The First Debate

The first debate is over and it was . . . probably a Trump win, but Biden survived.

Overall, Trump won the debate it appeared to me, though his style was that of a bar room brawler.  Whether or not that appealled to undecideds, I won’t hazared a guess.  That said, Trump had some very strong moments, with his two most significant points being that he was strong on law and order while Biden was not, and that, while Trump wanted to reopen the economy, Biden was in favor of shutting down the economy becuase of the Wuhan Flu.

Joe was compos mentis, so he passed that low bar.  Other than that, . . . Andrew Sullivan pretty much sums it up.

I was not quite so disdainful of Biden’s performance.  He was, in part, propped up by the moderator, and he also was able to get away with painting economic fantasies that went largely unchallenged simply because of the time constraints imposed unfairly by Wallace.  That said, Biden’s non-answers to the questions of Court packing and the Senate filibuster were horrific.

The moderator, Chris Wallace, made a valliant effort to maintain order, but at the same time, he did a piss poor job at questioning and he favored Biden.  Most importantaly, Wallace did not force Biden to answer the critical questions of where he stands on the packing the Supreme Court or doing away with the Senate filibuster to permanently change the balance of power by adding two new Democrat states.  Nor did Wallace even ask about where Biden stood on the issue of  abolishing the electoral college or whether the national popular vote is irrelevant.  Moreover . . .

Lastly, on the issue of the economy, Wallace ended what was supposed to be a fifteen minute segment five minutes early.

As one person commented at PJM:

“I figured Wallace would ask tough questions of both candidates, and, in fairness, he’s asked some of Biden, but his performance incredibly unbalanced. Quite disappointed.”

I can count two tough questions Biden got, but tons of framing and fact-checking against Trump.

This isn’t a loser’s lament — I think Trump is doing fine. But Wallace has gone from “weak” to “propping up his favorite candidate.”

One is excusable. The other isn’t.

The low point of the debate came when Biden refused to publicly declare his position on packing the Supreme Court.  Just so you know, packing the highest court is one of the first thing new dictatorships inevitably do.  It is something that Hugo Chavez did as soon as he took power in Venezuella.  It would alter our democray and, I have little doubt, lead to a shooting civil war.  And yet . . .

One would think that Americans have the right to know whether voting for Joe Biden would be the end of the American experiment. And yet Wallace did not push Biden on the issues.

I’ll update this post more after I read the transcript.