As I reflect on last night’s debate, Biden pulled the same stunts on the president as he pulled on Paul Ryan eight years earlier, but Trump would have none of it.
Biden was making faces, rolling his eyes, interrupting the president with laughs and jabs, and was long-winded, which the moderator allowed to a ridiculous level. He was also allowed much longer opportunities uninterrupted by the moderator to speak, which Biden used to hurl one nasty lie after another. The president is a counter-puncher and often was forced to try to muscle his way in to address Biden’s list of attacks as he wasn’t given opportunities to reply.
The moderator’s liberal bias was obvious in the nature of many of the questions, as was his dislike of the president when he’d get into arguments with the president over policy while mostly letting Biden get away with whoppers.
The moderator knows the governors shutdown the economy not the president, the moderator knows the president didn’t kill over 200,000 Americans, the moderator knows Antifa is a real group, the moderator knows that the “science” of man-made climate change is in dispute, etc., but it seemed like none and certainly little of his correcting or challenging was aimed at Biden or, even worse, he’d insert his views into the questioning and follow up. If he was truly interested in tax returns, why did he ignore Biden’s use of an S-1 corporation to get around paying over half a million dollars in payroll taxes, including Social Security, or mention that the New York Times article itself states that Trump paid approximately $24 million in the alternative minimum tax. If you’re going to bring it up, then get it right.
Unlike most commentators I’m reading this morning, who either declare a plague on all their houses or are more critical of the president than Biden, I see it differently. Biden’s strategy was as a disrupter who was prepared with memorized attack lines and falsehoods, which he rattled off like a machine gun. Biden’s handlers figured such a debate — going from hiding in the basement and limiting press availability to a debate brawl — would continue to protect Biden from real scrutiny for his past record and his current embrace of truly extremist policies as set forth in his 110-page manifesto. Biden’s obvious strategy, plus the moderator’s predictable approach, was infuriating.