The rush is on to prevent Joe Biden from debating Donald Trump. Over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten numerous op-eds proclaiming different ways in which the former VP can avoid having to stand on a stage for two hours and appear lucid. My colleague Nick Arama covered one of the more recent ones in this article several days back.
Here’s the latest excuse from The New York Times.
— Jim Antle (@jimantle) August 3, 2020
Nervous managers of the scheduled 2020 presidential debates are shuffling the logistics and locations to deal with the threat of the coronavirus. But here’s a better idea: Scrap them altogether. And not for health reasons.
The debates have never made sense as a test for presidential leadership. In fact, one could argue that they reward precisely the opposite of what we want in a president. When we were serious about the presidency, we wanted intelligence, thoughtfulness, knowledge, empathy and, to be sure, likability. It should also go without saying, dignity.
Yet the debates play an outsize role in campaigns and weigh more heavily on the verdict than their true value deserves.
Let me translate that for you: “We, the media, are scared that Joe Biden’s mind will melt into a puddle of goo if he takes the stage against Donald Trump, and it would be really unfair if such a spectacle were to change the direction of the election.”
Notice how very convenient this article from the Times is. Debates are described as just “quip contests,” with the indication being that it’s meaningless to see a candidate tested on the public stage. Let’s just have Joe Biden do another ten-minute long live stream from his basement instead. I’m sure that’ll be much more informative, right? I’m old enough to remember when Democrats threw a fit over suggestions that Trump wouldn’t debate Hillary Clinton. Of course, those were false insinuations, mostly cooked up in the minds of the left, but the point is that they would never support a Republican ducking out of the debates. Yet, here we are.
“They’ve become unrevealing quip contests.”
“Our candidate can’t remember his own name.” pic.twitter.com/t2vK1ZpoD3
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) August 3, 2020
The attempts to get Biden out of debating Trump are growing more desperate and varied. In some corners, people will claim the risks are too high due to the pandemic. That makes no sense at all, as there’s zero risk to having Biden and Trump stand on an otherwise empty stage 10 feet apart from each other. You don’t have to have a live audience, although there’s no reason to not have one at this point, even if some social distancing is practiced.
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) August 3, 2020
The fear among Democrats is palpable. You can sense it every time they make some weak new excuse for why Biden should be allowed to abscond from even the most basic requirements of campaigning. If you can’t stand on a stage for two hours and defend your views, you aren’t capable of being President. That should be fairly obvious to everyone. Joe Biden can not be allowed to hide out and avoid proving his competence. If that happens, it’ll be profoundly harmful to the nation and the public trust.
As Dan Bongino shared over the weekend, there’s more and more chatter coming out of Democrat circles that Biden just isn’t up to the task. That’s why you are seeing this recent push to stop him from debating at all. As I speculated, they want to just ride this out at this point. Then, if Biden wins, he will either resign or he’ll sit in the Oval Office like a stump for four years as nurses feed him pudding, appearing in public very sparingly and only in situations that are highly scripted.
Is this a game they can keep up? We’ll find out, I guess. In the meantime, the Trump campaign should lambast any suggestions that Biden be allowed to not debate.