In one of the most surprising turns of 2020's first presidential debate last night, Donald Trump sent a message to the far-right, addressing the self-described 'western-chauvinists' hate group the Proud Boys, telling them to "stand back and stand by, whilst I have your brown shirts dry-cleaned."
The statement came when the debate host, Fox News' Chris Wallace, threw Trump a question so soft he could have picked it right out of the NERF isle: asking the president if he condemns "white supremacists and militia groups". A patented layup that Trump could have scoured a few runs with for the moderate voter, after months of clashes between protesters and right-wing hate groups. But instead, the President knocked it out of the park for far-right extremists across the nation.
"The problem," Mr Trump was keen to clarify, "is that someone seems to have thrown a red hat in with all the white robes, and everything's come out pink. There's been quite a backlog therefore, at the dry cleaners."
"I wanted to take it all to that place where I heard everyone was getting their cleaning done in those FinCEN papers, the other day. But my advisers told me that one, that's not the type of laundering they do there, and two, I by far wouldn't have enough money to get in, anyway."
Some interpreted the statement however as Mr Trump actually telling white supremacists everywhere to hold up their meetings and scheduled actions, leading Sen. Mitch McConnell to confirm with the President if he wanted him to cancel their dinner plans?
It wasn't just the president however that was pressed about their support of different groups and actors on the political spectrum. Joe Biden rebuffed claims that he was in any way a radical socialist, and emphatically volunteered the fact that he was against Antifa, and others.
"I am not a radical socialist. I am not an Antifa supporter. Whatever those guys are for, I'm against it. Just label me as the whatever opposite of Antifa is."
Despite being told that in fact Antifa is not an organised group, but rather a political & moral ideology and set of policy ideals, Mr Biden responded "and I'm against all that, too!"
"In these uncertain times, we need stability. We need a return to normalcy. With one third the country on fire and a deadly, historic pandemic ripping through the nation, this is certainly not the time for a Green New Deal or Medicare for All."
There is still much uncertainty surrounding the road ahead, with the vice presidential debate and the two remaining presidential debates, as well as the election itself, all yet to come. Some things apparently remain certain, however - the American public are far from completing their Shawshank escape from the hellsmouth that is their political reality, and their long sewage pipe crawl to freedom is far from complete.