Al’s Afternoon Tea: Does Trump Keep It Positive in the Debate or Does He Go for the Jugular of the Guy Who’s Trying to Put Him in Prison?

By Al Perrotta Published on May 16, 2024

Welcome back in for Al’s Afternoon Tea. What can we sample and savor today?

Update on the Great Debates

CNN’s Jake Tapper, who spent three years peddling the Trump-Russia hoax and compares Trump to Hitler, will be moderating the first presidential debate June 27 along with Dana Bash, who also compares Trump to Hitler. (What, was Jack Smith unavailable? Trump would get a fairer shake from his ex-wife.)

How neutral is CNN? So neutral that one of its reporters is tweeting out links to Biden debate swag.

“Free on Wednesdays”? You know who should really be free on Wednesdays (and every other day besides)? The five Americans that Hamas terrorists are still holding hostage and whom Biden is doing nothing to help. 

By the way, is it ethical for Joe Biden to raise campaign funds from a criminal trial of Trump while it’s still in progress — especially given his and his DOJ’s role in that lawfare? Or is it just tasteless? What would the media say if Putin started selling merchandise referencing the political opponents he’s had jailed? Say, monogrammed gloves that make shoving critics out of hotel windows more comfortable?

Perhaps it’s smart for Trump to let the debate get stacked to the hilt against him. “Go ahead, CNN. Give him the debate questions like you did Hillary in 2016. Anything you want. I’ll spot him all the points you want.” Trump’s in the catbird seat. It doesn’t matter what Biden says because the response can be, “Sure, Joe. Just like your uncle was eaten by cannibals.” Biden tosses out so many falsehoods his Secret Service codename is “Michael Cohen.” 

And if the moderators give him any grief for attacking Biden, Trump’s got another simple response. “He’s trying to put me in prison because he can’t beat me in a fair fight. I think you can cut me some slack.” 

If Trump stays upbeat, keeps his answers short, and turns Tapper’s “gotchas” or Biden’s wild accusations into questions for the Big Guy, it’s an easy night. “I’m Hitler? Joe, really? You’d think during four years on the job I would have at least grown the mustache. Besides, if I’m Hitler, why are you the one appeasing and assisting those who want to exterminate the Jews? I’ll wait.”

In the end, since personality is Trump’s Achilles heel, being positive is his best play. If Biden is the mean, angry one on stage and he is the cheerful warrior letting Biden talk himself into a stumbling, muttering mess, it’s over. 

Why Did Biden Suddenly Push for Early Debate?

Biden’s call for a debate Wednesday came out of the blue. Is it a Hail Mary with polls showing him sliding toward oblivion? Are his efforts to jail Trump failing? He’s so obsessed with fighting Trump, he insisted on debating, regardless of what his campaign thought. Former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi certainly isn’t thrilled. She said Wednesday she would “never recommend” that Biden debate Trump. 

They know the score. His 14-second debate video had five jump cuts in it. Now he’s going to stand on a stage and debate for 90 minutes? Our #2024 poll shows roughly three-fourths of you still don’t think a debate will actually take place.

But why try to have one as soon as June?

An interesting theory has emerged. June 27 is before the Democratic National Convention. Doing a debate locks him in as the nominee so the DNC can’t pull any tricks and switch him out for someone younger and more vigorous, like Andrew Jackson.

The Blaze’s Glenn Beck Show was also pushing this theory.

But what if the opposite is true? Since polls and whispers suggest Democrats are really unhappy having Biden as the nominee, what if the DNC sees an early debate as the last chance to get rid of him? Biden is insisting on debating, so let him debate. If he is a disaster, that opens the door for something to be done at the convention.

Appropriate? Inappropriate?

Here’s a question to chew on with our Afternoon Tea. Yesterday, during the National Peace Officers Memorial commemoration, Biden compared the loss of officers killed in the line of duty with the loss of his son Beau to cancer. Is this “gross”? Inappropriate? Offensive that he (again) turn others’ grief into a story about himself and his own loss? Or is simply a way to empathize with the grieving families and connect over the sorrow of losing a child?

Do you cut him down or cut him some slack?

From Grahams to Grams: Billy Graham Honored in U.S. Capitol While USCP Finds Bag of Coke

A statue of the late, great evangelist Billy Graham was unveiled today in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. The seven-foot bronze work is one of two representing North Carolina, replacing that of Gov. Charles Aycock, a racist who served during the Reconstruction.

According to The Charlotte Observer, Graham is one of the very few private citizens who have received the three highest honors from Congress: A statue in Statuary Hall, a Congressional Gold Medal, and lying in state in the Capitol rotunda.

“This is a great honor and my father would be humbled and grateful,” said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse. “At the same time, he would not want the attention on himself but on God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic, and Moral Issues of Our Day.

Meanwhile, a bag of cocaine was found in the headquarters of the U.S. Capitol Police Wednesday, the group announced. The small bag was found in an area used to store furniture and supplies. The Capitol Police say they don’t yet know whose cocaine it is, but Hunter Biden has volunteered to help them sniff it out. (Don’t make a face. You were thinking that, too.)

Seriously, cocaine is lying around, staffers are filming gay porn in hearing rooms, and Congress is blowing through money like there’s no tomorrow. When did Capitol Hill become Studio 54? Perhaps folks there should spend more time on the Republic and the Democratic elements, and less on the “party.”

On The Stream Menu

Jason Jones returns with “The WHO Lied. Thousands Died. And Millions Got Locked Down, Dumbed Down or Injured by the Vax.” 

Dr. Michael Brown’s latest is also hot out of the oven: “When Being Pro-Palestine Means Advocating for the Extermination of Israel as a Nation.” 


Al Perrotta is The Stream’s Washington bureau chief, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration, and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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