Election 2020

Biden Rejects Pelosi's Advice To Skip Debates with Trump

Better still: Let's have lots of debates that include all candidates who can technically win the election.

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) today advised Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to skip any debates with the incumbent. "I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that has any association with truth, evidence, data, and facts," says Pelosi.

Biden has rightly rejected the suggestion. He's right to do so: Pelosi's position is risible, especially for the whopping 41 percent of us who identify as something other than Republican (26 percent) or Democrat (31 percent). Last week's Democratic National Convention was more inward-looking than 16th-century China and this week's Republican counterpart is similarly aimed almost completely at people who are already going to vote for their party's guy.

Presidential debates offer nonpartisan voters an opportunity to get a better sense of the candidates and what they think. Even from a tactical perspective, Pelosi's advice is dumb. Anyone who has is following the election has legitimate doubts about Joe Biden's mental state—and Donald Trump's too. They are 77 years and 74 years old, respectively, and neither of them inspires much confidence that they have all their marbles. It was only a few weeks ago that Biden was asking a reporter if he was a "junkie," while Trump, who himself mused about skipping the debates earlier this year, has faced inquiries about his physical condition.

Ideally, the debates would also be open to any other candidates who are on the ballot in enough states that it is mathematically possible win the election, a standard met by the Libertarian Party's Jo Jorgensen and the Green Party's Howie Hawkins. According to Gallup, 57 percent of Americans agree that a "third major party is needed." Adding such candidates to the debates would both make the events far more popular and hugely improve politics.

As it stands, Biden and Trump have tentatively agreed to three debates before the November 3 election. While there's no reason to expect Biden to change his mind and follow Nancy Pelosi's advice, there's zero hope that the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is run jointly by the Democratic and Republican parties, will allow electorally viable third parties to participate. Because if there's one thing that Democrats and Republicans hate more than each other, it's every other party that's on the ballot.

Bonus video: In 2016, I offered four reasons why Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson should have been included in the presidential debates:

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  1. Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

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  2. “Don’t tell anybody I told you this; especially don’t tell Joe Biden.”

    For a second I thought this might be a coordinated attempt by the Democrats to test public reaction and ease their way out of the debates… but she did ask the press not to tell ole Joe.

    1. Of course she was whispering that through a f’ing bull horn. She knows it will be an unmitigated disaster; it will not take much to get ole Joe riled up and slavering after lying dog faced pony soldier who are junkies. And then he’ll wet himself.

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    2. Even if they told him, he wouldn’t know who Nancy is – – – – – – – –

      1. To be fair, he doesn’t know who Joe is either.

    3. “Don’t tell Joe Biden, as I tell the entire mainstream media pimping for my party.”

    4. This was probably coordinated so Joe can look fearless now and reluctant when he comes up with an excuse to bail.

      1. “The Trump campaign has set totally unreasonable conditions for the debate – I have no choice but to refuse their unfair conditions.”

        1. Exactly! They may make up some pretentious excuse to not debate, but the only real reason anyone doesn’t debate is because they don’t think it will benefit them, whether they don’t want to give exposure to a lesser-known candidate (doesn’t apply to a major party candidate or certainly the president), or they think they will lose.

          It was stupid for Pelosi to even say such a thing when Biden has indicated he will be debating Trump.

  3. If ol’ Joe doesn’t show up for the debates, Trump should insist on the debates going on anyway. Do the Eastwood thing with an empty chair.

    1. That did not work out well, as I recall….it was just, weird.

      1. I enjoyed it. I thought it was funny.

        Eastwood 2020!
        “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it”

        1. That movie is just the best. How good of a slogan would that have been to use against Hillary?

      2. It worked out VERY well.

        And for months afterward, there was an empty chair outside of the abandoned Solyndra building, seen by the tens of thousands of commuters on the freeway past the place. Every couple of days, the chair would be gone during the evening rush hour, and a different one would be there the next morning.

        The message got across, and continues to reach people today.

        1. It was a good bit, but they dragged it out a little too long

    2. Debate a third-party candidate, either green or green and libertarian. It would marginalize Biden and no third-party candidate would pass up such exposure.

  4. The debates will be great. It doesn’t matter if Trump is a ‘liar’ or ‘incompetent’. Because the fact is, we just don’t need big government any more. We can take care of ourselves. So if Trump discredits the government, that’s a good thing because it vindicates the independence and resilience of the people. If Trump lies, then that exercises our truth muscles. We’re learning to think for ourselves. About time! If Trump can’t implement a national testing strategy – fine. Let the states do it as they see fit. And that’s what they did! And we’ll be past this virus hysteria soon enough.

    Whereas Biden will accrue power from the states, especially the red states who will get punished under Biden/Harris for opposing them. Dems are feeling very angry and vindictive and will stop at nothing to impose their socialist agenda, regardless of Biden’s reassurances. The point of ‘medicare for all’, for example, isn’t to help illegals and homeless get medical care, as much as to punish the rich and conservatives for being who they are. (Whether rich people will realize their support for Biden/Harris is suicidal in time for the election is the big question.)

    1. “ Dems are feeling very angry and vindictive and will stop at nothing to impose their socialist agenda”
      Like rioting & looting or just sending in 10th Mountain to teach em?

      Moron.

      1. You seem to just want to argue and insult for the sake of it.

    2. We never DID need big government.

      That’s why the Deep Staters are so desperate to trash Trump, hoping to keep us from realizing it.

      THEY don’t realize that we knew if in 2015 — which is how Trump got elected, rather than one of the Party elect that he smashed in the primaries.

  5. Even ignoring write-ins, any 3rd party or independent candidate on at least one state ballot can win.

    Imagine this scenario

    Trump 268 EVs
    Biden 267 EVs
    Kanye 3 EVs (wins Vermont)

    With no candidate winning a majority, the House will select the President from among the 3 EV totals.

    They could select Kanye, so he does technically have a chance of winning.

    1. They would select Hillary, no question.

      1. “They would select Hillary, no question.”

        That would be amusing for at least an hour. Then it would be absolutely scary for the next …. forever.

      2. The 12th amendment requires top 3 candidates on the ballot.

    2. Kanye has a better chance of getting 270 via write ins than the House picking him as the winner

    3. They tried that in 2016 with faithless Clinton electors voting for Colin Powell. It failed because they couldn’t convince Trump electors to defect.

      1. 2016 Electoral College votes:

        3 voted for Colin Powell
        3 voted for Bernie Sanders (2 invalidated illegally by Maine and Minnesota)
        2 voted for John Kasich (1 invalidated illegally by Colorado)
        1 voted for Faith Spotted Eagle
        1 voted for Ron Paul (do you think we’d be 27 trillion in debt if Ron Paul had won?)

    4. Or Jorgensen. Isn’t New Hampshire supposed to be the Free State by now?

  6. Slow Joe would instantly become Chickenshit Joe if he bails on the debates.

    1. “No-go Joe”

    2. Bunker Biden.

      1. You know who else holed out in a bunker?

    3. Shoeless Joe. Say it ain’t so, Joe!

    4. Bitchboy Biden

    5. Deep State Joe.

    6. Where’m I hidin’ Biden

    7. No Joe

      or

      No Show Joe

  7. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) today advised Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to skip any debates with the incumbent. “I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that has any association with truth, evidence, data, and facts,” says Pelosi.

    That was an incredibly stupid thing to say.
    Even if it were true (lol), it totally sounds like evasion by any metric.

    1. ol’ Joe may not be the only democrat losing it – – – – – – –

      1. She is 80.

        1. Is that age or IQ?

          1. Clearly age. Her IQ is lower (sarcasm). I don’t like her politics, but Speaker Pelosi is a very shrewd (and shrewish) woman. Do not underestimate her.

        2. And rumors are she is a functional alcoholic. Long term alcoholism does lead to dementia.

          1. I have absolutely no doubt that once the clock strikes 5.30, she’ll all over her Manhattan.

            I’m betting it’s a Mommy Dearest kind of demeanor she has too. I bet she’s an absolutely nasty drunk.

          2. ‘Granny Winebox’ wasn’t just a nickname, it was also rank and title.

  8. I’d say if Biden tries to step out Trump should debate Kayne, but Kayne is actually a competent entertainer. Kayne could take some of Trump’s vote if they were on stage together.

    1. Kanye would take some of the Trump vote that was originally the Biden vote.

  9. Debate or no debate, it doesn’t matter, Trump is about to win bigly (sic).

    If Biden participates, he’ll be verbally destroyed live. If Biden or his handlers refuse, then he’ll be annihilated by (mostly independent) voters. It’s a lose-lose dilemma for the Dems, and a win-win scenario for President Trump.

  10. I see where she’s coming from, his most electable and popular feature is that he’s not Donald Trump and you don’t need any debates to prove that. He’s only going to hurt himself by speaking.

    1. He’s basically running as “generic Democrat”; The generic Democrat virtually always polls better than the real one. So they’re trying to delay people forming an opinion about Biden specifically, until enough people have voted by mail that it’s too late for it to hurt him.

  11. To be fair, Pelosi doesn’t care what Biden wants, Pelosi wants to win. And she knows that it doesn’t look good for the home team in an open debate.

  12. Where is the media hand wringing and tut-tutting about the dangerous attitude of Nancy Pelosi referring to much of the GOP as “enemies of the state”?

    1. They have the same attitude.

    2. ChemJeff will be along any minute to deny it happened.

      1. He’ll demand a citation and then when a dozen people give him ten apiece, he’ll try to lawyer it away; “Pelosi didn’t say enemies of ‘which’ state. Maybe she meant Iran”.

  13. The issue with debates isn’t just Biden, it’s also the field. Even if they outright own the moderator and the spirit of JFK possesses Biden’s shambling corpse and Nixon possesses Trump, how are they going to avoid talking about shit that’s literally on fire, the impeachment, the economy, mask mandates, Russiagate, etc.? Even if they do question Trump on something (quasi-)legitimate (spending, trade) what are they going to do when he invariably steers it back to “The economy is recovering in the midst of a pandemic and every governor on Biden’s side of the aisle is trying to stop me.”? Cut off his mike? The good outcome is that Joe spends the entire time lecturing Trump about using campaign finances to fuck Stormy Daniels. I mean, even if Joe flat out accuses Trump of being a member of the KKK, Trump can say “Go back lecturing your VP on how it’s OK that you supported busing.”

    Not to say the Trump campaign should assume a cake walk (they won’t), but Biden is hardly the only shitty piece of this equation for the invested members of the DNC who will be watching at home.

    1. Mad….You have to ask yourself. Is Biden even capable of staying completely focused for 90 minutes in a debate? I do not think that he can. It is just biology…he aged rapidly.

      I mean, he is dumb also, but what Team D politician isn’t?

      1. I hope Biden melts down so badly it can’t be spun, just so I can spend the next 4 years saying the left wasn’t cheated out of an election; they nominated a vegetable.

        1. I hope this hasn’t been a rope-a-dope by Team Biden. I can see them managing his dementia, yet preparing Joe with whatever diabolical cocktail will enable him to look coherent for 90 minutes.

          If he comes out looking healthy, alert, and glowing, it’s not good for Trump.

          I think this is a low probability possibility, but one Trump’s team should be prepared for.

          1. I could see them pulling it off once, but 3 times?

          2. See my link below

          3. There won’t be three debates. Not this late in the game. Might not be two.

      2. They already HAVE asked that question, and decided that the answer is “no.”

        They’re not even sure that they could keep him sufficiently doped up to LOOK competent for 90 minutes.

        1. If Biden is as bad off as most of us suspect, is it anything less than very very sad that in a year when their only goal is to rid the land of Trump, and they have 100% backing from the media, social media companies, and most of the rest of the world, that Biden is the best they could muster?

          1. Sad for them. Great for us.

            All they had to do—assuming she’d have gone along with it—was to have no Democratic Party Primary overall winner on the first ballot. Then nominate Michelle Obama as Prez, Bernie as Veep. That likely wins, as messed up as 2020 is.

          2. To be honest, I do not want to see an old man humiliated. That is not right. But the fact is, he affirmatively made his choice. And now he must accept the consequences. I expect the debates to be brutal.

            1. If he dies, he dies

            2. On the bright side, in a day or two he’ll remember it as him brilliantly triumphing, so the personal downside of being humiliated is going to be quite limited.

          3. Biden and riots. They are trying to lose.

            The looting, rioting, vandalism, arson and mob rule election model says Trump in a landslide. End Joe Biden’s racist Drug War.

        1. So awesome. Until this makes the rounds.

          Addiction is a symptom of PTSD. Says Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine Eric Kandel.

          Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts were sexually abused in childhood.

    2. If JFK could possess Joe’s shambling corpse, we would see the first proven Suicide-By-Ghost in world history.

  14. Biden will be hopped up on amphetamines and his angry rambling will be spun as “standing up to a bully”.

    The fun part should be hour 2, when the drugs wear off. Biden’s, not mine.

    1. I wonder if an implantable drug pump could be modified to give him whatever L-Dopa/Amphetamine/Adenocrome/Thymus Gland ripped bodily from a screaming 6 year old, his doctors think could maintain the required mental state for the debate?

      ‘No, the Candidate will not be available for questions from the media immediately following…’

    2. The other strategy will be for Trump to expose Joe’s dementia, without attacking it and appearing cruel – just give Joe enough rope to hang himself…of which he is more than capable. FUcker can’t even read a prepared script without making some kind of error.

      But I don’t know if Trump is smart enough for that…because intelligence/judgment and DJT aren’t even in the same area code. Fucking dumbass.

      1. Don’t know about that. Calling for drug tests before the debates was brilliant.

          1. Until Trump was faced with this: Addiction is a symptom of PTSD. Says Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine Eric Kandel.

            Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts were sexually abused in childhood.

            I expect the minions would rather lose an election than give up the drug war. So the above will NEVER be issues.

    3. “As part my opening statement, I’m going to submit to a drug test. Joe, will you join me in being open and honest with the American People?”

      1. *of*

        *** submits to coffee ***

      2. Addiction is a symptom of PTSD. Says Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine Eric Kandel.

        Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts were sexually abused in childhood.

      3. “I’ll submit to a drug test as soon as you release your tax returns.”

    4. Yeah, I’ll keep taking drugs throughout.

      1. Me too– and I’m not even going to watch

        1. I look forward to the out takes.

  15. Adding such candidates to the debates would both make the events far more popular and hugely improve politics.

    But enough about John McAfee and Vermin Supreme.

    1. That could’ve been a winning ticket for the Libertarian Party.

  16. There won’t be debates. Biden’s handlers will find a reason to keep him off the stage.

    1. I have no doubts about this.

      But with CV diminishing quickly, they’ll have to look harder for a good excuse. CV was ready made, but that seems to be basically fading for the moment.

  17. It’s the long game they’ve been setting up now. Biden hides in basement in hopes he can simply claim it’s too dangerous for such a great mind, the future savior of our country to even think about risking going on a stage with Orange man who has been out and about with the covid ridden deplorables.

    Debate drinking game..

    Drink anytime Trump says Incredible or Tremendous, your choice.

    Drink everytime Biden says, Look folks or Let me be clear, your choice.

    Or go for full on alcohol poisoning and drink for all 4! Either way you should be hammered within 5 minutes.

    1. I’m taking a puff for “Drug War”. I expect I’ll need a special party – after.

  18. Poppycock!

  19. Nice try Nancy.

    Have another shot of Ensure.

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  21. I suspect that Nancy doesn’t want Biden participating in any debates because she doesn’t have any doubts about what his mental state actually is.

    Could there be anything worse for Biden than to be on camera while having to think on his feet and be off prompter for 60 consecutive minutes?

  22. How the hell this woman keeps her job is mind blowing to me. Isn’t she almost 80 herself and she seems to be getting loonier by the day.

    1. It easy she is very good at what she does. As you have noted she close to 80 years old. She also quick as rabbit, I watched her walk there the Capital on day to the House chamber. She can keep her caucus in-line, something that neither Boehner or Ryan could do when they were speaker.

    2. Pelosi is a significant fundraiser for the party.

    3. She’s got one of the safest districts ever devised, made up people with extreme wealth who think of themselves as “middle class”, and a lot of people who make enough to live comfortably in most of the country but are near or below the local poverty line due to the impact of local “progressive” governance on the cost of living; the poverty line in the area is almost $110k/year and according to wikipedia the median income in the district is $113k.

      It doesn’t hurt her cause that the State Dem party generally prevents her from facing anything like viable competition for re-election and the fact that the conditions and artificial environment in CA (the natural environment here is among the best in the world and the local “leadership” managed to get the state to finish dead last in a quality of life ranking a few years ago) has been causing non-leftists to flee the state at varying rates for at least 25 years now.

      1. What your point over 75% of House seats are safe seats for the incumbent?

  23. OK, so, have the debate. Invite Jo. She’ll be there. Now when it’s “The Presidential Debate” on the TV, it’s going to be just the Republican and the Libertarian? Joe has to show up too, or he looks horribly weak. Not that he’ll look great if he does show up.

    I mean, hell. Trump has enough money to just throw his own debate on TV if he wants, right, despite what the Presidential Debate Committee might want?

  24. There is really no way for Biden to not debate and to tell the truth there is little reason not too. I watched Biden the last few weeks and he got his mojo in-line. Trump is an ass and there is no predicting what he will do. That said he is getting testier they days when he is questioned, a likely by product of the stroke. He could stomp off in the middle of the debate or more likely hurl a racial epitaph at some black woman moderator.
    That said I think it would be good strategy for Biden to support the inclusion of Hawkins and Jorgenson. Trump wants a 1 on 1 and having two other especially a women will likely give him fits and grabbing for the water bottle (again with both hands, another stroke thing).

    1. Biden will not let a Green on stage and exit polling data has shown in some key races Libertarians take as much votes from registered Democrats as they do Republicans. Democrats are touting the lesser of two evils more than the GOP does now when it comes to Libertarians.

      Democrats and GOP have nothing to gain therefore the media will not allow other candidates on stage.

      Trump will eviscerate Biden. It is a lose-lose proposition for Biden. Looks a coward if he does not debate, puts his senility out in the open if he does debate.

      1. Lose. End Joe Biden’s racist Drug War.

      2. “Trump will eviscerate Biden.”

        Not if the question is “what will you do as President”. Trump can not answer the question even when lobbed out there by Hannity or the ANN.

    2. Doood.. Don’t bogart that. Pass it.

    3. This has to be parody, right?

      Rulpa, did you steal mod’s handle?
      Great work

  25. In this sort of game, beating expectations can be a win, and it seems Biden has low expectations. If he’s more or less coherent and gives off a couple good lines, it will be spun as a total triumph for him.

    1. Let him spin off the riots. End Joe Biden’s racist Drug War.

  26. Also, who’s going to be the moderator? Someone from the regular media?

    1. I’d like to see two moderators, Rachel Maddow and Tucker Carlson.
      Man would that be a total shit show.

      1. “Man would that be a total shit show.”

        Sure, but what do you call everything *else* that’s going on now?

  27. Easy political bullshit balloon. Pelosi can toss it up there without worry about repercussion. She’ll never be voted out or really be asked about it. And Biden will look tough shooting it down. Even though, the trial balloon of him not participating in the debates was already floated months ago. I’m sure Ds saw the numbers and realized he’s going to have to get up on stage.

    How much cover will the moderators afford him? How much will Trump gain by the moderators converting for Biden? Moderators providing coverage for Biden is a win for Trump, and he’ll be sure to note it. If they can’t see this, Ds are in even bigger trouble than they know.

    1. Why is that comma after “Even though…”? I don’t know.

    2. I am interested in the idea of moderators covering for Biden and how that would happen? Would the moderators cover for Biden by fact checking Trump? Would the moderators cover for Biden by keeping Trump from wandering off on some tangent unrelated to the question. Perhaps it would be better without a moderator and Trump could just wander on and say whatever he wants. Would that be a solution?

      1. My personal opinion is that they shouldn’t have moderators. The candidates should be in sound proof booths with microphones on timers. During Biden’s time Trump hears what Biden says, and nobody hears Trump. During Trump’s time, the reverse. No moderators to rig things, no talking over the other candidate. Just alternate periods where you can say anything you want without interruption.

        Supplying the booths with air? Yeah, I guess we could do that, too.

        Oh, and radio jamming. The Republicans should absolutely make sure there’s a radio jammer present and running during the debates.

        1. This is not too bad an idea. I think the current debate format is bad and would like to see a more formal style debate, like the Soho debates. Each debate to last 1 hour, a limited topic, 10 minutes to present, 5 minute to rebut and questions. No audience to add comments (clapping or booing), no talking over the other person. Moderator presents the question and enforces order.

      2. Based on what we have seen from the media, it could be they try to fact check Trump, yet Biden goes unchecked. Is that it off the team of possibility? Or maybe Biden just happens to get some of the questions ahead of time. Does that seem out of the realm of possibility?

        Actually, I think it would be far funnier to see Biden wander on and say whatever he wants. Fuck, I bet Ol’ Joe just might wander right off the stage.

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  29. Let the Communist win. It is not wise to upset a Communist. They have been known to tear people’s arms off.

    The looting, rioting, vandalism, arson and mob rule election model says Trump in a landslide. End Joe Biden’s racist Drug War.

    1. Could you Russian troll bots at least mix it up a little? The same damn comment over and over.

      1. And the same damn “Russian trolls” to anyone who disagrees with you, over and over.

        1. Could just be normal American morons who’ve been duped by the Russian trolls.

  30. Any opinion predicated on the notion that Trump will do anything but beclown himself in a debate is held by an imbecile.

    Maybe Pelosi is doing her Pelosi thing and employing the sometimes-relevant old-fashioned campaign wisdom that says debates are more valuable to the guy who’s losing.

    But what on god’s earth would Biden have to worry about? Parroting desperate Trump campaign horseshit about his mental fitness is all well and good for you idiots until Biden opens his mouth and doesn’t actually drool all over himself and like knows stuff about the world.

    My god, what idiots they are, and by extension most of you. They set expectations for Biden at dementia. For fuck’s sake, a three year old could do politics better. And probably govern better.

    1. Trump could make the Gettysburg address look like a 6 grader rambling, and you’d think he beclowned himself, Tony.

      I expect the usual: The people actually watching will think the Republican did better, the media will report that the Democrat won, and eventually the majority who didn’t actually watch the debate will be browbeaten into agreeing.

      1. If anyone sincerely thinks Donald Trump is a coherent, intelligent public servant, that person is the one with dementia.

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  32. Of course a debate with only Trump would be pointless, but one only between Trump and Biden would also be pointless. We can just watch commercials and what they pass as news now-days.

    I like the formula of inviting all the candidates that have a mathematical possibility to win the electoral college. Deciding who is invited based on the percentage of votes in biased polls is inherently in-accurate and unfair.

    For example, I don’t ever answer poll taker’s questions because it’s a waste of time and I don’t trust them so why would I give them information. I have numerous friends and family who claim the same.

    Only if there were going to be more than ten candidates participating that you would need to further limit who was invited. This is not very likely in the near future, so it would be a bridge to cross later if necessary.

    This cycle I believe that the debates would have four parties represented based on the mathematical possibility to win the electoral college. The two major parties and the Libertarian and Green parties. I’m not sure if the Constitution party is on the ballot in enough states.

    I would look forward to a debate that included Jo Jorgensen and Howie Hawkins as equal participants alongside the two major party candidates.

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