The clown show otherwise known as the second 2023 Republican presidential primary debate was not only an irrelevant, ridiculous and risible spectacle, it raised the question of whether the era of the so-called “presidential debate” is now unofficially over.
It should be. These things are just about impossible to watch.
For starters, Donald J. Trump, the candidate with the highest rating among GOP voters, wasn’t even there, leaving the field to non-starters like Chris Christie, Mike Pence, and Doug Bergum (who even heard of that guy?)
When the top candidates blow off the debates, so does the rest of the country.
And you can hardly call that yell-a-thon a debate in any real sense of the term.
It consisted entirely of cheap shots (with one senator attacking his state’s former governor for buying expensive curtains!), insults, and mini infomercials in which each candidate tried to get out an over-rehearsed sound bite or two they hoped would propel them to the next level of the greased political ladder they are all desperately trying to climb.
Moderator Dana Perino made things worse, if you can believe it, by asking the candidates who they’d “vote off the island,” turning what should have been a dignified accounting of their qualifications and agendas into an unfunny joke. If they answered honestly (which none of them did), it would be: “All of them!”
What is the point of these exercises? The media trolls chosen to “moderate” the non-debates are only interested in scoring a “gotcha” from whatever hapless candidate they choose to go after. The candidates themselves go through their laundry list of what they think the voters want to hear, while the people watching wind up with an even more confused idea of what these so-called leaders really stand for and believe.
It’s time to end these political vaudeville shows once and for all.