Well, that was a pleasant debate, wasn’t it?
My short take is likely the same as yours: everyone was pretty awful, but Chris Wallace was the worst.
Trump played to his worst instincts – fighting on every single point, regardless of the significance of the point, which both watered down the effectiveness when he was on target, and was stylistically off-putting to most people. Plus it kept Joe from talking more, which would have hurt his cause.
Because Biden was terrible too – nasty and dishonest and at least as boorish as Trump. But he did manage to avoid the worst case scenario for him, which was to forget where he was, lose control of his bowels, refer to Trump as “Corn Pop,” and challenge Chris Wallace to a push-up contest.
In which case the MSM would have said that he only narrowly won the debate
The consensus is that Wallace was horrendous, and I can’t disagree, because the template for being a good moderator is pretty clear. Plan A is to be practically invisible: ask the questions and stay out of the way, so that the focus is on the candidates and their answers.
If that doesn’t work – and to be fair to Wallace, the relentless crosstalk and interruptions and omni-directional aggression of both candidates pretty much necessitated that the moderator take more control – then go to Plan B: take control, but do so by being scrupulously balanced in your pointed questions and rebukes to both candidates.
This is where Wallace completely fornicated with the pooch. He wasn’t a neutral referee but a partisan, which is inexcusable. I’ll just point to two moments, because we’re already pretty tired of this.
Trump recently signed an executive order banning government agencies from wasting taxpayer money on Critical Race Theory training. CRT is a collection of far-left, America-hating Marxist superstitions crossed with vicious anti-white racism, run by a small army of grifters and con-persons who ritually insult and debase white people because of their skin color, and encourage minorities to see themselves as victims.
It’s hard to over-state the awfulness of CRT, but to give you a taste, Hans Bader reported on a typical 3-day training session for white males conducted for Sandia National Laboratories, an important designer of America’s nuclear weapons. Among other activities, the white males “were forced to recite publicly a series of statements” acknowledging and denouncing their white and male privilege. “At the end of the training, the white males had to ‘write letters ‘directed to white women, people of color, and other groups’.”
These weren’t guys who had sexually assaulted interns, or forcibly sniffed the hair and digitally penetrated the bodies of helpless women within arms’ reach. They were just average white guys, forced to waste three days that could have been spent perfecting weaponry to deter this country’s enemies, rather than being browbeaten by a bunch of bilious would-be Farrakhans.
So when Wallace questioned Trump about his decision, how did he describe those Maoist shaming sessions? He said, “Why did you decide to… end racial sensitivity training?”
How’s that for a euphemism? Aren’t we all for racial sensitivity?
I for one would love the chance to tell some racist leftists how insensitive I find it when they call my race and gender “toxic.” I’m sure that Native Americans would love to tell Grandma Squanto how much it hurts their feelings when a terrible translucent harridan like her pretends to be one of them. #wemustneverstopmockingher
The second example was when Wallace called on Trump to denounce white supremacists. Trump actually did, but he was so clumsy in his phrasing that he came across as reluctant to do so.
We’re all Monday morning QBs at heart, but that seemed like an easy one to handle more directly: “I’ve done so repeatedly over the last 4 years, and of course I’m happy to do so one more time. I unequivocally denounce any white racists anywhere, as I’ve always done. But since all the rioting and looting and arson over the last 6 months have been caused by leftist groups that Biden and Harris have not been able to denounce, could you now ask Biden to do the same about Antifa and BLM?”
When Trump correctly mocked Biden’s feeble “Antifa is an idea, not an organization” answer, Wallace played the role of Biden’s cut man, and ended the round before Biden could say anything even more stupid and damaging, if such a thing were possible.
Wallace also didn’t follow up on any of Biden’s obviously contradictory bloviating. At one point Biden said, “The Green New Deal would pay for itself!” Seven seconds later, Wallace said, “So you support the Green New Deal?” Biden said, “No!”
And Wallace let him change the subject and wander away! Ugh.
Having said all of that, let me turn to something that you can’t get elsewhere: an analysis of the debate that applies the awesome analytical power of the Simpson Face Punchability Index (SFPI™).
For those of you who have only recently discovered the CO site and my columns, I think the best way to explain the SFPI is to share my initial introduction of it, from a column I wrote in July of 2017:
“Human faces can elicit strong reactions. We’ve all known some guy who gets in a lot of fights, not because of his actions, but because people just don’t like his natural expression. And we’ve all known unfortunate women who have been stricken with the heartbreak of resting b**ch face.
I’ve taken those facts, and through a proprietary process of rigorous thought and research, arrived at the conclusion that all human faces can be assigned a punchability value on a scale of 1 (a face that even a sociopathically violent person would be disinclined to punch) to 10 (a face that even a Buddhist monk so committed to nonviolence that he goes out of his way to avoid stepping on a bug can barely restrain himself from punching.)
For example, I have a pretty low SFPI. I’m not very attractive, but small children and animals are drawn to me, I always got along well with my girlfriends’ parents, and strangers regularly ask me for directions, even though I am never the least bit helpful with directions.
On the other hand, thin-skinned, humorless leftists really REALLY want to punch me, so I can’t be a 1 or 2. Thus, my SFPI is 2.5.
This is not a partisan issue, either. Rush Limbaugh and Ted Cruz both have SFPIs of 8, while Trey Gowdy is an 8.5 – and I like all of them! By contrast, NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp and actor John Cusack all are 2s, even though they all could objectively use a good pummeling. Trump and Hillary are both 7.5s, which is what made the November contest so close.
Because I know you’re curious: the highest SFPI ever recorded was Harry Reid, with a 9.9. If Gandhi and St. Francis were walking down a hallway and Dingy Harry were walking the other way, Gandhi would set him up with a left jab, and Francis would put him down with a right cross. And Harry’s mom, if she were inexplicably still alive at age 125, would high-five both of them. (I think that that mysterious eye injury that Harry had during his last year in office came from his own fist, when he saw himself in the mirror and couldn’t avoid the sudden instinct to punch himself.)”
Okay, back to the present… and before I move on, I know you are all asking the same thing: how on earth can Hillary’s SFPI only be 7.5??! It’s because she’s female, and males who were raised properly are hard-wired to never punch a lady.
If she were male, she’d be up there in the 9.9 range. Picture Hillary abrasively braying into the camera that time, saying, “YOU MAY BE ASKING YOURSELF WHY I’M NOT AHEAD BY 50 POINTS! CAW CAW!”
If she were a man, she’d never have made it past “asking yourself.” Even the cameraman would have been unable to keep himself from stepping out and dropping her with an instinctive roundhouse.
Given that, it’s quite an accomplishment for any female to get over 5.5 or so. For comparison, Crazy Mazie Hirono and Maxine Waters are both only in the mid 7s, and they need a good punching more than just about anybody.
Anyway, enough about the incredibly sophisticated science.
So how does the SFPI factor into the debate on Tuesday night?
Simple. Trump, as previously mentioned, has a SFPI of 7.5. Biden is an interesting case. When he was younger and healthier, his SFPI was 8.0.
But – and here I am revealing another part of the proprietary calculations that go into shaping the awesomely accurate SFPI – it’s a scientific fact that age, frailty and mental infirmity reduce one’s SFPI.
Consider a similar character to Biden. Say, for example, a raving homeless man with shaving stubble, frighteningly white choppers, and horrendous hair plugs. He’s on the sidewalk in front of your house muttering to himself:
“Look, here’s the deal: I’m Napoleon Bonaparte. I was the top of my law class at a historically black college, and I can beat anybody in a push-up contest. Wellington is a dog-faced pony Duke, and my son would never take up with his brother’s widow. Get your facts straight, Jack! Shut up, you clown!”
If he were young and fit and in his right mind, a guy like that couldn’t make it through a fortnight without multiple punchings. He’d be trying to compare IQs with middle management at the company party, calling the receptionist “fatso,” and irking the CEO as he announced an ill-fated corporate merger by blurting, “This is a big friending deal, boss!” into a hot mike.
But now that he’s old and frail, and his mind is failing, his SFPI has dropped into the mid 6’s. It feels like elder abuse even to shove him in front of a camera with a teleprompter to read. So punching him seems out of the question.
Still, if you just read the transcript, his SFPI is otherwise off the charts.
And Chris Wallace? He should consider investing in an anti-punching vest and helmet. Because that guy has a case of fourth-degree “backpfeifengesicht”.
Thank you again, Germans!
Avenatti/Crazy Mazie 2020