From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
The world is closing in on the president* and he wants to wreck everything he can before he’s run to ground. That’s the only possible explanation for his behavior on Tuesday night. None of his idols around the world have to put up with this silly debate stuff, in which somebody can point out with impunity that he is a liar and a clown who should shut up. Vlad doesn’t have to put up with this, or Xi, or Kim, or Erdogan, or Prince Bone Saw in Saudi Arabia. It is one more thing he can shatter. The only thing left for him to break is an election, and he’s getting around to that, too. Connect his refusal to condemn white supremacist groups—“Stand back and stand by!“—to this little steamer he left behind right at the end of things.
I’m telling my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully. That is what has to happen. I’m urging them to do it. In Philadelphia they went to watch. They are called poll watchers. They were thrown out. They were not allowed to watch because bad things happen in Philadelphia. Bad things. I hope it is a fair election I am 100 percent on board. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I cannot go along if it means we have a fraudulent election.
He wants his own private Belarus, with his own private militias at polling places, and in the streets if he loses, and he’s fixing things to get it, too.
That’s the only story from Tuesday night: the great, looming, consistent threat emerging from whatever the hell that event became. It was coming from the manic bully who is presently the President* of the United States. It was pure fascism, right down to the set of his chin that he stole from Mussolini, but it was fascism at the behest of a career failure who was sending out a call for anyone else with a sense of failure and a long gun. Continuing to treat this man as a president*, to grant him the privilege of two more debates and, therefore, two more opportunities to gather his forces, is to betray the very idea of democracy. He wants a race war. He wants a civil war. He wants to bring it all down and get rich selling off the wreckage.
There are already patches being sold to the cultists.
No more debates. Call off these freak shows before everything dies.