I didn't watch the
debate Mental And Moral Collapse of the United States last night, but I followed the Twitter feed and read the postscripts, and by GODS it was a true nightmare.
To quote James Fallows at the Atlantic:
Start with the supposed moderator, Chris Wallace. It became obvious five minutes in that Donald Trump’s strategy was to interrupt, yell, insult, and disrupt as often as he could. This is a strategy that can work only if no one gets in the way of it, and Chris Wallace just let it go on. Maybe Wallace was caught by surprise by Trump’s bellicosity and primate-dominance. (But—c’mon.) Even so, two or three minutes of this should have been enough to adjust. He didn’t adjust. And he let Trump roll over him...
I recorded a whole detailed minute-by-minute annotation of the debate as it unfolded, but I’m not going to dignify this disaster with any details. It was a giant mess. Did the spectacle change any votes? Who knows. Maybe some people were revved up for Trump by his assertiveness. Maybe other people—I’d guess a larger number, but it’s just a guess—were repelled by his bullying tactics...
But for tonight I’ll say this was a disgusting moment for democracy. Donald Trump made it so, and Chris Wallace let him. I hope there are no more debates before this election. If they happen, I won’t waste another minute of my life watching them.
The modern presidential debate was invented in 1960. We may have seen the end of its useful life this evening.
This was about the most judicious review of the night I found. Everything else ranged from how chaotic and demeaning trump's behavior was right down to the most blunt "It was a shit show" takeaway from CNN's Dana Bash.
The post-game narratives coming out of trump's camp - his debate handlers Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie were out quickly trying to perform some form of ass-covering afterward - was trump planned to disrupt the debate and interrupt as often as he could to throw Biden off-balance and cause Biden to stutter. trump's intent was to make Biden look weak. It never occurred to trump - or anyone in his circle - that a lot of people who stutter learn to control themselves through focusing on their statements and staying calm. It does make Biden appear placid, emotionally flat, and unable to deviate from script while speaking in public, but it also means that he's actually less gaffe-prone on the stage than when he's in meeting rooms and pre-rally gatherings.
The end result of trump's gameplan was that he showed himself the bully, the screaming rage-monster, the control freak husband/ex-boyfriend of women's nightmares.
PresidentDonald Trump arrived at the first debate with a theory and a plan. The theory was that American voters crave dominance, no matter how belligerent or offensive. The plan was to hector, interrupt, and insult in hopes of establishing that dominance.
His theory was wrong, and his plan was counterproductive...
Trump yelled, threatened, interrupted—and changed nothing. All he did was confirm the horror and revulsion of the large American majority that has already begun to cast its ballots against him.
Correction: Trump did one thing. On the Cleveland stage, Trump communicated that he will seize any opportunity to disrupt the vote and resist the outcome. He communicated more forcefully than ever that the only security the country has for a constitutional future is that Biden wins by the largest possible margin...
The only ones who did cheer as trump vomited his rage upon the international stage were the Proud Boy/White Supremacist factions whom trump refused to denounce when asked by the moderator Chris Wallace. Worse, trump rallied those wingnuts with the words to "Stand Back, Stand By", a call for them to await instructions for when trump clearly wants them to disrupt voter turnout on Election Day (and worse, to riot in county Elections offices afterward to prevent any clean ballot counts).
To say this was America's Worst Night for Democracy undersells a lot of other bad nights - actually the nights of November 8-9, 2016 when this motherfcking Shitgibbon won the Electoral count are the Worst Nights - but it's the big red flag we've all been waiting for signalling that the chaos of 2020 is going to get worse.
There's only one way out of trump's Hell, America. GET THE DAMN VOTE OUT AND ELECT EVERY DEMOCRAT TO EVERY OFFICE YOU CAN.
trump's derangement and raging ways are getting worse. If he steals this election as he's promising to, we can't survive four more years of this crap. We just can't.