In war attacking an enemy who is occupying the high ground is a daunting exercise. Because all other things being equal, attacking the enemy is literally an uphill battle. Gravity is your opponent’s friend and your foe. Line of sight works for him and against you. Almost every possible advantage is given to the force occupying the higher ground.
Now, the only thing worse than starting out at the bottom of the hill is starting out on the higher ground and then giving it up to the enemy for no reason. That is the sign of a blithering idiot. Case in point is the Battle of Gettysburg. The Confederate forces routed the Union on the first day of battle but through the incompetence of one of the generals did not then occupy the high points and deny the Union the strategic advantage that eventually won them the battle, and consequently thereafter, the war.
One of the hallmarks of both Bush presidencies was the way these men allowed the press to pummel them at every turn. And among the most memorable occasions for this mayhem were the Presidential Debates. On these occasions, especially for Dubyah, a unanimous chorus of Leftist Journalists would lopsidedly pound the snot out of the poor old doofus at every turn, while his Democrat opponents would be treated to love taps when their turn came to answer questions. In fact, most of the time, the questions given to Gore or Kerry consisted of Democrat talking points to use as segues into a new attack on poor old George. And of course the Bushes were just the worst case of this syndrome. McCain and Romney were both treated to a similar roasting when their turns came up for the debate demolition derby.
Knowing that the press is almost 100% leftist it is no surprise that the Commission on Presidential Debates is irremediably hostile to Republican candidates and if a Republican is running for a first term, unless he is in a very strong position vis-a-vis the Democrat incumbent, he probably has no choice but to submit himself to the uphill battle that the debate commission will engineer. But if you are an incumbent President with a good record or even a fair record why would you give up the high ground and allow your enemies to sit back in comfort and pour artillery fire down on you while you have to slog up the hill through it?
That is why it’s especially satisfying to read that President Trump is not satisfied with walking into the typical ambush. Several times now he has stated that if the panel and the rules don’t seem unbiased he’ll forego the whole thing. And he can do it. After all that is the advantage of the incumbency, your opponent needs to show that he is better than you. If the incumbent has a good track record then it’s an uphill battle for him to attack you. He wants the debate to provide the chance for a lucky knockout punch. To extend the boxing metaphor, if you are going to fight him at least do it in your ring and with at least a neutral referee, not one of his henchmen who’ll allow your opponent to put some lead in his glove.
When considering who I would want as a debate moderator the first name that came to mind was Tucker Carlson. Carlson would inject a right-wing perspective to a presidential debate that as far as I can remember has never been tried before. Watching Bernie or Crazy Uncle Joe trying to answer any really hard questions about their nonsensical positions or actions would be a true revelation for the American voting audience. Watching them try to answer honestly how the Green New Deal would impact the cost of heating a home and owning an automobile would be hilarious. And can you imagine Joe Biden explaining how his half-wit son made millions of dollars as an energy company director when he can barely keep himself out of a crack cocaine halfway house from month to month. That would be amazing to watch.
But we don’t have to restrict the idea to just Tucker. Brit Hume, Sharyl Attkisson, Mark Levin or Rush Limbaugh would all bring various skills and viewpoints that would balance out the typical leftist positions represented by someone like Lester Holt, Martha Raddatz, Anderson Cooper or Chris Wallace.
So, here’s hoping that President Trump cuts a really good deal and holds the high ground or just foregoes the whole biased process and let’s the American people judge him and his opponent on the merits of what each has accomplished. That would be another way to make his opponent fight an uphill battle.