The Morning Briefing: Trump Shouldn’t Have Wussed Out When Agreeing to These Sham ‘Debates’

Top O’ the Briefing

(Note: The Sine Qua Non Sequitur will be taking the week off in recognition of International Panic Day (18), the Summer Solstice (20), and Kruisersis’s birthday (22). It will return next week tanned, rested, and ready. We hope.)


There is a classic Henny Youngman bit that goes, “The patient says, ‘Doctor, it hurts when I do this.’ The doctor says, ‘Then don’t do that.'”

The Republican Party often acts like the patient who keeps doing that, no matter how often it hurts. I don’t know how many times in the last decade I’ve said, “I can’t keep wanting the Republican Party to win elections more than the party itself wants to win.” 

One of the things that has been obvious for years even to casual observers is the overwhelming anti-Republican bias in the mainstream media. Journalism long ago died a hideous death, and the organizations not named Fox News are polluted with propagandists who do the bidding of the Democratic National Committee (I’ll have a column out about that later today). 

For reasons that continue to mystify, the GOP still has candidates seeking to curry favor with hostile media outlets that are in the business of getting Democrats elected. It’s most ridiculous during presidential election years, when the party subjects the nominee to scripted Democratic forums that are laughingly referred to as “debates.” 

Whether during the primaries or the general election campaign, these affairs are filled with questions about issues that matter most to the Democratic hierarchy, with little thought given to what American voters are truly interested in. The lapdog moderators may as well spend the entire time asking the Republican candidate, “Why are you a horrible person who won’t get on board with our agenda?” 

It has been this way seemingly forever. Like all things involving the media and former President Donald Trump, it’s only gotten worse since 2016. 


Well, the “Doctor, it hurts,” phase of the election season is just around the corner. Trump and the Republican National Committee agreed to a shortened debate schedule to accommodate the doddering drooler in the White House. Rick writes that the rules for the first debate have finally taken shape:

The Biden and Trump campaigns have put the finishing touches on their debate on June 27th. We already knew that Jake Tapper and Dana Bash would moderate. Now the two sides have agreed to several ground rules.

1. There will be two commercial breaks instead of one. No interaction with campaign staff will be allowed. Will they allow a bathroom break?

2. Mics will be muted when it’s not the candidate’s turn.

3. “Both candidates agreed to appear at a uniform podium, and their podium positions will be determined by a coin flip,” according to CNN.

4. No audience will be present.

5. No opening statements.

6. The moderators “will use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion,” according to the network. That means no talking over the other guy.

7. There will be a “spin room.” Gavin Newsom will be available for Biden. Trump has yet to choose anyone to represent him in the mosh pit.

It doesn’t really matter what the rules are. From a Trump supporter’s point of view the problem is that it’s being moderated by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash — two thoroughly awful Dem fluffer hacks. 

I’ve been arguing for years with other conservatives about Tapper. There are people on the Right who insist that Tapper is “better than most” leftists in the media, or “the least awful.” Neither is true. He’s always been a low-rent George Stephanopoulos, and anyone who thinks otherwise is in deep denial. 


I get that Trump would love to get a shot at taking Biden apart in a debate. That bar is lower than ever before. What perplexes me is why he agreed to do it on CNN and let these two commie mouthpieces run the show. 

Trump, after all, is fresh off of a primary season where he told his opponents and the debates to go stuff themselves (Do people still say that?) The party is his now, he could have pushed for more favorable debate conditions. There are a variety alternatives to traditional media outlets for exposure now. That’s doubly true where Donald Trump is concerned. Cameras will show up wherever he is. He could easily have pressed for a venue and moderators who weren’t veteran water-carriers for the Democrats. 

Because everything is possible in the 2024 election, I can’t rule out that Trump and the Republican higher ups agreed to this with the belief that President LOLEightyonemillion will back out. He certainly hasn’t been looking well or even functional when he’s been let off-leash lately. 

My friend Stephen Green pondered last week what Biden’s handlers might mix up from the wonderful world of narcotics to get their boy juiced for the debate. After what we’ve seen the last couple of weeks, I don’t know that there are enough uppers in the Milky Way to keep him upright and in command of his native tongue for longer than 15 minutes. They pulled it off for the State of the Union, but that was a long time ago and there was a teleprompter involved. 

Maybe just letting Biden slobber and slur for an hour is all Trump is looking for. Even better if it’s punctuated with some moments of dementia-induced rage. 


Still, I’m a fan of not giving CNN a helping hand. Ever. The network is a ratings wasteland, and Trump is giving them some eyeballs that they don’t deserve, especially after the way they’ve savaged him since 2016. 

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