I guess tomorrow night's Iowa Caucuses-eve, Fox News-moderated GOP debate has just lost its YUGEness:
Unlike the very stupid, highly incompetent people running our country into the ground, Mr. Trump knows when to walk away. Roger Ailes and FOX News think they can toy with him, but Mr. Trump doesn’t play games. There have already been six debates, and according to all online debate polls including Drudge, Slate, Time Magazine, and many others, Mr. Trump has won all of them, in particular the last one. Whereas he has always been a job creator and not a debater, he nevertheless truly enjoys the debating process – and it has been very good for him, both in polls and popularity.
He will not be participating in the FOX News debate and will instead host an event in Iowa to raise money for the Veterans and Wounded Warriors, who have been treated so horribly by our all talk, no action politicians.
And it will be covered by every network except Fox, and probably outdraw the debate, and nobody will bother noticing that Trump is just using American veterans as campaign props (again) for his YUGE megalomania. And his zombie followers will roar in approval and then lurch off in search of Megyn Kelly's latest menses,
Fox News released their statement on the matter, unwittingly playing their prominent role in the never-ending Trump drama:
"Terrorizations" is a bit melodramatic itself, but otherwise, go Fox!, FWIW.
But this fits the Trump pattern of being a douchbag in inverse proximity to the targets of his douchebaggery. On Twitter he is Thor-mighty, while in person he's The Ultimate Diplomat. Put another way, Megyn Kelly has balls the size of near-Earth objects compared to the billionaire slumlord.
Something he was willing to admit to her face only four short years ago:
"No, I could never beat you." And he probably meant it at the time, because she wasn't directly challenging him. Either that, or he thought that politeness and deference might get him into her pants after the interview.
So will no-showing this debate hurt Trump? Given that nothing seems to hurt Trump, the answer would seem to be "no". But I would advise Ted Cruz to use tonight's debate as a "closing argument" for his candidacy instead of bombarding an empty podium. I've always believed that ignoring Trump and denying him media oxygen and otherwise reducing him and taking away his multi-gigawatt spotlight has been and is the best strategy to employ against him. Now that he's taken himself out of Thursday's equation, run to daylight, Ted, and don't look back.
In lieu of an exit thought, here's what I wrote after the last Fox News debate, as it's just as applicable six months later:
All you Tea Party Trump lovers think that your guy is going to make an AWESOME!!!!!!!! president because he's going to spend four years "kicking asses and taking names," right? But in politics, in foreign policy, the other side gets to kick back. And when you're the president of the United States, you can't make fun of, say, Angela Merkel's [desiccated] menstrual flow, or challenge Vladimir Putin to a penis-measuring contest [THAT has a totally different context now, doesn't it?], or blow off Xi Jin Ping as a "slant-eyed gook" when they refuse to be impressed or cowed by Trump's Trumpiness because boorish bluster can have consequences. Not least of which is making Barack Obama look like the epitome of seriousness and statesmanship by comparison.
Put another way, if Donald Trump can't even hang with Megyn Kelly in a serious conversation without throwing a temper tantrum, how's he going to clean up the godawful mess Barack Obama leaves behind (assuming that he ever leaves)?
UPDATE: Here's an interesting theory for his debate no-show: So he can blame an Iowa defeat on Megyn Kelly and Fox News:
Would [Trump] rather lose Iowa and have to seem weak by making excuses or lose Iowa with a tangible reason that he can echo with his whining about everything being unfairly stacked against him? Remember, he has very little that he can gain from a debate containing substance and this debate will likely focus more on substantive issues than any of the previous debates. He’s good when the topics are fighting ISIS or sealing the border but he fails when they ask him tough question such as how to fix the nuclear triad.
If he wins Iowa without the debate, he’s in the strongest possible position to win the nomination. If he loses but has the Fox News asterisk to place next to his defeat, he’ll attempt to turn that into momentum for New Hampshire and beyond. This cannot be allowed to play out as he has planned. People must be made aware of what he’s going to do so they can see it unfold with discernment. Otherwise, they’ll risk hearing his Pied Piper call.
I dunno; it seems to me that defeat would make him look weak regardless of the excuse, and blaming it on the "mean, unfair" Fox News Channel (sounds like what a Democrat would say, doesn't it?) would be an even lamer excuse. The core of Trumpism is that Trump never loses. Not "Trump wins when Megyn Kelly allows it". Although "Trump debates when Megyn Kelly isn't around" is pretty much the meme he's carrying out now, so maybe he can't discern the difference.
Plus, doesn't the idea that Trump would be laying the groundwork for using an Iowa defeat to set up a New Hampshire comeback quietly presuppose that his defeat in the Granite State is a serious possibility? Isn't he supposedly up in the polls there by double-digits? Does he really need a Hawkeye jiu-jitsu crutch? Maybe he's playing the biggest "inevitability/pre-emption/self-fulfilling prophecy" angle of all time.
UPDATE II: Because....why the hell not? Heck, it's a public service.