The Not So Great Debate

This Thursday, at 9 p.m. Eastern, CNN will air a live special about elder abuse. The 90-minute broadcast will feature an 81-year-old man who does not know who or where he is. His guests will include his wife, who is not a physician but calls herself a doctor anyway and whom the man in question has called his sister, and a company of aides, yes-men, and armed guards. On the other side of the stage will stand President Trump, ready to debate Joe Biden.

The time will test Biden’s ability to stand and speak at length, in spite of the friendliest questions from the enemies of Donald Trump. The time will test more than the constitution of Biden, because the test before us concerns the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

About this issue, regarding presidential succession and disability, there is nothing to debate.

Either we acknowledge the obvious—that Biden should not be onstage, that his presence endangers the presidency, that he is unfit to serve because he is unable to serve—or we resign ourselves to the fact that we do not have a president.

Let us also resolve that whatever happens on Thursday, and let there be no doubt about what the media will say immediately after the debate, that Biden won, the following is true: that a man who ran for president by running away and hiding in his basement, wants to remain in hiding; that seniority is no defense against an endless supply of “senior moments”; that Biden’s candidacy would be impossible without a compliant media; that CNN is complicit in a fraud against the American people.

And yes, let us resolve that Biden will call Trump a felon and a fascist.

Anything more than this is too much for Biden to remember. Anything, in general, is too much for Biden. Anything Trump does to press this point, so long as he speaks better and more authoritatively than Biden, is a win.

Let Biden ramble. Let him lie. Let him say he reveres the presidency too much to have Trump ruin it. These are the “known knowns” of Biden’s pitch: the predictable phrases of a man without a plan, of a candidate with nothing to say, whose campaign is both an insult and an embarrassment.

We also know what the moderators will ask President Trump. Regarding a presidential pardon, Trump should promise one. Trump should promise to pardon Hunter Biden. Trump should dismiss any questions concerning his own trials, except to say the criminalization of politics is wrong.

Biden is too intemperate to agree with Trump. Biden is also too extreme to say moderation among prosecutors is a virtue, that we need to put an end to lawfare and restore equal justice under law.

The moderators are themselves immoderate, because they are journalists in name only. Unless, of course, Dana Bash and Jake Tapper are closet conservatives who plan to vote for Trump. Unless the two realize how little trust they enjoy, or why voters distrust the media, Thursday night will be another loss for the profession of journalism and professionalism among journalists.

Maybe Trump will speak to this issue, because the credibility gap is real. Neither Biden nor CNN has any credibility. Biden may not know this. He does not seem to know much of anything. He will, however, have two chances to get a clue.

Because the debate will pause for two commercial breaks, the possibility exists—the probability is low—that Biden will realize how bad he sounds and how lost he looks. Because self-awareness is rare among politicians, and all but extinct among Democrats, do not expect Biden to have a moment of clarity.

Better to expect more of the same, which is to say nothing of substance from Biden. Do expect Biden to say the election of President Trump would mean the end of all future elections, that Trump is an “existential threat”—an “imminent threat”—to our democracy.

Expect Biden to cite January 6. Expect him to compare trespassing to terrorism, grouping the “QAnon Shaman” alongside the likes of Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 hijackers.

For Biden to say January 6 is as evil as 9/11 or as infamous as Pearl Harbor says everything we need to know about him. For Biden to speak of insurrectionists, and then take a knee in honor of BLM extremists, is to provide aid and comfort to the enemy. For Biden to speak of the evils of extremism, and then have the Department of Justice prosecute his enemies, is the ultimate act of extremism. Trump knows this too.

If Trump keeps his cool and maintains his sense of humor, he wins. If Trump is thorough in his answers and decisive in how he answers each question, he wins by a lot. If Trump shows how petty and partisan the debate is, if he shows how inconsequential and irrelevant Biden is, Trump wins in November.

After Thursday, no matter what Democrats say or how hard they cheat, the case for change—the need to change who is in the White House—will be undeniable.

Biden’s campaign ends on Thursday.

Steve Gruber is the host of America’s Voice Live, which airs daily on Real America’s Voice TV

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Photo: Banners are placed outside of the Georgia Tech Institute of Technology ahead of the first presidential debate in Atlanta, Georgia on June 24, 2024. Two years after the US Supreme Court stripped constitutional protections for abortion, the explosive issue will feature prominently in Thursday's debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump -- with the Republican under pressure not to alienate voters. (Photo by CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA/AFP via Getty Images)

Notable Replies

  1. “…that Biden’s candidacy would be impossible without a compliant media; that CNN is complicit in a fraud against the American people.”

    Although I’ve said this many times, it bears repeating: it is not possible to hate the Enemedia too much.

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