A debate between vice-presidential candidates is like one of the ghosts from a Dickens story: what does this actually mean? Vice Presidents generally sit about the place gathering dust and inquire once daily about the health of the president and then turn invisible again. Unless the VP is Dick Cheney. But I digress.
So it was some surprise when CBS’ Elaine Quijano decided that this was the debate to talk about national security. And so for most of the debate, we got to hear, in depth, the one topic that neither of these men would have even the slightest impact upon. We also were treated to two white men talking over and ignoring the first Asian American woman to moderate a debate. Not good optics.
Mike Pence spent the better part of 90 minutes denying Trump said anything Trump has said, and the campaign ads that will be forthcoming will be plentiful and funny. Pence either has never met Trump or has gone into denial about his running mate, but on the bright side, the Fact Checkers will be fully employed if this team ever makes it to the White House.
UPDATE: It’s already happened:
The shorthand is that Kaine’s strategy was to lose debate but quote Trump a lot; Pence’s strategy–win debate but don’t defend Trump. And the rumor, of course, is that Hair Furer is furious at Pence. I find this oddly comforting and funny; it’s the second debate in which Hair Furer will complain that his Mike isn’t working for him.
CNN’s John King, reporting from a source close to Trump, that the reviews that Pence did better then he did won’t go over well with Trump
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) October 5, 2016
more from adviser on Trump reaction to strong Pence debate following poor Trump showing last week: "he can't stand to be upstaged"
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 5, 2016
Back to Pence.
Mike Pence is the kind of theocrat who scares me. Unlike Huckabee or Santorum who are essentially Elmer Gantry wannabes using the Rubes to their own advantage, the Pence’s of the world are true believers, the sort of evangelists who can lie with impunity because they are lying in service to what they believe is a greater good. Mike Pence has signed into law in Indiana not just the terrible We Don’t Serve Your Kind LGBTQ discrimination laws, but he has all also worked dilligently to defund Planned Parenthood and to add insult to women who do seek abortions, he has signed a law that requires women to have funerals for their fetuses.
And this led to a great moment of the debate when evangelical Catholic Pence tried to shame Catholic Tim Kaine on his pro-abortion stance, and got Kaine to say very clearly:
“That’s something we trust American women to do. The very last thing that government should do is punish women who make reproductive choices. Why don’t you trust women to make this choice for themselves?”
Pence later waxed eloquent on how one should be pro-adoption if one was also pro-life (or forced birth, which might be more accurate), and talked about infertile (Xristian?) couples who long to have these unwanted babies. Which when you think about it for a second it falls apart. Women are not incubators, and 2) Pence would rather give head to King Kong than to let LGBTQ people adopt.
UPDATE 2: NYTimes noticed something missing:
Mr. Pence’s most controversial moment as a national figure — and the biggest stumble of his political career — came after he signed a law in Indiana that critics had warned would allow businesses to discriminate against gay men and lesbians. Facing an enormous backlash, Mr. Pence first defended the law and then walked it back. The episode seemed likely to tarnish him as a national figure in a lasting way.
But neither Mr. Kaine nor the debate moderator, Elaine Quijano of CBS News, raised the issue Tuesday night. The lone mention of gay rights came when Mr. Kaine noted that Mr. Putin “persecutes L.G.B.T. folks and journalists.” Mr. Pence now appears likely to escape the 2016 election without any extensive airing of this formative moment in his career.
UPDATE 3: Another LGBTQ black eye from Pence’s record:
During his first successful run for Congress in 2000, now-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence wrote on his website in a section on LGBT issues that money from a program to help those with HIV/AIDS should go to organizations “which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
The Pundit class is saying that Pence won, just because he looks preznintial, but anyone actually listening would see it was a masterclass in deflection.
Let's not forget that CNN covered Pence getting a haircut. https://t.co/1DUImHEc5D
— Tengrain (@Tengrain) October 5, 2016
— Tengrain (@Tengrain) October 5, 2016