"...debates allow Democrats to present themselves as a legitimate party trying to fashion rational solutions to real problems. Meanwhile, Republicans show they couldn’t care less about all that governing business. Ending popular programs, stripping away legislative achievements and passing more tax cuts are all they’ve got. Confronted with a capable opponent and without the cushy confines of right-wing media (which accepts their inanities and conspiracy theories as fact), Republicans find it hard to conceal that they are captives to a cult of extremism. If voters in less than three weeks select Republicans, they cannot claim ignorance of their Trump idolatry, their cruel views on abortion, their assault on government and their refusal to stand by democratic values. It’s nihilism vs. the center left. Take your pick."