Can the Debate Commission Reign in Presidential Candidates?
The following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of Townsquare Media Sedalia / Warrensburg or it's staff or management. The views are the opinion of the author.
After almost every political pundit, news anchor and spin master torched Tuesday night's debate as one of the worst in American history The Commission On Presidential Debates weighed in yesterday with a short statement:
The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsors televised debates for the benefit of the American electorate. Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues. The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly. The Commission is grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates.
Call me skeptical that The Commission on Presidential Debates can reign in how President Trump acts in the debates. Our President doesn't believe in rules. And part of what attracts some people to him is the fact that he'll break them. So more rules will contain this guy? I'll believe that when I see it.
CBS News' Norah O' Donnell is reporting part of the debate commission's strategy will be turning off the candidates microphones if they violate the rules. I suspect that won't stop President Trump from flapping his gums though.
I'm not sure it matters. For my 3 O'Clock question the day of the first debate, I asked, "will the results of tonight's debate impact who you vote for?" The overwhelming response: No. One person said they were going to watch for the comedy and another said the debate would be hilarious.
Many of us know who we're voting for and nothing will change that. No debate performance. No shocking behavior. Nothing. So what we're left with is President Trump appealing to his base by acting like a boorish lout and Vice President Biden having to answer the behavior so he doesn't create the perception he just rolled over and took it.
It's mostly debate theater at this point. Fodder for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes to get you all riled up about the enemy and fired up about your guy. All while selling you something.
In my opinion, it's a shame democracy has come to this.