly evil ideology that is the flip side of Jim Crow/KKK racism. It’s unconstitutional when practiced in the federal government and evil anywhere else.

And again, Wallace knows this. So instead of going home and just flagellating himself and wearing a hair shirt, he might want to take a bath with a toaster. For telling that lie, Wallace is as evil as the CRT crowd.

Now, on to more substantive things.

The first question was about nominating someone immediately to the Supreme Court. Trump’s answer was correct:

We won the election. Elections have consequences. We have the Senate, and we have the White House. He also pointed out that he was elected for four years, not three and a half, and cited Ginsburg to give weight to that point.

All that Biden could do on this one was witter that the American people should have a say. Trump could have said yes, and they had their say two years ago when they ensured that I would be able to finish my first term primed for a new Supreme Court justice should the opportunity arrive. I was sorry he didn’t make that statement.

Biden also politicized the Supreme Court – and Trump failed to strike back. Biden insisted that Trump’s goal is to get rid of the ACA. That’s not the goal. The goal is to have a Court that has the Constitution as its guide, rather than political ends. A pointless argument ensued about the ACA before Wallace handed the mic back to Biden.

Biden somehow managed to say that getting rid of the ACA is misogynistic because women with the pre-existing condition of pregnancy will not get covered. He also said 100 million people, or a third of the country, would lose insurance with pre-existing conditions.

Even the left-leaning called Biden out on that number earlier this month. Not that many people are on ACA. Indeed, according to the worst-case scenario for ending ACA, 24 million people would lose that insurance, and not even all 24 million would have pre-existing conditions.

Trump responded that Biden wants to socialize medicine. When Biden kept saying, “No, that’s not the Biden plan,” Trump said, correctly, that Biden had signed onto what Trump calls “the Bernie manifesto.” The Democrat party platform says explicitly that the party’s goal is to achieve universal healthcare.

Biden’s fallback, which is to say that he just wants a public option, is also a lie. Again, the manifesto is clear: “Securing Universal Health Care Through a Public Option.”

After listening to these lies, Trump said simply that Biden’s party wants socialism. He then added, “They’re going to dominate you, Joe.  You know that.” Biden, angry, said, “I am the Democrat party.” Remember that statement, because Biden later backed away from it as hard and fast as he could.

Another point Trump made is that Biden cannot be trusted with healthcare. On Biden’s watch, 308,000 military people died because of how badly Biden and Obama managed the VA.

From there, Biden shifted to saying that Trump will ruin the Supreme Court because that Roe v. Wade is on the ballot. Trump said, accurately, it’s not on the ballot.

What Trump undoubtedly understood was that Biden had to remind his base that, above all other things, a Biden presidency will ensure unlimited abortion in America. For reasons I don’t understand, unlimited abortion is the central issue for Democrats. Just as they were once willing to die on the battlefields to defend enslaving their fellow man because of his skin color, they are now willing to take to the barricades to defend slaughtering babies provided that they’re still in the womb.

Wallace tried to pin Trump down on a global comprehensive healthcare plan. Every time Trump talked about what he was doing – lowering pharmaceutical costs by ending the most favored nation plan, getting rid of the mandate for the ACA, and more – we never heard about the “more.” Old Lady Wallace continuously cut Trump off. I’m not a person given to obscenity, but that was the first time (but not the last) that I shouted out to Wallace’s image on the TV screen, “Shut the eff up!”

Despite Wallace’s wittering, Trump was able to make the point that, if Biden’s plan is so great, why didn’t he do something about it during his 47 years in American politics?

Through this discussion, as through all the discussions, Biden kept blaming this year’s economy at Trump’s feet. Trump, he said, was responsible for the recession that caused people to lose their insurance. He seemed unaware that the recession was a blue state phenomenon because those states shut their economies down for six months against Trump’s earnest wishes.

Wallace did push Biden to answer whether he was for ending the filibuster and packing the Supreme Court. Biden refused to answer. That was telling. He’ll do what his party masters tell him to do — and they will tell him to end the filibuster and, having done that, to pack the court and add two new leftists state. Civil War II, here we come.

When the subject shifted to the virus, Biden recited his mantra. It was all Trump’s fault. He panicked. He had no idea what to do. He has no plan. China and Russia did better. He doesn’t listen to the “experts.” At that point, I again started yelling at the screen. “Since this virus came here, the experts have been wrong about everything. Why should we listen to them?”

Biden laid out his plan. We should have sent people to Wuhan. In March and July, he said we should be providing protective gear to healthcare professionals (something Trump quickly achieved by mobilizing the private sector). And we should be handing out federal money to everyone. Forty-seven years in government and all that Biden learned is that money grows on trees.

Trump made it simple: If we had listened to you, the country would have been left wide open. Millions would have died. And don’t compare what happened in America to what happened in countries like China, Russia, or India. Their numbers are unreliable.

Biden’s sole contribution, said Trump, was to call Trump xenophobic after Trump ordered our borders closed. Trump added that even Fauci praised Trump for that one – something Biden, wrongly, claimed was a lie. Biden also, wrongly, asserted that Trump lied when he said governors praised him.

Biden has raised “science” to the infallibility standard of God. As I noted above, the experts have consistently been wrong as they’ve made guesses about the virus that later events showed were erroneous. Religion is non-falsifiable, and, to Biden, so is “science.”

And then Biden let loose with another lie, saying Trump said people should inject bleach in their arms. It’s hard to tell if Biden’s squirrel brain believes this stuff or if he’ll say anything to rouse his base. And I’m sorry to say that it’s an IQ test for his base that they’re stupid enough to believe these statements without fact-checking what Trump actually said. Trump, who doesn’t have a reputation for being nice, out-and-out said that Biden’s not smart.

On the subject of re-openings and revitalizing the economy, Biden insisted that he would do a better job than Trump because he has “a plan.” The plan involves giving businesses free PPE and handing out even more money. (Did I mention that Biden has the government operative’s habit of being clueless that people need a viable economy to pay the taxes that Biden wants to spend so freely?)

Trump explained that the shutdown is no longer necessary. We know now who needs to be protected. At this point, turning the country into a prison hurts everyone.

There was a stupid argument about masks. I won’t recite it here. Wallace then asked about the fact that Trump was holding massive rallies. Trump pointed out that people wanted to see him, and the rallies were outdoors. As for Biden’s smaller events, Trump, in a kill shot, said, “Because nobody will show up.”

Wallace moved on to the economy, which he noted is recovering more quickly than expected. He said that Trump sees a V-shaped recovery (which is what we see now). Biden sees a K-shaped recovery, one in which the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.

I was disappointed that Trump didn’t hammer that the rich – e.g., Amazon and Walmart – got richer because Democrat states locked down, destroying all competing businesses. The reality is that the Democrats’ lockdowns created the K that Biden now complains about.

Biden also raised the $750 tax canard. Trump tried to challenge it, but Wallace cut him off. Later, when Trump had the chance to address it, he didn’t do a great job. (I’ll get to that soon.)

Biden said that the economy could recover only if you first get rid of the Wuhan virus. (Or, as he calls it, Covid.) That requires flooding everything with federal money.

Biden did make one critical statement: “People want to be safe.”

That’s not entirely correct. Leftists want to be safe. They’ll shelter forever if they can return to a childlike existence in which Daddy government gives them money, and they don’t have to do anything for it.

Conservatives don’t just want to be safe; they want to regain control over their lives. They’ve realized that the emergency is over. The Wuhan virus is now just another flu.

What many noticed was that, on the subject of the economy, which is Trump’s strong point, Wallace cut the discussion off five minutes early. Could have been more blatantly pro-Biden?

At this point, Wallace asked Trump directly about the $750 a year federal income tax payment in 2016 and 2017. Trump answered, no, it’s not. I paid millions of dollars in taxes.

Biden instantly announced that Trump takes advantage of the tax code as if that’s morally wrong. Biden will fix this, he says, by eliminating tax cuts.

There was cross-talk there, but it ended with Biden hollering, “You are the worst president America’s ever had.” Trump’s response was, “In 47 months, I’ve done more than you’ve done in 47 years.”

And then Biden went off into fantasy land. He claimed that his economic plan would create 7 million more jobs and an additional 1 trillion more dollars in economic growth. He would require the government to buy American. He’ll raise corporate taxes by 7%.

Biden doesn’t understand because he’s never held a real job, that corporations don’t pay taxes. They pass through those tax payments by (a) paying their employees less, (b) charging customers more, and (c) being unable to expand in ways that would benefit the economy.

Biden, laughably, took responsibility for handing Trump a booming economy – “and he [Trump] blew it.” This was a claim about the number of people employed. But that’s the wrong metric. It wasn’t just that Trump got people working; he got people higher wages. In the Obama era, people had to work two or even three jobs to break even. This video, from Gary Lamb, makes that point perfectly.

Trump really got under Biden’s skin by raising Hunter. All that Biden could do was say, repeatedly, that every charge against Hunter was “totally discredited.” Old Lady Wallace raced to Biden’s rescue, completely shutting the topic down.

Biden again raised the fine people canard, which is evil because it is the most divisive lie in American society. He also claims that Trump ordered his people violently to stop a peaceful protest in front of a church. First, the D.C. police stopped the protest. Second, they stopped it because the peaceful protesters were throwing dangerous projectiles at the police and had peacefully set historic St. John’s Church on fire. Biden was correct, though, that the church’s bishop objected. The man is such a leftist that he’d rather see a historic church reduced to ashes than see the narrative destroyed.

When Biden said that Trump was speaking in dog whistles to generate racist hatred and was killing blacks with the coronavirus, Trump raised the 1994 crime bill. He said that Biden treated the black community about as badly as anyone in this country.

With race on the table, Trump said that Biden is afraid to support law and order because he’ll lose his base. Biden came back with the “systemic injustice” shtick. He promised to resolve everything by having a big meeting at the White House between police and protesters, at which time he will bring peace.

This was when Nanny Wallace asked Trump why he stopped Critical Race Theory training, which he conflated with “racial sensitivity training.” I thought that Trump could have made the distinction between the two, but he didn’t. He did say, though, that CRT is racist and was causing a radical revolution in the military and schools.

Then, that walking disgrace, Chris Wallace, asked, “What is radical about racial sensitivity training?” as if CRT isn’t a Marxist, racist philosophy. Trump said simply, they were teaching people to hate our country. We have to go back to core values.

So what did Biden add? “He’s just a racist,” he said. Then, Biden said that people need to be racially sensitive. It as if he never said that to be a real black person you have to vote for him, or that you need an Indian accent to work at a 7/11, or that desegregation will turn schools into jungles, or that it was a fairytale that a black guy like Obama could be clean and articulate.

When Trump sort of randomly accused Biden of destroying the suburbs, Biden first said, “He wouldn’t recognize a suburb unless he took a wrong turn,” and then said that the word “suburb” is a racist dog whistle. He added for good measure that suburban problems stem from Covid and climate change.

Wallace pressed Biden to explain what reimagining policing meant. Biden did explain. He’s opposed to defunding police. We need to give them more money so that they always have psychologists and psychiatrists at their side. He claimed that he and Obama had a much lower crime rate and pointed to the drastically increasing crime on Trump’s watch. Trump tried to point out that this came about because of riots in Democrat cities this summer but Wallace cut him off.

It was somewhere in this discussion that Biden insisted that there was no such entity as Antifa. It is, he insisted, just an idea — and Wallace let him get away with it.

To his credit (and I really hate giving Wallace any credit), he asked Biden if he had called the Democrat leaders in violent cities and told them to do whatever it takes to stop days and months of violence. At which point Biden suddenly announced, I’m not a politician.

Trump was fast on that one. “You said you’re the voice of the Democrat party,” he told Biden. “Now he suddenly says that he’s not elected. He doesn’t matter.” Biden’s riposte, if it can be called one, was that the cities “can take care of it if he [Trump] stays out of the way.” Huh?

Biden then launched yet another lie, saying that Kellyanne Conway says Trump hopes for more violence. What Conway acknowledged was that the violence in Democrat cities was helping Trump because people want the stability that he stands for.

Then Wallace, who has a rendezvous with a bathtub and a toaster, asked Trump to condemn white supremacist groups. As even the anti-Trump has acknowledged, Trump has repeatedly condemned white supremacist groups, starting with the day he is falsely said to have called them “fine people.”

As the debate drew near its end, Trump made his case. He has done more for America, despite the impeachment and Hillary’s Russia hoax, than any other president. He’s created the greatest economy in history and the lowest unemployment numbers. America was becoming united at last. He rebuilt the military, fixed the VA and, most importantly, has remade the federal justice system.

On that last point, Trump really stuck the knife into Obama and Biden. He said that they left him 128 judicial vacancies to fill. That was a terrible thing for Obama to do in terms of serving his party. Trump said that, if he were a member of Biden’s party, for that failing alone, he would conclude that Biden “can’t be a good president.”

Biden’s wrap-up was that America is weaker, sicker, poorer, more divided, and more violent. Biden fixed one recession and left Trump with a booming economy that Trump ruined. Biden also went head-to-head with Putin, while Trump is Putin’s puppet. Biden refused to answer when Trump asked him to explain that the Mayor of Moscow paid Hunter $3.5 million.

When Trump again attacked Hunter, Biden tried to make it about Beau and his military service. On the subject of military service, Trump reminded Biden that Hunter was discharged from the military for cocaine use, and went on to make a fortune following his father around the world. Biden acknowledged that Hunter is a former drug user but insisted that all the financial accusations against Hunter have been discredited.

Wallace finally asked Trump about climate change. And that’s where Trump really disappointed me. He should have said I don’t believe in it. Instead, Trump tried to weasel around the issue by saying he wants clean air and water, that the Paris accord was a disaster, and that California’s problem is poor forest management. All of this is true, but he should have said climate change is a scam and that even UN officials have conceded that it’s about wealth redistribution.

On the subject of climate change, Biden insisted that his plan, which would revitalize the economy, has nothing to do with Ocasio-Cortez’s “green new deal.” He then recited that his administration would do everything the green new deal calls for, including ending fracking and fossil fuels, and weatherizing at least four million existing buildings while building new buildings that are fuel-efficient. He would also give Brazil $20 billion to save the Amazon.

Biden insisted that the cash outlay for his project would be a mere $2 trillion. Trump said $100 trillion was more likely, which is more money that Americans can make in 100 years. Trump was off by about $7 trillion. Biden was off by about $91 trillion.

And then Biden came out with another lie. He claimed that Trump wanted to stop hurricanes by dropping nuclear bombs on them. This “report” came from a leak fed to a left-wing news source. Trump completely denied it then and during the debate.

While he was rolling with the lies, Biden accused Trump of calling troops stupid losers. Trump denied this charge, saying that it was a complete lie made up for political purposes. Trump then said there’s a tape of Biden calling the troops stupid “bastards” – and there is. Nevertheless, Biden denied the charge.

Finally, regarding mail-in ballots, Biden said that mail-in ballots have always worked (conflating absentee ballots with automatically mailed ballots) and claims there’s no fraud. Trump pointed out, accurately, that the current mail-in ballot system is a giant fraudulent disaster waiting to happen.

And then, during that discussion about accepting election results, Trump made a huge threat about the coup attempt against him: “We’ve caught ‘em all. We’ve got ‘em on tape. Don’t tell me about a free transition.”

It was an exhausting debate to watch. Biden came out ahead only because he stayed on his feet and on point the whole time. The fact that his answers were often nonsensical and that he told an enormous number of crude and blatant lies was irrelevant.

The real loser, though, was Chris Wallace. What a disgraceful excuse for a human being he is. Biden is too, but I had hoped for more from Wallace.