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Stop blaming the moderator. The debate debacle was Donald Trump’s fault and no one else’s

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“Mr President. Mr President. President Trump. Please,” Chris Wallace pleaded.Yesterday’s atrocity of a presidential debate was littered with quotes like this from the moderator as he tried, with no success whatsoever, to get Donald Trump to shut up.“Mr President, can you let him finish sir?”“Let him speak.”“Please let him speak, Mr President.”“Let me ask my question.”“Mr President, I’m the moderator of the debate and I would like you to let me ask my question.”Wallace has copped a ton of criticism for his handling of the debate, including from Mr Trump, who’s complained that it was a “two on one” contest.That’s nonsense. One person, and one person alone, is responsible for the national embarrassment Americans suffered yesterday: Donald Trump.There is no point in pretending otherwise, nor in drawing a false equivalence between the two candidates. That would be dishonest.The truth is no other presidential nominee in US history – including 2016 – has ever acted the way Mr Trump did on that stage.This was not a case of Mr Trump and Mr Biden behaving as badly as each other, or of a biased moderator trying to grandstand and make himself the story.It was a President refusing to show the barest level of respect for his opponent, his constituents or his own country’s political conventions.Mr Trump quite obviously had no intention of holding a civil discussion. He showed up with a plan to harangue and insult Mr Biden – and Wallace – into submission.What was Wallace supposed to do, yield the floor to him permanently? Give up entirely on enforcing the rules Mr Trump’s own campaign had agreed to ahead of time? The President left him with no choice but to intervene.RELATED: Americans shellshocked after ‘crazy’ presidential debateRELATED: First debate’s moderator responds to the criticismThe result was by far the worst, least productive debate any of us can recall.Watching from the other side of the world, you despaired for the United States. Somehow, a nation that considers itself the world’s leading democracy has become incapable of holding a simple political discussion without it descending into farce.Seventy million Americans were watching too. They were hoping to get a better idea of what Mr Trump and Mr Biden were offering them; what each man would do with the power of the presidency if entrusted with it for the next four years.They were not tuning in to watch two incoherent old men shout witless abuse at each other for 90 minutes.For much of the debate, Mr Biden could not even get through a single sentence, let alone a substantive explanation of his policies, without Mr Trump interrupting him.I’m not going to run through every example of this behaviour, because that would literally require me to transcribe the entire debate. Read the whole thing here if you want to.But here’s a chunky exchange that illustrates what I’m talking about. It came as the Democrat tried to describe his proposed healthcare plan.Biden: “Anyone who qualifies for Medicare, excuse me, Medicaid would automatically be enrolled in the public option. Number one. Number two-”Trump: “Joe, you agreed with Bernie Sanders, who is far left, on the manifesto, we call it, and that gives you socialised medicine.”Biden: “Look, hey. I’m not going to listen to him. The fact of the matter is, I beat Bernie Sanders.”Trump: “Not by much.”Biden: “I beat him by a hell of a lot.”Trump: “Not by much. Pocahontas (that’s his nickname for Elizabeth Warren) would have left two days earlier-”Biden: “All he knows how to do – look, here’s the deal. I got very lucky, and I’m going to get very lucky tonight as well.”Trump: “With
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