In this Trump was successful. He had more fire — but dangerously, even dementedly, so. He never wore Biden down, but at moments he wore Biden out: Listening to Biden’s sentences peter out could be like hearing the air seep from a tire.

But here’s the deal, as Biden would say: Only one man on that stage persuasively communicated that he has the interests of the American people at heart. Only one man on that stage seemed at all interested in maintaining a tether to the truth. Only one man demonstrated any respect for Wallace or for the process. Only one man would be bearable for the next four years.

I needn’t spell out who that man is.

But I have a message for him, and I’m serious: Don’t do this again. You showed your willingness. You showed up. But another of these fiascos is beneath you. I’d add that it’s beneath America, if there’s even such a thing anymore.