This article appeared online at on Monday, August 10, 2020:  

Vice President Mike Pence issued a direct challenge to the Democrat Party’s presumptive presidential candidate Joe Biden: “Square up” and “debate President Donald Trump.” In other words: Come out of hiding, man up, stand up, speak up, take the stand, present your case and defend it in front of millions of voters. And be prepared for the predictable onslaught from the incumbent, who will be taking no prisoners in those three presidential debates.

But only if those debates actually take place. There is, as The New has reported, increasing pressure to cancel them to keep their prospective candidate from blowing up and giving the president another four years.

The New York Times is leading the way backward. Thomas Friedman wrote back in July, “I worry about debating Donald Trump … [that under present rules] he’s giving Trump unfair advantages.” Therefore, intoned Friedman, we need to change the rules: 1) Require that the president release his tax returns as a condition precedent to the first debate; and 2) Let biased leftist so-called -checkers intervene during the debates to call out the president whenever he might transgress their narratives on the issue being debated.

And then came Elizabeth Drew, who picked up that “cancel the debates” theme last Monday in the Times because “they’ve become unrevealing quip contests.”

Joe Lockhart, former White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton, took to the pages of the Washington Post, warning Biden: “Whatever you do, don’t debate Trump.” Biden, said Lockhart, was so far ahead of Trump in the polls that “there is nothing Trump can do at this point to win it on his own. He has to depend on [Biden] faltering over the next three months to get reelected.”

Since then Biden has faltered, despite the warnings. He suggested a black host was taking drugs; he called out another for not “being black” if he couldn’t decide who to vote for; and then he denigrated the entire black population by suggesting that they had no original thoughts or contributions of their own, as compared to the Latino community which in contrast, said Biden, “is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things.”

Pence added:

We need to have presidential debates.


We’re already hearing some leading voices in the media … some leading liberal Democrat activists … they’re actually advocating that we [should] have a presidential election without debates.


They’re suggesting that take a pass on debates….


The people are entitled to see two people who are applying for the job of leader of the free world on the stage together.

As Biden continues to stumble, bumble, and gaffe his way through whatever public appearances his handlers allow him to have, there’s little doubt that pressure to cancel the presidential debates will continue to build.

Either way, Biden loses. If the debates are canceled, every voter in the country will know why. And if they are held, every voter in the country will know why the Democrats wanted to cancel them.


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