Don’t Kill Debates, Kill the Moderators!

8 10 2020

The Presidential Debate Commission is a complete joke, and now everyone knows it.

After last night’s Vice Presidential debate went off without a verbal brawl or a hitch, you would think all the Commission and traditional media handlers would have been pacified, and the debate train would be on track to the second presidential debate. In sad, swamp-like fashion, that is not the case.

Vice President Pence clearly won the debate, exposing Senator Kamala Harris for the empty neophyte she is. I call her Kama-Chameleon. I have watched her career since her star started to rise in the mid-1990s, and it has been obvious that she will shift with whatever winds suit her ambitions. While she is clearly an intelligent woman, she lacks conviction, depth, and relies upon canned platitudes and a complicit audience to get her through. Someone with the policy gravitas and elective experience of a Mike Pence easily exposed this, and he did it with charm and style; despite the cackling fools of the traditional media crying about “mansplaining” and misogyny. Their response is only further proof that Kamala cannot hack any debate, let alone being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Whether President or Vice President, you have to instill confidence, and she sorely lacked in that department. Instead she lead with fear, which seems to be the default Democrat playbook. I rolled my eyes when she started in on her “They’re coming for you!” speech. We’re in the middle of a global effing pandemic—don’t nobody want to hear that. It only served to diminish any confidence in her ability to lead.

And don’t get me started on The Fly.

But, I digress….

Despite it being a “successful debate”, it was still a stilted affair weighted in one direction. Moderator Susan Page, yet another traditional media retread who has authored a biography on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (remember Gwen Ifill?), asked softball questions of Senator Harris, yet crafted accusatory and slighted questions of Vice President Pence. She also gave Harris more time, but yeah, no bias here.

I’ll say it again: for people who have years of experience at interviewing subjects, you would think they’d be more adept at asking questions that actually delve and encourage debate. Page was so intent on “we have to stick to the schedule” that she failed to allow hot topics like VP Pence’s volley of court packing, and Harris’s charges of President Trump encouraging racism and white supremacy, to play out. It worked for Page, because she got through her questions and even had a bonus question from an 8th grader; which, to be honest, was better crafted than any she had written. Who it didn’t work for was the American people. This. Is. A. Debate. If the debate is raging, then let it burn.

Even Fox News’s Harris Faulkner saw this was lacking:

As I said last week about the Presidential Debate, the first huge change that needs to happen is with the moderators. If the Presidential Debate Commission really cared about engaging the American people, they would replace the traditional media retreads with new media trailblazers. It would be nice if some of them were outside of the mainstream media-news-political complex, and I mentioned those names, some of them below:

Joe Rogan, Sharyl Attkisson, and Charlamagne tha God are
just a few of the choices for fresh debate moderators

But after the VP Debate, the Presidential Debate Commission decided it needed to change the format of the next presidential debate in Miami from live to virtual. Not exactly what I was looking for, but okay.

They claimed it was because of President Trump’s recent Covid diagnosis, even though he’d be well past the infection period by October 15.

In typical Trump fashion, he told them to go pound sand. Trump decided he’d do a rally instead, Biden decided he’d do a Town Hall with George “Bimbo Eruptions” Stephanopoulos. Same retreads, different day.

Last word was that the presidential debate had been pushed back to October 22, with a third go-round up in the air. Apparently Slow Joe isn’t interested in doing a Town Hall so close to election day.

This has all brought up uncomfortable questions about the nature of the Presidential Debate Commission and why they even exist. Yashar Ali wrote a newsletter piece that ripped the Bandaid off this oozing sore.

From, “The Swampiest Swamp: The Commission on Presidential Debates Is Out of Touch”:

“The three co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates—the nonprofit, bipartisan organization that sponsors and produces the presidential and vice presidential debates every four years during the general election—are all over the age of 70 (two of them are more than 80 years old), are all white, and all are deeply entrenched in the clubby Washington, D.C., world of former politicians, think tanks and lobbyists.

“Of the remaining 10 members on the commission’s board of directors, seven are more than 70 years old, two are in their 60s, and the youngest is 46. One is Black, one is Latina, and one is Asian.

“There is little regional diversity among them. 

“The people who make critical decisions about the country’s presidential debates—events that impact how Americans will vote or if they vote at all—are, for the most part, elites who are part of the D.C.-New York clique known as the swamp.”


“The makeup of this commission should come as no surprise: It’s largely how power, especially political power, has always looked. But it’s worth discussing, and in the era we’re living in, where diversity is more valued, it would be foolish not to put pressure on the commission to change.”

Thanks, Yashar Ali, and I agree. This is my pressure to see that change happen. While Ali advocates for changes in membership, my advocacy is to nuke the entire operation.

Get rid of the members, get rid of the format, remove the “swamp” from the equation altogether—and that includes the traditional media. Chris Wallace beclowned himself and then whined like a little bitch when called on it, blaming everybody but himself; Susan Page was better, but that’s not saying much: same partisan, different day.

Which brings us to Steve Scully, who is scheduled to moderate the now-October 22 debate. Because he’s an Old, he obviously failed Twitter 101: Use DMs if you don’t want to put yourself on blast. He didn’t, and ended up posting this publicly.

For those not in the know, Anthony Scaramucci was Trump’s Communications Director for all of 10 days back in 2017, before he was unceremoniously shown the door. He grifted for Trump for a while, then decided he’d do a Project Lincoln and become #NeverTrump. Now he’s working for the other side. As the Hoteps say, “It’s grifting season”.

What I find fascinating is a grown-ass man is asking advice from a failed Comms Director who no longer has any significant connection to Trump; but, we live in strange times.

I asked the Debate Commission whether he was up to task of moderating. After all, he is an Old; but then, so are they.

Scaramucci responded to Scully, like a Real Housewife ready to spread gossip:

This bunch is already attempting a new narrative for why they won’t let Trump debate. The grift goes on…

If October 22 does happen, my hope is that we see a fresh face doing whatever format is decided upon. Steve Scully didn’t even hit the stage before beclowning himself.

Time for these Retreads to take a lid.



One response

22 10 2020
Debates, Part Très: Trump Broke It | As the Girl Turns Inc.

[…] read my posts on Part 1: It’s Time to Change the Format of the Debates, and Part 2: Don’t Kill Debates, Kill the Moderator! to get my take on what could have been done to improve the debate format, as well as stop the […]

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