RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Has TIMELY, URGENT COMPLAINT About ... Presidential Debates Three Years From Now?
You hear that sound?
Shhhhhhh, listen closely. It's the beautiful sound of NOTHING. Also a billion cicadas having a screaming orgy, depending on your part of the country. But mostly it's just blessed silence now that Grandpa Crazypants got booted off social media for trying to overthrow the government and then noped out of journaling 10 seconds after school closed because, UGH BORING. Also no one was reading his bullshit.
Anyway! Now that we're free from the daily bombardment of demented rantings, we can can enjoy blissful weeks on end with nary a clue what the former president is mad about. But sometimes we get a hint when his underlings, the ones who still have their Faceplaces and Tweeters, start raving about some random nonsense — a big tipoff what the syphilitic squirrels hiding under the orange bouffant are chattering about on any given day.
To wit, Ronna Romney McDaniel, chair of the RNC, has suddenly launched a broadside against the Commission on Presidential Debates to warn that they better clean up their act in 2024 OR ELSE.
"The CPD's repeated missteps and the partisan actions of its Board Members make clear that the organization no longer provides the fair and impartial forum for presidential debates which the law requires and the American people deserve," she wrote in a letter to the Commission's co-chairs. "Unless the CPD adopts significant reforms to ensure that it better fulfills this important, non-partisan function, the RNC will have no choice but to advise its future nominees against participating in CPD-hosted debates."
"The @GOP needs assurances that the CPD will make meaningful reforms to the debate process by working with stakehol… https://t.co/Fe1SM3EAvS— GOP (@GOP)1622649412.0
Leave aside for the moment that the RNC exerts precious little control over the presidential nominee, particularly if his name is Trump. And let's just play along and pretend that it would somehow be good politics for the Republican candidate to skip an event that has been a staple of every presidential election since 1960. Fine, have it your way, Ronna.
But why is this a topic of concern upwards of three years before the election? And what exactly does the RNC want, other than to shout abuse about a supposedly partisan CPD rigging the game for Biden? The letter is just three pages of disembodied howling about plexiglass and virtual debates, while refusing to acknowledge that we were in the middle of a goddamn pandemic which forced the moderators to make some adaptations. Also, as Our Ronna seems to have forgotten but Your Wonkette remembers, further modifications had to be made after the first debate when Trump yelled and screamed and flung poop for 90 minutes, forcing the CPD to threaten to cut his mike if he refused to abide by the agreed-upon ground rules going forward.
Nor does Princess RNC acknowledge that Trump and his whole family exposed Biden and his people to coronavirus at that debate after blowing off the testing protocols and refusing to wear masks in the auditorium. Remember when Trump and Melania announced on October 2 that they were both COVID-positive, just three days after they'd breathed all over Joe and Jill at the second debate? LOL, memories!
And, credit where due, Ronna is right that the business with Steve Scully did give the appearance of bias. But Trump's list of preferred moderators wasn't exactly non-partisan either. In fact it was stacked with explicitly pro-Trump Fox personalities, including Maria Bartiromo, Brett Baier, Charles Payne, Bill Hemmer, and Rachel Campos-Duffy (whose husband Sean was a Trump surrogate), not to mention Hugh Hewitt. So let's not pretend that an unbiased panel is the goal here.
In the end, McDaniel's goal seems to be performative, rather than in pursuit of an actual remedy. She wants the CPD to adopt term-limits for its board members and promise to do CANCEL CULTURES to anyone associated with the commission who expresses an opinion on the presidential race. So much for free speech, eh?
She insists that the debates be held before early voting starts, memory-holing the fact that Trump himself refused to show up for the second debate virtually, before early voting had gotten underway nationwide during a period of expanded voting thanks to coronavirus and deliberate slowdowns of the postal service. There's also the minor issue of linear time, since the nominees aren't officially selected until the party conventions. The RNC's convention (at the White House, because 2020) ended on August 27, and the first debate was just four weeks later. So what exactly is this person bitching about?
Finally, McDaniel wants the CPD to punish the moderators and their employers for being mean to the candidates. Like if a moderator accuses a politician of having "blood coming out of her wherever," that moderator's network should be barred from participating in future debates. Haha, we are just kidding. Obviously, that interaction was all Megyn Kelly's fault, so no one from her then-employer Fox should be allowed to moderate a debate. Right, Ronny?
Let's just assume that Trump has moved on to blaming the debates for his loss in November and has convinced himself that he'd have won if only he'd gotten to chew the furniture mano-a-mano in mid-September before early voting started. How else to explain Biden's massive advantage in the absentee ballots, right? So naturally Ronna is firing off this demented broadside to prove to the only person in the GOP who matters that she's taking his concerns seriously and doing something about it.
Spoiler Alert: She ain't doin' shit. But Trump's attention span isn't that long, so it'll probably work.
The letter gives the CPD until July 31 to graciously accede to all demands or face the prospect of a Republican boycott of the debates in three years.
Good luck with that one!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.