Why Tonight's Republican Debate Doesn't Matter

Tonight’s second Republican debate airs on several Fox and Univision channels and the streaming network Rumble. 

But as the Lincoln Project put it in a recent missive, “You’re forgiven if the race for second place didn’t make your watch schedule.” 

As with the first debate, the Republican front-runner—Donald Trump--won’t be on the stage. 



“For the sake of ratings and fake normalcy,” the LP stated in a release, “the moderators will pretend this is a regular presidential debate.  

“They’ll pretend these candidates have real policy positions and they’ll pretend that the base is actually interested in the nuances of Desantis’ and Ramaswamy’s immigration policies (one wants to invade our Southern neighbor and the other wants to launch airstrikes).” 

According to Reuters, Trump and Nikki Haley have also talked about authorizing military force against our neighbors to the South in a bid to halt the illicit drug flow from Mexico to the U.S.  

For a variety of reasons—including the fact that such action unless approved by Mexico would constitute an act of war—that would be a bad idea, according to the political experts Reuters talked to.  

But back to the LP’s point about tonight’s debate being somewhat less than meaningful. 

“No candidate on stage will answer the actual questions facing the Republican Party,” like “Do you stand with Trump’s open fascism?” or “Do you believe the United States should let authoritarians invade sovereign countries?” 

They won’t answer such questions because “they either don’t care or they know their voters don’t care.” 

Still, my guess is the political wonks at the LP and everywhere will be tuning in, along with who knows how many millions of Americans. The first debate drew nearly 13 million viewers, according to the New York Times, making it the most watched cable telecast of the year outside of sports.  

And miracles can happen—maybe Trump gets convicted before the election and becomes disqualified to run.  

In that case Haley’s views on when it’s okay to invade Mexico might matter a little more.  


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