MSNBC’s O’Donnell Calls for Circus-Like Rules in Presidential Debates

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, never at a loss for impractical ideas, decided to shake up last week’s debate rules by suggesting a format befitting a circus rather than a serious political discussion. In a being-laughable-beyond-belief segment on “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell,” the host proposed that presidential debates should allow candidates to bring as many staffers as they want onto the stage, each equipped with their own microphones. One might call it a political pajama party, without the pizza.

O’Donnell suggested that candidates should be able to confer with their staff at any point during the debate to show whether they have competent or incompetent advisors. It appears he wants reality TV show drama more than substantive political discourse. He even went so far as to propose that candidates’ staff members should be allowed to answer questions for them, because apparently, in his view, a president should operate the way a marionette operates with strings pulled by a team of elite puppeteers.

In his fantasy, every conversation between candidates and their staff would be audible to the audience, allowing voters to marvel at the spectacle of potential leaders hashing out policy points in real-time huddles. According to O’Donnell, this display of teamwork would supposedly let voters see the candidates “think and process information.” But to anyone with common sense, it translates to a chaotic mess of conflicting whispers and cacophonous nonsense.

Predictably, O’Donnell’s grand idea was met with laughter and disbelief. Social media erupted, with sane observers contrasting his fantastical visions against the calm, clear leadership that Americans actually need. Even after the debate, O’Donnell tried to salvage some dignity by reassuring viewers that most voters didn’t actually watch the event. For his liberal colleagues, it sounded like a desperate attempt to mitigate the obvious damage.

Adding to the spectacle, the media – all of whom did watch – have every reason to now scrutinize President Biden’s mental fitness more rigorously than ever. The absurdity of O’Donnell’s debate proposal only underscores the already glaring concerns about Biden’s ability to stay sharp and coherent under pressure. It remains to be seen whether this latest media maneuver will succeed in distracting from the President’s increasing cognitive hiccups or simply draw even more attention to them.

Written by Staff Reports

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