It’s rare that I get to report good news these days, but here’s some: The 2020 presidential debates are officially over. As a bonus, the final and more calm presidential debate provided a valuable teachable moment for would-be narcissistic authoritarians: The less time you spend interrupting, the more time you have for lying. And from Covid-19 to the fever dreams about Hunter Biden’s laptop, there were plenty of those, and plenty of rerun content. The virus is not my fault, the stimulus failures are Pelosi’s fault, I’m the least racist person in the room, I’ve done more for Black people than any president since Abraham Lincoln (and you thought it was weird when Matthew McConaughey talks about Lincoln), the lack of empathy for kids separated from parents (and the gutless lack of ownership of that policy which is celebrated behind closed doors), the tax returns that are still on the way, the health plan that is right around the corner … all of it excerpted from the same, tired playbook of distractions, which prove less effective when people are jobless and watching loved ones die from a virus. The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser: Trump at the Debate Was Like America in 2020: Not Winning. “Everything is a repeat of 2016, when he pulled off the impossible and beat Clinton. Everything. Hence the last-minute announcement of Trump’s guest for the evening debate: Tony Bobulinski, Hunter Biden’s estranged former business partner, who has accused the younger Biden son of dirty dealings abroad, in a wannabe scandal that Trump & Co. are determined to elevate to a last-minute campaign issue, no matter the facts or lack thereof.” Maybe, as we wind down four endless and psychically brutal years of this craziness, the thing that was most notable about the debate was that is was boring. How great does four years of boring sound right about now?

+ The debate wasn’t high stake because the cake has been baked. More than 51 million people have already voted early in 2020, surpassing 2016’s overall early vote total.