What We Debate When We Debate About Debating

imrs copyLike a lot of you, I watched last week’s debate between President Biden and the Electoral College-installed former president with dismay.

The contrast between the two men was stark: Biden pale, stumbling over words, hoarse and sometimes mumbling; Trump loud, nasty, vicious … and apparently vigorous. Never mind the contrast was stark in another way: Biden on point, addressing the questions, honest and forthright, in command of details, backed up by an impressive first-term record; Trump spewing lies and worse, refusing to answer questions, demonstrating a lack of understanding of diplomacy, tariffs, NATO, and every goddamn thing else. One man, even though he started biting back after the first few attacks, appeared weaker than the other, and is that what voters’ lizard brains will focus on come election time?

It certainly seems to be what the media’s focusing on … in fact I’d say the media, from the New York Times and Washington Post right down to “liberal” MSNBC, is rooting for Trump. For sure CNN, and in particular CNN’s debate moderators, who never fact checked or pushed back on a single Trump lie.

Yeah, yeah … Biden should have been a place-holder, an intentional one-termer, and the Democratic Party should have been busy these last three and a half years grooming Kamala Harris or another young, strong candidate to run in 2024: a Pete Buttigieg, a Mark Kelly, a Gavin Newsom. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. It’s too late now, and all this media talk about Biden dropping out might as well be promises about how great it’ll be when Trump gets back in and starts wiping his ass with the Constitution again, because that’s what’ll happen if Biden does drop out.

So yeah, I’m voting for the old(er) guy. I’m not crazy. To paraphrase David Sedaris, when the flight attendant asks if I’d prefer the chicken or the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it, I ain’t asking how the chicken’s cooked.

At home, things are okay. Our air conditioner went out a second time, and as with the first time the problem was a burnt-out capacitor. Who knew there were two of ’em and you’re supposed to replace both when one goes bad? Well, we know now. We got some estimates on having a new AC installed, with luck something we can put off until the hot months are behind us. New shingles for the roof? Donna has this crazy plan about selling the house as is and moving into an adult townhouse in a Las Vegas suburb or something, and doesn’t want to spend money on a new roof. My counter argument? We have a great house to live in now, a mortgage payment that’s locked in and won’t go up (actually due to go down soon when a second is paid off, and then we can afford home care when the time comes), and even if we get a bundle for this place there won’t be enough left over to buy anything other than a double-wide … and then there’s Polly, our resident unemployed 49-year-old dependent daughter, who unless some miraculous changes occur soon, would be part of the package in any move to new digs, and the very thought depresses me no end. So. Shingles. And probably a new AC.

The dogs? Great, although it’s too humid and hot to walk them most mornings.

I replaced the metal bracelets on some of my Seikos with silicone and leather straps. They’re way more comfortable, and unlike metal bracelets, easy to snug or loosen as your wrist swells and shrinks during the day … what, yours doesn’t? I’m now down to one all-metal watch, my oldest Seiko, which just wouldn’t look right on anything else. Here’s the old & new:

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And here’s the one I’m not changing:


It’s a Pogue, a classic from the 1970s, and it’d be sacrilege to put it on anything else.

2 thoughts on “What We Debate When We Debate About Debating

  • Great blog, but the change from the political to the private is jarring! Of course I enjoyed both. Speaking of “lizard brain” that’s exactly the part that Trump has to rely on and it’s a pretty powerful part. Luck for us it was a Thurs. so we were at the Gypsies but we heard a smidge of the opening and as soon as Biden opened his mouth and sounded like mush I knew he was gonna have a bad night. Trump has always presented himself as a “Man on Horseback” and that’s something that appeals to a lot of people who want to be “saved”.

  • Good blog. It was clear that Biden tried to talk policy and his achievements based on stats and details while Trump bragged and attacked. I would bet a fair chunk of money that the only policy Trump mentioned – deportations of 15m (was it 15m?) and 10% tariffs could never happen. Biden was just too nice. He should have hammered on Trump’s blocking of the border bipartisan deal. Fox readers won’t know about Trump’s involvement. And how many times did Trump bring it back to the border? Biden should mention that Trump is a self proclaimed number one world expert in 23 topics. Even MAGA types could comprehend that that can’t be true. CNN has an amazingly fast factchecker in Daniel Dale and I wish that he had been an integral part of the program. My sister, who mainlines Midas Touch and Brian Tyler Cohen, told me that the Dems didn’t want factchecking (!) (Today an expert on CBC said it would be hard to replace Biden wirh anyone but Harris: black and some female voters would be offended.)

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