The Veeps

The Vice Presidential debates were last night, and yes, I watched the whole thing. I particularly enjoy the wrap-up show with Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace and Joy Reid. It’s good for me to see if their jaws dropped at the same things that caused me to go slack jaw.

Kamala Harris had been given the opportunity to show her qualifications for being president, if the occasion ever arose, and she did a great job. Mike Pence, the whitest white man in America, was given the role of deflector in chief, and he did a superb job.

Listening to the talking heads, and reading some reviews in blogs, it appears that most pundits want to give high points to Pence for his calm demeanor. Some did point out that Pence was so calm that the fly stuck to his head never left. What’s up with that?

As a former high school debater, I don’t recall calm demeanor being one of the points we were scored on. Since my memory fades, I did look up the things judges look for in a debate and found this list: 

  • Factual accuracy.

  • Assertions are not arguments.

  • Impact.

  • Reasonableness.

  • Actually address your opponent’s points.

  • Don’t go over time.

Ok, we can ignore going over time because these are professional politicians, not well disciplined school children, but the rest of the points should still apply. I don’t see calm demeanor listed, not even “looks presidential”, or, “I wish he was our candidate”.

For ninety minutes Mike Pence attempted to defend Donald Trump’s racist, xenophobic, misogynistic failed policies. Explaining away 210,000 dead Americans due to their non-policy Covid response with “it could have been worse”, just doesn’t get it. It was almost like Pence was deaf, but you knew he wasn’t because he answered the moderator’s questions with attacks on Biden, not Trump solutions.

If the debates were designed for us to get to know the candidates better personally, I think they succeeded. I think we saw Kamala Harris’s humor, humanity and sense of fairness. Particularly when they discussed Rowe vs. Wade. Kamala was adamant that a woman’s right to choose what happened to her body was up to that woman individually. Kamala explained in detail to the audience that it is an overreach by the government to allow the party in charge to dictate to women whether or not they should give birth.

When asked the same question about the proposed justice tipping the scales in the Supreme Court to overturning Roe vs. Wade, Pence delivered a rambling monologue on Trump’s greatest hits. While governor of Indiana Pence signed into law legislation that imposed restrictions on a woman’s ability to seek an abortion, including in cases where the child would be born with a disability. He also signed into law a provision allowing businesses the right to refuse service to gays, on religious grounds. His record speaks for itself, it should be exposed more by the media.

We could talk for hours about the constant bullying, lying, discourtesy, and lack of being willing to be held to account for their failed policies, but that’s really the media’s job right? The fact that Pence wasn’t experiencing a ‘Roid rage like Trump during his debate should not be applauded.

I hope to God that the media gets over the idea that slapping lipstick on a pig makes the pig more attractive. This is a race that doesn’t need to be close, not if we are who we say we are. This country has children locked in cages, food banks running out of food, depression level unemployment and a good portion of our citizens concerned with immediate foreclosure or eviction. Is there any reason to try to make a horse race of this election?

There is the argument that if the Donald gets a second term the media’s job will be greatly simplified. They’ll just read the news supplied by the ministry of information. No need for reporters, analysts, fact checkers, heck, probably won’t even need multiple networks. I pray that the media realize they have a stake in this election too, and soon. Please don’t fail the American public like you did last time.

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