The Debate: My Take

The Debate: My Take


Leonard Zwelling

I watched the whole miserable event. I even watched it on its home channel, CNN.

Let’s start with a positive or two.

The moderators were sensational. Their questions were brief and on point, even if the answers were not. They didn’t try to enter the debate by fact checking the participants. They did their job well.

The use of the muted mics was a success. Donald Trump’s usual interrupting rants were kept to a minimum.

The absence of an audience was also a good idea. This was enough of a freak show without having the crowd go wild.

That’s about it for the good stuff.

For Trump, I’ll say that Trump was Trump. He made stuff up. He rewrote the history of January 6. He puffed out his chest and threatened Putin, but at least he got the name right.

For Biden, let’s just say he had a bad night.

First, he looked dreadful. He was grey and wan and he sounded worse. His staff said it was a cold. I think his acid reflux was acting up out of nerves. Just what you want in a chief executive.

Second, Biden’s answers were lame if you could follow them. Neither guy really had it all together, but Trump was Trump. Biden was lost.

So given the consensus that Mr. Biden performed miserably and that no amount of spinning can allay the dismay in the Democratic camp, what ought to be done because I ain’t voting for either of these two guys no matter what happens next unless Biden launches a pre-emptive attack on Iran which might grab my vote.

The story goes that the Republican leaders of the House and Senate went to the White House in August of 1974 to inform Mr. Nixon that he had to resign or he would be impeached and likely convicted for his part in the Watergate affair. I am sure that Mr. Nixon would have resisted this with all of his being, but sometimes even the bad guys do the right thing.

In considering how this analogy might play out today, there is only one person who can walk into the Oval Office and lay it on the line to the President, that he needs to retire. That would be President Barack Obama.

It is clear that those around Mr. Biden now are either clueless or timid with regard to advising him to stop his campaign and to open up the convention. His wife must want him to lose so she can get him back to Delaware. The rest of his family must be either tone deaf or intimidated. Apparently, Joe has a temper and is rigidly determined to see this nonsense through.

Someone needs to convince him that his legacy and place in history can only be secured by stepping aside. Going on is a guaranteed loser and he will be remembered that way.

Mr. President, take the 2020 win and go out on top. As my boss Margaret Kripke used to say, “leave the party while you’re still having fun.”

I don’t think Mr. Biden will listen to anyone beside Mr. Obama. Even there I have my doubts, but Obama owes him the courtesy and preventing an embarrassment in November, because after last night, this is over unless the Dems run someone else. It actually may not matter, but if someone could step up after a contested convention and consolidate the party with a positive vision for the future and specific plans to get there, there is still hope.

Mr. Biden is simply too old for this job and he proved that last night. He cannot unring that bell. If he stays in and runs against Mr. Trump, The Donald will win in a landslide.

Biden has to get out like LBJ did in 1968. It’s much later in the calendar, but if Biden stays in, Trump wins. And that’s a fact, Jack.

4 thoughts on “The Debate: My Take”

  1. First, Trump is unlikely to win by a landslide. His lying behavior, misogyny, his rapes, etc will keep MANY previous supporters away from voting for him. If you don’t want Trump to win, vote for Biden. If you don’t, you are supporting Trump. That’s is the simple math.
    I agree that Biden should have retired and let a younger Democrat lead. However, a contentious Convention may not gain any advantage.
    We are NOT voting for Trump or Biden as individuals. We are voting for either an autocracy or a democracy. The teams around these men REALY run government. Biden has a SUPERIOR National Security Council and Cabinet than ANY that Trump would bring to us.
    Vote for democracy and for an experienced and honorable staff.

    1. Leonard Zwelling

      I hear you but strongly disagree. Biden cannot win, period. He had to show the world that he was fit to lead until he is 86. He did not. He flunked the only real test he had–competence. It doesn’t matter who I vote for anyway given that I live in a very red state, but I am sorry, I don’t feel any safer with Biden in office than I do with Trump in office. Both have no business being near power. I cannot vote for either based on some rationalization. As for the team around Biden, if they were any good, they could convince him to step down.

  2. STRONGLY disagreeing is an opportunity to rethink your point of view.
    Biden may step aside, which I would support.
    Who do you think should replace him?

    1. Leonard Zwelling

      My fave is Josh Shapiro, Governor of PA. I’d be happy with Klobuchar, Whitmer, or Wes Moore. There just needs to be a realistic choice. That is no longer Biden. People saw what they saw. As I said, Biden cannot unring that bell.

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