Debates 2020

Last Night's Debate Was a Disaster. That's Exactly Why There Should Be More of Them.

After the trainwreck that was the first Biden-Trump debate, some people will likely call for future debates to be canceled. America needs the exact opposite.


The first debate between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden was, for the most part, an unwatchable disaster.

We should have more debates between these two men. A lot more.

In the rare moments on Tuesday night when Trump and Biden weren't talking over each other or engaging in shouting matches with the debate's moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, they struggled to move behind the most basic of talking points before quickly returning to the shouting, mocking, and general nonsense. Trump was, of course, the more disruptive of the two—but both candidates deserve blame for wasting 90 minutes of everyone's time.

"A hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck," is how CNN's Jake Tapper described it shortly after the event mercifully concluded. His colleague Wolf Blitzer actually opened CNN's post-debate coverage by openly speculating about whether this might have been both the first and last debate between the two men—and he wasn't the only one to express that sentiment:

Anyone who watched Tuesday's debate with the knowledge that two more Trump vs. Biden contests are scheduled—for October 15 and October 22—can be forgiven for wishing that this cup might pass from us. I mean, can you really imagine sitting through three more hours of that.

But what America really needs is the exact opposite.

Yes, I'm saying there should be more debates. Maybe two or three per week between now and the election. Seriously. The debates shouldn't be seen as horrifying divertissements from more sanitized campaign trail news, and they certainly shouldn't be canceled because they show Trump and Biden in such a raw, unfiltered light. This is the choice we have, America, and we should not look away.

There should be more debates because the two major parties that vomited up these candidates into your living room deserve to be humiliated. Take away the pundits, surrogates, and teams of public relations professionals who help sell Trump and Biden as normal, competent adults capable of holding any position of power, and you're left with what you saw on Tuesday night.

There should be more debates because Americans should have to stew in this porridge of hot garbage until they cry out for alternatives—alternatives that are kept off the stage by rigged qualification rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is itself a creation of the two major parties. (After watching Tuesday's display, you can at least understand why Democrats and Republicans are so keen on excluding anyone who might be even moderately coherent.)

There should be more debates because Americans need to confront the fact that Trump and Biden didn't merely have an "off night" on Tuesday. Their performances were every bit as calculated and cynical as they were unserious and exhausting. They were, believe it or not, trying their best.

Trump lacks coherent policy ideas or anything that could reasonably be called a second-term agenda. Midway through the debate, Wallace lobbed a softball that invited Trump to talk about what he would do to help the average American if given another four years in office, and Trump sputtered a bunch of nonsense about what he'd supposedly accomplished so far—as if voters owe him a second term based on his first.

Lacking any serious ideas of his own, it was clear from the start that Trump's strategy in the debate was nothing more sophisticated than trying to bully Biden into saying something that could be replayed, context-free, on Fox News and the president's own Twitter account.

Biden, whose best quality during this whole campaign has been that he's not Trump, kept his cool but accomplished little else. Honestly, I don't remember a word Biden said last night except for the time he told Trump "would you shut up, man." Which, fair.

So much for trying to figure out which candidate you'd rather have a beer with. Last night's debate posed a darker question: if you were locked in a bar with both candidates and a pistol with a single round, would you take the easy way out?

Guess what, America: There is no easy way out. Either Trump or Biden will be president for the next four years. We collectively stared into that abyss for 90 minutes on Tuesday night, and the only ones among us who weren't driven mad by the experience were those who are already insane.

There should be more debates for roughly the same reason that we should abolish tax withholding. Though originally a well-intentioned idea pushed by none other than Milton Friedman, having taxes automatically withheld from paychecks means that most Americans don't experience the reality of paying roughly one-third of what they earn to the federal government every year. If we could only force people to write massive checks to the IRS every year, the theory goes, more people would feel differently about proposals to increase the size and cost of government. Likewise, if only we had more presidential debates, perhaps we could awaken more of America to the ruinous consequences of having only two viable political parties in a country of 325 million people.

Every time Biden and Trump speak, they undermine the rotting system that put them in front of the cameras, so they should be invited to speak, literally ad nauseum, until we can't take it anymore.

NEXT: Here’s Where Marijuana Is on the Ballot in November

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  1. Last nights debate was a disaster

    Not as big a disaster as your column earlier this morning, Boehm.

    1. Ooooh, waz you butthurt? Did you read it just so you could not like it?

      1. It seems like you are.
        That column was roundly condemned by a variety of posters.
        What’s calling it out have to do with you?

        1. Are you white knighting for Tulpa now, Nardz?

          1. It’s pretty hilarious how Tulpa was universally reviled here before the 2016 election, and now all the Trump cultists defend him.

              1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…ERd after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

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            1. To be fair, he played in the fantasy football league for J Sub D back in ’11 or ’12.

              1. He’s mantruming because I fucked his mom then ate all his pizza rolls.

            2. He was universally reviled by people who are still here and defend him?

              So people like him more now?

              You’re actually upset about that?

              1. Well no, it’s that his own stock is trading for pennies which really upsets him.

                1. it was higher at some point?

                  1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

                    1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…OPb after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

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            3. you’ve got yourself confused with the universe

            4. No team chipper again making sure to put those who disagree with him on a team.

            5. Tulpa was universally reviled here before the 2016 election

              No, that was you Chipper.

              1. And he’s only gotten worse.

            6. Kinda like how Tony, Buttplug and Hihn were universally reviled before the 2016 election and now you spend 80% of your time polishing their collective taint with this and your other 6 socks?

          2. “Tulpa”

            You’re very bad at this Mike.

          3. No, I’m making an observation and asking a question.
            Boehm’s article was ridiculous, as pointed out by a variety of people, many of whom don’t usually make such comments.
            So what’s the motivation for getting offended that someone would call him out?
            Is Reason sacrosanct, because that’s how the dickless squad around here treats it.

            1. Nadless and Heartless Nardzi the Nasty NAZI for impartial moderator next time around! Nadless could show its impartiality, AND bring decorum to the debates, by constantly tell Biden that Biden’s life has no value, and that Biden should commit suicide! In typical Nadless high-brow style, obviously.

              1. “typical Nadless high-brow style, ”


              2. Fuck off, Sqrlsy.


                WHAT A KNEE SLAPPER!

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    2. Here’s the problem. The method by which the two parties select their nominees has become too democratic. While Americans must be allowed to elect their officials, they should not be allowed to pick their candidates. The bases of both parties have moved so far from the middle that the middle 75% who call themselves independents, moderate-to-liberal Republicans or moderate-to-conservative Democrats feel left out.

      Conventions used to be long and drawn out, because often, no candidate had a majority of the delegates. Adlai Stevenson was the compromise after 3 rounds of voting at the 1952 Democrat Convention. Lincoln finished third in the first ballot of the 1860 Republican convention, while the better known Sen. William Seward was first.

      If the nomination process today was like the process until the 1950s, the Republicans would have picked someone who was statesmanlike and could coherently present an agenda. Trump’s problem is that he is used to being reactionary, which is how many businesses work, and everything is negotiable. Ideologues like Ronald Reagan make for lousy business owners.

      And the Democrats would have picked someone younger, less prone to gaffes, doesn’t act like the cranky old neighbor, and will play better in Peoria.

      I don’t think Americans want a third party. Ross Perot’s Reform Party only had one success, Jesse Ventura, and his antics drove the party into oblivion. The Green Party has done poorly since Ralph Nadar.

    3. I Make Money At H0me.Let’s start work offered by Google!!Yes,this is definitely the most financially rewarding Job Abr I’ve had . Last Monday I bought a great Lotus Elan after I been earning $9534 this-last/5 weeks and-a little over, $10k last month . . I started this four months/ago and immediately started to bring home minimum $97 per/hr

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  2. The only thing I like about parliamentary systems, at least some of them, is the question and answer sessions. I would pay to watch once a week, especially with Trump; his attitude seems much more like what I’ve seen of the good Q&A sessions from the UK. But it would have been just as much fun watching Obama get all bent out of shape, all huffy and puffy, at some of the questions he’d have gotten; and watching Bush II stumble around would have been comedy gold.

    1. I like that too. Instead of the bullshit pseudo imperial spectacle of the State of the Union, the President should be required to answer questions to a joint session of Congress three or four times a year. That would not only be made for TV entertainment but it might actually be educational to the voting public.

    2. There is no point to another debate. The debate was a reflection of America. The two sides have no interest in a discussion anymore. There is no desire for a consensus or compromise, or trying to change the minds on the other side.

      1. Says the person who claims that Trump is a white supremacist and anyone who denies it is a racist. You are completely unable to honestly debate anything.

        Jesus Christ do you have any self awareness at all? My God you are unbelievable.


      2. Are you kidding, last night was the funniest thing I’ve seen on network TV since Seinfeld. Added bonus, no longer can any member of the press/political establishment look down on naked fat guys dancing on convention stages; not after last night. The libertarian party just became the party of grownups (by default and not really).

        1. Personally, I think it’s awesome.

          This is the logical result of mass media treating celebrities for roughly 70 years as if their money and fame ennoble society with deep insights into the human condition, as opposed to just being a bunch of substance-abusing, abusive, narcissistic deadbeats.

          The Democrats and celebrity left don’t hate Trump because they don’t approve of his boorish attitude and excessive lifestyle–they hate him precisely because he is a direct reflection of their own personal internal rot, and they can’t stand what they see in the mirror.

      3. Trump tried to debate.
        He responded to questions posed to him and brought up his own.
        Biden flat out refused to answer, and Wallace stepped in any time a debate threatened to break out.

        1. Bingo. Finally someone gets it.

      4. Was GREAT television in the finest of reality TV tradition! Like the WWE meets Springer during a mud wrestle on The View!

    3. Obama’s not the kind of person who does get bent out of shape. That’s one big reason that he was elected POTUS twice.

      1. Ha!

        A thinner skinned president has yet to be seen.

        Yes, Trump has a thicker hide than Obama.

      2. Obama’s not the kind of person who does get bent out of shape.

        Calling his opponents teabaggers, telling them to get in the back of the bus, claiming that Fox News and AM radio were undermining his presidency, calling half of the country backward religious fundamentalists clinging to their guns, spying on the press illegally, and jailing more journalists than all previous presidents COMBINED. Yeah, what a fucking rock.

  3. Somebody tell Boehm the Birdbrain that one candidate in the race has been calling for more debates: POTUS Trump.

    And one candidate consistently refuses more debates: Chickenshit Joe

    1. What a strange and muddled remark. The only way that is a gotcha against Boehm is if you accept Boehm’s premise that there should be more debates, not fewer.

      But if you accept Boehm’s premise, including WHY Boehm thinks there should be more debates, then Trump would be a birdbrain to call for moreover debates.

      1. Would you like a salve for your ailing posterior?

      2. I would have to disagree with you there.

        1. 85% of the people voting for Biden aren’t voting for Biden – they’re voting *against* Trump.

        2. No one watching that debates is going ‘oh, hairy legs Joe is kinda an asshole, I’ma go vote for Trump’ – because Trump’s an asshole too.

        3. Everyone voting for Trump knows what they’re getting – we’ve had 4 years. His performance last night was exactly what was expected (and desired) from him.

        The only surprise was Biden having the cojones to bark back.

        So, from my read, more debates do not hurt Trump – because we already know what the true face of politics is – won’t hurt Biden much – because those that are surprised that politics is a contact sport are still not going to switch sides.

        The only exception is if Biden’s campaign staff thinks he might fall out during a debate. No one thinks Trump will, everyone – including his own supporters – is pissing themselves with worry that Biden will.

        1. Biden damn near started crying

        2. 3. Everyone voting for Trump knows what they’re getting – we’ve had 4 years.

          Four years? Fuck, we’ve had 40. There’s literally nothing in Trump’s history over that time that should have surprised or scandalized anyone.

          The people screeching about him the loudest right now were thirsty to get in his orbit for decades. They begged him for campaign donations. They gave him TV and movie cameo roles. They invited him to come on talk shows. They gave him his own fucking reality show. They attended each others’ social events. They name-dropped him as the beau ideal of capitalist consumption, and Mac Miller even titled one of his raps “Donald Trump” specifically as a “fuck-you” to the people who shat on him in high school.

          There’s nothing that these people are bitching about now that has any substance. Like all leftists, they were happy to embrace him when they thought he was one of their own. He hasn’t changed a single iota in 40 years, and now we’re supposed to buy their arguments about his unfitness for office? Fine, but why exactly were you kissing his ass and buying his merchandise up until that point?

        3. You are making arguments against some position, but it ain’t arguments against anything I said.

          1. It’s always fun to see if you’re going to lie about what you said, or lie about what your interlocutor says.

          2. Wait – I thought you were just a troll, are you actually stupid?

            You stated a position. I states that I disagreed with the position. Then I stated the reasons I disagreed. All that stuff wasn’t there to refute your reasons for coming to the conclusion you came to but to support *my* conclusion.

            I wasn’t ‘making an argument against’ what you said. I just listed some arguments that support my position that Trump doesn’t have to be a birdbrain to want more debates.

            Like seriously – I saw you post something that might actually be serious and showed signs of you *thinking* about your opinion instead of NPCing so I engaged with you as a rational human and what?

            You don’t even understand what’s happening when that happens.

  4. “There should be more debates because the two major parties that vomited up these candidates into your living room deserve to be humiliated.”

    Keep the popcorn coming!

  5. The most compelling case for more debates is that the hyperpartisan superKaren adultress Mika Brzezinski thinks we shouldn’t have any more.

    I’ll save you all the trouble of reading her article – It’s all Trump’s and Wallace’s fault. No criticism of Biden.

    1. But check out her picture. That’s a Karen pose.

        1. I let her bitch at my manager if you know what I mean.

    2. I’ll save you all the trouble of reading her article – It’s all Trump’s and Wallace’s fault. No criticism of Biden.

      In other words, sarcasmic, white gripe, chipper boring retard, etc etc?

  6. I wouldn’t call it a disaster. Chris Wallace was the clear winner.

    1. yes, and it wasn’t close (or because Wallace did a great job)

      1. No, no he was not.
        Wallace will never be asked to do a debate again.

    2. Wallace failed because he did not keep the debate on tract. He failed to do this because he failed to check Trump. Instead he babied Trump the way some parent baby an indulgent child. “Oh you don’t like that question, he maybe you will like this one”. Wallace failed because he did not exercise authority early on. He should have stopped the debate. Explained the rules and insisted that Trump not talk over Joe Biden or himself.

      1. You funny, man.

      2. “on tract”

        “On track” is the colloquialism; but if you’re using “tract” in the sense of a pamphlet or leaflet of political or religious propaganda then I’d say he tried his best for the left.

      3. Do you know what a leading question is? Wallace sure did.

        1. I wonder when Moderation4ever stopped fucking goats.

  7. The big drawbacks of more debates are the increases in alcoholism and suicide amongst viewers and the candidates’ handlers.

    Then again, maybe those increases among the handlers wouldn’t be such a bad thing

    1. and those will count as “excess deaths” for COVID too

  8. I don’t think Democrats would be calling for the debates to be canceled if they thought last night went well for them. I don’t get the whining and hand wringing over this. They disagree and went after each other. Isn’t that how it is supposed to work? I don’t know what people who bitch about last night want other than two candidates up there agreeing with each other and kissing each other’s asses. And that doesn’t sound like very healthy politics to me.

    1. The most informative moment was Biden repeatedly refusing to answer the question about packing the court. That, and his numerous misrepresentations of his own political program and objectives. Oh, and “Inshallah”, WTF?

      Equally telling was AOC’s reaction to the GND question.

      1. If there is a point to debates, it would seem to me that they allow the candidates to pin each other down on exactly what their position is on given issues. Looked at from that perspective, Trump pinned Biden down as being for national lockdowns, and completely unwilling to give a coherent position on the GND and court packing, which I think most people will take as him supporting both but not being willing to admit it. None of that is good for Biden.

    2. “I don’t think Democrats would be calling for the debates to be canceled if they thought last night went well for them.”

      Totally disagree. Debates are well known as the place where momentum in a campaign changes. Reagan pretty much put Bush away in the primaries (“I paid for this mic, damnit!”), slayed Carter, (“Oh, there you go again!”) and baby sealed Dukakis (“I won’t let my candidate’s inexperience become an issue…”) with his debate performances. Clinton famously limited his debate appearances in his re-elextion (and Dole kept trying to dare him into more) because Clinton knew he was leading and didn’t want to risk a mis-step.

      Biden’s supporters do not want another debate because he did all he needed to do. He proved that he could stand up to Trump without crapping his pants. All he needed to do was draw, and I think that is pretty much what he did. So near as we can tell, Biden’s handlers think that the race is now his to lose- it is tightening but their polling shows him winning.

      I’m not arguing whether or not Biden’s staff is right here. But declining more debates is EXACTLY the strategy that the favorite to win chooses.

      1. That is possible. But, there is a price to be paid for refusing to debate again. It makes Biden look weak and like he has something to hide. That hurts momentum as well.

        I think if they really thought it went well, they would want more of them. They don’t want more says that at best they somehow managed to get him through it and don’t want to risk another disaster.

        Regardless, I would be shocked if the debates do not go off as planned. There will be two more of them.

        That said, I think people look at these debates wrongly. They see them as a beauty contest. So each side things their guy won because he looked the best. But no one ever remembers these debates. I think the only way they matter beyond some famous line or event is because they force the candidates to be honest about what their positions are. Viewed from that perspective, last night was a disaster for Biden. No one is going to remember that he didn’t crap his pants or that he was a bigger asshole than Trump. What they will remember is his admitting he will lock down the country if he is elected, supports the GND, and supports packing the Supreme Court. Those things matter.

        1. “I think if they really thought it went well, they would want more of them. ”

          No that’s never the right strategy. It’s like a football team saying “Wow our Defense did great, let’s hand the ball to the other team again.”

          No matter how well you do in a debate, it is a risk. And why take a risk when you think you are winning.

          I totally agree that there is a cost of looking weak by skipping the debates- that is why Biden needed to do at least one and look competent.

          Now notice that the Biden campaign is actually saying NOTHING. They are leaving it to surrogates and Trump to hash this out. That is because polling hasn’t come back. That 66% Trump win from Telemundo is super surprising. If more polls come back suggesting that Trump won, and that it is costing them in the battlegrounds, they will HAVE to do more, to try and change the momentum- and they will come out shouting “How dare Trump suggest we are afraid. Biden will stand up to you!”. But if they think they won, or did “good enough” there is no way they do more.

          1. I doubt the Telemundo poll is an aberation. I can’t see why Spanish speakers would have some kind of pre disposition to think Trump won. On a substantive level Trump did win. He got Biden to come out for some very unpopular positions. He also brought Biden and his son’s corruption to the forefront. All Biden could say was “that isn’t true”. I guess the Senate doesn’t really have the wire transfers that say it is or something.

            There has never been a debate in my lifetime that the media didn’t claim the Democrat won. The public views it differently. Not that they always favor the Republican. They do not. But they look at it more substantively than the media who are the shallowest people on earth.

            1. Yeah I deliberately didn’t want to get into who won, because as you say, everyone wants to view it differently. I was trying to stick to the horse race and chess moves. As near as I can tell, Biden’s team thinks he is winning. That is why he’s been in his bunker for 8 months. Why take on extra risk when you are winning?

              When the polls started tightening after the GOP won the battle of the two conventions, then we saw Biden’s team react. They started doing some limited campaign activities, and some heavily scripted events. But the key here is that they always operated on the strategy of a frontrunner defending their turf.

              They can have a hundred “town halls” and “q&a sessions” which will look dynamic and spontaneous but actually will be scripted in full. Those are low risk. The biggest risk is in what Trump can do to get them off message. And the easiest way for Trump to screw them up is to put him on the same stage as Biden. If he is relegated to tweeting and trying to break through the Media bubble, they will be happy with that. And if any of Trump’s attacks do start to get traction, they can react then. But they certainly won’t give him a debate if they don’t have to.

              1. Trump is going to put out the adds hammering Biden on the Green New Deal and Court Packing. And I think you overrate them holding him back because of a lead. Candidates have had big leads in the past and been totally confident of winning. But they never just stopped campaigning. You don’t do that. Which is what Biden did. They did that because Biden is not well and can’t campaign.

                1. Or Biden can campaign or he can study for a 90 minute debate, but he can’t do both. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Biden campaigning as soon as his circadian rhythms get back to normal. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see him turtle as much as possible until November. I think he’ll try the first option.

                  Guy’s sick. Doddering about half the time at that podium. Which is great though when expectations were that he’d dodder around 90 percent of the time.

                  1. He’s apparently doing a train tour.
                    Maximizes the time traveling between stops.

            2. Trump looked stronger than Biden, who looked a bit weak and was reliant on a 3rd party to step in on his behalf.
              That is the ultimate message.

            3. I can’t see why Spanish speakers would have some kind of pre disposition to think Trump won.

              Probably because Hispanics are some of the biggest shit-talkers imaginable. Even if they don’t like Trump, they’re going to respect the fact that he was constantly needling Biden throughout the whole thing, because that’s typically how a lot of arguments in those households and between friends go. Everyone is constantly picking at each other and being way over-dramatic. Biden’s inability or unwillingness to really fight back probably comes off like a typical limp-dicked white person thing in their eyes.

              It’s not really an accident that middle-class white people are the ones showing the most disgust with how the debate went down. They continue to delude themselves that these elections are about issues and convincing people through principled discussions. They’re not. They’re about power and who holds it. Hispanic people instinctively understand this because that’s exactly how it is in their home countries. Trump acting like a dick-swinging jerk is pretty common behavior by the men in most barrios.

              1. More to the point, remember the social experiment that was done in 2016 that involved switching the genders of the participants and having a woman act like Trump and a man act like Hillary?

                The result of that was the audience started turning against the guy, not the girl, because he came off like a weak-assed, effete wimp. These things have been snap-fests for decades, it’s just a lot more obvious now.

          2. “That 66% Trump win from Telemundo is super surprising.”

            Exactly. Maybe it’s an artifact, or the Trump team hired all of the Ron Paul online polling consultants. But if it isn’t, and Biden’s team thinks they need another debate to smear Trump on immigration/racism versus Hispanics, then we’ll have another debate.

            If they don’t, I foresee a bunch of excuses about why Biden won’t do anymore. This trial balloon from Mika is testing the air to see if people flip out over the idea of there being no more debates.

            1. To reiterate. Biden cannot win if that 2-1 Pro Trump Hispanic poll may manifest itself in actual voting behavior. Hillary took Hispanics, both men and women, by 2-1. And we all know what happened to her. Though the Green Party may be sitting this election out.

              1. Biden can’t win if Trump gets 15% of the black vote. And all Biden can say about last night is that Trump may have offended the wine moms.

                1. Biden can’t win without massive fraud.
                  Full stop.

                  1. 100% true

          3. But to continue your football metaphor; prevent defense prevents you from winning. Also as a Ravens fan, I can say, sometimes it is best to keep your defense on the field in order to score points.

            1. I expect they’ll score 40+ against DC this weak.
              That Chiefs game was an embarrassment.

          4. Why would they have to do more?
            They will do the bare minimum to maintain appearances.
            Then they will rely on massive fraud and the media doing enough gaslighting to keep people apathetic.

            And if the left succeeds, then what do you think happens?

      2. Reagan didn’t baby seal Dukakis because he was debating Mondale.

        1. But in fairness it’s not hard to confuse them.

          1. Mondale was definitely taller. Heheheheh.

    3. Where are you getting that “ Democrats [are] calling for the debates to be canceled”?

      1. All over the media. The national media doesn’t say a single word or sentence that isn’t written by and fed to them by the Democratic Party. And the claim is that Biden shouldn’t have another debate.

        1. Do they have notarized membership cards to the Democratic party? How do you know those people are actually Democrats and not just agitators?

        2. Or it’s some individuals, expressing their individual opinions, not coordinated or representative of the Democrats.

          1. That would certainly be the sensible take, considering that over 90% of members of the media are Democrats and the Journolist scandal involved them coordinating talking points among each other in conjunction with the Democratic Party. It’s not like they fed Hillary Clinton debate questions in the last election or anything. Let’s not pretend our brave men and women in the 4th estate are anything other than disinterested individuals. It’s not like when that Trump collaborates directly with the black and Hispanic white nationalist Proud Boys or anything.

      2. There are like 4 tweets in this article alone of lefties calling for this.

      3. Did you read the article?

    4. It didn’t go well for Biden, but it could have gone much worse. Better to avoid risking it and blame Trump for a (genuine) lack of civility.

      1. ^this

        Bare minimum to maintain appearances.
        They’re not trying to persuade anyone, they’re trying to create a veneer of legitimacy.

  9. I would like more just to see Waffley Joe keep talking. Shut up he explained. That was his one good line, well that a praying to allah for redemption.

  10. I’d rather cancel the election than the debates.

    1. Question Paul, are the Democrats trying to cancel the debates because they think Biden did poorly or because however they think he did, they don’t think he will do as well in any future debates and will likely do a lot worse? Or both?

      1. Well some Democrats have been trying to avoid the debates in various ways alread: Pelosi suggesting that Biden shouldn’t lower himself by being on the stage with Trump, etc.

        I didn’t see the debates last night because I don’t like presidential debates in general as I find them a contrivance. Anyhoo, I don’t have much of an opinion on Biden’s performance. Basically, the only information I have was a brief clip from Crowder wherein he conceded that Biden carried himself better than was expected, and Trump came off as bombastic. And that was from a Trump supporter.

        So I don’t know what the Democratic machine is thinking– except that it’s clear they’ve been desperately trying to hide Biden in general. If Biden did “better than expected” (a pretty low bar), then maybe they’re emboldened. Or maybe they want to ‘quit’ while they’re ahead. How’s that for a non-anwer? 🙂

        1. Biden did well in that he didn’t fall apart.

          Unfortunately, Biden spilled the beans on packing the court, lied constantly, and showed that he was just as much of an a—hole as Trump.

          So, Biden is no real improvement in terms of style over Trump, and he’s a lot worse in terms of substance.

          1. From a style standpoint, Biden would be a step back because there’s no way he’ll be as entertaining as Trump. And CNN’s web page agrees with me 100000%

          2. Biden flatly denied that his sons firm got 3.5 million from a Russian, despite wire transfer proof.


    Andrew Cuomo is demanding the rest of us pay for his mishandling of COVID and what that did to the New York economy. Fuck off with a chainsaw Fredo.

    1. Andrew Cuomo made a huge mistake in ordering Covid-19 patients transferred to nursing homes, thereby infecting and killing off many vulnerable elderly people, but Donald Trump is the one who’s been a lot worse regarding the fact that he deliberately mishandled the whole Covid-19 pandemic by firing the government’s anti-pandemic coalition, constantly trying to undermine Dr. Fauci and other experts on epidemiology, and deliberately lying to the American people about how Covid-19 was supposedly a hoax, and that it was all under control, when, in fact, it was real, and he allowed to to get totally out of control. Far too many people here in the United States at large, are acting as he did, because they were emboldened by Donald Trump.

      1. DOnald TRump shut down flights to China and treated it as a threat when Cuomo and DiBlasio were calling it a hoax and saying Trump was a racist for doing it.

        Just shut the fuck up with your bullshit lying. And Cuomo didn’t make a mistake. He committed murder. No one made him do that. Other states didn’t do it. He did it intentionally.

        Go fuck yourself you lying piece of shit.

      2. Is this like when the city of Flynn blamed the Republican Governor because the cit of Flynn didn’t maintain their water supply properly?

      3. is this like the Democratic mayor of Puerto Rico blaming Trump for not delivering intra country supplies sitting in local government warehouses?

      4. he deliberately mishandled the whole Covid-19 pandemic by firing the government’s anti-pandemic coalition

        No he didn’t–he moved the billets to other positions in HHS. Literally no one lost their job.

        constantly trying to undermine Dr. Fauci and other experts on epidemiology

        These “experts” can’t even keep their story straight from one week to the next.

        deliberately lying to the American people about how Covid-19 was supposedly a hoax,

        He never said that.

        Goddamn, if you’re going to lie this brazenly, at least do it on your lefty site of choice where everyone will parrot it back to you.

        1. Goddamn, if you’re going to lie this brazenly, at least do it on your lefty site of choice where everyone will parrot it back to you.

          To be fair, he’ll get the same response from about 80% of the commenters at Reason, and 100% of the staff.

    2. I say we start by taking all of the profits (if any) of his covid leadership book.

  12. It wasn’t a great debate, but it provided useful information.

    Trump doesn’t want to disavow the Proud Boys.

    Biden is going to agree to packing the court and ending the fillibuster. He’s on board with the GND.

    One of these matters, the other one doesn’t.

    Oh, we also learned that Biden is still capable of standing up for 90 minutes and that he is just as much of a rude a—hole as Trump.

    1. Well, the Democrats don’t want to disavow Pol Pot, so I’d call it even.

      1. As I was saying, one of these matters…

    2. well, we also learned that when asked repeatedly a question he doesn’t like, all Biden can do is say “that’s not true, that’s been disproven” over and over again. Trump needs to keep pushing Hunter’s little Ruskie escapade.

  13. If they are going to debate again, a new format should be used.

    I would propose ninety minutes and one topic per debate (each side takes a clear position before the debate), formal opening arguments (15 minutes each), rebuttals (7.5 minutes each), followed by open discussion/questions among the candidates on the topic (1 hour). Barreling through a variety of different questions and issues while giving each candidate two minutes to bleat out a half-cooked answer is not productive.

    Second, the moderator should not be a member of any news or media organization. It should be an experienced arbitrator or judge that knows how to maintain neutrality. A moderator should not, under any circumstances, inject himself into the debate as though conducting an interview. Wallace completely overstepped his role last night because he was not there to act as a third-party neutral, but a newsman pushing sensationalized coverage for ratings.

    Absent something similar to my proposal, future debates are going to devolve in exactly the same way as they did last night.

    1. Judge Judy for moderator. I would watch that.

      1. That would be absolutely amazing.

        Unfortunately, I do not think either Trump or Biden are actually capable of debating in any traditional sense. Frankly, there is very little that can be done to stop them from running off topic with their usual flim-flam.

        Either the debates rules have to be incredibly strict, or there should be no debates at all. I am not at all interested in a repeat of last night. It was embarrassing, infuriating, and shocking all at the same time.

        1. I think the debate was informative. Of course, I didn’t sit through all 90 painful minutes of it.

        2. Shock collars. I’m all for adding in shock collars.

          1. I was thinking cattle prod, but collars work too. And if you don’t like what they are doing, zap ’em.

      2. Judge Judy, plus remote controlled, electric dog collars on the candidates.

        1. or have someone standing next to each of them with a cattle prod in case they speak out of turn

    2. I think Joe Rogan would be a legitimately neutral arbitrator, he’s not for either candidate

      1. He’s also not an inherently political animal, and doesn’t give a single fuck what either party thinks about him. That makes him a great moderator for anyone who wants an actual discussion to occur.

    3. formal opening arguments (15 minutes each)

      Trump would claim to agree to that but in practice would not. He will just talk over and interrupt anyone standing in his way. He would claim his own 15 minutes, and also Biden’s 15 minutes by talking over him.

      1. They were both disgusting for talking over top of each other, AND on top of Chris the moderator! Trump was the worst, though!

        Fer Christ’s sake, any half-educated EE or EE tech could put switches or timed switches on their microphones to CUT THEM OUT when it is NOT their turn to talk!

        1. Well yeah but I imagine that Trump and Biden would never agree to terms that permitted the moderator to silence their microphones.

          1. Sad to sad, you’re probably correct. But imagine if one side accepted these terms and the other declined, and it became known to the public! HUGE score for the willing side! One CAN win by being more civil and humble than the other party, I do believe! (Or sure do hope, at the very least).

            1. Unfortunately, if the 2004 debate between John F. Kerry and George W. Bush was any indication, Kerry, under the advice of the people he surrounded himself with, allowed himself to be “Swiftboated” by the GOP. Had he stood up for himself against George W. Bush, the election that year might not’ve been stolen, and this country would moving in a different direction by now.

              1. Kerry was even dumber than Bush. Would not be an improvement.

              2. Stolen…pfffft. Kerry got his ass beat.

              3. and this country would moving in a different direction by now

                Hard to take things in a worse direction than Bush, but an establishment oligarch like Kerry could definitely have done it.

              4. “…the election that year might not’ve been stolen…”

                Whatever you’re smoking, I don’t want it. It makes you STOOOOPID!

      2. biden and truml talked for basically the same amount of time dumbfuck. Wallace also interrupted trump 30 times and biden 0.

        Did you watch or just repeat vox headlines?

    4. no one wants to watch that.
      just stick with this format (5 or 6 topics, 2 minutes to reply, maybe 1 minute to respond to the other guy’s lies),
      but put both candidates in separate isolation booths, and don’t let any sound escape when that candidate is supposed to be listening.

  14. “So much for trying to figure out which candidate you’d rather have a beer with. Last night’s debate posed a darker question: if you were locked in a bar with both candidates and a pistol with a single round, would you take the easy way out?”

    Do I get to pick the pistol and will I get qualified immunity?

  15. That debate was two guys at a barber shop yelling about who was a better quarterback, Unitas or Montana.

    1. Rocky Marciano

      1. Oh, there they go. There they go, every time I start talkin’ ’bout boxing, a white man got to pull Rocky Marciano out they ass

    2. Trump would claim the answer is Trump would be the best quarterback.
      Biden would deny there’s ever been a quarterback, it’s just an idea.

  16. “Either Trump or Biden will be president for the next four years.”

    Not Harris?

    1. Not Pence?

      Trump is only about three years younger than Biden.

      1. Yes, but on every metric Trump is far healthier and robust than Biden is. Biden clearly seems to have some kind of cognitive decline– how advanced I couldn’t say. On a purely observational scale, it seems we’re far more likely to lose Biden while in office than we are Trump.

        1. I dunno. Those Mc Donald’s Big Macs add up. I bet Jill has Joe on a pretty strict diet.

          Maybe it is not cognitive decline. I never thought of Joe as the sharpest crayon in the box.

          You never know though.

          1. I don’t see you being able to keep up with Trump’s schedule.
            Indeed, most people couldn’t.

            1. Good lord you are so embarrassing to yourself. Defend the man’s policies but don’t act like a goddamn sad poodle. He roams around the residency yelling at FOX News and occasionally takes a golf cart all the way onto the green so he doesn’t have to walk very far. He has no schedule. He doesn’t even read security briefings.

              1. As opposed to your busy day of wasting everyone’s time here.

                1. I had the good sense not to run for president didn’t I?

              2. Dude does multiple rallies, where he speaks off the cuff for an hour or more, in multiple states daily.
                For all the things Trump can be criticized for, lack of energy is not among them.

          2. My comment was partially unfair. I said “every metric”. I really don’t have any way of knowing that. I don’t know what Biden’s blood pressure is, or his glucose levels, cholesterol etc… I’m really judging on appearance of vitality. And Biden just doesn’t make the grade when compared to Donald Trump.

            You don’t have to love Donald Trump to recognize that he’s the kind of guy that can probably work 18 hours a day and not look tired the next day. Everything I read about him suggests that. He doesn’t drink or have any other vices (except for saucy eastern European women)– as Dennis Miller said, ‘the man doesn’t drink so shit-posting on twitter is his evening cognac’.

            I don’t have any illusions about Trump. He’s a carnival barker, not a particularly intellectual person (although I think he’s smarter than I initially gave him credit for), he’s bombastic, thin-skinned and prone to unpresidential outbursts. Which is exactly what the country needs right now as the chattering classes descend into a miasma of Marxist, racialized and reactionary Jacobin politics.

            1. There is absolutely no controversy about the fact that Trump is the laziest president in history.

              1. Sounds better than a meddlesome busybody.

              2. “There is absolutely no controversy about the fact that Trump is the laziest president in history.”

                There is absolutely no evidence to support your bullshit claim, shitstain.

                1. All he does is make up horseshit but he still gets his fifty-cents. His handler needs to have a word with him about proper effort.

              3. Kinda like how Bush couldn’t read, despite having a more extensive library than either Clinton or Obama?

            2. I really don’t have any way of knowing that. I don’t know what Biden’s blood pressure is, or his glucose levels, cholesterol etc… I’m really judging on appearance of vitality. And Biden just doesn’t make the grade when compared to Donald Trump.

              Trump never drank or smoked which Biden did with gusto. That makes a bigger difference than too many ketchup-coated steaks when it comes to premature aging.

      2. Pence has gotten through 4 years without spiking Trump’s medication. In fact, Pence has been the perfect Vice-President – in 4 years what have you heard about him? Something about how he doesn’t meet with women while alone from back in 2017. He seems to know what the Vice-President is for – to look good on the campaign trail, to do supermarket openings, and to shut the hell up otherwise.

        Harris couldn’t even get through the election before she tried shoving Biden to the side.

        1. Pence also appears at NASA quite often.

        2. And Melania Trump has been the best First Lady in my lifetime.

          “Shut the fuck up, put on some long white gloves and go do first lady shit!” — Bill Burr on Michelle Obama.

        3. Harris couldn’t even get through the election before she tried shoving Biden to the side.

          To be fair, the senile old fucker referred to his own theoretical presidency as the “Harris-Biden administration”.

      3. “Trump is only about three years younger than Biden.”

        Your obsession is showing again; Trump isn’t senile.

    2. Biden might stay alive four years. That would be even worse than Harris being President. Biden is clearly not up to being President now much less running for re-election. So, he would be a President who was not in full control of his faculties and whose advisors who controlled him knew would never be held to account by the electorate. That is a scary combination.

      1. The left is fucking terrifying.

        But nobody wants to admit the truth – what happened to Russia, Germany, China could happen here.

        Just look at what they’ve done, and ask yourself: what constraints do they have on their power if all that worked?

    3. You mean Jill Biden, right? 🙂

    1. Or Gangnam Style.

        1. I wonder how long either of them could keep up the horsey-riding pose.

    2. Cage match with lots of folding chairs.

  17. When the democratic party nominee’s stop ignorantly insisting we are a tyrannical Socialist/Communist Democratic Nation and join’s reality that we are indeed a Republic with a very important Constitution – then stupid debates can come to an end.

  18. the two major parties that vomited up these candidates into your living room deserve to be humiliated.

    Is the problem the process, the product, or the producers (i.e. voters)?

    If the problem is the process, can you come up with a better way to select candidates? It’s not as if anybody sat down and planned it like this in advance; this is the product of centuries of successive adjustments in many regimes, called “politics”. This is not a rhetoric question, maybe you have suggestions that are reasonably feasible and acceptable on how to improve the process.

    Is the problem the product? Then figure out a constitution for a country that doesn’t require a chief executive. This is not a rhetoric question, there may be better designs wherein executive authority is more diffuse and hence there’s no chief to focus on.

    Or did the process produce the product that could be fairly well expected, given the producers? Then what you’re really saying is that everybody involved in politics (i.e. all the voters or others trying to sway voters) except you should be humiliated. What you’re saying is, everybody’s an idiot on this subject except you.

    Of course, many or most of them are saying the same thing, which means they think you deserve to be among those humiliated.

    1. Well, I watched the CBS News version of the debate. At the end, they had this insta-poll that found that something like 70% of the viewers described being “annoyed” by the debate. So based on that, I don’t think the fault here lies with the “voters” broadly speaking.

      Honestly I think it’s just the news junkies and the political social media addicts who are the ones who see the most value in Trump’s “entertainment” value as if debates are supposed to be a type of professional wrestling. “Ooo do you see how he totally DESTROYED Joe Biden? Wicked!” I think the rest of the country wants presidential candidates who can act like civilized adults. Last night you had Trump behaving like a smart-ass teenager. It is ridiculous.

      1. You also had Biden acting the exact same way.

        1. Did you see the debate?

          It was NOT equal on both sides. Trump started out, right out of the gate, talking over Biden and cutting him off and not letting him get a word in edgewise. When they had their two-minute statements, when it was Trump’s turn to speak, the most I saw Biden do was occasionally utter something like “not true” or “that’s wrong”. But when it was Biden’s turn to speak, Trump completely talked over him and you could barely hear what Biden had to say at all. That is until Chris Wallace had to scold Trump and remind him as to the rules that Trump himself agreed to. It got a little better in the second half, but Trump still would sometimes completely steal Biden’s time and talk over him. It was absolutely not equal on both sides. Trump was by far the bigger culprit.

          1. I saw the beginning of the debate dude. Both of them came right at each other out of the gate.

            It was actually kind of awesome – I didn’t think Biden had it in him.

            Don’t fucking try to pretend that ‘oh Trump started it’. Total bullshit. Again – you insist on wrapping yourself in your comforting illusions.

            Is, not ought.

            1. Are we living in the same timeline?
              From the very beginning, Trump started talking over Biden and wouldn’t let him get a word in without being interrupted. Biden did that only rarely. Trump did it all the fucking time. I can’t believe you actually watched that debate and thought that they were equal on that score. They weren’t. Trump was a bully. I actually felt a little bit sorry for Biden, how he was treated.

              1. You are psychotic and bigoted, so you’re living in the same universe but your perception is fantasy.

              2. Again – you’ve wrapped yourself in illusions in order to justify yourself.

              3. I found your poll, Jeff.

                You were right about Biden winning.

      2. BTW, I only listened on radio. That’s how I usually tune in.

  19. There should be more debates because Americans should have to stew in this porridge of hot garbage until they cry out for alternatives—alternatives that are kept off the stage by rigged qualification rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is itself a creation of the two major parties.

    They always say they’re looking for alternatives, but when presented with actual alternatives, they say, “Nah, not what I had in mind.”

    Multi-candidate debates tend to be just as trashy as those with just 2.

    1. Trump…. whatever you think of his faults was an alternative. That’s why the establishment hates him.

  20. Biden should back out of the next 2 debates. Trump refuses to follow the agreed upon rules, so Biden has an easy out. Biden survived the first debate and didn’t seem senile, thanks in part to Trump not knowing when to stop talking and let Biden stumble on his own.

    1. Ah yes, what I want in a President is someone who takes their ball and goes home every time someone “doesn’t follow the rules”.

      He casts himself as someone who can stand up to Putin, but 2 hours of Trump is apparently more than he can handle.

    2. Biden resorted to canned lines and had no effective rebuttals. He didn’t mention a single fact or policy position without looking down at notes. He couldn’t answer any questions. He’s completely senile and argumentative. At best, he didn’t visibly shit himself.

  21. Trump lacks coherent policy ideas or anything that could reasonably be called a second-term agenda.

    He’s not an ideologue. Good. Most ideologies are bad.

    Midway through the debate, Wallace lobbed a softball that invited Trump to talk about what he would do to help the average American if given another four years in office, and Trump sputtered a bunch of nonsense about what he’d supposedly accomplished so far—as if voters owe him a second term based on his first.

    Wait…are you seriously saying promises are BETTER than performance??! This is the elite claptrap thinking that Trump voters revolted against! You’re actually putting it out there! The rarefied world of ideas is superior to the physical, huh?

    1. as if voters owe him a second term based on his first.

      Yeah. That is how it works. If you are a good President in your first term, the voters give you a second one. My God Boehm is an idiot. How could someone say something like that?

      There really is an IQ test you have to fail to get hired at reason. It is the only explanation for it printing things like that.

    2. . . . as if voters owe him a second term based on his first.

      Well, kinda. Not *owed* as such, but the reason I will have a job tomorrow is because of the quality of my work today. Past performance being a guide to future performance.

      We’ve seen 4 years of Trump’s performance and what he’s accomplished in that time – good and bad – and we’ve seen 30 years of Biden’s performance. I think Trump has a good case to make saying that he’s done better by the American people in 4 years than Biden has done in 30 and so that’s why we should give him another 4.

      Biden has a 30 year record of being anti-freedom and supporting policies that Reason magazine itself has pointed out as harming minorities and the poor. Him promising ponies in the next 4 years if we elect him is not going to sway me when I look back at his track record.

      And Trump not promising anything is actually smart – we *know* he can’t promise anything. His own fething party tries to sabotage him. But even if he does nothing in the next 4 years but slow down how fast the ratchet is tightening . . . it’ll be worth it.

    3. By elite you mean educated right?

      1. No.

      2. Maybe credentialed but definitely not educated.

      3. By educated, you mean credentialed, right?

        1. There has to be some way of judging. It will never be perfect, but it will never be as bad and stupid as “They believe all the same stupid bullshit I believe.”

          1. Waiving a piece of paper is only as good as the trust in the paper-issuing company.

            Having a credential does no good if the credential-issuer has destroyed trust in them.

  22. we should abolish tax withholding

    I forgot, are you one of the bloggers here who made fun of the recent reductions of withholding, or the prepayment of income tax refunds? If so, you’re saying reducing something you consider evil is worse than the evil itself.

  23. Look, if people want a president based on who provides the best entertainment value, then just elect President Macho Camacho already and be done with it.

    But, by the way, the president along with the rest of the government have some actual issues that have to be dealt with, that can’t be resolved by simply determining who delivered the biggest “smack down” to the opponent. It might be entertaining to see President Tulpa in action but in reality it won’t solve any problems.

    1. Your problem is that you actually think the President is there to solve your problems.

      That’s where the problem with government is rooted – people think its there to solve their problems. So they elect people who promise to solve their problem. And then those people make the problem worse. So they elect someone else who promise to solve *that* problem. Ad infinitum.

      1. I didn’t say to solve MY problems. There are actual problems that need to be solved though. Such as runaway entitlement spending. That is a problem that isn’t going away and isn’t going to be solved by electing President Camacho.

        1. Runaway entitlement spending is a problem because of people like you that demanded that government solve your problem.

          So someone promised to solve your problem – now we have entitlement spending. Its a runaway problem because you believed all those people who told you they would solve your problems – hence that spending is runaway now.

          The only thing that will solve this problem is if government steps away and stops trying to solve your problems. But you don’t want to hear that. You scream and close your eyes and cover your ears and cry LALALALALALALALA! when ever someone says ‘hey, we can’t keep spending on all this’.

          Because you like the soothing lie that government can and will solve your problems rather than the harsh truth that they can’t and quite possibly *no one can*. That you might just be fucking stuck. Life’s not fair. Pretending it is just increases how unfair it gets.

          1. No, that is you putting words in my mouth. I didn’t vote for entitlement spending. I think entitlement spending should be drastically reduced. So how is it going to be reduced? Default? What’s the plan?

            1. No you didn’t vote for entitlement spending. You just voted for each person who stood up and convinced you that they would solve your problems.

              Which is why you ended up with entitlement spending out of control. Because you preferred the comforting lie to the cold hard truth that that guy wasn’t going to solve your problems but was going to use you to justify yet another government expenditure so that he could skim a little off the top.

              And you did it again and again and again. And now here we are and you want YET A-FUCKING-NOTHER guy to come by and fix another one of your problems.

              You can’t change the world until you accept it as it is rather than insisting that its something else.

            2. So how is it going to be reduced? Default?
              More than likely, yes.

            3. So how is it going to be reduced? Default? What’s the plan?

              Default. That’s my plan. Because of people like you, always demanding that the government solve your problem and then shitting bricks when the government says that it might have to cut a little funding to the people who are solving your problem.

              Until you accept that its an issue because you demand that the government solve your problem, default is the only option.

              If you stopped demanding that government solve your problem and demanded that government leave you alone – the runaway entitlement problem goes away on its own.

              Again – runaway entitlements are an issue because you keep demanding that government solve your problem.

  24. Saw an article about the original Kennedy-Nixon tv debate where someone took a poll of those who saw it on tv and those who listened to it on the radio.

    The tv viewers thought Kennedy won and the radio listeners thought Nixon won.

    I think this last one proved that these have become a farce and no need to have them.

    1. that is a myth

      1. Oh. I would like to try it myself though. Just turn the picture off and listen.

        1. I always just listen to the radio. I don’t need to see them, I recognize their voices.

  25. Actually, last night I was thinking about all those highschool students out there who had to watch the debate as a part of their civics/US history classes. I know I had to watch the presidential debates as an assignment when I was in highschool. What are they supposed to get out of these debates? What kind of lesson are they supposed to be learning from this? That THIS is how candidates debate each other in the “world’s greatest democracy”? I would be completely embarrassed. And the poor highschool history teachers who have to contextualize this shitshow as a part of their classroom discussions, I feel for them.

    1. That THIS is how candidates debate each other in the “world’s greatest democracy”?

      Yes. That is precisely the lesson they will be learning.

      If you don’t like what the world is – change it. But you can’t change the world from what it is into what it ought to be until you know what ‘is’ is’.

      Now these kids will know that adults will spin all sorts of lies and illusions to lull them into passivity and prevent them from making those changes.

      *You* want to lie to them and tell them that its all right and that governments are run by ‘Top Men’ – YOU are the problem.

      1. Yes. That is precisely the lesson they will be learning.

        That’s the lesson they SHOULD learn–that direct democracy will actually result in this becoming FAR more common, because the people in this country are hypnotized by fame and celebrity, are easily led by the nose by mass media, and display adolescent obsessions and behaviors well into adulthood.

        The founders established limited voting rules in the Constitution precisely because they distrusted the passions of the mob.

        1. Is it possible for that to go too far, do you think?

          There’s not a single body in the federal government that accurately reflects the will of the people of the country.

          1. This is another illusion.

            There is no ‘will of the people’. Because there is no ‘the people’. There is just over 300 million individuals.

            If you can accept that there is no ‘will of the people’ then you can maybe step back and look at the situation and see what needs to be changed.

            1. Sure there is. You can poll the people and see what they want. There are roughly speaking two policy directions available in elections. If the makeup of every single body of the federal government is moving in an opposite policy direction from what the people want, that is surely at least as much of a problem as the people having too much of a say in their own government.

              You’re defending anti-democracy because it favors Republicans. That’s all this is.

              1. “There are roughly speaking two policy directions available in elections.”

                Yes, and you just made his point for him: there’s roughly 2 policy positions for over 300 million people. When that becomes “the will of the people”, it’s lost almost all meaning.

                1. But the alternative is some cabal gets to make all the policy without democratic input.

                  1. Just like the alternative to who picks up my trash is either ‘the city chooses’ or total chaos?

                    1. Just like the alternative to government schools is utter anarchy?

                  2. Maybe the cabal that gets to make policy over me consists of just me?

                    Or maybe it consists of just the people around me who work out together how we’re going to do things?

                    Maybe the cabal is not a paltry handful of people 1,500 miles away who have never met me and know nothing about the conditions on the ground?

              2. No, you can’t poll the people and see what they want, you can only ask individuals.

                There is no collective will and you can’t synthesize one by ‘finding the mean’ out of all those responses.

                Not is it suitable to just go with the most popular answer.

              3. ‘there are roughly two policy directions’

                Right there, you are showing how the ‘will of the people is no such thing. Right there it’s already being constrained by the will of a handful of politically connected people who get to decide which questions to ask.

                I am not pushing an anti-democratic position. I am just pointing out the lie that is democracy.

                You push it because you like that comforting lie you’ve been told all your life.

                I just want to get the enslavers off my back.

          2. Every pillar of the current government reflects the “will of the people.” If it didn’t, it would already have been discarded.

            That was driven home to me several years ago when left-wing news sources that had opposed the Patriot Act in 2001 were issuing snooty editorials just ten years later to “shut up and get scanned” at the airport–for no other conceivable reason than it was their guy in charge at the time.

    2. Heh. They will learn to not even bother with voting. Watched it with my genX son. I said now I understand why you don’t vote even though he follows politics.

    3. My daughter was told to watch it, but we told her she didn’t have to.

      1. I told my daughter not to watch it.

        1. What the fuck? Who the hell do you think you are, countering a government mandate? This is our children you’re fucking with!

  26. There should be more debates because the two major parties that vomited up these candidates into your living room deserve to be humiliated

    These candidates are no worse than a lot of presidential candidates throughout US history. It’s a lousy job, and the people aspiring to it are largely losers.

    The problem is that the president matters. He should have so little power that he shoudn’t matter to most Americans. Ditto for Congress and the rest of the federal government.

    At the state level, the country should be split up into 100-200 states and the US Constitution shouldn’t be fully incorporated into state constitutions.

    1. US Constitution shouldn’t be fully incorporated into state constitutions.

      Kiss all freedoms goodby then. No freedom of speech. State religions. No right to self-defense. No right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. Nor right to be free to not incriminate yourself. No freedom of travel. Protectionism inside every state. The list of things that would happen to destroy this country if the Constitution was not there as a check is endless.

      1. Shows what amazingly deep thinkers the founding fathers were.

      2. Nonsense. The US Constitution does guarantee freedom of movement between states, prohibits protectionism between states, and imposes uniform external tariffs and defense. That levels the playing field enough that states simply can’t engage in too much nonsense. Furthermore, lots of states already have their own versions of constitutional guarantees.

        The US existed just fine for a century before incorporation, and the EU did just fine for half a century.

        1. Not if its not incorporated against the states it doesn’t.

          If its not incorporated then the states can ignore it.

          1. That is simply false. Freedom of movement between the states was recognized by courts before incorporation. The Commerce Clause gives the federal government the power to regulate trade between the states and trade with foreign nations; incorporation is not needed.

            Incorporation only extends the Bill of Rights to the states. The Bill of Rights doesn’t even deal with trade or movement. The Bill of Rights was specifically meant to limit the powers of the federal government to the states; there is no logical reason why extending those limits to the state (or local) level even makes sense.

  27. Seems anyone with a pen can write a column on Reason.
    Mr. Boehm, for you to try to create any sort of equivalency, even to hint at it, or MENTION it, between Trump and Biden last night, is nothing more than incoherent rambling.
    This was all Trump, our madman president. Biden should receive ZERO criticism for whatever he said or didn’t say, given he couldn’t speak more than two seconds without being interrupted.
    More debates? More of the same, you mean. You think Trump will suddenly behave? Seriously, WTF is wrong with you? WTF is wrong with any Trump supporter?

    1. Second this.

      1. Lol, of course you do.

      2. “Second this.”

        Yes, I’m sure you do, lefty shit.

    2. Biden called Trump a traitor and told him to shut up before the debate even got going. You need to tell the Soros people who are paying you to troll to give you better talking points.

      1. Oh, OK, John. Yes, you are right. Very nice comment. Now go back to the cave, please.

        1. Great rebuttal, 五毛党.
          Here’s your fifty-cents.

      2. I word searched the debate transcript and the word “trailtor” was never used.

  28. as if voters owe him a second term based on his first.

  29. The media pundits have to accept the fact that the content and tone of the debates mirrors what is in the mainstream media; lots of insults and name calling; very little constructive discussion.

    As an example, when Trump brought up getting pharmaceuticals from Canada, a well-informed Biden with an agile mind could have commented that Canada’s market is miniscule compared to the U.S. and so it will have minimal impact. Instead, Biden just calls him a liar.

    The problem is that both men, Trump and Biden are more or less incapable of actually debating an issue. Trump because of his intransigence and Biden because his mind is too old.

  30. In a time when poll numbers are ossified, we have a debate that might actually flip a couple percentage points to Biden. Have three of them. Have ten.

    1. You should tell the Biden team that – they’re the ones that want to pull out.

      1. Then why haven’t they? Or are you just lying again?

        1. You think the comments in the article are from Trump supporters? Or are you STILL lying?

    2. I finally agree with Tony. Ten would be great.

    3. Agreed. More Biden is better for the election.

    4. Just make sure Biden doesn’t collapse and die before November.

    5. If you think Biden’s nastiness and lies flipped a couple of percent points, you’re really out of touch.

      The best thing you can say about Biden’s debate performance is that he didn’t fall asleep and didn’t have a stroke on stage.

  31. The reality is that Presidential debates have been going down hill for years. Sadly it maybe time to end them altogether. The supposed goal of the debate is inform the voters of the candidates position. Today they are often focused on making a talking points. How many people are really undecided at this point and how many of those undecided will really vote? Last nights debate severed little purpose. He are a few thoughts on what might help.
    1. Debates should be done before voting starts.
    2. Debates should be in a classic format (position, rebuttal, and questions.)
    3. Microphones off when it is not your turn to speak.
    4. I like to let third parties in but I am not sure where to make the cutoff. Maybe it should be having your name on all state ballots?

    1. Today they are often focused on making a talking points.

      I can only assume that you’re young.

      Campaigns and campaign debates have been focused on talking points since the start of the country.

      And a place where the Founding Fathers are calling each other ‘bastard sons of Scottsmen’ and ‘transvestites’ in order to smear each other – the coarsest Trump’s discourse ever got doesn’t come close to how it used to be.

      1. But I’m definitely for #3. A lot of the shit that went on last night could have been avoided if the moderator simply muted them when it wasn’t their turn.

        1. The “debates” (actually joint press conferences) are not for the education of the voters. They are for the ad revenue, and the career of the “moderator”.

          1. I am sure that Chris Wallace’s career was not helped by last night’s debate.

        2. No. That’s ridiculous
          Let them interrupt each other. You’re trying to be leader of the free world, you better be able to handle that shit yourself.
          Stop coddling weakness as if it’s virtue.

          1. Listening is not a weakness. Interrupting is a weakness and it shows a lack of confidence in your ideas and your candidacy. Trump interrupted because he is behind.

    2. There’s how many sporting events on TV for any given weekend, and everyone can still follow what’s going on.

      The idea that TV only has room for two candidates to debate is a two party myth.

    3. No.
      Two men (or womens) face to face, with minimal interference from any third party.
      Let them fight it out and let the people come to their own conclusions.

  32. For all the whining about the exclusion of third parties from the debates, the fact is that there are no third party candidates who have a snowball’s chance in hell of even registering in this election. Allowing nonviable candidates on to the stage is an invitation to have a horde of idiots swarm the thing with heckler’s vetoes.

    It’s bad enough with two of them.

    The possibility of third options is not currently being hindered by debate rules. It’s dead long before debates become an issue. Until that changes, there’s no point in whining about debate rules.

    1. Nothing is stopping Jojo and Kanye and all the others who are running from organizing their own debate, and either putting it on YouTube or marketing it to a broadcaster. They could even invite the two real candidates.

      That they don’t do so shows a severe lack of initiative and seriousness.
      The LP simply whines about not being given a platform instead of going out and doing it for themselves.

      1. Agree

  33. “Americans should have to stew in this porridge of hot garbage”

    The problem is most Americans will stew in anything. They’ll just stop paying attention. It leaves the audience as just supporters of one guy or the other. Nobody’s mind gets changed, nobody gets any really useful information, just the “hot garbage”.

  34. When is Reason hosting the Jo/Kanye debate?

    1. Jo and the LP can’t be bothered doing something for themselves.

  35. The real problem was Mike Wallace. For the past 40+ years he has been a sneaky ass, but last night he really showed his true colors. Within the first 5 minutes, Biden interrupted Trump and Wallace did not reprimand him. That set the stage for a free for all and a free for all it was. Several times, after that, Wallace reminded both parties not to interrupt each other, but it was already too late because he had already allowed the backbiting to start from the very beginning and he was never able to bring order to the table. Wallace unleashed 2 monsters and both candidates continued to lash out at each other, like out of control 10 year old boys, with Wallace debating with both of them and antagonizing Trump, which was not what he was there to do.. No discipline on any part. Any kind of disciplinary mom could have done better. If I had been there, I would have demanded absolute silence (time out) for a period of time while everyone calmed down and then continued to proceed forward. It amazes me to see no one had the balls to pull these two bozos up by the short hairs and straighten them out. But, like I said, Wallace set the stage and the two idiot savants fell into his trap. Unfortunate, is what it is. Both of them got played and so did all of America and once again the whole world watching, got to see a freak show involving two clowns at their worst.

  36. This is a silly position. If you really think the debate has no substance and will devolve into shouting matches, there’s no reason for Americans to keep watching it so they can see how horrible the two party system is. As if America doesn’t already belong to tribes and are in total dark about the candidates.

    Boehm is under some illusion that most people who bothered to watch this debate wasn’t expecting a street fight. “Oh wow, I had no idea the two frontrunners were so unqualified and uncivil until now” said no one who watched the debate.

    Most astute center right people do not live in libertarian bubble where two party candidates are sort of equally evil and Jorgensen is the only alternative. Trump is a blowhard running against a half senile man who is completely beholden to the radical left burning down our cities and set to purge “racism” and inequity using unprecedented government and corporate power.

    Did you see BLM harassing immigrant business owners to undergo diversity training or swear allegiance to their cause? What was Jorgensen’s response to that? “Oh yes, I’m for open borders, so that means the immigrants should love me”? If you’re not interested in winning, then you’re pretty much giving permission voters to opt for the lesser evil.

  37. idiot Joe was classic….all those floods destroying suburbs

  38. Best rendition of Monday Night Raw in a long long time. Joe was shot…shot…Trump was Trump. Chris Wallace was shown to be who we knew he is…a media elite leftie just like his old man. I don’t think I stopped laughing for hours. Biden is so shot…78 on all sorts of meds…I was fearing he was going to drop dead about half way through..lucky he had his “sound bites” at times to remind us he was still alive. Please more…but with Joe Rogan or Tom Woods to moderate..

  39. Both looked bad. There were times where I wanted Biden to respond more forcefully. When Trump was talking about how many judges he appointed because Obama left them open Biden should of mentioned Mitch and the GOP blocking them. Biden looked nervous early, but wasn’t as bad as it went on.
    All I can say is Trump is a goddamn bafoon. “Stand down and stand by.” At least he was ambiguous on his support for fascists instead of saying they were fine people.

    1. bafoon

      Hey Tony, here’s one of your credentialed buddies. Fat lot of good that piece of paper does to show us how good he is. This isn’t even a typo – he just doesn’t know how to spell ‘buffoon’ – and can’t expend the effort to spell check it even though its literally just a right-click away.

      1. It hard to type on my phone. I don’t care what reason commenters think of my spellin.

        1. “a” is nowhere near “u”

          1. “should of” – what, pray tell, does this mean?
            It’s complete gibberish.
            Were you possibly going for “should’ve” as in “should have”?

            1. Oh no! The inbred far right loons are making fun of my spelling and grammar! What will I do?

              1. “Violent leftist” is even in your handle.

                1. He’s got to be satire, I’m convinced.

                2. My name isn’t serious. Mormons are the only ones who deserve to die.

                  1. No, pretty sure you take that prize.

                    1. Nope Mormons and their pedo con artist prophet need to die. I’m a goddamn patriot for trying to stop them from ruining our country.

                    2. Bitch, the only thing you’re stopping is a worldwide snack cake shortage.

                    3. Is that supposed to be a fat joke? It wasn’t funny and you have no idea what I look like.

                      Inbred far right loon.

                    4. You hicklibs sure do have a thing about incest.

                    5. Not a hick. There aren’t many hick liberals. The backwards, racist rhetoric of Republicans appeals to inbred shit yards in rural areas. Worse our broken Senate and EC give disproportionate power to shit kickers in places like Wyoming.

              2. What will I do?

                Better. You’ll do better, hopefully.

        2. ‘Should of’

          Sure, that’s because its hard to type on your phone.

    2. Biden should of mentioned Mitch and the GOP blocking them.

      I imagine that’s the last thing they want to mention with ACB’s nomination on the table.

      1. Why? So they can point out the GOP’s hypocrisy?

        1. And their own. Biden made some pretty strong statements saying it was a president’s right to nominate Justices even in an election year back in 2016.

          1. Scalia’s seat was open for 14 months. Waiting 6 weeks forhe election is not the same thing at all.

            1. KillAllRednecks
              September.30.2020 at 11:55 pm
              ” Scalia’s seat was open for 14 months. Waiting 6 weeks for the election is not the same thing at all.”
              Whiny lefty shit seem to forget that elections have results, which is not surprising; lefty shits are stupid that way and many others

        2. Even if there had been a tacit agreement in place of the form Democrats imagine, after Kavanaugh, all that is off the table until those responsible (Schumer, Harris, etc.) have left the Senate.

          1. Responible for what? What is off the table after Kavnaugh? What on earth are you talking about?
            The GOP blocked Garland for 8 months so “voters could decide.” Trump won the EC(lost the popular vote) and they confirmed Kavanaugh. Why not wait 6 weeks until the election and not look like hypocrites?

            If you were referring how Kavanaugh was “unfairly treated?” It’s still better than not given a hearing for 8 goddamn months.

            Goddamn there’s no reasoning with these loons.

            1. Goddamn there’s no reasoning with these loons.

              Since you and your allies never act in good faith, there’s no reason to accommodate you.

              1. How am I not acting in good faith? What allies? I speak for myself and that’s it.
                You wanna talk bad faith go find lying Mormon loving piece of shit Soldiermedic. He’s a diengenous, lying piece of trash.

                1. *disingenuous

              2. You wanna talk bad faith talk to all the GOP senators who said a SC nominee shouldn’t be confirmed in a President’s last year but now are flip flopping.

                1. The amount of cope in your posts are off the charts.

                  1. “the amount of cope in your posts is off the charts.”
                    Sorry I’m not hip to the slang of today’s youth. What does “cope” mean? Like the ability to cope with tragedy? To use the dictionary definition in a sentence.

                    1. Have a Mormon explain it to you after he Mountain Meadows your dumb ass.

                    2. Not gonna happen. Any pedo con artist worshipping inbred moron would have no chance against me.

                      Still don’t know what you meant by cope?

            2. The Senate majority decides who gets a hearing. I don’t see anything unfair about that.

              I’m not concerned with whether Kabanaugh was treated fairly. I’m saying that you can’t make deals with lunatics, and Senate Democrats proved in those hearings that they are lunatics.

        3. KillAllRednecks
          September.30.2020 at 10:23 pm
          “Why? So they can point out the GOP’s hypocrisy?”
          Your bullshit is irrelevant, asshole lefty.

  40. No, it was not a “disaster”; it did not produce the result you desired.

  41. Testosterone was in the air, China Joe thought he was going to get more help at the lectern, his wife must have pumped Adderall into his butt and now his practice a home training was about to pay off……LOL…..another day another misteak, The Donald had him off balance once he understood Wallace was in on the fix…the Donald realized this trap and adjusted to the field of play, the smell of burnt butt hair could not be mistaken, Joe and Chrissy were not capable of holding the fort and the Trump Team scored on the many bad lies Biden tried to ram through…..and Biden left the dais grateful to hold onto Jill’s arm and to be lead back to his bed to nod off…..I wonder if the DIMMs will let him come back for another walk on the court of broken glass…..???????

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