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Donald Trump is Scared Sh*tless

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 30, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 30, 2020 |


There’s not much to say about the content of last night’s debate. I heard not only the prim Dana Bash call it a “shitshow” on CNN, but the host of the NYTimes “The Daily” podcast also call it a “shitshow,” in quoting a text from his own mother. That’s exactly what it was: Donald Trump, unsurprisingly, decided to ignore the rules of the debate and ignore all decorum and spend the entire night talking over and interrupting both Joe Biden and the moderator, Chris Wallace, who got a lot of sh*t for not handling the debate well, but I’m not sure there’s anything he could have done to shut the President up.

Trump wanted to bait Biden into losing his temper by getting personal, repeatedly mentioning Hunter Biden (even in an exchange about the late Beau Biden), and Biden mostly didn’t take the bait.

He did tell the President to shut up a couple of times, and he did call the President a “clown,” which is the thing that one independent voter in Ohio said turned him against Biden, because Biden apparently disrespected the office of the Presidency. I’m not kidding, either. You see a debate like this, and you check your echo chambers on social media, and you see even the pundit class going off on Trump, and you think, “Oh, well. Trump just shot himself in the foot, then raised the gun and ate it,” and then you see some independent voter in Ohio watch the same debate the rest of us saw and say, out loud, on television, “Well, I don’t know. I just don’t know.” Democracy is amazing until you realize who is actually filling out those ballots. I’m sort of with QS here:

David Brooks has faith in the voters, though. (F*ck you, David Brooks).

Still, reason did prevail, at least based on the polls.

The CNN poll was even better for Biden.

The punditry, at least on CNN and MSNBC, was at least a little satisfying, too.

Again, not that these polls matter that much, and I’m not even sure that the debate itself will change that many minds, despite the fact that the President refused to condemn white supremacists and, in fact, gave the Proud Boys a new slogan:

Trump also, again, refused to say that he’d peacefully hand over the office if he loses, although Biden was good at least about saying that it’s not Trump’s decision to make. This, from Maddow, was probably the most on-point quote of the night:

It’s the voters’ decision. Allowing the voters to decide the winner is the thing that Trump is so clearly terrified of. Lashing out, being petulant, and interrupting is his personality, but it also reflects a deep, deep sense of insecurity about an election, where he is down significantly in national polls and in the swing states. Being an asshole is all he has, and that’s enough for the Breitbart crowd (and Megyn Kelly), but it’s not enough to win an election, and Trump knows what the consequences of losing are for him. He won’t be protected anymore. Banks can call in their loans. Prosecutors can file their charges. Does a former President still get Secret Service protection in prison?

We may soon find out.

Anyway, here’s a few more bon mots from Twitter:

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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