Lion of the Blogosphere

Trump pulls out of debate

Trump is, according to Scott Adams the creator of Dilbert, a Master Persuader, so me must know what he’s doing.

My analysis is that, now that he has a solid lead in the polls, he believes he doesn’t have anything to gain from debating, especially with Megyn Kelly there. He is also training the news media not to mess with him, because Fox will lose a lot of money without Trump in the debate to boost ratings.

* * *

Scott Adams approves.

Now let’s say you are Donald Trump, the scariest Republican that any Democrat has seen in ages. What is the one best thing he can do to separate himself from the Republican machine and show that he can be a deal-maker for everyone? Answer: Punch FOX News in the mouth. Right in front of you.

Democrats are watching. Trump is framing himself as an enemy of their enemy. (Democrats hate FOX News.)

Trump’s setup here is pure genius. He doesn’t know how it will end, but he is making sure he goes where the odds are deeply in his favor.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 26, 2016 at 9:48 pm

Posted in Politics

50 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. trump is over doing it with commentary on megyn kelly but he looks pretty solid here, and his general point as to why have a debate with all these obvious losers in it is the main reason he’s a tactical genius.


    January 26, 2016 at 10:08 pm

  2. It’s a good idea for Trump to keep up his feud with Fox News. There’s a ton of low information NAM voters out there who will likely cross over and vote for him, and one of the few things they know is that Fox News = BAD.


    January 26, 2016 at 10:11 pm

  3. If he pulls some stunts on social media during the debate he’ll demonstrate how meaningless cable news and big media are

    Paul Rise

    January 26, 2016 at 10:13 pm

  4. “He is also training the news media not to mess with him, because Fox will lose a lot of money without Trump in the debate to boost ratings.”

    Training? The way you’d do with a dog? “Down little media, down. Master Donald says down. Be a good little media, now!” (………sorry for the snark! I couldn’t resist.) No one trumps (pun intended) our Lion for penetrating political analysis! (…did I just use the terms “Lion” and “penetrating” in the same sentence? I did.)

    Does your lack of criticism for Trump’s decision not to participate mean that you think it’s the right move for him? I think Trump is making a mistake not to debate. God knows, he loves to talk, and he abounds in self-confidence. And Cruz is known as a skilled debater. I think it makes Trump look like he’s afraid of debating. Also, Trump is the clear front-runner and should start showing that he realizes he needs to play by the rules. You can’t be the maverick forever. He needs to avoid appearing as if he’ll be a loose cannon if we elect him president. He also needs to start reaching out to various wings of the party to assure them that they have nothing to fear from him. He needs to start acting more like a president and less like a reality TV show star.


    January 26, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    • MaryK, normal is over. Your plan is the Jeb Bush respectability game plan, which is a proven loser for real americans.

      Maybe we want an actual maverick loose cannon as president, instead of someone who can put on a tie, play nice, and bend over for their corporate masters.

      The idea of being “presidential” is a joke, a hallmark creation of the news media. In better days, presidents dueled on the streets and beat each other with canes if they said something offensive. Some presidents went to war and lead from the front, instead of having pollsters go around asking what color tie to wear, or taking photos with al sharpton.

      No one really cares what Trump does, or how nice and polite he is. Being polite gets you fucked over. Trump is a sign of the awakening racial awareness of white america, that they are being screwed over completely. You know how they said that eventually affirmative action recipients would be too powerful to take away affirmative action? We live in that time now. White americans are tired of having no representation, like a dalit underclass. The oppressor classes of leftists and minorities remind us daily we are the bad guys and whatever happens to us we deserve. Screw em. I have no doub that Roger Ailes and Megyn Kelly are typical swpl urban leftists who hate core america and probably feel a slight sense of disgust that the only way to make their money is via working for fox news to appeal to white proles.

      Orwell said in 1984 that hope lay with the proles, and it looks like it with the trump candidacy. Everyone else is too afraid of being called a racist or a bigot. But white proles dont have anything to lose or look forward to except drug addiction, suicide, being passed over for employment, hated by mass culture and resented by a large portion of the people who live in their country. Why not let trump burn it all down? There are almost no institutions that are not in favor of destroying whites, so let them all fail. There was the military, but that was turned into a leftist institution in the past few years, the constitution is no longer taken seriously by corrupt government, so there really is nothing left to hold on to in our society.

      Keep playing their game, by their rules– win or lose, your prize is going to be self-annihilation.


      January 27, 2016 at 11:34 am

  5. He is also training the news media not to mess with him, because Fox will lose a lot of money without Trump in the debate to boost ratings.

    I’d still rather he not miss it.

    But to turn this to his advantage I suggest trolling FOX by holding some sort of special event/interview with CNN at the same time.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    January 26, 2016 at 10:16 pm

  6. Doesn’t this seem like a big risk to be taking at such a late date when he’s doing well in the polls? I’d be playing it safe at this point. Trump isn’t much inclined to take it safe, though.


    January 26, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    • It’s actually less risky than taking part in the debate. Trump is ahead by 5 points in Iowa, it’s the 2-minute warning, and he’s got the ball. The smart move is to run the ball and let the clock run. Going to the debate would be the equivalent of throwing the ball down the field: Trump might get in scoring position, but he might also get picked off. Not worth it.

      Dave Pinsen

      January 27, 2016 at 2:02 am

      • Another factor is that Megyn Kelly was obviously trying to implement Operation Destroy Trump, Part Deux. It’s come out that Fox and her had arranged to give three Youtube ranters a soapbox during the debate, and at least two of them (a Muslim lady and a wise Latina) are rabid anti-Trumpers. Why be a patsy for that farce?


        January 27, 2016 at 12:53 pm

  7. When Trump is attacked for looking like he was intimidated by Megyn Kelly he should fire back that he already won the other debates and has nothing to prove, that he is attending other post-Iowa debates not held by FOX, and that he’s demonstrating he’s a tough negotiator.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    January 26, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    • No, no, he should respond that Ms. Kelly has already accepted the position of Special Assessments Administrator for Hollywood in his administration.


      January 27, 2016 at 1:04 pm

  8. Contrast his negotiating skills with Republicans who always fold instead of simply walking away from bad deals – “Always be ready to walk away”.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    January 26, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    • He said the same thing yesterday when he was explaining in a press conference his decision to not participate in Fox’s debate

      Oracle du Bogota

      January 27, 2016 at 7:50 am

  9. I’m worried Trump’s debate boycott strategy gives Fox News, Megyn Kelly, and Cruz an opportunity to openly bash Trump without him there to defend himself. As an alternative strategy, I would have been very amused to see Trump walk on stage, open a beach chair, and sit silently smiling and sipping a glass of scotch. “I’m here Fox, but I’m not playing your game”

    Matt Stevens

    January 26, 2016 at 10:25 pm

  10. I admit, this seems like a move that doesn’t make any sense. He and Cruz are close in the polls, it’s less than a week till Iowa, and he publicly states that he’s not doing the debate because Megyn Kelly.

    This seems like a disastrous decision, but on the other hand, you could say that about a lot of things Trump has done that have paid off. So yeah, I’m waiting for Scott Adams to explain how this makes sense, because I don’t see it.

    Mike Street Station

    January 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    • 1. the public hates the press
      2. fox has the highest unfavorables (kelly doesn’t matter, it’s just that she asked the worst questions)
      3. power move (see my earlier comment) it shows trump, while negotiating, will walk away from a bad deal, to force his opponent to come back with something better

      #3 relates to iran. that deal gives iran a bunch of money, with a promise they won’t develop a nuclear weapon (a similar deal was reached with north korea, they cheated). we now know trump’s willing to walk*. i.e., he isn’t full of shit.

      *the party that’s more willing to walk away from a negotiation almost always wins. think about interviewing for a job while you have a job, versus when you’re unemployed.


      January 27, 2016 at 10:25 am

  11. Unpredictable and amazing Trump doubles down and schlonges them again! He’ll get more attention this way. Who will care about the debate without Trump? You see, this is what I love about Trump – that he is so much smarter then Lion and me. This is how a president should be. This is a leader. Respect!


    January 26, 2016 at 11:05 pm

  12. Obviously Trump doesn’t have time for a debate since he’s somewhere planning a desperate strategy to counter the withering criticism he’s receiving from the National Review.


    January 26, 2016 at 11:29 pm

  13. All you said and – why not? I’m rich. I’m not obliged to anyone. I’m the only person who can say what he wants. I know this and so do the rest of the candidates. What’s scaring everyone is that I’m saying all this stuff – Out Loud, and In Public.

    (He’s violating the public trust of the NY Times Republicans by saying everything, directly and honestly. As Michael Kinsley once said – a gaff is a politician saying something we all know they think (or something like that). )

    Trump deserves the love he’s getting just for opening the window of honesty.. Also, he gets points for killing the Bushes. And wtf, pointing out the emperor has no clothes.

    The Republican party must burn. I’ll never vote for a candidate endorsed by George Will.


    January 26, 2016 at 11:36 pm

  14. Ryan Lizza from CNN had an insightful point tonight about Trump being at war with all the power structures of the Republican Party. This is merely Trump’s latest offensive in that larger war.

    Systematically, Trump is dismantling the power of the Bush donor base, the Fox News juggernaut, the talk radio personalities, the conservative think tanks, the conservative pundits and opinion writers and thinkers and rearranging and aggregating that influence around himself and his movement (those huge rallies!) in order to give him the mandate and negotiating leverage he’ll need as President to move his program forward. It’s genius really.

    Andrew E.

    January 26, 2016 at 11:57 pm

  15. Looks like evangelicals support Trump. That means there’s no base of support for the other candidates.

    “Poll: Evangelicals flocking to Trump”


    January 27, 2016 at 12:56 am

  16. I feel like the party that has the most to lose from this is Fox. Historically they’ve been good at pandering to all factions of the conservative base, thereby enjoying credibility as a conservative institution everyone — Tea Party, evangelical, war hawk, RINO, whatever — can agree on. If Trump keeps up his feud with them, however, and continues to denounce them with the same sort of rhetoric he uses to dismiss Jeb Bush et al, then the network is surely in serious danger of losing its brand and losing viewers. You simply can’t have the leading Republican candidate denouncing the leading conservative network, particularly when that leading Republican candidate has such high credibility with conservative Americans.

    It’s interesting, and kind of scary to see how many self-proclaimed conservatives are proving themselves more loyal to Trump than anything else. I’m not talking about non-aligned, cynical, alt-right internet weirdos here: I’m talking about middle-aged, middle-class people who consider themselves out-and-proud Republicans who watch Fox News and buy Laura Ingraham books and all the rest of it. Seemingly overnight, none of that appears to matter anymore. The interests of conservatism are defined not by philosophy or principle, but simply whatever Trump himself is doing at any given moment.

    Trump was right that it does seem to be getting to the point where it is almost impossible to imagine him doing anything that could cause people under his spell to fall out of love with him.


    January 27, 2016 at 1:16 am

    • what’s wrong with that? Conservatism is irrelevant if we don’t get rid of the immigrants, get rid of PC and get rid of the GOPe. Trump is the only chance for us to get rid of those things, at least for the time being.

      We owe Trump fanatical and undying loyalty.

      Otis the Sweaty

      January 27, 2016 at 12:09 pm

  17. “We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”

    This was the actual press release by Fox before Trump decided to withdraw. The first time I read it, I couldn’t believe it-it sounds even too absurd for an Onion parody. Could you imagine any other network saying something like this about any other candidate, right before they were to moderate a debate involving that candidate (CBS releasing something like this about Clinton before a debate-a debate that they are moderating)?

    This is not going to look bad for Trump. You just have to read that statement and see that Fox is out of its mind.



    January 27, 2016 at 1:19 am

  18. I don’t see this move making a difference either way. I guess this comes off as thin skinned but Trump has already established over the course of decades that he is a thin skinned jerk.

    It def shows the media not to fuck with him though.

    Otis the Sweaty

    January 27, 2016 at 1:42 am

  19. The American public watched for years as Trump fired people and walked away from bad deals on TV.

    So he has total credibility in using those skills to improve things and not be outflanked.


    January 27, 2016 at 1:47 am

  20. Trump will be hosting an event to raise money for the Veterans and Wounded Warriors charity. I wonder if the moderators will announce he’s hosting a charity for wounded veterans. Or if they simply say he’s not going to be there. Regardless, it’s hard to bash someone hosting a charity without looking like an ass.


    January 27, 2016 at 2:21 am

  21. Looks like an effective move. This stunt puts him in the news cycle more than if he had participated, and all discussion of the debate is framed through, “What was it like without Trump?”


    January 27, 2016 at 4:07 am

  22. Maybe he’s just busy?


    January 27, 2016 at 6:51 am

  23. And just like clockwork, the army of So-Con white knights sallied forth to bellow on behalf of their oneitis Megyn Kelly.


    January 27, 2016 at 8:39 am

  24. Over at Sailer’s place:

    The truth is that Trump is doing so well because he’s dragging the Republican party kicking and screaming back to the center, jettisoning their insane ideas about foreign policy, dropping the unpopular entitlement program cuts, and focusing like a laser on the issues where Republican ideas are actually popular, like immigration control.

    Trump is essentially the Republican party’s Bill Clinton.


    An interesting thought that hadn’t occurred to me previously. Trump continues to impress. The entertainment value of having him as president would be great.

    Black Death

    January 27, 2016 at 8:44 am

  25. On one hand, I think this is a big mistake. If he wins the nomination, he is likely to have to debate Hillary on Fox. Why is he being so thin-skinned? Megyn Kelly is not exactly a first rate mind. I think he easily could have shown up to the debate, gone through the motions, been respectful to Megyn (I.e. defuse the situation), and deflected any “gotcha” questions.

    The only plus here is that Trump is constantly getting free publicity. His genius in the campaign has been to keep his name in the news cycle on a DAILY BASIS. It really is unbelievable. America’s creepy reality TV culture has leaked into the world of politics; by putting himself at the center of daily “controversies”, he stays at the top of America’s info-tainment ticker.

    And yet another goddamned Republican debate is not exactly news. I mean, how many more canned answers and obnoxious cross talk can the public tolerate?


    January 27, 2016 at 9:26 am

    • I need to hear one more time that Marco Rubio is the son of a bartender and hotel maid.


      January 27, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      • Thanks for laugh out loud. I also want to hear about how America is the greatest country in the Milky Way.


        January 27, 2016 at 1:01 pm

  26. Not only is he punching Fox news in the mouth, he is sending a very clear message to the other networks when it comes time to debating Hillary or Bernie. He is not going to eat what he is fed like past Republican candidates. He is signaling that he will not let them get away with another Candy Crowley.


    January 27, 2016 at 9:28 am

  27. I assumed Trump would pull out of a debate after the 1st one, but i thought it would’ve already happened. It’s a power move:

    FOX: We control the non-liberal press BOW DOWN!!!
    Trump: No.
    GOPe/FOX: How dare you!
    T: I don’t need you. What have you won? What have you conserved? Kelly’s just a pretty face.
    MSM: Well hold on a second, how dare you besmirch Megyn Kelly and the fine people at Fox News?
    T: I could kill you, and no one would care.


    January 27, 2016 at 10:10 am

    • Holy shit. This was perfect!


      January 27, 2016 at 1:22 pm

  28. This is a very stupid move by Trump. Even if it doesn’t cost him Iowa or the nomination, he is damaging the best weapon he will have in a general election: Fox News. And Megyn Kelly is the most credible charismatic broadcaster in right-wing media & she was using her legal knowledge to pursue Hillary’s email scandal aggressively without looking sexist or partisan since she’s a female intellectual moderate

    This makes Trump look like he’s scared of Megyn & if he’s not careful, Obama, late night talk shows & SNL will start mocking him, & so might the other candidates

    And if he thinks he will win over the liberal media by attacking Fox he could be wrong, because it could be percieved as him picking on a journalist for doing her job, not as picking on Fox

    And he’s risking all this for what? Because Megyn asked him a perfectly legitimate tough question?

    Not all battles are worth going to war over


    January 27, 2016 at 11:08 am

    • Yes, but if Trump wins the nomination, who will Fox support? At worst they won’t support him enthusiastically. The heads might be pulling for a Clinton victory because they do their best when playing offense, but they won’t be all that critical of Trump.


      January 27, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    • Trump doesn’t like Kelly because a week or two before the first debate Kelly opened her show, on short notice, with an un-vetted story about Trump’s first wife accusing him of rape back when they were married. Of course, the story turned out to be garbage and Ivana Trump came out of anonymity to deny it completely. So Trump really did not like Kelly going into that first debate and then she opens it by giving him that hardball question while tossing softballs to everyone else.

      And btw, the genesis of Trump’s personal insults to Rosie O’Donnell was Rosie saying some really nasty things about Trump’s family so naturally Trump hit back. But Kelly didn’t bother making that context clear when she asked her question.

      Trump’s right, Kelly is a bimbo.

      Andrew E.

      January 27, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    • Nothing says “I am scared of you” like saying “fuck you, I am not your bitch, I don’t need you, I am not going to come at your command and let you vomit all over me.”


      January 27, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    • A lot of the Trump candidacy seems based on the premise that the candidate’s charm and appeal alone will be able to drive voters to the ballot box, including voters who have never voted, disaffected Democrats, etc. etc., even the face of overwhelming establishment opposition, and now even in the face of opposition from the most knee-jerk pro Republican news outlet.

      Seems like an awfully high risk gamble, but I guess we’ll se after Iowa.


      January 27, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    • It’s more to do with the line up of questioner’s Fox has assembled than Kelly.


      January 27, 2016 at 10:17 pm

  29. Trump is right that FOX and the GOP has been grossly unfair and insulting to him. It wasn’t long ago that one commentator claimed Fiorina castrated Trump.

    They claim he’s just a reality-star showman who never talks about the issues. But Trump is the ONLY candidate to talk about the issues; not just the policy wonk stuff, but the CIVILIZATIONAL issues that really mean something.

    Let there be no doubt that the GOP/Big Business is an enemy of the American people. It wasn’t hippies and college professors who transformed America into the 3rd world feminized hell hole. It was Big Business that was the real muscle. Not for any moral arguments, but because it was profitable. . .for them.


    January 27, 2016 at 11:33 am

  30. Potentially plays into a narrative that could lead to Sailer’s Hope: that, if Tromp doesn’t end up as president, he might found a new conservative new network to compete with Fox, which might have a more salubrious ideological line.

    Greg Pandatshang

    January 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm


    The reason why Trump dropped out is because they were going to invite 3 youtube stars- all non-white anti-trump activists.

    The debate is ENTIRELY a set up to assassinate Trump on live television.


    January 27, 2016 at 1:22 pm

  32. Heh, I like it. It’s like Jon Hamm in Mad Men responding “I don’t think of you at all.”

    Oxygen status: outside of room.


    January 27, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    • That line was ripped off from Ayn Rand.

      Dave Pinsen

      January 27, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      • “Who is John Hamm?”

        Greg Pandatshang

        January 27, 2016 at 11:32 pm

  33. I think pulling out of the debate makes you look chicken.

    But, Trump’s proved me wrong before.


    January 28, 2016 at 9:42 pm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: