Actually, The Debate Was About Issues

Actually, The Debate Was About Issues. By Stanley Kurtz.

For my money, the law-and-order segment was the decisive exchange of the night. The differences between the candidates were stark. I think Trump was likely the big winner there, but that presumes the country is closer to his view than Biden’s. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The section on climate change versus the economy was also clarifying. The most important and politically consequential controversy—Biden’s shifting position on fracking—was never properly addressed. Even so, the very different ways in which the candidates strike the balance on environment-versus-economy came through. I think that’s another winner for Trump. …

During these exchanges, however, I saw a president who was sharp as a tack, well able to call up interactions he’d had with world leaders and his policy people in order to make his points. Trump was tough to the point of rudeness, as usual, but had an energy, acuity, and strength that Biden lacked. When it comes to policy details, Trump can be frustratingly thin. But when it comes to the big-picture issues and options, the president comes through. He never explained in detail why Critical Race Theory is so pernicious, for example. But I’m betting that enough voters have knowledge of these insidious indoctrination sessions and the troubling culture they’ve spawned to take the president’s point. What other politician would have had the guts to tackle this issue? A lot of voters will appreciate that.

Biden held up very well for about the first hour. He far surpassed the ridiculously low expectations Republicans had set for him, and that has undoubtedly helped him. That said, Biden seemed to me to visibly fade in the last half-hour. He never quite lost it, but his mumbling, semi-confused manner emerged. A couple of times it seemed as though the president’s interruptions actually saved Biden from what was beginning to devolve into word salad. …

For all the personal attacks, it was the big-picture policy differences that came through. I think this will matter to undecided voters.

The mainstream media will mainly only see things through their left wing perspective, with their promoted fantasies held up as reality. They didn’t see Trump coming in 21016, didn’t see him winning then, and don’t understand how he won the debate last night.

Trump is understandably angry and frustrated. For four years he gets taunted with lies (he’s a Russian agent!), but is never able to have a one-on-one in public with his accusers, to debate anyone. Pelosi, Obama, H. Clinton, Biden, Schumer … none of them will appear with him. He never gets to tell his side, to force them to answer him. Here’s my question, he wants to say, so answer it, instead of hiding behind a slimy media.

US politics lacks a Question Time. (In the Westminster system, an hour each parliamentary day is set aside where the chief bananas can ask each other questions and they have to say something. They must respond, or look like they are avoiding the issue, face to face.)

Trump has a lot to get off his chest. He tried to pack too much into his short debate time with Biden, and comes off a bit too forceful.